Bihar has one of the most interesting histories of any Indian state. The earliest evidence dates back to the epic Ramayana, when Sita was born in Mithila, Bihar. During the period around 400 BC, both Buddha and Mahavira preached in this state. While Buddha established Buddhism, Mahavira established Jainism, which spread throughout the world.
We hear of great republics like Videha and Vaishali, or Magadha, in Bihar. Again, Bihar was the birthplace of great empires, such as Chandragupta Maurya’s and Ashok’s Magadha kingdom, which had Pataliputra as its capital. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, and Jayprakash Narain, the great socialist leader, were both from Bihar. As a result, tourism in Bihar is flourishing and should continue to flourish with some improvements.
Southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand on November 15, 2000. Bihar has the second-lowest urban population in India, after Himachal Pradesh, with only 11.3 percent of the population living in cities. Furthermore, nearly 58 percent of Biharis are under the age of 25, making Bihar the Indian state with the highest number of youthful people. The official languages are Hindi and Urdu, while other Bihari languages such as Maithili, Magahi, Bhojpuri, and others are widely spoken.
The territory that is now Bihar was considered a center of power, learning, and culture in ancient and classical India. Magadha was the birthplace of India’s first kingdom, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world’s most popular faiths, Buddhism. The Maurya and Gupta dynasties, for example, consolidated significant swaths of South Asia under centralized control. Mithila, another Bihar district, was an early center of learning and the capital of the Videha monarchy.
Bihar has lagged behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic growth since the late 1970s. Many economists and social scientists believe that this is due to central government policies such as freight equalization, disinterest toward Bihar, a lack of Bihari sub-nationalism, and the British East India Company’s Permanent Settlement of 1793.
The state government, on the other hand, has achieved great progress in the development of the state. Increased infrastructure investment, better healthcare facilities, a stronger emphasis on education, and a reduction in crime and corruption have all contributed to the state’s economic rebirth. Chirand, on the northern bank of the Ganga River in Saran district, has a Neolithic (c. 2500–1345 BCE) archaeological record. Bihar’s regions, such as Magadha, Mithila, and Anga, are mentioned in ancient Indian religious writings and epics.
Mithila rose to prominence once the Videha Kingdom was established. Videha, together with Kuru and Pacla, were one of the major political and cultural capitals of South Asia during the late Vedic period (c. 1100–500 BCE). The Videha Kingdom’s kings were known as Janakas. In the Hindu epic Ramayana, penned by Valmiki, Sita, a daughter of one of Mithila’s Janaks, is listed as Lord Rama’s consort.
The Videha Kingdom was later absorbed by the Vajji confederacy, which was based in Mithila and had its capital in Vaishali. Vajji had a republican system of governance, with the rajas electing the monarch. Vajji was created as a republic around the 6th century BCE, before the birth of Gautama Buddha in 563 BCE, according to material contained in Jain and Buddhist writings, making it India’s first known republic. The Haryanka dynasty controlled Magadha from Rajgriha, which was built in 684 BCE (modern Rajgir).
Bimbisara and his son Ajatashatru, who imprisoned his father in order to take the throne, were two well-known rulers from this dynasty. Ajatashatru established the city of Pataliputra, which later became Magadha’s capital. He declared war on the Vajji and defeated them. The Shishunaga dynasty succeeded the Haryanka dynasty. The Nanda Dynasty later dominated a huge swath of land ranging from Bengal to Punjab.
The Maurya Empire, India’s first empire, succeeded the Nanda dynasty. In the present-day state of Bihar, the Maurya Empire and the Buddhist faith developed. Chandragupta Maurya, who was born in Magadha, founded the Mauryan Empire, which began in 325 BCE in Magadha. Pataliputra was the capital of this empire (modern Patna).
The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, who was born in Pataliputra (Patna), is often regarded as one of history’s most outstanding monarchs. In science, mathematics, astronomy, commerce, religion, and Indian philosophy, the Gupta Empire, which began in Magadha in 240 CE, is known as the Golden Age of India. Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty attacked Bihar and Bengal in the 11th century.
The invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, which destroyed many viharas as well as the universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila, led to the decline of Buddhism in Magadha. Thousands of Buddhist monks are thought to have been massacred throughout the 12th century, according to certain historians.
Instead, according to D. N. Jha, these episodes were the outcome of Buddhist–Brahmin feuds over supremacy. From the 12th century to Mughal dominance in the 16th century, the Chero dynasty ruled parts of Bihar after the Pala Empire fell. Sher Shah Suri, a famous Pathan leader, seized northern India from the Mughals in 1540 and made Delhi his capital. Mithila was controlled by numerous indigenous kingdoms from the 11th century to the 20th century.
The Karnatas were the first to come to power, followed by the Oiniwar dynasty and Raj Darbhanga. The capital of Mithila was moved to Darbhanga during this time period. Guru Gobind Singh, Sikhism’s tenth and final guru, was born in Patna in 1666. With the Mughal Empire in turmoil after Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, Murshid Quli Khan declared Bengal’s independence and renamed himself Nawab of Bengal.
The British East India Company got diwani powers (rights to govern and collect tax money) for Bihar, Bengal, and Odisha after the Battle of Buxar (1764). In the 18th century, the vast resources of fertile land, water, and skilled labor drew foreign imperialists, mainly the Dutch and British. Foreign entrepreneurs created a number of agriculture-based companies in Bihar.
Bihar was a part of the British India’s Bengal Presidency until 1912, when it was split into two provinces: Bihar and Orissa. The British East India Company got diwani powers (rights to govern and collect tax money) for Bihar, Bengal, and Odisha after the Battle of Buxar (1764). In the 18th century, the vast resources of fertile land, water, and skilled labor drew foreign imperialists, mainly the Dutch and British. Foreign entrepreneurs created a number of agriculture-based companies in Bihar. Bihar was a part of the British India’s Bengal Presidency until 1912, when it was split into two provinces: Bihar and Orissa.
In 1914 (at Pipra) and 1916, farmers in Champaran protested against indigo farming (Turkaulia). Mahatma Gandhi paid a visit to Champaran in April 1917, after Raj Kumar Shukla had alerted him to the mistreatment of peasants by European indigo planters. Many Bihari nationalists, including Rajendra Prasad and Anugrah Narayan Sinha, supported the Champaran Satyagraha that followed.
The Kisan Sabha (peasant movement) was a significant result of the independence movement in Bihar’s northern and central areas. Swami Sahajanand Saraswati led the formation of the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) in 1929 to mobilize peasant discontent against zamindari attacks on their occupation rights.
The campaign grew stronger and spread across India, culminating in the founding of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) during the Indian National Congress’s Lucknow session in April 1936, with Saraswati elected as its first president. Bihari migrant workers have endured violence and prejudice in various places of India since independence, including Maharashtra, Punjab, and Assam.
Bihar is 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi) in size, with an average elevation of 173 feet above sea level (53 m). It is bordered on the north by Nepal, the south by Jharkhand, the east by West Bengal, and the west by Uttar Pradesh. On the basis of physical and structural factors, it is divided into three sections: the Southern Plateau, the Shivalik Region, and Bihar’s Gangetic Plain.
Furthermore, the Ganges River divides the huge fertile Bihar Plain into two unequal portions – North Bihar and South Bihar. The Ganges runs west–east and regularly floods areas of the Bihar plain with its tributaries.
The Gandak and Koshi, which originate in the Nepalese Himalayas, and the Bagmati, which originate in the Kathmandu Valley, are the two primary northern tributaries. The Son, Budhi Gandak, Chandan, Orhani, and Phalgu are some of the other tributaries. The Rajgir Hills in the center, the Kaimur Range in the south-west, and the Shivalik Range in the north are some of Bihar’s small hills.
Bihar has a forest area of 6,764.14 km2, accounting for 7.1 percent of the total land area. In West Champaran district, the sub-Himalayan foothills of Shivalik ranges, mainly Someshwar and Dun mountain, are covered in a belt of lush deciduous forest. This includes brush, grass, and reeds in addition to trees.
Bihar is entirely within the Temperate Zone’s Subtropical zone, with a humid subtropical climate. In general, the climate is subtropical, with hot summers and freezing winters. Bihar’s average daily high temperature is merely 26 degrees Celsius, with a yearly average of 26 degrees Celsius. Although the climate is hot, there are only a few tropical and humid months.
It is warm to hot for several months of the year, with temperatures consistently exceeding 25 °C, and occasionally up to 29 °C. The greatest season to travel is from October to April, when there is less rain. From May through September, there are the most rainy days.
Bihar has a forest reserve of 6,845 km2 (2,643 sq mi), or 7.27 percent of its total land area. The Champaran district’s sub-Himalayan foothills of Someshwar and the Dun ranges have moist deciduous forests mixed with shrubs, grass, and reeds. In these places, high rainfall (over 1,600 mm [63 in]) encourages the growth of Sal (Shorea robusta) forests.
Sal Cedrela Toona, Khair, and Semal are also notable trees. Shorea robusta (sal), Diospyros melanoxylon (kendu), Boswellia serrata (salai), Terminalia tomentose (asan), Terminalia bellerica (bahera), Terminalia arjuna (arjun), Pterocarpus marsupium (paisar), and Madhuca indica are abundant trees in the Saharsa and Purnia areas (mahua).
Valmiki National Park is India’s 18th Tiger Reserve, covering around 800 km2 (309 sq mi) of forest and ranking fourth in terms of tiger population density. In addition to housing protected animals, it features a rich terrain and fauna. The endangered South Asian river dolphin is protected at the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary in the Bhagalpur region.
Leopard, bear, hyena, bison, chital, and barking deer are among the other animals found in Bihar. In the river systems, Ghariyal (including muggers) and Gangetic turtles can be found. The Karkatgarh Waterfall on the Karmanasa River is a natural crocodile habitat. In 2016, the Bihar government agreed to the forest officials’ proposal to transform the area into a Crocodile Conservation Reserve (CCR).
Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary, and Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary are among the other famous wildlife sanctuaries. The natural wetlands of Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary, Baraila Lake, Kusheshwar Nath Lake, and Udaypur Lake are home to a diverse range of native and migratory bird species.
Bihar was India’s third most populated state in 2011, with a total population of 104,099,452, with roughly 89 percent of the people living in rural areas. With 1,106 people per square kilometer, it was also India’s most densely populated state. 918 females for 1000 males was the sex ratio. Bihar has the greatest proportion of people under the age of 25 in India, at about 58 percent. Bihar, behind Himachal Pradesh, has the second-lowest urbanisation rate in India, at 11.3 percent.
According to the 2011 Census, Hinduism is practiced by 82.7 percent of the population, while Islam accounts for 16.9% of the total population. In Bihar, Christianity (0.12 percent), Buddhism (0.02%), and Sikhism (0.02%) are minority religions. The Indo-Aryan ethnic groups make up the majority of Bihar’s population.
During the partition of British India in 1947, it also attracted Punjabi Hindu refugees. Bihar has a total literacy rate of 63.82 percent (73.39 percent for men and 53.33 percent for females), with female literacy increasing by 20 percent in the last decade. According to the 2011 census, Hinduism was practiced by 82.7 percent of Bihar’s inhabitants, while Islam was practiced by 16.9 percent.
The state’s official language is Hindi, which is spoken by 25.54 percent of the population. Urdu is the second official language in 15 districts of the state, accounting for 8.42 percent of the population. The bulk of the population, however, speaks one of the Bihari languages, the majority of which were classed as Hindi dialects during the census. Bhojpuri (24.86 percent), Maithili (12.55 percent), and Magahi (10.87 percent) are the most common, but lesser languages like Angika and Bajjika are also widely spoken.
The Indian Constitution’s Eighth Schedule recognizes Maithili as a recognized regional language. Advocates have argued that Bhojpuri and Magahi should be given the same status. However, speaker numbers for these languages are limited because the more educated and urban prefer to talk in Hindi (in formal circumstances) and hence report this on the census, whereas the rural and illiterate simply report their language as “Hindi.”
For the fiscal year (FY) 2013–14, Bihar’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) was roughly 3,683.37 billion. Agriculture accounts for 22% of the total, with industry accounting for 5% and services accounting for 73%. With a growth rate of 17.06 percent in FY 2014–15, Bihar has the fastest-growing state economy in terms of GSDP. Bihar’s GDP was expected to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% from 2012 to 2017. (the 12th Five-Year Plan).
Bihar’s per capita net state domestic product has increased significantly (NSDP). From 2004 to 2005 to 2014–15, the state’s per capita NSDP increased at a CAGR of 12.91 percent at current prices. In the fiscal year 2014–15, Bihar’s per capita income increased by 40.6 percent. By 2007, the state’s debt was predicted to be 77 percent of GDP. Bihar is the fourth-largest producer of vegetables and the eighth-largest producer of fruits among Indian states.
Agriculture employs almost 80% of the state’s population, which is more than the national average. Litchi, guava, mango, pineapple, brinjal, lady’s finger, cauliflower, cabbage, rice, wheat, sugarcane, and sunflower are the principal agricultural products. Though good soil and favorable climatic conditions favor agriculture, floods and soil erosion can make it difficult. Droughts hit the southern sections of the state every year, wreaking havoc on crops like rice.
Bihar’s largest industrial cities include Hajipur, Dalmianagar, and Barauni. Patna, the capital city, is one of India’s wealthier cities in terms of per capita income. The Finance Ministry has been working to expand investment opportunities for large industrial companies such as Reliance Industries. Small-business growth, IT infrastructure improvements, a software park in Patna, Darbhanga, and Bhagalpur, and the completion of the expressway from the Purvanchal border through Bihar to Jharkhand have all occurred.
In August 2008, United Technologies Corporation’s Australian guard and mobile patrol services business was taken over by a Patna-based firm called Security and Intelligence Services (UTC). In Bihar, SIS is registered and taxed. Prior to prohibition, Bihar grew into a brewing hotspot with a slew of manufacturing facilities. United Breweries Limited declared in August 2018 that it would reopen its previously shuttered brewery in Bihar to produce non-alcoholic beer.
In Bihar, there are various traditional painting styles that are practiced. One is Mithila painting, a style popular in Bihar’s Mithila region. This form was traditionally only practiced by women and passed down from generation to generation. Festivals, religious events, births, marriages, and other cultural milestones were all occasions for wall painting. It’s usually done on the plastered walls of mud homes, but it can also be done on linen, handmade paper, and canvas.
Smt Bharti Dayal, Mahasundari Devi, the late Ganga Devi, and Sita Devi are among famous Mithila artists. Madhubani art is another name for Mithila painting. It mostly highlights humans and their relationship with nature. Scenes from the royal court and social gatherings are common, as are deities and Saraswati from old epics, heavenly objects, and holy plants like Tulsi. In most cases, no vacant space is left.
During the early 18th to mid-20th centuries, the Patna School of Painting (Patna Kalam), sometimes known as “Company Painting,” flourished in Bihar. It was a branch of the Mughal Miniature Painting School. Those who practiced this art type were descended from Mughal painting’s Hindu artists.
Faced with persecution from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, these artisans fled to Patna via Murshidabad in the late 1800s. Their work had many of the same features as Mughal painters, but it covered a wider range of subjects, from court settings to bazaar scenes, daily life, and rites. Watercolors on paper and mica were utilized. Under the leadership of Shri Radha Mohan, this school of painting became the foundation for the establishment of the Patna Art School. In Bihar, the institution is a major center for the fine arts.
Bharat Ratna, Ustad Bismillah Khan, and dhrupad singers like the Malliks (Darbhanga Gharana) and the Mishras (Bettiah Gharana) have all come from Bihar, as have poets like Vidyapati Thakur who contributed to Maithili music. Bihar’s classical music is Hindustani classical music in style. Gaya is another important center for classical music, particularly Tappa and Thumri.
According to Padma Shri Gajendra Narayan Singh, founding secretary of the Sangeet Natak Academi of Bihar, Pandit Govardhan Mishra – son of Ram Prasad Mishra, himself an excellent singer – is possibly the finest living exponent of Tappa singing in India.
Champanagar, Banaili, was also a notable center of classical music, according to Gajendra Narayan Singh’s book. Rajkumar Shyamanand Sinha of the Banaili princely state of Champanagar was a strong supporter of music and one of Bihar’s finest exponents of classical vocal music at the time. Singh said in another book about Indian classical music, ” “Kumar Shyamanand Singh of the Banaili estate possessed such vocal prowess that many renowned singers, like Kesarbai Kerkar, praised him.
Pandit Jasraj was brought to tears after hearing Kumar Sahib’s bandishes and mourned the fact that he lacked such ability.” Many Biharis were indentured laborers in the West Indies, Fiji, and Mauritius throughout the 19th century. Many sorrowful plays and songs known as birha grew popular in the Bhojpur region at this time, and became known as Bhojpuri Birha. Dramas based on this theme continue to remain popular in Patna’s theaters.
Bihar attracts tourists from all over the world; in 2019, 33 million people visited the state, including over 1 million foreign visitors. Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites may be found in Bihar. The large number of ancient monuments scattered across Bihar exemplify the state’s culture and heritage.
The Mahabodhi Temple (literally, “Great Awakening Temple”), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bodh Gaya, is an old Buddhist temple that has been extensively reconstructed and repaired, marking the site where the Buddha is claimed to have acquired enlightenment. Bodh Gaya (in the Gaya district) is around 96 kilometers (60 miles) from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The world’s oldest university, Nalanda Mahavihara, is located in Nalanda, Bihar, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the ruins of a monastic and scholastic institution that dates from the third century BCE to the thirteenth century CE. It contains stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational structures), and noteworthy stucco, stone, and metal art works.
Nalanda stands out as the Indian Subcontinent’s oldest university. 72 structures in Bihar have been designated as Monuments of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India. In addition, the Archaeological Survey of India has designated 30 additional monuments in Bihar as protected monuments.
Bihar offers various ecotourism destinations, including Valmiki National Park, a well-known national park and tiger reserve. The endangered Gangetic Dolphin can be seen at the Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary. Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary, Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaimur Sanctuary, Udaypur Wildlife Sanctuary, and Pant Wildlife Sanctuary are among the several wildlife reserves in Bihar. Many types of migratory birds visit Bihar’s bird refuges, such as Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary and Nagi Dam Bird Sanctuary.
Bihar attracts a large number of tourists due to its religious significance. Lord Rama’s consort, Hindu Goddess Sita, is said to have been born at Sitamarhi, in the Mithila region of modern-day Bihar. Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, which is now part of the Gaya district of Bihar.
Vasupujya was born at Champapuri, Bhagalpur, as the 12th Jain Tirthankara. Mahavira, Jainism’s 24th and final Tirthankara, was born in Vaishali in the 6th century BC. In the sacred city of Gaya, which is recognized as an unique venue to perform the ceremony and holds a fair during the Pitru Paksha time, the rddha ritual is considered to be fruitful.
How To Reach Bihar
Bihar is one of India’s wealthiest states, both in terms of its ancient heritage and the high standards of its people, who have occasionally outshone all others. As a result, we can journey back to the time of the Ramayana, when Sita, Ram’s wife, was born in Mithila. Otherwise, we may go back in time to when republics like Videha, Magadha, and Vaishali flourished.
Gautam Buddha and his contemporary, Nataputta Mahavira, were two of Bihar’s greatest sons during this period, according to history. Buddhism and Jainism were founded by them. This occurred between 599 and 527 BC. The Mauryan Empire, with emperors like Chandragupta Maurya and Ashok, became one of India’s most powerful empires. During this time, Bihar developed the international universities of Nalanda and Vikramasila, which India is proud of.
The names of Bihar’s pride, Khudiram Bose, Prafulla Chaki, and Chandrasekhar Azad, may be found in our Freedom Struggle. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, and Jai Prakash Narain, one of the greatest socialist leaders of all time, are two of Bihar’s illustrious sons.
Bihar, like it was in the past, is now divided into two states: Bihar and Jharkhand. Bihar is home to a number of tourist-friendly cities and towns. Flying, taking a train, or driving down to Patna, Bihar’s capital, is the best method to get there. Separately, the various choices will be discussed.
1. By Road
Patna has a well-developed road system. The NH31 runs through Patna and Danapur, with branches leading to Barauni and Nawada. Between South and North Bihar, there is a fantastic road network. Along with Ranchi and Siliguri, the road to Patna provides good connections to Bodhgaya and Rajgir. As a result, if one so wishes, one can simply drive from Delhi to Patna. Visitors can also travel throughout the state by taking use of Bihar’s well-developed road network.
2. By Rail
Patna also has a good rail network that connects it to Delhi and Mumbai, as well as Gauhati, Kolkata, Bangalore, Varanasi, and Chennai. As a result, train travel to Patna is possible from almost anyplace in the country. Other than Patna, Bihar has other railway stations, including Gaya and Samastipur, Nalanda, and Barauni, to name a few. As a result, visitors can easily travel throughout Bihar by train, thanks to the state’s superb rail network.
3. By Air
Bihar has several airports, including Gaya (International), Patna, Munger, Jogbani, Muzzaparpur, and Raxaul, as well as others that are used by the defense sector. These airports provide visitors complete freedom to fly into Bihar and then travel by car or rail to other destinations. International passengers can travel into Gaya or Delhi and then to Patna, whichever is more convenient.
4. Getting Around
Bihar is a large and well-distributed state. Local and state bus services are available across the state, particularly in the larger cities such as Patna, Gaya, and Munger. Auto rickshaws and taxis are accessible in smaller cities. Visitors visiting Bihar will have no trouble getting about.
Weather In Bihar And The Best Time To Visit
Bihar is an under-appreciated state in eastern India, bordering Nepal. The Ganges River runs through the state, dividing it and flooding its riparian plains. Bihar, one of the states with the richest legacy, has some incredible spots to explore, including places that are sacred to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains.
Summer in Bihar is extremely hot and humid, lasting from March to June. Bihar is best visited after the monsoon or before summer, which is between October and March.
1. The season of summer (March-June)
Summer in Bihar is always hot, ranging from mild to extreme. Summer begins in March and lasts until June, when the first showers arrive. May is usually the hottest month, with temperatures reaching a scorching 50°C.
These months are dusty, hot, and extremely dry. It’s possible that you’ll have to deal with the dreaded Loo, which is common in northern India. During this time, there are also dust storms, and life is generally terrible.
2. Monsoon season (July-September)
The summer in Bihar, like the rest of India, is followed by the monsoons, which begin in July and last until September, providing relief from the oppressive heat of the summer. The rains haven’t spared any portion of Bihar, and the monsoon season has been particularly wet.
Bihar receives a lot of rain because it is bordered to the north by the Himalayas, which break the south-westerly monsoon winds and bring down torrential rains. During the months of September and November, the monsoon is frequently followed by a phenomenon known as the retreating monsoon, which experiences cyclonic disturbances.
3. The winter season (November to March)
Bihar’s winters are particularly pleasant. It commences in November and concludes in March. During the winter, temperatures in some sections of the state can dip to as low as 0°C. Winter begins with moderate daytime temperatures of 10-20°C, followed by extremely cold winds and low temperatures at night.
This is also the time of year when the local people dresses in woollen clothes and street cuisine abound. The coldest months are December and January, when frost can be seen in the early hours of the morning.
Tourist Attractions in Bihar
Bihar is possibly the most culturally rich of all the Indian states. At least in India, it may be dated back to the start of civilisation. Bihar boasts several vibrant republics such as Vaishali, Videha, and Magadha throughout the post-Vedic era. This occurred in the 6th century BC. Around this time, two of India’s finest sons, Buddha (563 BC to 483 BC) and Mahavira (563 BC to 483 BC), were born (540 BC to 468 BC). With the concepts of Buddhism and Jainism, they transformed religious philosophy all throughout the world.
The Mauryan Empire, which included emperors like Chandragupta and Ashoka, was India’s largest empire. Between 268 and 232 BC, Ashoka ruled. During this time, his dominion spanned parts of Iran and, with the exception of areas of Tamil Nadu, practically the whole subcontinent.
Bihar is also home to two of the world’s most illustrious institutions, Nalanda and Vikramasila, which flourished between the 5th and 1200th centuries CE. UNESCO has designated Nalanda as a World Heritage Site. With so much historical significance, it’s only natural that Bihar has a plethora of tourist attractions. This is now being discussed.
Bihar is home to a number of notable cities. Gaya is undoubtedly the most well-known of these cities. Gaya is a major stopping point for pilgrims on their way to Bodhgaya, which is revered by Buddhists all over the world. Buddha is supposed to have attained Mahaparinirvana, or eternal enlightenment, in Bodhgaya.
On the banks of the River Phalgu in Gaya, there are various temples and other ancient sites dating back to the Maurya and Gupta periods. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of four sacred locations associated with Buddha’s life. While Ashoka built the first temple in the 3rd century BC, the current temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. This is one of the first Buddhist temples in our country that was built entirely of bricks and is still standing.
Nalanda, India’s oldest university, must be visited while in Bihar. Nalanda will transport you to India’s golden age, the Gupta and Pala dynasties. Nalanda is a popular tourist destination in Bihar and India because it is where Mahavira, the most famous Jain Tirthankara, spent 14 monsoons.
Buddha is also claimed to have given his lectures in a mango grove in Nalanda, according to legend. Hiuen Tsang, a well-known Chinese traveller, is supposed to have visited Nalanda and stayed for two years. Nalanda’s ruins are definitely worth seeing.
Vaishali, historically known as the capital city of the Licchavi monarchs, is now a significant archeological and historical site. In the sixth century BC, Lord Mahavira was born and raised in Vaishali.
Vaishali is also the site of Buddha’s final sermon, delivered in 483 BC. Vaishali, a flourishing kingdom during Buddha’s time, is also famed for Amrapali, its most beautiful prostitute. There is also a well-preserved Ashokan Pillar nearby. The legendary Chinese travelers Fa Hian and Hiuen Tsang noted this ancient city in their travelogues.
Patna is the contemporary capital of Bihar, although this city was once known as Pataliputra in ancient India. It is also one of the world’s oldest cities that has been continually inhabited.
Patna is known for being the birthplace of Guru Govind Singh, the Sikhs’ last guru, and Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the must-see attractions in Patna. Didarganj Yakshi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.
Rajnagar, a small hamlet near Madhubani in Bihar, is noted for the ruins of Rajnagar Palace, one of the Maharaja of Darbhanga’s many palaces. Unfortunately, the earthquake that struck Nepal Bihar in 1934 destroyed this palace.
This palace was built during the reign of Maharaja Rameshwar Singh, and unfortunately, no restoration work was done after the palace was demolished. As a result, the palace has remained in its devastated state for some time. Even in its current state, however, one may marvel at the palace’s architectural standard.
A memorial honouring Hiuen Tsang, the brave traveller from China who visited Nalanda in the 5th Century AD, has been created in Kundalpur, a village in Bihar’s West Champaran district. Tsang was so taken by Nalanda and its illustrious institution that he resolved to stay for twelve years, learning and teaching. The memorial depicts Nalanda University’s intellectual and artistic majesty. Tsang’s writings are preserved in this memorial and can be found here.
The memorial is both educational and well-maintained. It is a palatial edifice with a huge courtyard and a lovely gateway that has been created with remarkable expertise. A big statue of Tsang stands in the courtyard’s center. Inside, there is a meditation hall with a vivid depiction of everything Tsang had done, as well as his travels in India.