Patna: The historic Gandhi Maidan here is being spruced up for grand celebrations to mark Bihar Divas on Tuesday to commemorate the day when the British carved out the state from the Bengal Presidency on March 22, 1912. Tuesday has been declared a public holiday in the state.

In Patna, thousands of people are expected to be part of the celebrations at the historic ground from Tuesday to Thursday, an official from the department of art, culture and youth affairs said.

"It has been completely changed. Dozens of artists, including foreigners, have decorated it like never before to depict the rich culture, tradition and heritage of Bihar," said Anjani Kumar Singh, principal secretary, human resource development.

The 30 feet high and 80 ft wide main entrance gate is being constructed with pictures depicting the essence of rural Bihar.

"Artists have chosen to decorate the gateway with Tikuli and Manjusha art along with Madhubani paintings, all popular art forms from Bihar," said Shouvik Narayan of Kosha Fantasies, one of the three artist groups engaged in the decoration work.

Two showcase gates on Bihar's popular festival of Chhath and rural game jhijhia have also been prepared.

A brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar Divas was first celebrated in 2010.

Nitish Kumar will kickstart the celebrations by floating 99 lamps to mark the 99th anniversary of Bihar. He has declared that the state will mark its centenary in 2012 with programmes throughout the year.

(Agencies)