Sakya Muni, the Buddha, came here from Gaya in the 6th century B.C. (from which time some of the remains may date), in order to establish his religion, which shows that the place was even then a great centre.
It divides the province into two almost equal portions; north of the river lie the districts of Saran, Champaran, Tirhoot, Purnea, and part of Monghyr and Bhagalpur, and south of it are Shahabad, Patna, Gaya, the Santal parganas, and the rest of Monghyr and Bhagalpur.
The province of Behar corresponds to the ancient kingdom of Magadha, which comprised the country now included in the districts rof Patna, Gaya and Shahabad, south of the Ganges.
The origin of this kingdom, famous alike in the political and religious history of India, is lost in the mists of antiquity; and though the Brahmanical Puranas give lists of its rulers extending back to remote ages before the Christian era, the first authentic dynasty is that of the Saisunaga, founded by Sisunaga (c. 600 B.C.), whose capital was at Rajagaha (Rajgir) in the hills near Gaya; and the first king of this dynasty of whom anything is known was Bimbisara (c. 528 B.C.), who by conquests and matrimonial alliances laid the foundations of the greatness of the kingdom.
The four ancient sacred resorts are Kapilavastu, Gaya, Benares and Kusinagara.