Bihar, state of eastern India. It is bounded by Nepal to the north and by the Indian states of West Bengal to the northeast and Uttar Pradesh to the west. In November 2000 the new state of Jharkhand was created from Bihar’s southern provinces and now forms the state’s southern and southeastern borders. The capital of Bihar is Patna.
Bihar occupied an important position in the early history of India. For centuries it was the principal seat of imperial powers and the main focus of Indian culture and civilization. The derivation of the name Bihar from the Sanskrit vihara (Buddhist monastery) reflects the prominence of such communities in the region in ancient times. Area 38,301 square miles (99,200 square km). Pop. (2011) 103,804,637.