A travel Guide to Bihar

Bihar Tourism

Also known as the ‘Land of Monasteries’, Bihar is yet another state that is filled with historical anecdotes and has a deep heritage attached to it. The state has seen a lot of important rulers like the Mauryas and the Tughlaqs. This explains the diverse culture and influences of Bihar. Geographically, the state of Bihar is bounded by Nepal on the north, West Bengal on the east, Uttar Pradesh on the west and Jharkhand on the south. Through many Bihar tours, you will find the state also has several rivers flowing through it, Ganga being the most important of the lot.

Bihar is a land that has spirituality in abundance. The state is closely associated with Buddha’s life, how he renounced worldly pleasures and started his path towards salvation. Various Bihar tourist attractions evoke the calmness of Buddhism that are perfect for excursions. Most of the tourist attractions either are either geographical spectacles or are of great cultural value.

Hence if you feel like going on a trip to experience the rich history, interspersed with memorable tourist spots, Bihar, India, is the place to be.

Places to visit in Bihar

1. Gaya

It is the centre of Buddhism here in Bihar. It is believed that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree here. The city of Gaya is a busy one, filled with temples and holy places dating back to the Maurya and Gupta Dynasties. For this reason, the city is also one of the famous Bihar attractions as a place of Hindu pilgrimage. Thousands of tourists and devout followers come from all around the world to pay homage to Buddhist and Hindu cultures. There also many hotels that provide comforting accommodation for all visitors.

2. Nalanda University

Once a place of great learning, Nalanda University is an important part of Bihar tourism. It has a deep historical aspect attached to it as the centre of education was established during the flourishing periods of the Gupta and Pala eras. It is considered the world’s first-ever residential university. Just as tourists now swarm around to catch a glimpse of the mammoth structure, people hailing from different corners of the world would come here to increase their knowledge back then as well. Even the great Chinese traveller and scholar Hieun-Tsang was a student here for a few years. This shows how accepting they were and what an important role the institution played in instilling education. Even in its ruins, Nalanda looks as majestic as ever and is one of the most famous Bihar tourist places.

3. Tomb of Sher Shah Suri

Another one of Bihar tourist places has to be Sher Shah Suri’s tomb. The architecture and the location certainly adorn the sombre occasion. The tomb is located in the town of Sasaram, positioned in the middle of an artificial lake. This monument is often called the second Taj Mahal of India. The structure speaks of Indo-Islamic influences and the stone carvings are quite intricately made. This red sandstone mausoleum looks beautiful with the glittering water of the lake as a background and deserves a visit if you want to see some archaic architecture.

4. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary

Located in the district of Begusarai, the Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is one of the prominent Bihar attractions. Spread across an area of 68 sq. km, the lake is the largest oxbow lake, made of freshwater, in Asia. The sanctuary is a perfect example of Bihar’s greenery and diverse flora and fauna. You can find more than 100 species of indigenous as well as migratory birds here.

5. Rajgir Hot Springs

Rajgir is home to many Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain temples and is a prominent pilgrimage spot for devotees from all around the world. Another reason behind the popularity of Rajgir as well as Bihar tourism is the throng of Hot Springs found here. Located at the base of the Vaibhava Hills, these springs are said to have medicinal properties to cure various skin ailments. Legend says Lord Buddha and Mahavira had bathed in these very springs. This spot is famous amongst tourists, especially during the chilly winters.

Things to do in Bihar

A place of pilgrimage and serenity, there are several exciting and calming things to do in Bihar. Some of them are:

Participate in Chhath Festival

The Chhath festival is one of the largest Bihar attractions that entice tourists from all around the country. Celebrated in October or November, the festival sees the people of Bihar indulge in a six-day long celebration as they worship the Sun and his sister. There are prayers, processions, servings of local delicacies, and bathing in the holy Ganges. All these aspects make up an important part of Bihar’s culture.

Try out Bihar’s cuisine

Your Bihar travel guide is sure to know of some of the best places that serve authentic Bihari dishes. The cuisine is such that it provides nourishment as well as wonderful taste. Some of the famous dishes found here are Litti Chokha, Dal Pitha and Kheer Makhana. The cuisine provides tourists with the perfect window to peak in the diverse Bihar culture.

Experience Madhubani Art

Another crown-jewel of Bihar tourism is the wonders of Madhubani art. This folk art is important to the culture of the people. The old art form uses twigs, brushes, matchsticks, and other things which you may not find in an orthodox art setup. This is what makes each stroke so unique and special. The paintings are characterised by various geometrical patterns that represent certain aspects of rituals. There are various shops from where you can even purchase pieces of this art and take the culture home with you.

Interact with the tribes

The tribes inhabiting the state can very well be the main constituent of Bihar’s soul. Your Bihar travel guide will know the various tribal places where you can interact with the tribal people. Once you talk to them, you will understand how wonderful they are. Still hanging on to their roots, and away from the polluted cities, chatting with them will give you a new perspective on life. Some of the tribes include Bathudi, Birjia and Chik Baraik.

Best time to visit Bihar

The city experiences immense heat during the summers. With recurring dust storms, the temperature may shoot up to 50 degrees. The winters are very pleasant and bearable. Hence the best season to visit Bihar is any time before the scorching summers or after the relentless monsoons. This can be considered as the peak season when most hotels in Patna, Gaya and other major cities are filled with tourists.

The pleasant weather during this period adds to the overall comforting experience one hopes to have here. Hence the best time to visit Bihar is between October and March.

How to reach Bihar

The state of Bihar is a very well-connected state. Here are some tips on how to reach Bihar.

By Air: The Jayaprakash Narayan Airport in Patna and Bodhgaya Airport in Gaya are the two important airports in Bihar, with regular flights operating. Patna and Gaya are connected to all the major cities of the country. So, you can get regular flights to Patna or Gaya.

By Road: A vast network of State and National Highways allows tourists to travel from major cities to Bihar. This network also allows intra-state travel through bus, taxi and auto services.

By Train: Patna, Gaya, and Bhagalpur are the three main railway stations of Bihar. These connect the state to all the major states and cities of India. People can take buses and taxis from these stations to reach their preferred destinations.

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