seat of ancient learning and civilization, Bihar is an important state in
the Indian Union. The Ganga flowing through the region has bestowed it with
such fertility that its natural prosperity witnessed great heights with
importance of political history associated with it. The name Bihar was
derived from Vihara meaning monastery as it was a learning center of the
Buddhist. It was in Bihar that Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment under
the famous Bodhi tree.
Magadh, as it was known in the ancient periods had its capital at
Pataliputra, which was an all important place of the Hindus. The land was
also significant for being the place of worship of Mahavira, Buddha and Guru
Govind Singh of the Sikhs. Nalanda University, one of the renowned Buddhist
University also flourished in Bihar during the ancient times.
Temperature varies from 19.6oC to 43oC in the summers while it is at a low
of 5°C in the colder seasons. The best time to visit the place is from
the month of November to April.
» Bodhgaya -
Prince Gautama achieved enlightenment in this sacred place under the
Bodhi or Asvatta tree some 2500 years ago and came to be known as Lord
Buddha. Counted as one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage, the town of Bodh
Gaya takes pride for being the gateway to the places of Buddhist importance
like Nalanda, Vaisali etc. The Maha Bodhi temple is located at the place
where Lord Buddha achieved Enlightenment. There is a statue of Buddha in the
sanctum along with the lingum of Shiva in the center of the temple. The
Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment is located behind
the temple besides a red sand stone slab. This slab was the diamond throne
or vajraasana of Buddha during the time of attaining nirvana. Bodh Gaya is a
revered place of the Hindus who believe that if the last rites of the
deceased are offered to the Akshayabat or the banyan tree placed in the yard
of the Vishnupad temple, the souls of the dead reaches heaven.
» Gaya -
situated about 100 km south of Patna, between the Ramshila and the Pretshila
hills lies on the shores of the Phalgu river. A great place of pilgrimage
for the Hindus, it is believed that footsteps of Lord Vishnu were found
here, and thus the temple of Vishnupad was built on the steps by Ahalyabai,
the queen of Indore. People coming to the place believe that if the last
rites of a deceased person are performed here and Pindas offered along the
river, then the soul is freed from the bondages of sin.
» Rajgir -
Rajgir, the ancient capital of Magadh till the 5th century is an important
Buddhist pilgrim center. The place was the location of the first Buddhist
council near the Saptaparni caves. It was here that Lord Buddha went into
retreat at the Jivkamaravana monastery in an orchard. Near the Griddhakuta
hill in Rajgir, Gautama used to deliver his sermons and even converted one
of his followers, King Bimbisara of the Mauryan Dynasty, to Buddhism.
» Patna -
Patna, the present capital of Bihar is one of the oldest capital cities
in India and the power house of the state of Bihar. The fertile land along
the banks of the Ganges was ruled by some great rulers in ancient times like
Ashoka, Samudragupta, Vikramaditya and Ajatsatru. Different dynasties that
flourished in the place gave it a new name according to their suitability.
Hence, the place had various names starting from Kusumpura to Puspapara,
Pataliputra and the present Patna. The Mahatma Gandhi Sethu is one of the
longest bridges in the world measuring 7.5 km over the Ganges. This has
given it a new significance in modern India. Patna is also famous for
architectures like Harmandir of the Sikhs and the Sher Shah Suri Mahal.
» Nalanda -
Nalanda is situated at a distance of 90 km south east of Patna. It is
the place where the ruins of the ancient university of Nalanda have been
excavated. The great place of learning was frequented by Mahavira and Buddha
in the 6th century. The stupas, terraces and the sculptures, all give ample
proof of the past glory that the place once enjoyed.
» Vaishali -
The town got
its name from King Vaishali whose heroic deeds are narrated in the epics of
Ramayana. The place of Vaishali came to be known as the center of the
Gangetic plains and was the seat of the Republic of Vajji. Vaishali was
first to hold a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient
administration. It was the venue of the second Buddhist council and it was
even believed to be the birth place of Lord Mahavira. The Ashokan pillar
built by emperor Ashoka is in the same place along with the Buddha stupa.
Bihar is famous for handlooms and Khadi which can be bought from the
various gramodyog bhawan located in various parts of the state.
Bihar, known for its diverse culture and traditions practiced in the state,
has some of the best hotel providing comfortable stay in the region. Some of
the prominent names includes Hotel Bodh Gaya Ashoka, Hotel Siddhartha
International, Royal Residency in Gaya and the Lotus Nikko.
How to Reach
» By Air -
Three airports the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash
airport in Patna, Bhagalpur airport and Gaya airport. All the three airport
connect Bihar to other cities of India.
» By Rail -
Bihar is well-connected by railway lines
to the rest of India. Most of the towns are interconnected among themselves,
and they also are directly connected to states like Kolkata and Delhi.
» By Road -
The state has a vast network of National
and State highways linking each of its cities and major pilgrimage places.