Bihar

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Introduction

Bihar is a sacred land located on the eastern region of India on the banks of the holy Ganga River. Nepal, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are the states that share their border with Bihar. It is from the ‘Vihara’ word that the name Bihar originated. Vihara means monastery as it was an important centre for learning Buddhism in the past. It is known well for the Buddhist monasteries, historical monuments and the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Buddhist shrines.

Indian history witnessed the golden period in Bihar, Buddha’s ancient land. It was here that the first seeds of the republic were sown. The crop of democracy was first cultivated in Bihar. A huge number of intellectuals were born on this fertile soil who spread the light of wisdom and knowledge all across India and the globe. Capital of Bihar is Patna. The state got its shape after it was partitioned from Bengal province. It has a rich culture, heritage and a history of 3000 years. The state is dotted all over with innumerable monuments dating to the ancient times.

 

Best Time To Visit

Winter is the best time to visit Bihar when tourists can enjoy the pleasant and cool weather. October to March is the best time to visit Bihar. Bihar enjoys a continental climate with cool winters, hot summers, medium to high rainfall during the monsoons. Sometimes there are floods in northern Bihar.

 

How To Reach

By Road

The road and highway network in Bihar is really good and connects major towns of Bihar with Patna and other regions close by. Bus services are available on regular basis that connect Patna with Sasaram, Muzzafarpur, Rajgir, Raxaul, Nalanda, Ranchi, Pawapuri, Gaya-Bodhgaya and Vaishali. For visiting outstation sites and local sightseeing, taxis and luxury coaches are provided by the Bihar Tourism Development Corporation. A fleet of cars, deluxe buses, taxis, caravans and vans are provided by the tourism department of Bihar. Also available are local buses, tongas, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.

By Rail

All the main Indian cities are connected well by rail with Patna, the capital of Bihar. Tourists can travel by super fast trains and express trains like the Shatabdi Express and the Rajdhani Express.

By Air

Bihar’s capital city, Patna is well connected with Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Mumbai. Flights operate regularly. Tourists can make the most of full service domestic airlines and low cost carriers.

 

Availability Of Hotels And Restaurants

In Bihar it is very easy to find well maintained budget hotels and that too at moderate prices. At a very affordable price, one can find hotels and tourist bungalows for special occasions like marriages, engagements etc. Lawns and halls are also provided at an affordable price at the hotels. At many of the prime locations in Bihar, there are many good hotels. Near the railway station itself there are a good number of budget hotels. The rooms are comfortable and well equipped with a range of major amenities.

At the most reasonable price, customers are given the best of services. A good amount of money in transportation can also be saved by considering accommodation facilities near Patna railway station. Tourists can promptly check into the hotels located near the station. The hotel rooms are furnished well with internet connection, attached bath, television, tea and coffee maker, fridge etc. facilities like fitness centre, travel desk, gym and communication centre are provided at most hotels.

 

Best Places, Locations, Monuments Etc

The scenic natural beauty, the popular pilgrimage sites and the ancient monuments attract a lot of tourists to this destination. Major initiatives have been taken by the Bihar Tourism Department to show the potential of this destination to tourists across the world. Different kinds of infrastructure like Ropeway, transportation, restaurant, cafeteria and tourist bungalows are provided by the BTDC – Bihar Tourism Development Corporation. Tourists can get information related to travel, wildlife tours, city tours, cheap packages for holidaying, Buddhist tours, etc at the website online.

In Bihar, there are a range of attractions for tourists. These include, Kumhrar Bagh, Harminder Sahib, Golghar, State Museum, Bihar Institute of Handicraft and Design, Martyr’s Memorial, Sher Shah’s Mausoleum, Gandhi Setu Jalan Museum, Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park, Khuda Baksh Oriental Library, Pathar ki Masjid and the Har Mandir Takht.

Noteworthy destinations to visit in Bihar include Pawapuri, Nalanda, Vikramshila, Rajgir, Vaishali, Patna and Bodh Gaya. The mighty stupas in Vaishali, the misty mountains located in Rajgir, Bodygaya called the abode of peace and the remains of Nalanda University of the ancient times are visited by tourists in millions, every year. All through Bihar, tourists can get to see many historic monuments that date back to the period 350 BC. Rajgir is well known for breathtaking retreats in the hills, waterfalls and caves. Other major attractions here are remains of the monasteries and ancient palaces. Bodhgaya in Buddhism is a sacred place where enlightenment was attained by Buddha. It is popular for its ancient temples and beautiful monasteries. The 1500 year old Nalanda University, which is the largest university of the world, is a major attraction for tourists along with the ASI museum. The birthplace of Jainism, Vaishali a 2500 year old city, is home to the first republic of the world. Remains of this city, monasteries, and the World Peace Pagoda are the major attractions at Vaishali.

A lot of effort is being put by the Bihar government, especially to promote religious sites, due to which a lot of tourists are attracted to this place. The Sonepur Fair is held in late September annually around forty five minutes from Patna, the capital of Bihar. The fair combines trading of horses, cattle and elephants, a rural fair that is truly authentic and spiritual and attracts both international and domestic tourists. On Karthik Purnima, an auspicious holy bath is taken by elephants and pilgrims at the river, a spectacle that is worth capturing if you are into photography!

During the ancient times, the Mughals were the centre of power in Bihar after which they shifted power to Delhi. Tombs of many Mughal rulers are found in Bihar especially the mausoleum of Emperor Sher Shah Suri which is constructed in the middle of a large lake, Sasaram which is artificially made. In Maner, on the banks of the Ganga River, a tomb called Choti Dargah of Shah Daulat is also a great place to visit. Many people who are mentally challenged and suffer from acute diseases, and looking towards a healing, visit the Jehanabad based tomb of Hazrat Bibi Kamal, the first woman Sufi saint.