The state, which was once ruled by great empires is also a renowned religious center for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Along with historical monuments, it has several Buddhist monasteries that reflect the glorious past. Bihar has always been the educational center - be it in the time of Magadh empire when Nalanda was a revered center for learning or the era when lord Buddha preached on this land.Bihar Tour Packages
Bihar has several monuments that are the finest examples of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The state is also popular among tourists for its natural beauty in the form of mesmerizing waterfalls, lakes and hot springs. Most people travel to Bihar to see the hallowed Buddhist circuit in Bodhgaya, Vaishali, Rajgir and Nalanda. The diverse cities are the real beauty of Bihar. While some of the cities are popular for their culture, others are known for pilgrimage sites and historical attractions. The must-visit cities in Bihar are Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali, Ranchi, Adilabad, Jamui, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Lakshisarai, Hajipur and Munger.
Though there are ample places to see in Bihar, if you are running short of time, some of the must-visit are Bodhgaya for Bodhi tree, Dungeshwari Caves, and Great Buddha Statue, Rajgir for caves, waterfalls and hilly retreats, Nalanda to see remains of the world’s largest university that was created 1500 years ago, Vaishali for monasteries, world peace pagonda and remains of 2500 years old city and Pawapuri for Jalmandir and Samoahram.
The Great Buddha Statue in Bodhgaya is 80-foot-tall and was completed in seven years by 120,000 masons. The foundation stone of the statue was laid in 1982 and the memorable unveiling ceremony was attended by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1989. It is one of the largest statues in India that is a symbol of spirituality and peace. Golghar is one of the popular attractions in Patna. It is a dome-shaped structure built facing the west side of Gandhi Maidan. Golghar was named because of its round shape. The original Golghar was a granary constructed by the British army in 1786 to be used as a storehouse when famines occur. It was the tallest building in Patna at the time of construction. The walls of Golghar are 3.6m thick and its base is 125m wide. The ruins of Nalanda are well-maintained. The peaceful area has a park-like atmosphere with shrubs and lawns. There are 11 monasteries and six temples in the ruins with the Great Stupa being the most popular one. It is believed that a huge statue of lord Buddha once stood at the top of the building.
Bihar has several monasteries and temples with some of the popular ones being the Thai Monastery, Bodhi Tree, and Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple. The Thai Monastery in Bodhgaya is the only Thai temple in India. It was built in 1956 by a monarch of Thailand. The curved and sloping roof of the temple is covered with golden tiles. There is a 25-meter high statue of Lord Buddha. There are several meditation centers near the monastery. The Bodhi tree is one of the major attractions in Bodhgaya. Siddhartha Gautama meditated under the tree for many years to attain Nirvana and became Buddha. Thousands of devotees of lord Buddha visit this place every year. The Indosan Nippon Japanese temple is 15kms from Bodhgaya and is one of the popular temples in the city. It was constructed in 1972 with the motive to preserve and spread Buddhism as well as the thoughts of Lord Buddha. The preaching of Lord Buddha are imbibed on the walls of the temple. Intricate wooden carvings are the highlights of the temple.
The strategic geographical location of Bihar makes it an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. There are various trekking trails and camping sites. When trekking a challenging terrain n the Himalayan mountain area, one will encounter streaming rivers, waterfalls and rare flora and fauna. Besides camping, one can visit wildlife sanctuaries and national parks including Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary, Palamau Tiger Reserve, Udhwa Lake Bird Sanctuary, Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawalong Wildlife Sanctuary.
The forest area of Bihar is 7.2 percent of its geographical area. The Dun ranges and Himalayan foothills in Champaran district and Someshwar respectively are belts of moist deciduous forests. Some of the important trees found are Semal, Shorea Robusta and Khair. The Valmiki National Park spread in 800 sq. Km is ranked as fourth in terms of the density of tiger population. The national park has a diverse landscape that supports wildlife habitats and floral and faunal composition.
Like rest of India, fairs and festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm in Bihar. Most festivals are of religious nature, thus pilgrims from different parts of the country visit Bihar to celebrate these festivals. Some of the popular ones are Sonepur Mela, Rajgir Dance Festival, Kalachakara Festival, Chhath Festival, Shrawan Mela, Vat Savitri Puja and Makar Sankranti Festival.
Bihari Cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because of the influence of Hindu and Buddhist values. The tradition of eating meat and fish is common in Mithila regions because of rivers such as Kosi and Ganges flowing in the area. Some of the popular dishes are Bihari Kebab, Sattu Paratha, Bihari Chicken Masala, Chokha and Bihari Boti.
Bihar is a hub of ethnic products, which are easy to find in traditional bazaars in Patna as well as other cities. Some of the items that one must buy are Madhubani paintings, Wood carving and woodwork products, clay potteries, brass items, products that have sikki work, Bhagalpur handloom silk, Kashida work fabric and embroidery, terracotta and beadwork items.
Bihar has diverse climate where summers are hot and winters are cool. The cold weather starts in early November and continues till mid-March. The temperature remains around 8-10 degree Celsius with January being the coldest month. Summer arrives from Mid-March continuing till mid-June. It is extremely hot in Bihar during summer. Rainy season continues from June till mid-September.
Hindi is the official language of Bihar. Urdu and Maithili are other commonly spoken languages in the state. Some of the unrecognised languages are Angika, Magahi and Bhojpuri. Bihar is easily accessible via rail, air and road. Local buses and cabs can be used to commute within the state.
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