A Glimpse Into The Rich Culture & Traditions Of Bihar
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When you make your way to the capital city of Patna, you’re welcomed by towering monuments that bring religions together. There are people from all walks of life who give you a glimpse into the lifestyle of Bihar, and food that wins you over with the first bite itself. This is Bihar for you, a state dipped in traditions and entailing a rich history.
So, before you head over to the cultural and tradition-filled state, we would love to give a pre-hands glance at what Bihar actually looks like. This article will ensure that you get to know the true essence of Bihar.
History of Bihar
A thousand years ago, Indo-Aryans were the first ones to settle in Bihar. With their arrival came the rich architecture and craftsmanship, the beauty of which is still reflected in Bihar’s monuments. Historian legend says that even Buddha attained enlightenment and founded Buddhism under the Bodhi tree in the Mahabodhi temple and this is how it spread rapidly in the state.
Another interesting history associated with Bihar is the Nalanda University which was founded by the Guptas and was called Nalanda Vishwa Vidyalaya. The university’s library was the most extensive in the world with all the facilities and had every type of book. The king of Turkey, Bakhtiyar Khalji, destroyed the university by setting it on fire.
Patna, the capital of Bihar was initially known as Patliputra because of its wealth and religious beliefs. Bihar’s rich culture and tradition can be discovered by exploring its historical significance.
Culture of Bihar
The culture of Bihar comprises several religions as it is believed that Buddhism, Jainism, and Sufism had all begun from here. In fact, there are several pilgrimage sights for the Sikhs as well. To know more about the culture and tradition, we have further explained the festivals, language, cuisine and a lot more.
Cultural Tours in Bihar
1. Buddhist Circuit tour, Bihar
Experience a spiritual journey on the Buddhist Circuit Trail in Bihar. The origins of Buddhism in Bihar have always attracted tourists worldwide, making it one of the most visited religions worldwide. This tour is for 5 days & 4 nights. Starting from Bodhgaya, this tour will include places like Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali and will end at Patna.
2. Sikh Circuit, Bihar
Sikh Circuit tour of Bihar takes visitors to several gurudwaras and Sikh shrines featuring events from Guru Gobind Singh’s life. This tour is for 2 days and 1 night and will start at Takht Sri Harmandir Ji Sahib and include other prominent gurudwaras such as Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh and end at Gurdwara Handi Sahib.
3. Sufi Circuit, Bihar
Many Sufi saints were drawn to Pataliputra (Patna) during the medieval period because of its spiritual aura. As a result of the humanistic teachings of these saints, the region became a pilgrimage hub for believers of Sufism and the tour gives you more depth about the religious practices. This tour is for 6 days and 5 nights and will begin at Patna and will cover Khankayi Mujeebia, Maner Sharif, Amjhar Sharif, Sasaram and end at Patna.
4. Jain Circuit, Bihar
Visit some of the Jain pilgrimages in Bihar that offer a glimpse into Lord Mahavira’s life and journey. Take this tour and learn more about Jainism. This tour is for 9 days and 8 nights and will cover Vaishali, Rajgir, Pawapuri, Madhubani, and a lot more.
5. Ramayan Circuit, Bihar
It’s no secret that Bihar is a land rich in stories from sage Valmiki Muni’s epic Ramayana. There are several places associated with different events in Goddess Sita’s life and Lord Rama’s life. Bihar played a significant role in establishing Hinduism as a religion throughout history, so if this excites you, then this trip should be your next one. This tour is a 7 days and 6 nights tour and will cover Bagaha, Valmiki Nagar, Sitamarhi, Kako, and ends at Gaya.
6. Meditation Tour, Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya has become an essential Buddhist pilgrimage, yoga, and contemplation center. “Yoga” and “Reflection” have emerged as the most prevalent methods to cure Physical, Mental and Emotional Illnesses. So head to Bodhgaya if you want some solace from your daily hustle-filled life then you definitely need to book this. This is a 5 days and 4 nights tour and will cover Bodhgaya and Nalanda.
Cultural Experiences of Bihar
Alongside rich religious monuments and shrines, Bihar has its own unique festivals, traditions, and arts as well. From the cultural celebration of Chhath Puja to the art of Madhubani and distinctive food dishes, the peoples of Bihar follow a colorful lifestyle that every traveler must explore on their visit to this state.
1. Festivals of Bihar
Since Bihar is a land rich in culture and tradition and home to religions like Buddhism and Jainism, many festivals and celebrations take part in the state. Inherently, these festivals are connected to the lifestyle and culture of the people of Bihar. The most prominent festivals are Holi, Saraswati Puja, Durga Puja, Diwali, and Bhaiya Dooj. Besides these festivals recognized throughout India, ‘Chhath’ is explicitly celebrated in Bihar among Hindus.
The Chhath festival, which is celebrated full of zeal, is dedicated to the Sun God and Chhathi goddess. It begins on Kartik Shukla Paksha (the second fortnight of Kartik). Depending on the year, this occurs between late October and mid-November. Among Bihari people, this festival is celebrated with much pomp and devotion and the celebration extends up to four days.
Holi is another prominent festival of Bihar. Song lyrics for the festival commonly referred to as Phagua, are rhythmic and melodic in the state. An excellent piece of history is attached to it, Biraha, a popular folk among the locals. There are ample places in Bihar where Holi is being celebrated throughout the day. In the first half, people can be seen playing with colors and in the latter part of the day, there are folk songs and dances.
2. Language of Bihar
Throughout Bihar, Hindi is spoken with a unique Bihari accent. Around 20 districts of Bihar speak Maithili and Bajjika, and Angika dialects; it is the most widely spoken language in the state. There are approximately ten districts in Bihar where Magahi is the most popular language.
3. Cuisine in Bihar
Cuisines prevalent in Bihar include Bhojpuri, Maithil, and Magahi. When we think about Bihari food, the first thing that comes to mind is the famous Litti Chokha. Lithi Chokha is a dish consisting of dough balls made from wheat and gram flour called lithi. This dish consists of boiled potatoes and roasted eggplant known as Chokha and is served with lithi.
People make sharbat with seasonal fruits like wood-apple and watermelon fruit in the summer, and any Bihari breakfast is incomplete without a sattu drink. Sattu is basically flour made out of Bengal gram, but these days it also includes flour of pulses and cereals. These flour are rich in protein and fiber and keep you away from harmful heat waves.
Bihar is also famous for its variety of meat dishes which includes Reshmi kababs with a unique taste and flavor.
Some delicacies are found in only a few cities, such as Champaran, famous for its meat; Pakribarawan, famous for its Vara also known as Bara is a sweet made out of sugar, maida, ghee/refined oil, and finally Sitamarhi, which is known for its meat Balushahi, etc. These dishes are exclusive to the state so don’t miss out on them when you are in Bihar.
4. Bihar Folk Dance and Music
Bihar has greatly influenced Indian classical music. Maithili music has produced musicians like Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan, dhrupad singers like the Malliks and the Mishras, and poets like Vidyapati Thakur. In Bihar, classical music originates from Hindustani classical music.
Bhojpuri people in Bihar enjoy the Bidesia dance because it is very popular among tribal people and is prevalent more often in the areas where they speak Bhojpuri. The dance of Jat-Jatin is famous in Bihar’s north, and Jijya is another famous dance in Bihar.
Birth and marriage ceremonies in Bihar are incomplete without traditional songs dating back before Brahma. Songs are primarily sung in groups without many instruments. The musical instruments you can find are the dholak, tabla, and harmonium; these instruments make the song even more melodious.
5. Paintings and Craft in Bihar
Bihar is known for its handicrafts, including hand-painted wall hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves, stone pottery, leather goods, and appliques.
Apart from all this, It is famous for its art and craft, including Sujini embroidery, Sikkigrass work, Yampuri puppets, Tikuli work, Bangla work, lacquerware ceramics, bamboo works, and printed textiles.
Artworks like these are commonly displayed in city homes and exported as well. The works of Madhubani artists narrate mythological and religious events and are exclusively designed by women from Mithila. They use natural colors on paper and cloth to depict this in an artistic way.
Since you have already learned a lot about Bihar’s rich culture and traditions, it is high time to book a tour now and witness the glory of the marvelous state. Plan your wholesome Bihar holiday with Thrillophilia here.