The lesser known Indian state of Bihar is often ignored by the general travelers who usually prefer to visit the other states of India such as Kerala, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Gujarat, etc., in the mistaken belief that Bihar has not really much to offer, and a visit to it would prove to be a sheer wastage of precious time and money. This is a completely wrong assumption built on facts which do not exist in the first place.
An important centre of power, learning and culture down the ages, Bihar is a great state and an attractive tourist destination. The state has given many leading religions to the world such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and, to a certain extent, Sikhism.
Besides, the world famous books Arthshashtra and Kamasutra were written here which till date remain the best books in their categories. Many renowned writers and poets such as Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’, Phanishwar Nath Renu, Baba Nagarjun and Vidyapati are from Bihar. Among the modern writers of world fame, Upamanyu Chatterjee is from Bihar. Bihar is also the place where the biggest cattle fair of the world (Sonepur Fair) is held annually.
Tourist Spots of Bihar
This wonderful state has several attractive tourist hotspots also, with a great religious and historical connection, such as Patna, Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Vaishali and Rajgir which much inspire the spiritually inclined travelers.
The most well-known tourist spot of the state, Patna is not only the capital of Bihar and a leading educational and medical hub in the region; it is also one of the most ancient continuously inhabited cities of the world. Earlier called Pataliputra and Azimabad, Patna is located by the Ganges and is literally dotted with several attractive tourist spots that include–among the others–Patna Museum, Gol Ghar, and Patna Sahib Gurudwara.
Bodh Gaya is one of the four most important Buddhist places in the world (perhaps the most important) and a leading pilgrimage centre. Much famous for the 2500 years old Mahabodhi Temple–a UNESCO World Heritage Site–Bodh Gaya also has the famous Bodhi Tree under which Lord Buddha is believed to have got enlightenment that eventually shaped the destiny of the country, and, to a certain extent, the world. Bodh Gaya also has several beautiful Buddhist temples built by some foreign nations such as Sri Lanka, Japan, and Thailand which much attract the religiously inclined visitors.
Vaishali–yet another prominent tourist spot of Bihar–has the distinction of being one of the earliest republics in the world. It is also the place where the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavira, was born. The place is much revered by the Buddhists also as Lord Buddha–the founder of Buddhism–had delivered his last sermon here.
Nalanda–yet another renowned tourist place of Bihar with a great past–was a world famous centre of Buddhist learning in the distant past. Presently, it has impressive ruins of the 5th century B.C. Nalanda University which in the distant past had attracted students from all over the world.
Rajgir, another key tourist spot of Bihar, was the ancient capital of the Magadha Empire. One of the famous pilgrimage centres of the state, Rajgir is equally revered by the Buddhists and the Jains as both Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira had given the place much importance during their life time. In fact, Lord Mahavira died near Rajgir, at a place called Pawapuri.