The Heritage of India is the outcome of interactions throughout the ages over a massive geographical landmass. The colorful history of this country is the saga of contributions of almost each and every corner of the large area. Bihar holds a glittering position among those contributing units. It needs no introduction to the world of History. Begusarai,which is a district headquarters lying in the mid northern flank of the Ganges bed, follows the same historical pattern as Bihar does. The name `Begusarai` is said to be after one Md. Begu who used to look after the Sarai ( a halting station for the caravan ) Some other believe it to be derived from Begumsarai.
The land of Begusarai bears the testimony of its glorious past. The land surrounded by seven rivers and rivulets has seen a long cultural proceeding going on. The high mound of the districts resemble its proud head as far as profoundness of heritage is concern. A connected and coherent history of the area from the sixth century B.C. to the Mugal period can be presented on the basis of archeological findings of Naulagarh mound.and numerous sites of the area.
The region which Buddhist literatures refer to as Anguttarapa. Mahavagga and Sutta nipata Attakatha mention that Lord Buddha had visited Apan Nigama of Anguttarapa. Now, the term Ang-uttar-apa itself indicate its position as ‘the water to the north of Anga’. Undoubtedly, to locate the exact position of Apan Nigam is a difficult, but it is crystal clear that the region of Begusarai would have been an important part of that region.
A number of N.B.P Ware. sites scattered all over the region is the indication of this area being inhabited during Mauryan period. In the light of the short report, the Birpur excavation clearly indicates the cultural layer of Shunga – Kushana period. The archaeological remains of Gupta Period can be explored in abundance at different sites. In 1972, Late. Prof. Radhakrishna Choudhary discovered two fragmentary seals written in Gupta Brahmi from Naulagarh. This is an evidence of the fact that the region used to be main centre of economic and administrative activities during Gupta Period.
The archaeological findings and remains of Jaimangalgarh are sufficient to prove it a prominent Buddhist site. The Hersain stupa and concrete possibility of Viharas tell the glory of its past. The Excavation of Birpur conducted by Dept. of A.I.H. and Archaeology, G.D. College, Begusarai with the permission of A.S.I. .under the direction of Prof. Phuleshwer Singh and Dr. Shailesh Kumar Sinha has brought in light an uninterrupted cultural sequence of N.B.P Ware. to Muslim Ware. The Masuriadih might represent the Neolithic culture in this region. This shows the antique nature of the region.
The archaeological remains especially the sculptures scattered all over the district advocate the Pala dominance over this region. The Naulagarh Inscription of VigrahaPala III suggests that Naulagarh used to be a part of Krimila Vishaya in the age of the Palas. The Inscription was notices and published by the noted historian Prof. R.K. Chaudhay of G.D. College, Begusarai in 1952. The Bhagalpur Copper plate of Narayanpala and the Bangaon Copper plate also prove the Pala rule over Tirabhukti of which Begusarai was a part.
The history of the region falling between the Golden days of the Palas and the expansion of the Karnats from Simraon Garh seems to be influenced by the Rajputas. Even at the time of the Karnats rule in this region, it seems that Rajputas used to exercise dominating influence over this area. The presence of Bhar, Chandel, Parmara, Solanki Rajputas and the sculptures of Chamunda, Revant, Bhairav scattered all over the region support this hypothesis..After the down fall of the Pala rule over this area, Begusarai came under Karnata rule. The Karnata rule started in Mithila in 1097 A.D. and continued up to 1324 A.D. After Karnats Muslim rule had started in this region.
The Maheshwara Inscription of Feroz Etigin (1290-91) edited by Prof. Chowdhary in 1956 proves the shifting control over this region. Feroz Etigin was the regional administrator appointed by Ruknuddine Kaikas (1291-1302) A.D.. Later on the Oinwaras came in the light to replace the Karnata power somewhere in the middle of the 14th century .On the basis of the descriptions of Mulla Taquia Prof.R.K.Choudhary indicates that Haji Illiyas subjugated Tirhut and divided the kingdom in two parts. River Burhi Gandak was fixed the boundry line and Oinwara Kameshwara was forced by him beyond it.
Now Begusarai came under Haji Illiyas’s rule. This system proved to be short lived when Firuz Tugluq invaded Tirhut and compelled the Illiyas Shahi to vacate this territory. Later on Firuz Tuglaq had to sign a treaty with Sikandar shah of Illiyas Shahi dynasty which was in favour of this. Later Ruknuddin Barbak saha of the same dynasty rules over Begusarai as well as a major portion of North Bihar. The Lodi Sultan Sikandar Lodi started his compaign for political supremacy and crushed the land upto Bengal in 1495. Begusarai also constituted that subdued area. An inscription of Nasrat shah from Matihani of Begusarai proves his rule over this area. It is remarkable to know that Nasrat Shah in 1519 A.D. and appointed his son-in-low Makhdun Alam the governer of Hajipur after conquering Tirhut. It seem that the region came under Sher Shah Suri’s rule after that. The name Begusarai itself seems to be of that time.
Begusarai seems to be under rule of Ibrahim Shah Sharqui also. A copper coin of the king from Sanghaul of the district provide base to this thought. The area came under Mugal rule Akber established his control over Tirhut in 1574 A.D. with the weakening of the central power in Delhi after the death of Auragzeb nobles all over the country tried to take advantage of the situation. Beguarai was no exception. The Chakwar Raja Bakhtawar Singh of Samho refused to pay lagan and assumed the independent title of ’Deva Devanam’. The East India Company records points the hold of Chakwaras on Gangetic transport from Munger to Patna. Raja Bakhtawar Singh died in 1730. In 1734 Alivardi Khan, the newly appointed Governor of Bihar suppressed the Chakwar Raja Bahadur Singh and the Latter agreed to pay tribute to the Nawab of Bengal. With his death the Chakwara influence started declining.
With the defeat of Sirajuddhaulah., the English started taking control over this area. Manjhaul, Begusarai, Bhagwanpur, Daulatpur etc. became the centre of Indigo trade. Munger was created as a separate district in 1832 A.D. and Balia Pargana was merged with it. Later Balia was confirmed as subdivision by the company official but the office was established at Begusarai. In 1870 Begusarai got the status of subdivision.
Begusarai played an important role in the freedom struggle of the country. The Namak (Salt) Satyagraha of Gandhi Ji brought turmoil in the district and the people showed their vigour and courage. Participating in the movement Bihar Keshri Dr. Sri Krishna Singh broke the Salt-Law at Garhpura. Bihat village of the district became the Bardoli of this region. No one can forget the account of local martyrs during the August-movement of 1942. Residents of the district showed their enthusiasm against the bullets of the British administration.
When India attained freedom, Begusarai remained a Subdivision of Munger district. It became a district on the 2nd October 1972 and since then it is inching on the path of progress.