Birbhum as constituted in the present day was divided in the distant past into two tracts; according to the Jaina scriptures the eastern part which was built up with alluvial soil and was well drained by rivers, formed a part of ‘Rarh’ where as the undulated and forested part in the west was known as ‘Vajjabhumi’ i.e. the country of thunderbolt. As the Jaina tradition goes, Mahavira, the 24th Thirthankara of Jaina religion passed through the district to visit Pundravardhana in the 5th century B.C. Later the land mass underwent the rule of the Mauryans, Guptas and Pala kingdom and until 12th century A.D. formed a part of Sena empire. In the 13th century, the landmass passed under the rule of Muhammedans. After this, for many centuries the controls of the Mohammedans over the Western part of the district appears to have been merely nominal, and the country was left under the rule of Hindu chiefs, called Bir Rajas. Read More..