The Ultimate Travel Guide To Bihar
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Bihar, the land where Buddha once lived, is visited year-round by tourists worldwide. Filled with precious heritage monuments, rich natural landscapes, and a bounty of cultural experiences, Bihar should be on your bucket list. After going through this guide, you will surely realize that the state is unique due to its amalgamation of spirituality, history, and nature.
Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Patna, Vaishali, Pawapuri, and Nalanda are some of the significant attractions Bihar has to offer. In this guide, we will be telling you about these cities and other spectacular destinations of Bihar that you can explore. This guide will also work as your holy grail for all things you need to know while planning a trip to the beautiful state of Bihar, right from its weather down to the connectivity and food.
How to Reach Bihar & Commute within:
Visitors will have an easy time traveling within Bihar due to comfortable roads, convenient air and rail connectivity, frequent buses, and other modes of intra-state transport.
The state is well connected by highways that enable easy access to various cities.
The railway station of Patna is connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Varanasi, amongst other Indian cities. There is also good rail connectivity within Bihar for intrastate travel between Patna, Gaya, Nalanda, and Samastipur, among other places.
The international airport of Patna is well-connected to all major cities of India and many international destinations.
The Culture of Bihar:
Bihar is a state with a rich cultural heritage. There is a strong presence of mythology and legend from Hinduism in its spots. The Hindu temples here are a great place to glance at these beautiful murals and architecture.
‘The Land of Buddha’, Bihar is home to many Buddhist Monasteries as well. Moreover, the religions of Jainism and Islam also find an equal share in the historical monuments that are sprinkled across Bihar, making it a culturally rich state altogether.
Apart from the rich heritage and religion, Bihar is known for its excellent folk music, dance, the art of Madhubani painting, brass work and exquisite silk textiles too.
The Festivals of Bihar:
The Chhath festival is celebrated with lots of zeal and enthusiasm here, spanning four days of festivities, traditional food and fasting, and dance and music. Chhath Puja is observed for 4 days in the month of Kartika. In Bihar, Durga Puja, Bhaiya Dooj, Holi, and Saraswati Puja are also widely celebrated.
Weather & Best Time to Visit:
In winter, i.e. between November and March, is the ideal time to visit Bihar. Chhath Puja, the most prominent festival of Bihar, is celebrated in October or November each year, depending on the Hindu calendar. You can time your trip according to the festival dates.
Furthermore, between November & March, the weather is pleasant and lets you wander in your peace. The nighttime temperature in some areas drops to 0°C during the winter, while the daytime temperature remains pleasant at 10-20°C.
Experience a spiritual journey with the Buddhist Circuit Trail in Bihar. Buddhism has attracted tourists from all over the world because it is one of the most popular religions in the world. There are many Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in and around Bihar, and this circuit aims to bridge the distance between them all. The cities you can cover include Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali, and stunning Kesaria.
Sufi Circuit, Bihar
During this tour, you will realise that Sufism is built on tolerance and syncretic values drawn out from a myriad of religions and faiths, and one could witness this in the monuments built here. When you take this tour, you feel enlightened, and you find inner peace and solace. You can visit prominent places like Patna, Maner Sharif, Aurangabad, and Sasaram during this tour.
Visit At: Sufi Circuit, Bihar
As the birthplace of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, the 10th Sikh Guru, Bihar holds a special place in the hearts of Sikhs. A memorable gurudwara is located in his birthplace, Patna Sahib, the Takhat Sri Harmandir Ji Sahib. Apart from this, you can add Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh, Gurdwara Ghai Ghat and Gurdwara Handi Sahib to your itinerary.
Being a holy place among the Jains, Bihar is loaded with an array of Jain pilgrimage sites where flocks of tourists visit daily. By exploring the Jain Circuit, you will get a chance to visit many holy attractions, including Pawapuri, Vaishali, Lachhuar, Mandar Hill, Gonava Ji, and a lot more. Not only will you get a chance to get a deep insight into this religion, but you will also stumble upon various beautiful spots worth a picture.
Explore: Jain Circuit
There are many Ramayana stories woven into Bihar’s culture by the sage Valmiki Muni. Several places are related to different events in Goddess Sita’s and Lord Rama’s life.
This tour starts from Bagaha, and further, you get to explore Valmiki Nagar, Sitamarhi, Ahilya Asthan, Darbhanga, Ramchura, Patna, Kako, and the stunning Gaya at the end of the tour. The Ramayana Circuit will give you a lifetime experience of the rich mythological history.
Valmiki tiger reserve
Visit Bihar’s only tiger reserve, which borders and extends the Chitwan National Park. It is home to more than 26 tigers, a tiger colony of elephants from Chitwan National Park, and an ideal place for bird watching.
Checkout: Valmiki Tiger Reserve
Valmiki Elephant Sanctuary
Experience the thrill of riding an elephant in Valmiki Nagar with your family and friends. This is a rare opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to experience these lovely animals in the wild and a creative way to educate people about these majestic creatures.
This marine sanctuary was established to protect the endangered Gangetic Dolphins, whose numbers have plummeted to a mere few hundred over the last few years. From Sultangunj to Kahalgaon, this sanctuary stretches out along the Ganges for 50 kilometers.
Explore: Dolphin Sanctuary
Gautam buddha national park
The Gautam Buddha National Park is one of the most famous forest reserves in Bihar. It consists of a wildlife reserve and forest covering an area of 259 square kilometers. Tigers, Blue Bulls, Wild Buffalos, Spotted Deers, Barking Deers, Wild Dogs, and Leopards can be found in the sanctuary.
Vaishali is an ancient town in Bihar that is revered as a Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain pilgrimage site. Lord Mahavir was born in this city. From the time of Mahabharata, Vaishali is known as the world’s first republic. It was also the site of Buddha’s last sermon in this city. Tourists flock to the village year after year because of its religious and historical significance.
On a trip to Bihar, tourists should visit the ruins of the Nalanda University, which date back to the 5th century. With over a thousand students and monks flocking to Nalanda each year to study, Nalanda is one of the oldest universities in the world. UNESCO has declared these ruins to be a world heritage site.
It is located 100 km northwest of the capital city of Patna. Historical records indicate that Gaya was a part of an ancient empire called Magadh. Falgu River runs through the town, which is considered to be one of India’s most sacred cities. A safe and beautiful site is surrounded by three hills Mangala-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila and Brahmayoni. Don’t forget to visit the Mahabodhi temple, Vishnupad temple, Dugneshwari cave temple, Barabar caves, and Bodhi tree.
It is a town where you can sense the spirituality and vibrant hues of history with links to Buddhism and Jainism.
The spiritual town of Rajgir lies within a green valley amid rocky hills and dense forests near mysterious caves and springs. Several religions attribute their enormous spiritual and religious significance to the fact that both Buddha and Mahavir stayed here. There are many ruins, temples, and sites to visit here, and one can also take some time to enjoy its refreshing calmness.
The most recommended places here are Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Pandu Pokhara, Griddhakuta Peak, Rajgir Hot Springs, Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall, and Veerayatan.
A major city in north Bihar, Darbhanga, once had a reputation for educational and cultural advancement. Presently, the district consists of the twin towns of Darbhanga and Laheriasarai. A variety of mangoes known as Malda is also grown in Darbhanga.
Don’t forget to visit Shyama Kali Temple, Ahilya Asthan, Chandradhari Museum, Kusheshwar Asthan Bird Sanctuary, and Darbhanga Fort when in town.
Aside from the historical monuments, Rohtas has several religious destinations as well. Rohtas is also home to many waterfalls that make for an enjoyable day trip. The most recommended places here are Shershah Suri’s Tomb, Historic Sites, Maa Tara Chandi Temple, and the Tomb of Hasan Khan Suri.
Bhagalpur is better known as the ‘Silk City of India’ as it produces fine-quality silk. Fabrics made from silk in Bhagalpur are not only in high demand in India but are exported to different countries. Home furnishings produced in Bhagalpur are also becoming increasingly popular abroad.
The magnificent terrain of Patna can be enjoyed by paramotoring, which is a fun and exciting activity. You might consider this sport if you are someone who lives for thrills. Enjoy this fun ride that will lift you 500 feet in the air if you’re an adventure lover.
Explore: Adventure Activities
Patna has a challenging track with twists, turns, inclines, and banked corners where you can go-karting.
Use unique boats called kayaks to paddle along the beautiful waves in a secluded spot around Patna. As you travel through picturesque Ganges and coastlines, you are sure to have a memorable experience. Before boarding your kayak and exploring the area, you will receive a safety orientation from your professional kayaking instructor.
Book Your Experience: Kayaking
Various adventures and thrilling rides can be found at the Funtasia water park of Patna, bringing amazing excitement and surprises. You can rent swimming costumes quickly, so you won’t have to think twice about taking a dip in the water pool.Book Now
The Food of Bihar
In addition to its rich history, Bihar features a wide array of delicacies in its cuisine. Bihari dishes are known for their deliciousness and exoticism, and they are sure to tantalise the taste buds of every food connoisseur.
Listed below are some of the best Bihari food dishes, dishes that are beyond the staple Sattu or Parwal ki Mithai, which will surely leave you craving for more!
1. Litti Chokha
Litti’s crunchy crust and textural qualities make it a foodie’s delight. Sattu and wheat are mixed with spices, kneaded into balls, and dunked in ghee. Chokha is a mashed vegetable dish prepared with boiled vegetables (most commonly potatoes, brinjal, tomatoes), spices, onions, garlic, etc.
Naivedyam’s origins can be traced to the temple of Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh. It is made out of besan, sugar, cashews, raisins, green cardamoms, Kashmiri-saffron, and other ingredients cooked in ghee and moulded into balls.
3. Chandrakala/ Pedakiya
Chandrakala is a traditional Bihar dish made with sweetened khoya, coconut, cardamom powder, and dry fruits stuffed in a crispy coating and dipped in sugar syrup.
4. Chana Ghugni
The taste of boiled chickpeas cooked in onion and spices, served with flattened rice, is the perfect way to satisfy all your hunger needs!
The crispy dessert is made by deep-frying wheat flour, sugar, and mawa in oil. Historically native to Bihar, this dessert is a wafer yet melts like any other dessert.
Apart from this, there are several other dishes which should be tried Mutton Kebabs and Reshmi Kebabs, Kesar Peda, Laung-Latika, Dal Peetha, Khajuria/Thekua, Malpua, Kadhi Badi, Rasia, Pantua/Kala Jamun, Khurma And Laktho, Balushahi, Parwal ki Mithai, Gur Anarsa, Laai, Tilkut, Puri Sabzi, Sattu Sharbat.
Bihar is a state that has its arms open wide for all, be it historians, adventure seekers, or peace finders. Since it has so much to offer, we suggest you add Bihar to your bucket list. This Ultimate Travel Guide to Bihar will guide you through the various trips you can take in Bihar, including the major cities and historical monuments.