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The historic region of Bengal which was ruled by Nawabs of Bengal comprises the present, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bangladesh from where the British started their conquest of India.
The modern state of Odisha was known as Kalinga, and Utkala in ancient times.
Jharkhand, on the Chhota Nagpur plateau, is a hilly and a heavily forested state rich in mineral wealth. The region is bounded by the Nepal and Sikkim Himalayas in the north, the states of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on the west, the state of Andhra Pradesh in the south and the Bay of Bengal on the east.
It is connected to the Seven Sister States of Northeast India by the narrow Siliguri Corridor in the north east of West Bengal.
The region was the historical centre of the Nanda, Mahameghavahana dynasty Maurya, Kharavela, Shunga, Kalinga, Eastern Ganga dynasty, Shishunaga dynasty, Gupta and Pala empires that ruled much of the Indian sub-continent at their prime.
In medieval India, it was incorporated into the Mughal, Maratha and then the British empire.
After independence in 1947, the states joined the Indian Union and took their current form after the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.