In ancient period before the birth of Christ Viz. between 725 and 484 B.C., the region of Muzaffarpur and Hajipur was known as Vaishali. It was here that the first Republican Government was established and the history of the Republican Vajjian confederacy is bright and glorious. In the Central administration of the vajiis, there were the posts of the President, the Senapati and the Bhandarik. There was a central legislature the total number of whose members was 7707. There was an elaborate procedure for conducting the business of the Assembly of Lichchavis. The Vinaya Pitaka informs us that the Assembly used, first of all, to elect an officer whose function was to make them sit in order of seniority. Disputes were settled by counting voting tickets known as “Salakas” which were distributed to the voters.
The most remarkable thing in the Lichchhavi Republic was their high regard for personal liberty and the care that no innocent should be punished . The key to the success of the Lichchhavi Republic was their democratic way of life which was enshrined in their “Seven non-injuring way-“ or “Satta Aparihanidhamma”.
Muzaffarpur has got a glorious past and the present history is equally fascinating and interesting. The town of Muzaffarpur was founded in the 18th century by one Muzaffar khan, an “AMIL” or a farmer of Chakla Nai.
Its earlier history presents an interesting study. In 1324, Sultan Ghayasuddin Tughlak of Delhi after exterminating the “Karnata” dynasty established by Nanyadeva in North Bihar as early as 1097, brought this region under his control. He and his successor Mohammad entrusted the administration of Trihut to one Kameshwar Thakur who established Oinwar dynasty. It was at this time Haji Illyas Shah, the ruler of Bengal invaded Trihut and brought Hajipur (named after him) under his control.
Muzaffarpur is India’s Gateway to Nepal and China and even now the trade of cloth and grains is brisk between Kathmandu and Muzaffarpur.
During the early period of British Raj in India, Muzaffarpur was a favourite place of the European indigo planters and they were scattered all over the districts of Muzaffarpur and Motihari. The foreign planters had build a nice club close to the railway lines going to Narayanpur Anant from Muzaffarpur. The debris of the imposing club building is still lying on the southern side of Ramna and just opposite to the Bose familys’ houses. The road east of the Kalyan Chowk which passes through the Gurudwara and the Ramna compound and ends near Satpura was known as the Planter’s Club Road as per old records.
Mahatma Gandhi came first to Muzaffarpur in 1918 on his way to Motihari to redress grievances of the Champaran farmers .In his book ” My Experiments with truth “, Vol 1, he has written how he passed some delightful days at Ramna. It is important to mention that first President of Indian Republic – “Dr Rajendra Prasad” was a teacher in the “Greer Bhumihiar Brahman College, Muzaffarpur. In 1902, Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore was accorded the first civic reception by the citizens of Muzaffarpur and this is the first town in India which had a unique priviege of doing so. In 1908, the first bomb outrage a sign of militant Nationalism, occurred at Muzaffarpur and Khudi Ram Bose offered his life at the altar of the Indian Independence.
In 1916, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya came to Muzaffarpur for collection of funds in connection with the Banaras Hindu University and a public meeting of landlords of the Trihut divison. It was held in Ramna under the presidentship of Maharaj Adhiraj Sir Rameshwar Singh Bahadur of Darbhanga. Big and small zamindars presented sizeable amount of donations. Among the zamindars Late Babu Maheshwar Prasad (father of Sri Umashankar Prasad alias Bacha Babu) made the highest contribution of Rupees Ten Thousand only for B.H.U. at that time. In early twenties of the 20th century Acharya Kriplani and Dr Rajendra Prasad were appointed lecturers in the said college. Mr R.P. Khosa, I.E.S , Head of the Department of History, G.B.B College was an outstanding personality in Bihar.
Muzaffarpur possesses ancient temples like Baba Garib Nath, Chaturbhuj Sthan, Raj Rajeswar Devi Kali Temple of Raj Darbhanga and Kalibari. Sri Ram Dayalu Singh was the first speaker of the Bihar Legislative assembly in the post independent period. After his demise, Sri Bindeshwar Pd. Verma was elected the speaker of the Assembly. Sri Mahesh Pd. Sinha was also a renowned Political leader of Muzaffarpur but the old culture and traditional life got a setback when he was appointed a minister of the Bihar Government. Sri C.P.N Sinha who is the first person to be appointed to provincial Government ,the foremost citizen of Muzaffarpur, lived on the club road here.
Rai Bahadur Shyam Nandan Sahay and Rai Bahadur Sri Narayan Mahtha both members of the Indian parliament, played an important role in the cultural, social and political spheres of the town.