Bihar GK in English

Modern History Bihar

The Mughal rule in Bihar ended with the death of Bahadur Shah, the last Mughal emperor. During the Mughal rule, Patna emerged as a major trading centre. It was famous for its cotton textiles, silk industry, indigo and salt. Many European countries like Portuguese Dutch, French, Danish and English were lured by the prosperity of Patna and thus entered Bihar to establish trade relations.

Portuguese in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ Portuguese were the first European to enter Bihar in 17th century. They established their factory at Hoogly in Bengal but frequently visited Patna for trade through water channels and roads.

➤ The main commodities purchased by Portuguese in Bihar were carpets, ambertees, khassa and thin cloths.

➤ They brought spices and China clay with them and used them for trade in exchange of cotton textiles.

Dutch in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ The Dutch company in 1632 established their factory in the Northern part of the present Patna college. The Dutch too were interested in cotton textiles, saltpetre, opium and foodgrains.

➤ In 1662, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb granted trade rights to the Dutch to trade in Bihar, Bengal and Odisha.

➤ In 1665, a Dutch traveller Tavernier came to Patna and later travelled to Chhapra. which was the major centre of saltpetre refinery in Bihar at that time.

➤ There was a dispute among the French, British and Dutch companies over the trade rights of saltpetre.

➤ The hasbal-hukm issued under Asad Khan in 1703 was addressed to Diwan of Bihar, who asked clarification of a former order about the Dutch.

➤ In November, 1759, the Britishers defeated Dutch in the Battle of Bedara.

➤ On 10th July, 1781, British commanding officer Major Hardy captured the warehouse of Dutch in Patna. British East India company also captured the Dutch factories of Chhapra and Singhia, but later in 1784, warehouse of Patna was returned back to the Dutch.

French in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ French also established their trade relations with Bihar but they were constantly in struggle with Dutch companies as both wanted saltpetre.

➤ French East India Company was established in 1664 by Frencois Marten.

However, the British East India Company emerged stronger in Patna. In 1734, they established trading centre and warehouse at Patna.

➤ There was a situation of tension between the Britishers and the French regarding trade due to which in 1757 British captured Chandannagar.

➤ After the Battle of Plassey, East India Company expelled the General of Bihar at that time from Patna and captured all the warehouses of the French. In this way, the French control over the trade of Bihar came to an end.

Danish in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ The Danish East India Company refers to two separate companies first operated between 1616 to 1650 and second company existed between 1670 to 1729. Danish Asiatic company was established in 1730.

➤ This company revive Danish trade to India and Bihar. They built a factory in 1774 at Nepali Kothi (Patna), to process saltpetre. Denmark finally sold its remaining settlements of India in 1845.

East India Company in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ The East India Company established their factory in 1620 at Alamganj in Patna for the trade of saltpetre that was much in demand in the European market. The factory however was closed in 1621.

➤ In 1651, the Company established a factory in Gulzar Bagh (presently the Company factory at Gulzar Bagh has been truned into government printing press).

➤ Saltpetre was produced in Bihar mainly in the neighbourhood of Patna, where it was available in abundance.

➤ The Britishers emerged stronger than any European power in Bihar. They started controlling the regions of Bihar that were popular for production of opium. Patna was important for trading of calico cloth.

➤ In 1664, Job Charnock was appointed as the head of factory situated in Patna.

➤ In 1680, Subedar of Bihar Shaista Khan charged 3.5% tax on the trade of British company.

➤ Aurangzeb appointed Saif Khan as the Governor of Bihar. At that time, Mr Peacock was the Chief of English Factory who refused to visit and gift the new governor. As a result, he was captured and forced to present gift and 90 pounds to the governor.

➤ Azimushan was appointed the Governor of Bihar in 1697. Azimushan gave the permission to English East India Company for trade in Bihar, after that the English Factory was re-established in 1703. Prince Azimushan was the last Governor during the reign of Aurangzeb.

➤ In 1713, during the rule of Farrukhsiyar, the Patna factory was closed but in 1717, it again invited Britishers to trade in Bihar and Bengal. In 1718, the Patna factory was reopened.

➤ In 1733, Alivardi Khan was assigned as the Naib Nazim of Bihar. In 1740, Alivardi Khan killed Sarfaraz Khan and took control on Bengal and Bihar. He got the confirmation from the Emperor Mohammad Shah by paying a huge amount.

In 1750, Patna Factory was closed due to the pressure of Nawab Alivardi Khan.

The Battle of Plassey

➤ Siraj-ud-Daula was the Nawab of Bengal after the death of Alivardi Khan in 1756.

Soon after his accession to the throne, he came into conflict with the English East India Company.

➤ Robert Clive entered into a conspiracy with Mir Jafar, the Commander-in-Chief of Siraj-ud-Daula and defeated the Nawab in the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

➤ After the Battle of Plassey, Mir Jafar was appointed as the Governor of Bengal by Lord Clive. In 1756, the English had established many factories in Bihar in Patna and established their sole tradership rights for saltpetre in 1758.

➤ In 1760, the Britishers replaced Mir Jafar and appointed Mir Qasim as the Nawab of Bengal. Mir Qasim shifted his capital from Murshidabad (in Bengal) to Munger (in Bihar). Soon differences emerged between the Britishers and the Nawab.

➤ On 2nd September, 1763, in the Battle of Udwanala, the Britishers defeated Mir Qasim. The Britishers captured theMarufganj and Colonelganj areas in Patna.

The Battle of Buxar

➤ The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22nd October, 1764, between British East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined army of Mughals under Shah Alam II, Mir Qasim (Nawab of Bengal) and Shuja-ud-Daula, (the Nawab of Awadh). The Company won this decisive battle.

➤ As a result of this battle, the British East India Company under Lord Clive signed two separate Treaties of Allahabad. One with the Mughal ruler Shah Alam II on 12th August, 1765 and other with Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh on 16th August, 1765.

➤ The Company thus by this treaty with Mughals, was accorded rights of Bengal and Bihar. They got the right to administer the collection and managements of revenues of the province of Bengal and parts of Awadh, currently comprising a large part of Uttar Pradesh.

➤ The East India Company created the post of Deputy Governor to administer Bihar. Robert Clive appointed Shitab Rai as Naib (Deputy) Deewan of Bihar.

➤ After the death of Shitab Rai in September 1773, Warren Hastings appointed his son Kalyan Singh as Deewan. The general administration of Bihar was left in the charge of the council. Hastings appointed Kheyali Ram and Sandhu Ram as Naib Deewans under Kalyan Singh.

➤ In 1770, a ‘Revenue Council of Patna’ was constituted, it was later replaced by a position named ‘Revenue Chief of Bihar’ in 1781. In 1783, when famine stuck Bihar, Warren Hastings, the then Governor General of Bengal, ordered the construction of dome-shaped massive granary of Golghar in Patna. It was designed by John Garstin.

Its construction completed on 28th July, 1786 to cope up with famines.

The Revolt of 1857 and Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ The revolt that began at Meerut on 10th May, 1857 very soon spread to large parts of Northern India, including Bihar.

➤ The Revolt of 1857 was an important landmark in the modern history of India. At that time, Lord Canning was the British Viceroy of India.

Beginning of the Revolt of 1857 in Bihar

➤ In Bihar, the revolt started on 12th June, 1857, at Rohini (Deoghar) (now in Jharkhand) at the headquarters of 32nd Infantry Regiment. In this revolt, three English officers Lieutenant Norman Leslie, Commander Major Mac-Donald and Surgeon Dr Grant were killed.

➤ In Patna, a revolt started on 3rd July, 1857 under Pir Ali, a book seller.

➤ The Deputy Opium Agent of Patna Opium Agency Dr Lyell was killed by mob in Patna.

➤ This uprising was suppressed. Its leaders like Pir Ali, Luft Ali Khan, Shaikh Ghasila along with a rebellions sepoy named Mahabat Ali and a police Jamadar named Ali were hanged.

➤ Apart from revolt in Patna, the revolt of 1857 also spread in Tirhut, Saran, Arrah, (Shahabad) etc in Bihar.

➤ On 25th July, 1857, discontented army revolted in Muzaffarpur by killing some Englishmen. On 25th July, Danapur Cantt too revolted which marked the beginning of widespread revolt in Bihar.

➤ The mutiny of the 12th irregular cavalry at Sugauli led to the outbreak of a revolt in Champaran and Saran.

➤ The Maharajas of Darbhanga, Dumraon and Hatwa and their fellow landlords helped the English. Munger remained unaffected by the revolt.

Areas Affected by the Revolt in Bihar

➤ The Patna division was deeply affected as soldiers and civilians joined to fight against British. At the time of the Revolt of 1857,William Tayler was the commissioner of Patna division. Gaya was also affected, as villagers revalued and formed into rebel groups.

➤ The Shahabad region also saw the uprising against the British by Kunwar Singh. Jeodhar Singh and Haider Ali Khan formed rebel groups in Bhojpur.

➤ In Hazaribagh, Santhals, local villagers formed into groups against Britishers. In Singhbhum and Manbhum soldiers, Santhals and other tribal people together revolted.

➤ The soldiers in Danapur also revolted and joined the mutiny. The widespread revolt of 1857 started from this place in Bihar. The British troops however were able to suppress the mutiny. They hanged the participants, imprisoned several others and some were transported to penal settlements.

Role of Kunwar Singh in the Revolt

➤ The most notable figure of revolt in Bihar was Babu Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur.

➤ Babu Kunwar Singh (1777-1858) belonged to a royal Rajput family of Jagdishpur, currently a part of Bhojpur district of Bihar.

➤ He actively led a select band of armed soldiers against the British East India Company, and also recorded victories in many battles.

➤ Kunwar Singh was successful in occupying Arrah by 27th July, 1857 and later defeated British forces along with Nana Saheb at Azamgarh.

➤ The rebels of Danapur, Chota Nagpur, Manbhum, Singhbhum and Palamu wanted to carry on the struggle under the leadership of Kunwar Singh.

➤ Kunwar Singh had established a manufacturing unit of arms and ammunition at Jagdishpur. He also had stored provisions within his mud fort to feed an army of 20,000 men for six months.

➤ Among his supporters, there were his brother Amar Singh, nephew Rathbhanjan Singh and Hari Kishan Singh. The King of Dumrao was also his close ally.

➤ The sepoys released all the prisoners in the jail and plundered the treasury and proclaimed Kunwar Singh as their leader.

➤ In August 1857, Vincent Eyer captured Jagdishpur and completely destroyed Kunwar Singh’s fort but Kunwar Singh continued his battle against the British.

➤ On 23rd April, 1858, the army of Kunwar Singh defeated British force led by Captain Le Grand, but injured by a butted pursued by Douglas, a British official.

On 26th April, 1858 Babu Kunwar Singh passed away at his village Jagdishpur.

➤ The fight continued for some time by his brother Amar Singh and nephew Hari Kishan Singh. The rebellion was completely suppressed in December 1859.

Spread of the Revolt in other Parts of Bihar

➤ The movement spread to different parts of Bihar where the soldiers and civil population fought together against the British rulers.

➤ In July 1857, the companies of infantry at Hazaribagh revolted against the British and Madhav Singh was their leader but the Company crushed the uprising. Major leaders like Jaimangal Pandey, Vishwanath Shahdeo and Pandey Ganpat Rai were captured and sentenced to death.

➤ In Singhbhum, Raja Arjun Singh of Porhat and his brother revolted against the Company but in 1859, he was arrested.

➤ The activities of Nilamber and Pitamber made Palamu a centre of serious agitation against the Britishers.

➤ Besides these, there were agitations against the British in Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Champaran, Saran and Purnea.

Outcomes of Revolt in Bihar

➤ The revolt of 1857 was crushed by the Britishers. However, they introduced some reforms into their administration.

➤ One such reform was Bengal Tenancy Act, 1885 which defined the rights to tenants in Bihar and Bengal due to widespread discontent against zamindars.

Some Important Leaders of 1857, Mutiny in Bihar






Hetam Singh


Muhammad Hussain Khan


Kunwar Singh and Amar Singh


Ahmad Ali Khan


Nana Singh, Haider Ali Khan


Pir Ali Khan, Ali Karim


Mehdi Ali Khan, Hukoo Singh, Munku Singh


Amar Singh

Congress and Bihar (Bihar GK in English)

➤ Congress was formed on 28th December, 1885 by AO Hume. It emerged as a strong party to fight against the British rule.

➤ At the Calcutta Session (1886), there were 434 delegates, while Bihar was represented by Syed Sharfuddin, Nand Kishor Lal, Narayan Mehta, Gajadhar Prasad, Bisheshwar Singh, Tej Narayan Singh, Rajeshwari Prasad Singh and Purnendu Narayan Sinha.

➤ In the third session of Congress, (1887 in Madras), there were two representatives from Bihar, viz Shaligram Singh and Guruprasad Sen.

➤ The 28th session of Congress held in 1912 took place in Bankipur (Patna) under the chairmanship of RN Mudholkar and 38th session in 1922 was held in Gaya under the chairmanship of Chittaranjan Das. Chittaranjan Das resigned from his presidency of Indian National Congress at Gaya Session on the ground of council entry.

➤ In the year 1916, 32st Congress Session held in Lucknow in which the Patna University Bill was passed and two other proposals in favour of Indigo planters of Champaran were forwarded by Rajkumar Shukla of Bihar.





Expanded British rule in Bihar.


Battle of Buxar won by East India Company.


Company given Diwani rights of Bihar by Mughals.


Granary of Golghar built to cope up with famines.


Period of revolts.

12th June, 1857

Revolt started in Bihar and Deogarh (now in Jharkhand)

8th July, 1857

Revolt started in Patna and Danapur.

27th July, 1857

Arrah occupied by Babu Kunwar Singh.


Bengal Tenancy Act defined the tenant’s rights in Bihar.


28th Session of Congress held in Bankipur, (Patna).

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