Bihar is a historically and religiously affluent state but has still remained an underrated tourist destination in India. The history of Bihar is believed to have roots back to the breaking dawn of civilizations in India and then the state prospered as the seat of majestic empires like Magadh. It is also the state that gave two important religions to the world – Buddhism and Jainism. Bihar, in course of time, developed to a rich historic site with diverse culture and tradition.
So, without much ado, let’s commence our journey into the heartland of Bihar.
Mahabodhi Temple or the Temple of Great Awakening when translated literally is UNESCO world heritage site. Opened in 260 BC and built by the great Ashoka this temple site contains the bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.
It attracts lot of Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.
The Bihar School of Yoga was founded in 1964 by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati to impart yogic training to householders and sannyasins.People from all over the world flock here at BSY.This place is credited in spreading of Yoga in the world today. The seat of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger is also has other place that is popular amongst the tourists in Bihar. The fort of Mir Qasim is a must visit among all.
Maner Sharif or Maner, is a town in the Patna district, the capital city of Bihar. Maner Sharif lies 24 km west of Patna on NH 30. The town has tombs of Sufi saints Makhdoom Yahya Maneri and Makhdoom Shah Daulat, known as Bari Dargah (the great shrine) and Chhoti Dargah (the small shrine). Maner is an important tourist areas and tourism centre.
Considered one of the two important Buddhist learning centres in Bihar, Vikramshila was established by King Dharampal. It is believed that King Dharampal was unhappy with the depleting quality of Nalanda and therefore he decided to establish another better institute for learning. Vikramshila now lies in ruins but renovation work has begun. During the excavation, Buddhist monasteries, stupas and several wall carvings have been unveiled here.
Constructed nearly 100 years ago, Janki temple is located in Sitamarhi, Bihar. Sitamarhi is the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. It is believed that Janki Temple is the place where Sita was born and in order to commemorate this event a temple was built here. The temple has a welcoming gateway and large courtyard that can accommodate a large number of devotees. It also has a pond nearby called the Janki Kund, which is a place of interest for devotees as well as tourists.
Thai Monastery is yet another incredible gem from the treasure chest of Bihar. Established in 1957 with the help of Thailand’s Government and Indian Buddhist monks, this temple is a must-visit in Bodhgaya. It’s architectural style represents the cultures and traditions of Thailand.
Built in 1545 AD in the memory of Emperor Sher Shah Suri, this tomb is a perfect blend of Indo-Islamic architectural styles. Erected right in the middle of an artificial lake, this sandstone structure is definitely worth visiting.
The oldest university in India, Nalanda is an important tourist destination in Bihar. A perfect reminder to the time of flourishing Gupta and Pala period, Nalanda University Ruins is an acclaimed tourist attraction in Bihar. The fame and repute of this education centre was to the point that Hieun Tsang, the famous Chinese traveller visited here and stayed here for two years. Nalanda University Ruins was also the official entry of India world UNESCO world Heritage site last year.
Hot springs in Rajgir are a famous tourist spot. The hot springs are considered to possess medicinal properties and for curing many skin allergies. Among the hot springs, Brahmakund spring is the hottest and has a temperature of 450 Celsius. It is believed that Lord Buddha and Mahavira had bathed in these hot springs.
10.) Buxar Fort:
This ancient fort is situated in Buxar along the banks of river Ganges and was constructed in 1054 AD. The carvings found in the fort offer amazing views and the construction of the fort is outstanding.
The annual Sonepur Fair is an authentic affair that combines spirituality with elephant, cattle, and horse trading. It takes place in late November at Sonepur, around 45 minutes from the capital city of Patna. Traditionally known as a cattle fair, the Sonepur Fair now has a more commercial focus with the aim of attracting both domestic and international tourists.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib is a Gurdwara in the neighborhood of Patna Sahib. Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the rememberance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth guru of Sikhism who was born in Patna Sahib on 22 December 1666.