Main article: History of Bihar
See also: Timeline for Bihar, Magadha, History of Buddhism in India, and Decline of Buddhism in India Gautama Buddha undertaking extreme ascetic practices before he realised it was not necessary and his enlightenment on the bank of river Falgu in Bodh Gaya, Bihar.
The greatest Indian empire, the Mauryan empire, originated from Magadha in 325 BC, it was started by Chandragupta Maurya who was born in Magadha, and had its capital at Patliputra (modern Patna). The Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, who was born in Patliputra (Patna) is believed to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of India and the world. According to indologist A.L. Basham, the author of the book The Wonder that was India, “
The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganges Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha, when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
Bihar remained an important place of power, culture and education during the next one thousand years. The Gupta Empire, which again originated from Magadha in 240 CE, is referred to as the Golden Age of India in science, mathematics, astronomy, religion and Indian philosophy. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. Historians place the Gupta dynasty alongside with the Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and Roman Empire as a model of a classical civilization. The capital of Gupta empire was Pataliputra, present day Patna. The Vikramshila and Nalanda universities were among the oldest and best centres of education in ancient India. Some writers...
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