Home to the world famous World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is on every traveller's list. The city is located on the banks of the Kham River and is known as one of the most historically significant cities in Maharashtra. The Ajanta caves represent stories of Buddhism spanning from the period of 200 B.C. to 650 A.D. The Ellora caves were carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. and represent the three different faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Aurangabad sees a lot of tourists from across the world and it is a great place for like-minded tourists to meet. A history lover's delight, the museums here will keep you super busy. Some of the more popular ones are Sunehri Mahal Museum, University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You must also visit Lonar – it is said to be the site where a meteor crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater in the ground. The cafes and restaurants here are warm, welcoming and offer world class cuisines. Colourful, intriguing and vibrant, Aurangabad is a traveller's delight so if it's not on your list yet, add it.
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peepal tree. The original name of the place is Gaya and the Bodhgaya is the combination of the two words Bodhi and Gaya. This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and became Buddha- The Enlightened one. The main attraction of this place apart from the history of the Mauryan Empire is the Mahabodhi Temple. This is the oldest seat of Buddhist worship and dates back to the 2nd or 3rd Century. The initial temple structure was built by Emperor Ashika when he visited this place after he had left violence and adopted the path of peace and love. What we see at present is not at all the temple the Chinese Ambassador Fa Hien had mentioned in his account. This is a beautiful ornate temple and monastery with a beautiful spire and a large complex. What Fa Hien had mentioned was just the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. No doubt this was the forst brick Buddhist temple in the country, but presently it is much more beautiful and the magical sense of inner peace you recieve on visiting this place cannot be explained in words.
Bankura has gradually gained attraction as a popular tourist destination. Located in West Bengal, Bankura is home to various art and architecture spots, terracotta temples, dense virgin forests, hills and scenic beauty spots. Susunia, the second highest hill of Bankura, is famous for rock climbing, trekking and attracts adventure enthusiasts and tourists because of its natural springs. The Biharinath Hill has the highest altitude in the district. It stands guard on the northwestern border and is believed to be an age-old centre of Jainism. The one-of-a-kind Rasmancha Temple is located at Bishnupur in Bankura and is regarded as the oldest brick temple in India! Garh Darwaja is a terracotta gateway situated in Bankura near Bishnupur. The best time to visit is during the annual four day Bishnupur Mela held around the last week of December. The Mukutmanipur Dam, Krishna-Balaram Temple, Amarkanan and Koro Hill, Gangdoha, Ganesh and Nandi Statue are also famous tourist spots and worth visiting.
Once the capital of the Magadha Empire which later evolved to become the Mayryan Empire, Rajgir is a valley surrounded by hills. This is a very important seat of Buddhist worship in Nalanda, Bihar. Hinduism and Jainism are also practised by many out here. Rajgir, earlier known as Rajagriha or the King's home is also known to be a winter health retreat. This is because of the number of pools and natural springs here filled with warm water which have therapeutic values and goo for healing many bone and skin diseases too. The Buddha Temple here is also encompassed with a monastery and is a popular place for meditation. The white colour is a symbol of peace and the gold colour used for the spire of the temple is to show eternity and good taste. The Buddha idol inside has some magic in it that you want to keep on looking at it. The typical peaceful atmosphere of a Buddhist Temple is also found here and this is the prime attraction of this town.