Bihar is one of the most underrated states when it comes to tourism in India. Bihar has been a major cultural hub in the days of yore and thus has rich and diverse destinations to offer. It has been the place that gifted the world two of the most peaceful religions- Jainism and Buddhism. It has also been the seat of many great empires such as the Magadha empire and the Maurya dynasty. All these have given Bihar lots of attractive places loaded with a rich history, but it is not explored that much, it is true that Bihar witnesses lots of international tourists. However, they too are constricted to only a few of the most popular places. So, if you are planning a trip to Bihar, and want to know what’s the best way to travel; through this amazing state, then read on for some of the top places to visit in Bihar.
Patna is the capital city of Bihar and also the largest city in terms of area. It is situated on the southern banks of river Ganga and is known by the name of Pataliputra from the olden days. Nowadays, Patna has become a big city and is trying to match the cosmopolitan environment available in places like Mumbai and Delhi. You will find busy streets, huge shopping mall complexes, and so on in Patna. It is very easy to reach Patna as t is well-connected by various means of transport. There are regular flights to and from Patna from all the major cities in India. The railway station also sees regular trains passing through it every day. Patna is well-connected to the rest of the state by various roadway and railway networks and will serve as an amazing starting point for your amazing tour through Bihar.
It is a very important place for Sikhs as Guro Gobind Singh, the last Sikh Guru, was born here. The city has flourished through the rein of different empires such as the Maurya dynasty, the Magadha empire, and all the way up to Gupta and Pala dynasties. There are tons of Gurudwara in Patna that can be visited while you are in the city such as Gurudwara Gobind Ghat, Gurudwara Pahila Bara, Gurudwara Bal Leela, and so on. Other notable places of interest in Patna are Kumhrar, Agam, Golghar, Kuan, and so on. You will find all kinds of food options available in Patna but do not forget to taste the most delightful street food in Bihar- litti chokha.
Gaya is a glorious place to visit with well-preserved history from the ancient days. It is such a beautiful place that it finds mention even in Hiuen Tsang’s recollections. The city is situated along the Phalgu river and hosts a very important site for Hindu pilgrims. It is also frequented by Buddhist pilgrims as a transit point to Bodhgaya. It is said that it was in Gaya that Buddha sat under a peepal tree in Gaya and attained enlightenment.
There are many beautiful monuments steeped with history and art in Gaya. Some of the most visited places in Gaya are the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, Chinese Temple and Monastery, Thai Temple and monastery, Barabar Caves, and so on. It is very easy to reach Gaya as it is well connected by flights and railway to all the major Indian cities. The roadway connections are also very good for Gaya but it is preferable to travel by air or train routes.
Nalanda’s fame reaches every corner of the world as one of the oldest universities in the world. The Chinese explorer Huiuen Tsang, who traveled through India had a unique interest in Nalanda and had spent at least two years in this ancient university. Mahavir, who was the last Jain Thinker, and also the most famous one, is said to have spent fourteen monsoon seasons in this university while Buddha is known to have given his sermons near this university. Though the place now lies in ruins, it is a great experience to walk through such an amazing relic from the past.
Many places around Nalanda will give you an impressive idea about this place. The Nalanda Archaeological Museum and the Xuanzang Memorial Hall are two of the most visited places. If you are visiting Nalanda in October, do not fail to miss the Rajgir Dance Festival which is a unique and immersive experience. Nalanda is a popular place and is easy to go to. The nearest airport and railway station is in Gaya which is 95 km away from Nalanda and you can easily find cabs or buses from there to Nalanda.
Munger is another one of the popular places in the state of Bihar. It has grown recognition in recent years among many international tourists who are drawn to this place because of the Bihar School of Yoga. Munger is well-connected through roadways and railways, it traveling to Munger using railways is the wiser option. The nearest railway station to Munger is situated in Jamalpur which is just a small 9 km away from Munger.
Munger is quite an ancient city and dates back to the times of Aryans in India. Munger, nowadays, refers to the twin city Munger and Jamalpur. Mir Kasim had made Munger his capital before it was taken over by the British. Munger’s history is rich and the many artworks decorative. There are many grand monuments that you can easily go for a visit to Munger. Some of the most notable places to go to in Munger are the Shri Krishna Vatika, Sita Kund, Chandika Astahan, the Piparpanti Gurudwara, and Goenka Shivalaya. You will find scenic beauty in Kharagpur Lake while you can marvel at the grand architectural design of the Munger Fort.
If you are a history buff, then Vaishali is a place that you have to visit. It is an archaeological site and also quite an important one in that. it is the place of birth for Mahavir, the last Jain Tirthankar, who was born in the 6th century BC in the region of Kundalagram. It is also the place where Lord Buddha had given his last sermons in the year 483 BCE. This makes it a very important spot for both Buddhist and Jain pilgrims. Patna International Airport is the nearest airport to this ancient city and is situated 70 km away. the Muzaffarpur railway station is the nearest railway station to Vaishali at just a distance of 36 km. this makes Vaishali easy to access and you have to take a cab from either of two heads.
One of the most iconic things to look forward to when you are in Vaishali is the Ashokan Pillar. The Relic Stupa and Coronation Tank are also worth the mention when listing places to go to in Vaishali. This place also houses one of the finest Archaeological Survey of India museums in the country. The Bawan Pokhra Temple and the World Peace Pagoda are also places that are worth the visit. All the places in Vaishali are historically very significant and display splendid architectural works. In fact, this city is so richly loaded in history that the Chinese explorers Hiuen Tsang well as Fa Hein both mention it in their travel journals.
Navlakha Palace in Rajnagar
The Navlakha Palace in Rajnagar is situated nearby to the town of Madhubani in Bihar. This is the ruins of an architecturally significant monument and features amazing artwork. It is easy to reach Navlakha Palace if you are in Bihar through a network of roadways from the major cities.
The Navlakha Palace now lies in ruins but it was an excellent structure when it was built by Maharaja Rameshwar Singh. The palace received the main set of damages in an earthquake in 1934 and now only the ruins remain, but they too are worth witnessing. There are many gardens and pools within the palace complex and you will also find a temple within. When you are in Rajnagar, you will also find a unique assortment of Madhubani art styles, a native artwork of Bihar and you will find some pretty great deals!
Jalmandir in Pawapuri
Bihar is a collection of impressive cultural styles and is the place of confluence of many religions. It sees a high annual footfall from Jain as well as Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. The Jalmandir in Pawapuri is of special significance to any Jain worshipper from around the world. It is easy to reach Pawapuri via a network of roadways if you are already in Bihar. There are nearby railway stations too that makes it easier to get to this place from far off locations.
Jalmandir in Pawapuri is said to be the place where Lord Mahavir, the last and the most famous of the Jain Tirthankaras, had breathed his last in the year 500 BCE. Jalmandir is officially held as the place Lord Mahavir was cremated after his death. Legend has it that the ashes of Lord Mahavir were sought out by a huge number of his followers. Due to this reason, a large volume of soil around this region was eroded. The place obtained was converted into a pool and the funeral pyre was set in the middle of it. Once the activity was performed, a temple crafted from white marble was put in place to commemorate the event and it has since then served as one of the most important places to Jains.
Rajgir is a beautiful place that gives you the true essence of this beautiful place in India. There are many important and scenic locations spread throughout Rajgir that is bound to leave you charmed and mesmerized. It is very easy to reach this place a sit is well connected from all sides owing to the large number of Buddhist pilgrims frequenting this place. The nearest airport is in Gaya and it is 68 km away from the city. The railway station in Rajgir is just a kilometer away from the city center and should be the preferred option to travel to Rajgir.
One of the most scenic locations in Bihar, the Griddhakuta Peak in Bihar is located in Rajgir. It is located just 400 m above sea level and is also known as the Vulture Peak. The name comes from the unique shape of this hill, not to mention that it is frequently visited by flocks of vultures. The religious importance of Griddhakita Peak is also significant since this is the place where the Mauryan ruler, King Bimbisar was converted to Buddhism after his famous Lotus Sutra. Buddha had also delivered some sermons here and it is said that the second wheel of law was started here. There are many caves around this place that increase the charm and mystic of this place.
Rajgir also houses one of the seven peace pagodas that were built throughout India. The Vishwa Shanti Stupa was built in the year of 1969 by Japanese Buddhists, this is a miraculous structure and attracts lots of tourist attention. The stupa has 4 statues that depict the four stages of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, which led to him becoming the Buddha. This Pagoda is one the finest relics of Japanese architectural sites found in India.
Vikramshila Ruins in Bhagalpur
Vikramshila is another university town like Nalanda that was built in Bihar. Though it now lies in ruins, its walls still speak of the great exchange of thoughts and ideas that used to take place here. The Vikramshila University was devised by King Dharmapala. This was because he felt that the quality of education in Nalanda was decreasing and thus there needed to be a better university or educational center. This led to the building of this new university town in Vikramshila. Though it is in ruins, it is a lovely site to visit if you are fond of history, culture, and archaeology. Nowadays, renovation work is being conducted in Vikramshila since many monasteries and stupas belonging to the Buddhists have been excavated here.
The Kanwar Lake is a freshwater lake cut out of a river, an Oxbow lake. In fact, this is the largest Oxbow lake in India and attracts lots of tourists who are nature enthusiasts. There are no direct trains or flights to Kanwar Lake. You can get down at Patna International Airport and cover a distance of 173 km in readily available cabs or state buses. You can also get down at Begusarai Railway Station, as this lake is situated just 30 km away from the lake. If you are already traveling through Bihar, the latter option is the much more viable one.
The charm of Kanwar Lake lies in the fact that it is a resting spot for about 60 different species of migratory birds. Yes, Kanwar Lake is a bird watcher's delight, and if you love to immerse yourself in nature, this is a place that you have to visit. Though the condition of this wetland area has now been rapidly deteriorating due to various environmental issues, care is being taken to preserve the beauty and sanctity of this beautiful place.
Bihar is a terrific place to visit and you will fall in love with the place due to all that it has to offer. It is rich in history and culture and will strategically give you a brief history of ancient India covering some of the most important dynasties, religious beliefs, cultural growth, and so on. Many peculiar things are only found in Bihar and you just have to try. For example, Chhath Puja, a 6-day festival in the name of the Sun God is a very important time in Bihar and you have to see the celebrations at least once in your lifetime. You will also find many tribal and villagers who engage in Chhau dance, an energetic and athletic form of dance found in Bihar, parts of West Bengal, and Orissa. Since Bihar has always been artistically rich, you can also try the many handloom and handicraft shops spread throughout this place and you are sure to find some of the most amazing pieces of artwork for your home.
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