Bihar tourism offers an unique amalgamation of ancient civilization, religion, history and culture that is identifiable with India. The state bears testimony of rise and fall of some of India's major dynasties - the Mauryas, the Guptas and the Palas. Between 5th to 11th century, the world's earliest university flourished here. Its remains are one of the attractions of Bihar tourism. Some of the holy places of the Buddhist religion are situated here. Some significant sites of Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism are also located here.
Gaya is a place known to the Hindus as one of the 'Dhamas' or the most sacred places for pilgrimage and is guarded on one side by the Prestshila Hills. On the side opposite to the Prestshila Hills, Gaya lies on the Ramshila hills.
The Prestshila Hills, Gaya is a legendary place in Bihar. It is said that there used to be a demon called Gaya who was very much shocked at the distress caused by death. He expressed his sorrow to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was very happy to see that a demon had such a kind heart and gave him a boon by virtue of which he could forgive the sinners.
Prestshila Hills, Gaya is situated at a distance of 100 kilometers to the south of Patna. The age old town of Gaya is of tremendous importance to the Hindus as well as the Buddhists.
Prestshila Hills, Gaya in Bihar lies in the close vicinity of the Phalgu river. The peculiarity of this river is that the water cannot be seen from outside. It always remains under a thick layer of silt and sand. People who go to Gaya dig holes in the river to take out its water.
The Prestshila Hills, Gaya encloses a region in Bihar which has got the famous places like that located at around 3 kilometers from the center of the town of Gaya and which has got the Bodhi tree. This is the place where Lord Buddha was blessed with enlightenment. Gaya is noted for many holy shrines of which special mention should be made of the Vishnupad Temple. On the south of it, you will find the Bodh Gaya.
This is one of the main tourist attractions in Bihar. The ruins of Nalanda University date back to 5th Century, and is one of the oldest universities of the country. Nalanda used to be an important centre for Buddhist learning with an estimate of more than 10,000 monks as well as students. The university was there until the Muslim invaders ransacked it and set the library on fire. An estimate of over 9 million manuscripts were destroyed.
Bodhi Tree is a significant attraction in Bihar, which is located at a distance of 100 km from Patna. This tree is famous because Buddha had achieved enlightenment under this tree. It has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The Maha Bodhi Temple displays the rich architecture of Indian culture.
Ahirauli, is a small village in the state of Bihar which is located at a distance of around 5 kilometers from the center of the proper town of Buxar. Here there is a temple of Devi Ahalya.
As the legend goes, Devi Ahalya was the wife of Rishi Gautam. According to the stories of the great epic Ramayana, Devi Ahalya by mistake once identified a person in disguise as her husband. This annoyed Rishi Gautam so much that he turned Devi Ahalya into stones. The temple of Ahirauli, Buxar in Bihar reminds people of the innocence of the Devi. The petrified Devi was after many years rescued by the graceful Lord Ramachandra who saw her while he was passing by. The stone turned to real Devi Ahalya as soon as the Lord touched it.
Ahirauli, Buxar of Bihar is a place of pilgrimage. People come here from far and wide to get rid of all their sins committed whether knowingly or unknowingly. The people living in and around Ahirauli, Buxar firmly believe that the Lord is always with them to keep them far apart from all the curses and to protect them from all the adversities of life.
If you go to Ahirauli in Bihar, you can feel the intense devotion and faith of the people towards the epic Ramayana and the love for their great hero Ramachandra. It is really amazing and can never be believed until and unless you go to Ahirauli, Buxar in Bihar that after the passage of so many hundreds of years a person can still have such a high level of popularity as Lord Rama.
Hasanpura in Bihar is the name of a village which is located at a distance of around 21 kilometers to the south of Siwan lying on the bank of Dhanai river. The place is noted for its religious and historical importance but it is nevertheless a place of natural beauty and scenic abundance.
From the distant land of Arabia, here came to India a saint named Makhdum Saiyed Hasan Chisti. He was so impressed with the people and culture of India that he made up his mind to stay back in this country. It was him who founded the village of Hasanpura at Bihar.
Makhdum Saiyed Hasan Chisti stayed here for long. He was very much inclined towards the purity of religion and soul. He was also the founder of the Khankah (religious institution) in the area of Hasanpura in Bihar.
Hasanpura in Bihar houses thousands of the remnants of the large mosque as well as the tomb of the great Saint. If you go there they will remind you of the glorious past. They often reflect the lifestyle and the rich cultural heritage of the people in Hasanpura of Bihar. It is a notable feature of the site that it is equally visited by the Muslims and the Hindus. This clearly indicates that there is absolute communal harmony in Hasanpura of Bihar.
There is a grave in Hasanpura of Bihar which is actually a vast open court lying on the west of the village. There is a basalt image of Lord Vishnu in front.
Champaran is a notable place in Bihar that has got an immense importance in the history of the freedom movement of India. This was the place where Mahatma Gandhi took his first attempt towards structuring of the nationalist movement in India.
The place is renowned for the great Champaran movement which was started as a protest against the tortures and the exploitations of the indigo planters in Bihar as well as other parts of the country. This movement had quite a long lasting effect.
Mahatma Gandhi was firm in his efforts to bring good days in Champaran of Bihar. The British Government was at last compelled to establish a Committee of Inquiry. The committee was entrusted with the responsibility of examination and submission of report on the conditions of the farmers in Champaran.
Ramchura is a famous place located in the Vaishali block in Bihar. The place is one of the major sites in the Ramayana circuit of the state of Bihar in India. Ramchura in Bihar is particularly popular to the people in and around Bihar as not only the place for pilgrimage but also for festivals.
It is said that Lord Ramachandra was once going to the place called Janakpur. While he was on his way to Janakpur, he felt very tired and decided to take a break in this place. It is also said that the Lord took a bath in this place. Ramchura of Bihar has thus become a place of immense importance to the devotees of Lord Rama.
In Ramchura at Bihar you can see the footprints of the Lord on stone. These are worshiped by the people with great faith and religious belief. They think that this will bring them happiness and prosperity in life.
Ramchura in Bihar is noted for its fairs and festivals especially those held on the occasion of the Ram Navami. This auspicious occasion is celebrated here with great joy and devotion. It is the day when Lord Rama took his birth. This day marks the arrival of Lord Vishnu to the earth and hence the end of all miseries under the sun.
The festival at Ramchura is a great delight to the tourists. In these days, the village of Ramchura becomes full with colors and festive decorations. People offer their prayers to the Lord. They perform the 'pujas' and only then they break their fast by taking fruits or sweets. It is really worth visiting Ramchura of Bihar.
Maner Sharif, lying in the state of Bihar is a vast village full of the remnants of the historical past. It is located in the north west of Danapur. The village lies at about 32 kilometers to the west of Patna.
In the ancient times, Maner Sharif in Bihar used to be the principal site of learning and knowledge in the region. The well-known grammarian Panini as well as Bararuchi were the residents of Maner Sharif of Bihar where they completed their studies as well.
Maner Sharif at Bihar houses two very popular Muslim tombs:
One is Shah Daulat or Makhdum Daulat, popularly called Chhoti Dargah, another is Sheikh Yahia Maneri or Makhdum Yahia known as the Bari Dargah.
Maner Sharif in Bihar is the place where Makhdum Daulat in 1608 breathed his last. It was then in 1616 that Ibrahim Khan, Governor of Bihar who was also his disciple finished the construction of his mausoleum. The building at Maner Sharif of Bihar is a marvelous one. The walls of the building are adorned with intricate designs. There is a big dome on the top and the ceiling is full of inscriptions depicted from the holy Quran.
In Maner Sharif at Bihar you will find the architectural peculiarities which happened to be the characteristics of that of the Jehangir's era. Till now, Maner Sharif in Bihar is the best monument of the Mughals in Eastern India. In the compound of the Maner Sharif of Bihar, you will find a mosque which was also constructed by Ibrahim Khan in 1619.
Rajgir is a place full of temples and monasteries and it lies about 15 kilometers away from Nalanda. It is nestled in a valley and thereby has a very beautiful surrounding. To add to the beauty of Rajgir, there are green forests all around.
Before the formation of the Patliputra, Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State). This region has long been related to Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha passed several years of his life at Rajgir.
Rajgir of Bihar is famous for the Jain temples. Lord Mahavira spent many years in Rajgir. It is one of the most popular Jain pilgrimage sites in India.
The lessons of Buddha were documented at Rajgir. The town also served as the place for the first Buddhist Council. At present, Rajgir in Bihar happens to be the most significant center of pilgrimage for the Buddhists.
Apart from being a center of religion, Rajgir is also popular as a health resort. The warm water ponds in Rajgir have some medicinal values which can cure the dermal problems.
Valmiki Nagar in Bihar is a small village in the West Champaran. It lies on the Indo Nepal border. The village lies at a distance of 42 kilometers from Bagaha.
Valmiki Nagar houses a Valmiki Ashram after the name of Maharishi Valmiki who was the composer of the great Indian epic, the Ramayana. It is known that he was at first a person who sustained his living on the things snatched away from others when he used to be called Ratnakara. But later, he was repentant and decided to take penance. He was then blessed and instructed to compile the life of the Lord.
A festival is held every year in Valmiki Nagar in Bihar during the time of Makar Sankranti.
The river called Gandak adds to the beauty of the Valmiki Nagar in Bihar. To make the irrigation system more improved, the government has built a barrage on the Gandak river.
Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the great hero of the Hindu epic, Ramayana, is a very popular figure in the place called Tar, Bhojpur in Bihar. The place is situated at a region which is about 10 kilometers to the north west of Piro.
The village of Tar, Bhojpur has been named after the demoness Tarka. The demoness has been depicted in the epic as an extremely unkind character who used to do harm to the sages as well as to the innocent common people.
It is said that the region to which the Tar, Bhojpur of Bihar belongs, used to be the ground for the wrestling of the demoness Tarka. She was very strong and no one could ever think of defeating her. Demoness Tarka used to interrupt the religious rituals performed by the sages of those days.
All the people were afraid of Tarka. They prayed to Lord Vishnu to rescue them from the torture of the demoness. It was then that Lord Rama had an encounter with the demoness Tarka and she could not cope up with the massive strength of the Lord. The demoness had to breathe her last at the hands of the Lord.
The village of Tar, Bhojpur in Bihar reminds people of the great hero Shri Rama and how he had saved the lives of thousands. The common people in this area firmly believes that the Lord is always present here and he will rescue them in their difficult days. Perhaps this faith and the popularity of the Ramayana as well as Lord Rama has made Tar of Bhojpur a renowned place in India.