Amongst the most famous places in Bihar is Gaya, which is a Hindu pilgrimage hub and a transit point for Buddhist pilgrimage centre of Bodhgaya. It is believed that it was here under the tree that Buddha attained enlightenment. Gaya is a busy city situated on the bank of River Phalgu and it is replete with many temples and historic sites dating back to different eras that stand as the evidence to the successful rule of Maurya and Gupta dynasty here. The glory of Gaya was extended so much so that even Hiuen Tsang could not resist mentioning it in his travelogues.
Probably the oldest university in India, Nalanda is an important site to visit in Bihar. A perfect reminisce to the time of flourishing Gupta and Pala period, Nalanda is an acclaimed tourist attraction in Bihar. It is believed that the last and most famous Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira spent 14 monsoon seasons here. Even, Buddha is said to have delivered lectures near the mango grove in Nalanda. The fame of this education centre was to an extent that Hieun Tsang, the famous Chinese traveller visited here and stayed for atleast two years here. Even, I-tsing another famous...
The Didarganj Yakshi sculpture, which has been Patna Museum's prime attraction for a century, will be moved to the new state-of-the-art Bihar Museum on October 18. The sculpture of Yakshi, meaning spirit of the earth, was excavated from the banks of the Ganga in Didarganj near Patna in 1917.
This eminent centre of Bihar School of Yoga has been an object of fascination for many around the world. Just like Rishikesh, Munger also have a high fan following from international tourists. There are many Ashrams here that provide accommodation as well as training to those seeking to learn Yoga. The place guarantees to change your perspective towards life and an 180 degree turn from previous lifestyle.
Lying in ruins, Navlakha Palace is situated in Rajnagar near Madhubani in Bihar. This palace was built by Maharaja Rameshwar Singh and said to have suffered extensive destruction during an earthquake in 1934. No renovation was done after the destruction, thus this palace remains in ruins now. It is a royal palace and even though it has been damaged so much, one can still marvel at its architectural brilliance. The palace complex comprised of gardens, pond and temples.
Obvious as it seems, this hall is built in the memory of famed Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang. It is believed that Hieun Tsang visited Nalanda in 5th century AD and was so impressed by this place that he decided to stay here for 12 long years for learning as well as teaching. This memorial hall is the reflection of the artistic and academic grandeur of Nalanda University.
An important Jain pilgrimage, Jalmandir is situated in Pawapuri, Bihar. Jalmandir has been revered highly by Jain devotees as it is believed that it is the place where Lord Mahavira breathed his last in 500 BCE. It is reckoned to be the cremation ground for this last Tirthankara of Jain sect. The legend has it that, the demand of Lord Mahavira’s ashes was so high that a large amount of soil had to be eroded from around the funeral pyre that a pond was created here. A white marble temple was constructed and it has remained an important Jain pilgrimage in Bihar.
Better known as the World Peace Pagoda, Vishwa Shanti Stupa proudly stand at the historic city of Rajgir. It is one of the 7 Peace Pagodas built in India and is certainly a must visit in Bihar. The pagoda was built in 1969 to spread the message of peace and non-violence. Marked by four statues of Buddha that reflects four important phases of Buddha’s life – birth, enlightenment, teaching and death, this Peace Pagoda is amongst the finest examples of Japanese architecture in India.
Patan Devi, also called Maa Patneshwari, is the oldest and one of the most sacred temples of Patna. It is regarded as one of the 51 Siddha Shakti Pithas in India. According to Puranic legends, the 'right thigh' of the corpse of Devi Sati had fallen here when it was chopped off by Lord Vishnu with his 'Sudarshan Chakra'. The ancient temple, originally called Maa Sarvanand Kari Patneshwari, is believed to be the abode of the goddess Durga.
Estimated to have been built 100 years ago, Janki temple is situated in Sitamarhi, Bihar. Sitamarhi is regarded as the birthplace of Sita, the consort of Lord Rama. It is believed that Janki Temple is the place, where Sita was born and in order to mark this event, a temple was constructed here. The temple has a welcoming gateway and large courtyard that can accommodate a massive number of devotees. Also a pond nearby called the Janki Kund is a place of interest for devotees as well as tourists.
Kanwar Lake is India’s largest freshwater Oxbow lake. Situated in Begusarai, Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is reckoned to be the haven for 60 species of migratory birds. Unfortunately, this place is losing its importance due negligence, in a Wetland Governance in South Asia, held in Delhi in 2014, the condition of this wetland ecosystem was discussed. We hope that some careful steps are taken for this bird sanctuary that has been a home to many birds both domestic and migratory.
Reckoned to be the tallest and largest Buddha Stupa in India, Kesaria Stupa is one of the major attractions of Bihar tourism. The stupa is believed to have been built between 200 and 750 AD under the rule of Raja Chakravarti. With a height of 104 feet, it is an imposing structure that must be visited during a visit to Bihar.
Vaishali derives its name from King Vishal. Even before the advent of Buddhism and Jainism, Vaishali was the capital of the vibrant Vajji confederation, since before the birth of Mahavira (c. 599 BC), which suggests that it was perhaps the first republic in the world, similar to those later found in ancient Greece.
Vikramashila (IAST: Vikramaśīla) was one of the two most important centres of learning in India during the Pala Empire, along with Nalanda. Vikramashila was established by King Dharmapala (783 to 820) in response to a supposed decline in the quality of scholarship at Nalanda.