Today I am happy to share this blog about tourism in my own state Bihar, the ancient seat of learning. Seriously I feel blessed that I born in such a state whose history is the history of ancient India. Some people might dislike Bihar but they can’t deny its history. I was born to Biharsharif a major city in Nalanda district. Before going for higher education I spent a lot of my golden time in the dusty land of this magnificent historic and sacred place. From my school days, we used to go for hangout with friends to Rajgir and Nalanda. So apart from history, it was a medium of our elation.
Bihar is an eastern state of India surrounded By Nepal to the north, By Indian state Bengal to the northeast, Uttar Pradesh to West, and by Jharkhand to south. The main economy of Bihar is agriculture and it is the top producer of vegetables and fruits. It is mainly divided naturally into two regions by river Ganges- north Bihar and South Bihar region. I belong to the south Bihar region. Koshi River mainly known as ” Sorrow of Bihar” which flows down from the Himalayas of Nepal causes destructive floods every year. But apart from so much destruction, every year people of north Bihar have adjusted their lifestyle along with this devastation. Bihari people are much laborious whether in the field of education or by physical exertion. They have much readiness that they can adjust to any situation and environment.
- Famous Personalities
Dashrath Manjhi also known as Mountain Man was a laborer but he carved 110-meter paths through a ridge of hills Using only hammer and chisel in the memory of his wife. It is a great Symbol of Love. He proved that nothing is impossible if you have set your goal as he carved the hill continuously for 22 years and constructed road by him.only. He had no money no power but he challenged the Mountain. On his story, a Biopic was filmed Manjhi “ The Mountain Man “ in which Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Dasrath Manjhi.
Rajendra Prasad became the first president of independent India.
Famous celebrity Mathematician Aanand Kumar is also from here.
The First Prime minister of Mauritius Ramgoolam was also from Bihar who is known as “Father of Nation” there.
Bihar has a different culture and a different language with every district.
Any tourism in Bihar starts with its history. Whenever I interacted with tourists who came to Bihar I realized that they were much excited and curious about knowing for Bihar whether about its history, its culture, our food habitat, or our unique style of parance. In ancient India, every religion had a special inclination towards Bihar as it was a center of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism.
In the early Vedic period(1500 BCE) many kingdoms existed in Bihar. According to our Epic story “Maa Sita” was from this sacred land. When the entire planet was learning of its habitat the ancient kingdom “Magadh” was ruling over ancient India which was Stretched from eastern India to Afghanistan. Rajgrih(now known as Rajgir) was the capital of Magadh which is only 20 km far away from me where I reside. Later on Patliputra(now known as Patna) became the capital of the Magadh dynasty. It was the Magadh dynasty during which Lord Buddha(600 BCE) Developed his religion ” Buddhism”.
Bihar is also the land of the sacred birthplace of Lord Mahavira who was born in the Vaishali district who reformed the “Jainism” religion. It was Patliputra which became the capital of many mighty Indian empires such as The Mauryas, Guptas, Nandas. It was the great king ” Ashoka the great” who ruled over Magadh and during his reign, Patliputra became the biggest city in the world. Later on he forsook his kingdom and being inspired by Buddha he adopted Buddhism.
Bihar had also seen many successive phases of nationalism revolution such as Mahatma Gandhi started his non-violent resistant ” Satyagrah” from Champaran, Chauri Chaura incident.
Now coming to tourism in Bihar there are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Bihar which I am listing below
1) Nalanda-the archaeological ruin of knowledge
Nalanda University is the world’s second-oldest university in the ancient world and is assumed to be more than 2500 years old. The ruins of this great architecture is just 7 km away from my home. When the entire world was learning the way of living, Nalanda university was giving knowledge to the world. At that time when there was no medium of Convenience, but due to the flourishing center of knowledge, it attracted more than 10000 students and more than 2000 teachers from the entire world including China, Persia, Greece, Tibet. Magnificent University had a huge library that was unmatched to anywhere else.
It is that sacred place where Lord Buddha himself had imparted his knowledge. Famous Chinese traveler turned Philosopher Hieun Tsang was also a student of this university. A very magnificent memorial of Hieun Tsang is architectured just a few km from the university where monks came for meditation and I also usually go there whenever I want some sort of peace as it is surrounded by very greenery all around. And this place is also less known for many travelers. But in 1193 AD it was Turkish Savage Invader Bakhtiyar Khilji who ransacked and looted this marvelous university. He beheaded thousands of monks and thousands of monks were burnt alive. Its library was burning for more than 6 months so anyone can imagine how huge its library was. And with this savage of Khilji , this university became an embark of knowledge. There is a museum near to this where you can find many treasures of its excavation.
Once you visit here you can self imagine how splendid and huge this university was at that time as now only you can see a 10% area of its excavation which is in more than 15 hectares. In 2016 UNESCO has designated its ruins as a world heritage site. Thousands of tourists visit to see its ruins every year from all around the world. The central government and state government once again started Nalanda world university to revive it, but I don’t think it will ever reach its charm.
2) Rajgir-the ancient capital of Magadh dynasty
Rajgir is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Bihar. As religious importance, it is a sacred place for Hindu and Buddhist both. A lot of monasteries and temples are in this small but beautiful city. This small city is surrounded by many hills and forests all around which will give you the feeling of any hill station.
Before attaining Nirvana, Buddha spent his five years in Rajgir.
He meditated at Gridhkutt Parvat and at this hill he delivered preach to his follower. At this hill “Vishwa Shanti stupa” is structured and every year Buddhists from all around the world gathered here at Buddha Purnima and a religious festival is organized. Any tourist who come to Bihar he can not miss a visit to this stupa as it is at the highest peak of the hill and through ropeway, we reach there and between this ropeway journey, it gives an adventurous feel as you will see hundreds of feet depth chasm below and also gives a stunning view from the hill. You will feel a different kind of peace to this Hill.
- Hot water kund
Rajgir is one of few places in India where hot water is continuously flowing through “Saptdhara” from the last many decades. Rajgir has warm water kund with medical properties which helps in many skin and intestine ailments.
Ghora Katora Lake
Amidst a hilly region and natural beauty this lake is one of the famous lake in Rajgir. Its shape resembles the face of a horse thats why its name is so-called GHORA KATORA. This Lake is Eco-friendly. Within the range of 7 km. uses of plastic and vehicle are totally banned. A few months back Longest statue of Lord buddha,70 ft height was inaugurated in the midst of this lake.
Don’t forget to take a Tumtum ride( a typical horse-cart) on a visit to Rajgir.
And to taste world-famous Sweets Khaja ( A multilayered, crispness local sweet).
According to the Hindu calendar after every 3 years adhimas also called Malmas fair is organized here. It is considered that all god and goddess dwell here during this sacred month. Millions of people visit this fair and took a holy bath in Hot Kunda and pray.
More places to visit in Rajgir
1) Son Bhandar
2) Jarasandh ka akhada
4) Pandu Pokhar
5) Japani Temple
6) Virayatan Museum
3) Pawapuri- the nirwana sthali Of Mahavira
Another major attraction of the state is Pawapuri. It is a holy site of Jain. It is 10 Km from Biharsharif and 25 km from Rajgir. Jal Mandir is the major attraction of Pawapuri. The final tirthankar Lord Mahavir founder of Jainism breathed last here. Due to the huge demand for funeral ashes, his devotee collected a large amount of soil from here, creating a huge pond here.
Major tourist attraction
1) Jal mandir
2) Digambar Jain Mandir
3) Naulakha Mandir
Where to stay in Nalanda,Rajgir,Pawapuri
Rajgir offers a lot of comfortable and luxurious hotels and resorts and budget-friendly hotels and lodges as most of the travelers prefer to stay in the quint atmosphere of Rajgir. And all these top 3 favorite destinations are within 25 km of radius.
Some of the hotels are-
- Gargee Gautam Vihar Resort, Rajgir
- The Rajgir Residency Hotel , Rajgir
- Indo Hokke Hotel , Rajgir
- Siddharth Hotel , Rajgir
4) Gaya and Bodhgaya
Gaya and Varanasi are two holy cities where every Hindu wants to visit at least once before his last breath. Gaya is a holy city beside the bank of Falgu river mainly famous for Pind Daan and Vishnupad temple. People from all around the world come here to perform rituals of Pind Daan for the peace of the wandering soul of their ancestors.
Bodhgaya is the most Known place in Bihar as most of the international tourists mainly concerned firstly to this sacred land. This land is the birthplace of Buddhism as the Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment to this place. Bodhgaya is mainly famous for Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree. Bodhi tree is the exact spot where Buddha meditated and attained to Nirvana. Pilgrimage, Tourists, and backpackers from all around the world come here to pay homage to the Bodhi tree. It is the fifth descendent of the original tree.
It is a world heritage site by UNESCO. There are many Buddhist temples in Bodhgaya.
Where to stay in Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya has accommodation of all budgets.
With pilgrimage and tourists all around the world Bodhgaya offers Multi-cuisine to the city.
Anyone who plans to Bihar will start from Patna. It is not only the capital of Bihar but also has the historical importance of ancient India. It is situated beside the bank of River Ganges.
Takht Harmandir Sahib Ji also known as Patna Sahib is a sacred place for Sikhs all around the globe. Takht harmandir sahib Ji was built by Raja Ranjit Singh and this shrine is dedicated to the Tenth Guru of Sikhs “Guru Gobind Singh” who was born in Patna Sahib. He was a Philosopher, spiritual, and warrior.
Every year on the birth anniversary Of Guru Gobind Singh Ji “ Prakash Parv” is celebrated.
Places to visit in Patna
1) Hanuman Mandir
2) Buddha stupa Park
3) Gol Ghar
4) Agam Kuan
5) Sanjay Gandhi Zoological park
6) Patna Museum
6) Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
It is the only dolphin sanctuary in the country. It is located in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar. It is a protected area to protect Gangetic Dolphin from its extinction. More than 50% of the total dolphin are mainly found in the Gangetic region of Bihar. It is like home to them. Gangetic Dolphin is one of the four freshwater species in the world. I am also one of the lucky people to see their eye-catching activity in the Ganges River as they normally live deep inside the water.
Some of the other tourist places to visit in Bihar
2) Maa Mundeshwari Temple, Kaimur (The oldest Hindu Temple)
3) Kakolat water Fall
4) Sher Shah Suri Tomb
5) Tara Chandi Temple
6) Bhimbandh wildlife Sanctuary
7) Manjhar Kund Waterfall
8) Dhuwa Kund Waterfall
9) Deo Sun Temple
Cultural and Religious Event
1) Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is one of the most major and sacred festivals in Bihar. This festival is dedicated to God Surya (Sun) which is believed to sustain life on Earth. This festival symbolizes the attachment of humans to Nature. Festival lasts for 4 days and devotees called “ Parvaitin” keep fast and offer (arghya) to Setting Sun and on the next day to Rising Sun for the well being and prosperity of their family. Chhath Puja is known for its ultimate purity.
Chhat puja Prasad is most famous as it is made using grains among which “Thekua “ is most famous.
2) Sonpur Cattle Fair
Sonpur Mela is the largest cattle fair in the world organized in November and December every year in Sonpur, Bihar. The major attraction in this fair is Elephant, Camel, Horse, and different breeds of animals and different species of birds. Here Many cultural programs, Govt. The exhibition, book fair, art and craft, food stall are also organized.
Some More famous Things in Bihar
- Madhubani Painting
Madhubani painting is the most famous art of Bihar mainly practiced in the Mithila region but now in most of Bihar. Earlier this unique style of painting art was used to decorate the wall of their houses but now it has become world-famous due to its unique art of painting. Many tourists who come to Bihar surely Purchase Mithila Painting.
Some Famous Cuisine
- Litti chokha
- World-famous Litti chokha is a local delicious cuisine.
- Chawal, Dal, Chokha, and bhujia is a local famous dish which every family used to cook.
- Local sweets like Khaja of Silao, Belgrami from Ara, Bhojpur, Lai from Barh, Mokama, Rasgulla of Barahia, And Tilkut(Gajak) of Gaya are some local famous sweets.
How to Reach
There are 2 major airports Patna Airport and Gaya International Airport having regular flights from major cities of India and many parts of the world.
Bihar is well connected to the rail route by most of the cities in India.
Patna is well connected Via Road to other states of India
From Patna and Gaya there are many public transport buses after every few minutes to most part of the state.
All this stuff is Enough to plan a Visit To Bihar.
Come and Explore it.