Bihar

Bihar is a historical place and is a house for some of the oldest universities and monuments in the world. The region was demarcated and declared as a free territory of the Union of India in 1912. Patna is the capital and the largest city in the region. The state is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jains, and Buddhists. You may also get an enriching experience by visiting the important excavation sites and forts here.

Physical features

The state lies in the northern part of India and is divided into 38 districts. It ranks 12th in the country in terms of area. It shares three of its boundaries with Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Jharkhand and one with Nepal. More than 6% of the state area is under dense forest cover. Jharkhand was previously a part of the state and was given a separate territorial identity in 2000.

Ganges is the main river flowing through the state and virtually dividing the territory into two unequal regions. A few parts of the area are highly flood-prone. The state has fairly uniform climatic conditions. Summer temperature ranges between 35-40 degree Celsius and the season generally occurs from April to June. The monsoon season here is between July to September. Winter is experienced in months of October to February. This time is the best for tourism as the weather is pleasant and the temperature ranges between 2 to 10 degree Celsius.

Some of the very common trees found in the forests here are Sal, Arjun, Asan, Mahua, and Bahera.

Demography

Bihar is a highly populated state and ranks third in the country in this segment. The density of population is more than 1100 persons per sq km. Most of the people (more than 85%) reside in rural areas and agriculture is the main occupation here. More than 80% people follow Hinduism while 16% belong to Islam community. Other religions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Christianity are also practiced on a small-scale in the area. The three prime languages used here are Hindi, Maithili, and Urdu. The state has an average literacy rate of 64% and the sex ratio here is around 919 females per 1000 males.

Important places of interest

The state runs some of the oldest universities in the world. A few prominent ones include Nalanda, Vikramshila, and Odantapura. It is probably the only state in the country which has a full-fledge college dedicated to Yoga education. The Bihar School of Yoga is an important international education center. Nalanda and Vikramshila are also important archaeological sites. Some other excavation sites open for tourism are Barabar Caves, Kumhrar, Kesaria, and Agam Kuan.

The state is also an important religious center. A few renowned temples here are Mahabodhi, Mahavir, and Vishnupada. The sites of Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Munger, Madhubani, Patna, Jamui, West Champaran, and Anga are important pilgrimage destinations for Hindus.

There are many Sikh pilgrimage spots here. The noted ones are Gurudwara Guru ka Bagh, Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib, Gurudwara Handi Sahib, Gurudwara Gobind Ghat, Gurudwara Bal Leela, and Gurudwara Pahila Bara. The sites dedicated to Buddhism are Bodh Gaya, Mahabodhi Temple, Vaishali, Nalanda, Vikramshila, Bodhi Tree, Pataliputra, Gaya, Rajgir, Areraj, Kesariya, and Pawapuri. The sites of Maner Sharif, Phulwari Sharif, and Bihar Sharif are dedicated to Islamic community.

Mahabodhi temple attracts a very high number of tourists throughout the year and is a UNESCO world heritage site. As per the historical facts, the temple was constructed by Emperor Ashoka in the fifth century and is the oldest of its kind in the world. The monument is build in Dravidian style. It is constructed entirely by bricks and is the oldest purely brick architecture to survive till date. The famous Bodhi Tree is situated near the temple. The original or the parent tree is known to have been planted in 288 BC. The site is one of the four most significant pilgrimage destinations for Buddhists.

Bodh Gaya is an important tourism site. Apart from the Mahabodhi Temple and Bodhi Tree, there are several Buddhist Temples in the area. Most of them belong to the ancient era and are build by the travelers from Bhutan, Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, China, Tibet, Myanmar, Taiwan, Japan, and Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Hence, each temple is a masterpiece displaying the culture and traditions of the respective countries.

The state also has a good collection of ancient forts. The most liked ones are Rohtasgarh, Rajmahal, Maner, Sasaram, Munger, Palamu, and Jalalgarh. The museums at Nalanda, Vaishali, Patna, Vikramshila, and Bodh Gaya are worth giving a visit. Patna Planetarium and Shrikrishna Science Center are significant tourist-pullers. Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Patna ranks among the most longest bridges in the world.

The region is also a suitable destination for wildlife lovers. The renowned sites in this segment are Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and Zoological Garden, Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary, Valmiki National Park, and Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary. The waterfalls at Kakolat, Karkat, and Telhar give a splendid experience during monsoon season.

Bihar is taking a good pace in developing the regional tourism industry. It has come a long way in the segment of infrastructure development, social security, hospitality, and hotel industry. To be precise, it is all set to make your tour safe and memorable.