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Government Governor : Prof. Jagdish Mukhi Chief Secretary : Alok Kumar Chief Minister : Sarbananda Sonowal Jurisdiction of High : Guwahati High Court Court Bihar Area : 94,163 sq km Population : 10.41 crore (2011 census) Capital : Patna Principal Language : Hindi History and Geography The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit word Vihara which means “abode”. The word Vihar is itself derived from the word Brahmavihara meaning “Brahma abidings” of “Sublime attitudes. “The state finds mention in the Vedas, Puranas, ancient epics, etc., and was the main scene of activities of Buddha and 24 Jain Trithankars. Taking off from its origin, Bihar or ancient Magadha has been the cradle of Indian civilization and the centre of Indian culture and education since time immemorial. From Magadha arose India’s first greatest empire, the Maurya Empire, as well as one of the world’s greatest pacifist religions, Buddhism. It has also been the home to Jainism. It was in Bihar that the ancient universities of India Nalanda and Vikramshila were built to convey the educational riches of the state. Great rulers of the state before the Christian era were Bimbisar, Udayin, who founded the city of Pataliputra, Chandragupta Maurya and Emperor Ashoka, the Sungas and the Kanvas. Then came the Kushan rulers followed by Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty. Muslim rulers made inroads into the territory during the medieval period. The first conqueror of Bihar was Mohammed- bin-Bakhtiar Khalji. The Tughluqs and then the Mughals followed the Khaljis. One of the major states of the Indian Union, Bihar is bound on the north by Nepal, on the east by West Bengal, on the west by Uttar Pradesh and on the south by Jharkhand. Bihar has a number of rivers, the most important of which is the Ganga. The other rivers are the Sone, Punpun, Falgu, Karmanasa, Durgawati, Kosi, Gandak, Ghaghara, etc. Agriculture Bihar has a total geographical area of about 93.60 lakh hectares, out of which only 55.54 lakh hectares is the net cultivated area with a gross cultivated area of 72.95 lakh hectares. The principal food crops are paddy, wheat, maize and pulses. Main cash crops are sugarcane, potato, tobacco, oilseeds, onion, chillies, jute and mesta. Bihar has a notified forest area of 6.22 lakh hectare, which is 6.65 per cent of its geographical area. About 30.64 thousand hectares net area and 44.33 thousand hectare gross area had received irrigation from different sources.