India is a diverse land and so are its customs, beliefs, rituals, culture and food. From North to South or East to West, there's vast difference in the language, people, traditional attire, and lifestyle. Thus, India, with its varied traditions and diversities stores many unique things at every corner. And to appreciate such uniqueness is the place not to be missed. You must waste no time in packing your bags and heading towards the most interesting places in Bihar and not to forget about the Bihari cuisine every traveler must taste.
Best Time To Visit Bihar
How To Reach Bihar
Book Bihar Tour Package
One of the most important monuments in the cultural as well as political scenario of India, the Red Fort is the pride of the capital city of Delhi. It was once the capital of Shahjanabad named after Emperor Shah Jahan. It was during his reign that this awesome monument took its form between 1638 and 1648. The whole structure was named Red Fort or Lal Qila due to the basic material of architecture which is sandstone. It served as the residence of the Mughal Kings for almost 200 years. Later when India became independent, the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the National Flag here and the ritual is still carried on. Every year the Independence Day celebrations are organized here.
This is a temple with a history of over 2500 years and is the same place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It is in Gaya which is a few kilomteres away from Patna and is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple around what is known as the Mahabodhi tree is said to have been built by Emperor Ashoka, who was an ardent follower of Lord Buddha after he left the path of violence and shifted completely to non- violence following the teachings of Lord Buddha. The Emperor visited this place in the 3rd Century BC and decided to pay his respects to Buddha. Afterwards also when Fa Hien, the ambassador from China visited this place he has mentioned it in his account. He has mentioned seeing the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. This temple is the forst brick temple dedicated to Lord Buddha and is often considered as the oldest and most important place of Buddhist worship in the country. Later with the advent of the Delhi Sultanate in the 18th Century, the temple lost its importance completely and was not repaired or maintained at all. Later again with the fall of the intolerant Delhi Sultans and the advent of the Burmese rulers, the temple recieved its necessary maintenance and this carried on till the time of the British. People flock here in huge numbers every year to seek blessings from the lord.
If you go in the second half of any year, you’ll see a flock of Tibetan monks, gathering around the grand Bodhi tree, chanting hymns and reading from Buddhist scriptures. To reach Bodh Gaya is much easy. One can descend at the Gaya airport or take a four to five hour drive from Patna (the state capital).
Valmiki Tiger Reserve
Valmiki Tiger Reserve:- The only tiger reserve in Bihar which is adjacent and extension to Chitwan National Park, Nepal, it is a home to almost 26 tigers, elephants that comes form Chitwan National Park and a perfect place for birding. Besides all other Tiger Reserves, Valmiki Tiger Reserve has almost 5 entry points, namely Valmiki Nagar, Manguraha, Naurangia, Gobardhana and Manpur.After so many enquiries and lots of searches I booked eco huts for the dated 19.11.2015 and 20.11.2015 one each at Gobardhana Range and Naurangia Done by sending e-mail to the Divisional Forest Officer, Bettiah -1. Then the actual problem came as there was no bus from Patna to Ramnagar (the nearest village to Gobardhana Range), thanks for the support of Forest Officials who helped me in my travel from Bettiah to Gobardhana Range.As I was travelling from Patna, I went to Bettiah, you can get a bus from Patna to Bettiah which takes almost 5-6 hrs. From Bettiah there are many mini buses to Ramnagar but the condition of road is not good. From Ramnagar the forest department sent a vehicle which took me to Gobardhana. Finally I reached Gobardhana at about 5 PM.(Day 1) -Gobardhana As I was very late and tired I decided to take some rest and then to meet the Forest Range Officer, so I directly went to the Eco Hut, the Eco huts were nice and clean, everything was well maintained. I moved around and was surprised to know that I was the only person staying in one of the Eco Huts, and also found that the food is being prepared by the caretaker, I ordered for food which was simple but delicious. After having my dinner, I planned for next day with the forest guards and went to sleep.(Day 2) -I woke up early and went around, the place was very beautiful, the song of birds were coming from every direction, the morning time in a Forest is the best time to soothe your senses, the fresh and cold air, the songs of birds makes u feel relaxed. While I was roaming I found some Flowerpecker birds, Parkeets and flycathers. At 6 30 the driver came and we went for my First Safari in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, I have been to few of the Tiger Reserve but Valmiki Tiger Reserve seemed to be a dense forest with lots of trees rather than grass land. On my way, the driver cum guide of the Safari car told me that there are very few visitors coming to this place which was evident as I was the only one present there that day. He then started telling me the stories of sighting of a Tiger near the Eco huts few days back and just then we spotted four Peacocks who went into the dense forest. During our safari we saw Nilgai, sambhar, Jungle fowl, Chital, langurs, River lapwings. The jungle path was well maintained and it crosses few rivers which made the journey worth. One thing which I noticed that the jungle was used by the villagers nearby for their basic needs which is a very big threat as villagers are using forest for fire wood and even for cremation. Besides all these threats I felt the presence of tiger as there were pug marks all over.On my way back to the eco hut, we saw two Hornbills in flight. On returning to the eco hut I met Shri A. Shankar Sinha, Forest Range Officer who gave me vital information about the fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve. From the conversation it was quite clear that this Tiger Reserve of Bihar needs to be explored as many surprises might be hidden inside its dense forest. Thereafter, I started my onward journey to Naurangia Done which was connect to Gobardhana by a Forest Road which was through Tiger Reserve.Journey to Naurangia Done -The journey from Gobardhana to Naurangia Done was through forest road which was a thrilling ride through forest and rivers, sandy river beds. The journey was bit tiring but I enjoyed a lot and also saw few butterflies and may birds including wire tailed swallow, bee eaters, bulbuls and eagles.Naurangia Done (Done is a place surrounded by forest) is village which is surrounded by forest and is devoid of electricity and mobile connectivity, this was the first thing which I heard from the forest guard who accompanied me to Naurangia Done. There were only two eco huts which were well maintained but without electricity, though having all the electrical appliances. Later on it was known that the visitor has to pay for the diesel which runs the generator for supplying electric current. It was a tiring day so I opted not to go on a safari again and took some rest and planned to return Patna. The nearest place from Naurangia Done to get a bus to Patna is Bagaha which was 40 Kms away so I booked a Car run by a villager to reach Bagaha.The next day I woke up early and left the beauty and calmness of Valmiki Tiger Reserve. But that was not the end of my journey, the road from Naurangia Done to Bagaha was a forest road and again there was a forest safari for me which again was through rivers that made me to think that whether this was in Bihar. I spotted may birds like pipits, peacocks, yellow wagtail, forest wagtail, lapwings etc. on my way back and returned back with lots of memories and with a promise to visit Again.Pros & Cons. -Pros: Clean, unexplored, well maintained Eco huts and helpful staffs of forest department.Cons: Connectivity and availability of any conveyance. (U have to depend on the vehicle of forest Department) Lack of trained guide. Non-availability of Jungle Safari at Naurangia Done.This post was originally published on 'My Escapes to Nature.For more about Valmiki National Park visit official website at - http://valmikitigerreserve.com/ or at Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/valmikinagartigerreserve
Nalanda University Ruins
I reached the university ruins at around 2:00 pm and bought the entry ticket. While leaving the ticket window, an old man asked me to hire a guide as it may be difficult to grasp the place’s key features without some guidance. When I asked, where can I find one, he pointed to himself and showed his government authorization card. Since my schooldays, I have read about Nalanda in my history books and later, more elaborately, in newspapers and journals. With all that history behind, I was really looking forward to witness the remains of this glorious learning center and wanted to do it right. I decided to take the guide and a deal was struck for the standard rate of Rs 200. Mr R B Prasad, the guide, didn’t disappoint me.
These are the oldest rock- cut caves of the country that date back to the 2nd Century BC and some during the Mauryan Period. This is known because some of the rock caves bear Ashokan and other Mauryan inscriptions on them. This cave complex is in the Mukhdumpur Region of the Jehanabad District. Most of the caves belong to the first phase of Buddhism and are deep cut caves. Most of these are built in the design of cottages or huts and do vary in sizes. The inside of each cave was made highly polished with a glass finesse which still gives the look of modern day laser work. The caves were mainly built to be used as residence for the Ajivika Buddhists and monks. Many jataka tales are inscribed on the walls of these caves apart from other royal inscriptions. The caves are comparatively in good condition in spite of ignorance.
This is the only Thai Temple and monastery in India which was built by a Thai Monarch. It was on the request of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that this temple was built. The main aim ws to strenghthen relations between Thailand and India and this place also became a favourite of tourists- Buddhists or not. The temple is just adjacent to the tourist bungalow and has typical, subtle Thai architectural patterns and designs with sloping roofs and pagoda style facades. There is a beautiful idol of Buddha made of Bronze inside. The recent addition is a life size idol of the Lord. The best thing firstly is that you are welcomed inside the temple irrespective of your caste, creed, clan or social status and the second is the peaceful atmosphere of the temple. This is an apt place to meditate and detoxify yourelf.
This is a beautiful waterfall in the Newada District of Bihar and lies on the Bihar- Jharkhand border. According to legendary tales, once there lived a king here who was cursed by a rishi due to which he had turned into a snake. He regained his original form when the Pandavas came to live here in exile and then prayed never to be born again. his prayers were addressed in this same Kakolat area. Below the waterfalls are a cover of lush greenery on the hill surrounded valley. This place is best to be visited after monsoon and then right after the strong winters are gone. The immense natural beauty of this place makes it a huge favourite of nature lovers. You can also do bird watching here especially during the colder season when migratory birds come here.
Animesh Lochana Chaitya Shrine
This is a renowned university of the country and is now governed by the Bihar Universities Act, 1976 and is also recognized by the University Grants Commission. The university provides opportunities for higher education in the fields of Science, Humanities, Commerce and Social Sciences. The Magadha University was established in the year 1962 by Satyendra Narayan Sinha, an educationist and the then Education Minister of Bihar. Not only in the region but the Magadha University is recognized as one of the premier institutions in the whole country. The facilities that students get here apart from all other modern teaching techniques and ever- evolving teaching staff are very well- equipped laboratories, several libraries, comfortable study rooms and overall a clean and nice campus.
A hot buffet lunch was served in a round house near the lake called the Golghar. The food was excellent, a huge selection of vegetable and meat indian dishes. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and the lodge has also developed an excellent waste management system, everything is recycled or composted. After lunch the moment I'd been waiting for had arrived...it was safari time. There were nineteen guests staying at the lodge and we all jumped into four open sided jeeps. Another group of about twenty who had just turned up on the off chance piled into a big khaki coloured govenment bus. Unsurprisingly they saw very little during their safari, as the bus was load, noisy and smelly. Luckily there are very strict rules for the safari's and each of the jeeps headed off into Nagarahole National Park down different tracks. This limited the noise and disturbance for the animals and maximised the chance of spotting widlife.
Fatehpuri Masjid was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Shah Jahan's wives. The mosque is built with red sandstone on a large scale and is surmounted by a single dome. This mosque is a beautiful specimen of the magnificence of Mughal architecture and stands as a silent spectator, witnessing all historical events right from the Mughal and British periods till date.
Fujia Greens Restaurant
If you are looking for fresh food at a different table, Fujia Green Restaurant is the place for you. The restaurant serves good portions of food for a reasonable price. You cannot imagine the inner uniqueness from the outside of this tent-styled restaurant but if you taste something here, you will surely discuss this place later to your friends.
Bihar School of Yoga
Swami Satyanand Saraswati’s Bihar School of Yoga Munger, BiharThe Path They believe, “If the head, the heart, and the hands do not function in harmony, there is restlessness in life.” This restlessness may be on the mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual level. Yoga practices developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati aim to harmonise these aspects.The Starting Point: At the sprawling Bihar School, yoga is a lifestyle, not a practice, and karma yoga is given precedence over asana. So alongside classes expect hours of shram (service)—including gardening, kitchen work, and toilet cleaning—supplemented by cold showers and a simple diet. It may sound daunting, but comfort’s loss is authenticity’s gain, and former students attest to the life-altering qualities a stint in this ashram can give. Days begin at 4 am, and end with twilight satsangs (discourses) or kirtans (mantra chanting) before lights out at 8 pm.Many yoga styles are taught, including Hatha, Raja (mental discipline), Kriya (breathing, chanting, and ritual gesture) as well as Yoga Nidra, a deep meditative technique lulling the mind into a state neither awake nor asleep, developed by the ashram’s founder Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Their four-month residential course starts every October. But you can choose one of the shorter courses that teach pranayama, or therapeutic yoga capsules for those suffering from digestive or respiratory issues, or arthritis, rheumatism and other ailments.The Destination: To learn all aspects of your personality and resolve.
Rajgir Bus Stand
The photography attempt delayed me further and it was only at 10:30 am that I could board a bus to Rajgir from Manpur bus stand in Gaya. I reached Rajgir around 1:00 pm and immediately took a bus to Nalanda to visit the the Nalanda University ruins and the Nalanda museum. Nalanda is just 14 km away from Rajgir and regular buses run between the two towns. The bus will leave you on the main road and from there tongas, also called ‘tum tum’, as well as rickshaws are available to reach the university ruins. The Hsuan Tsang memorial built by the Chinese government falls on the same road, few kilometers after the ruins.