Best Places to Visit in Bihar

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Bihar is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world with a history extending over thousands of years. The region enjoys a unique position in the annals of Indian history due to its rich heritage, culture, and archaeological sites. As a lesser-explored tourism destination, Bihar offers a myriad of untapped opportunities for tourists and travellers, beckoning them with a fascinating blend of history, spirituality, and natural beauty.

About Bihar: Why should you travel to Bihar?

Bihar, with its rich history of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty, offers a rewarding experience to travellers. It's a place that allows you to step back in time, explore the ruins of ancient universities, meditate under a sacred Bodhi tree, marvel at architectural wonders, and lose yourself in the enchanting rhythms of folk music and dance. Indeed, a visit to Bihar isn't just a journey through the landscapes but also a voyage through the corridors of time. 

Here are some best reasons to travel to and know about Bihar right now:

Buddhism in Bihar

One of the most compelling features of Bihar is its ties to Buddhism. The ancient city of Bodh Gaya, in particular, is a must-visit destination. As the place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha, it's a significant pilgrimage centre for Buddhists worldwide. The magnificent Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, houses the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. The temple, surrounded by serene monasteries and tranquil gardens, offers a profound spiritual experience.

The Ancient University of Nalanda

Not far from Bodh Gaya, you'll find the ruins of Nalanda University. Once a global centre for learning, Nalanda boasted students from far-flung corners of the ancient world. Today, the archaeological remains of this site include stupas, shrines, and an assortment of red-brick buildings that give a glimpse into the grandeur of ancient academia. The newly established Nalanda University and an international museum nearby pay homage to this symbol of ancient wisdom and intellectual prowess.

Architectural Marvels in Bihar

Bihar's historical timeline is dotted with periods of significant architectural developments. The state boasts numerous historical landmarks such as the majestic Golghar in Patna, a granary built by the British in 1786. Its unique beehive structure provides an unparalleled panoramic view of the city and the Ganges flowing nearby.
Equally impressive is the Patna Sahib Gurudwara, sacred to the Sikh community as the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh Guru. The shrine, with its white edifice and domes, shines like a pearl on the banks of the Ganges, offering a place of serenity amid the bustling city.

Unique Wildlife of Bihar

For nature and wildlife enthusiasts, Bihar doesn't disappoint. Valmiki National Park, Bihar's only tiger reserve, spans over 900 square kilometres, offering lush landscapes and a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park is home to several species, including the Bengal Tiger, Indian Rhinoceros, Black Bear, and a variety of deer. Birdwatchers will be delighted with the array of avian species, making it a paradise for photography and nature lovers.

Folk Arts in Bihar

Bihar is a hotbed of traditional arts and crafts. Madhubani painting, a style of Indian painting practised in the Mithila region of Bihar, is renowned worldwide for its unique geometrical patterns. These vibrant and intricate paintings often depict nature and Hindu religious motifs, providing a unique perspective on Bihar's rich cultural tapestry.

Bihar's folk music and dance forms like Bidesia, Sohar, Jat-Jatin, and Domkach also form an integral part of the state's cultural identity. Watching these performances is a delightful experience that transports you to the rustic world of Bihari folklore.

The Flavours of Bihar

Bihar's culinary heritage is as diverse and rich as its culture. Famous for its vegetarian cuisine, the state is the birthplace of Litti Chokha, a delectable dish made of wheat balls stuffed with spiced lentils, served with roasted eggplant and tomato mash. Sweets like Khaja and Thekua are other gastronomic delights that you must try during your visit.

Festivals you should not miss in Bihar

Bihar, being rich in culture and tradition, celebrates a host of festivals that provide a unique insight into the state's vibrant heritage.
Chhath Puja, dedicated to the Sun God, is one of the most significant and unique festivals in Bihar. The festival involves rituals performed at sunrise and sunset along the river banks, offering a captivating spectacle of faith and devotion.

The three-day Rajgir Dance Festival, or Rajgir Mahotsav, showcases a wide range of Indian classical and folk dances, bringing together artists from all over India. It's a stunning display of the country's rich performing arts heritage.

Buddha Purnima in Bodh Gaya marks the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, attracting Buddhists from around the world for prayers, sermons, and religious discourses. The temple complex is lit with countless lamps, creating an ethereal ambience that’s unforgettable.

Best months to visit Bihar

The best time to visit Bihar is during the cooler months between October and March. During this period, the weather is pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C, ideal for sightseeing and exploring the historical and cultural landmarks of the state. The winter season also coincides with a number of festivals such as Chhath Puja, a significant cultural event in Bihar. However, for wildlife enthusiasts planning a trip to Valmiki National Park, the months following the monsoon season, from October to June, offer the best wildlife sighting opportunities.

How to travel to Bihar

To reach Bihar, you have several transportation options available depending on your starting location and preferences. Here are the common methods of reaching Bihar:

By Air: The major airports in Bihar are the Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport in Patna and Gaya International Airport in Gaya. These airports are well-connected to major cities in India and also have some international flights. 

By Train:
Bihar has an extensive rail network, and most major cities and towns in the state have railway stations. Patna Junction is the main railway station in Bihar and is well-connected to various parts of the country. Depending on your starting location, you can choose a train that connects to the nearest railway station in Bihar.

By Road:
Bihar is well-connected by a network of national and state highways. You can reach Bihar by road through private cars, buses, or taxis. If you are coming from a nearby city or state, you can check for bus services that operate to various destinations in Bihar.

Famous Tourist Places in Bihar

Famous Tourist Places in Bihar

Bihar is renowned for its vibrant culture, rich heritage, and historical significance. It's a place that bears the footprints of several prominent empires, remarkable personalities, and spiritual figures that have shaped Indian history.

Here are some of the famous tourist places in Bihar that you visit on your next trip to the beautiful state:

Bihar's Historic Epicentre, Patna: Patna, the capital city of Bihar, offers a wealth of cultural and historical gems. Start your journey at the Patna Museum, housing an extensive collection of artefacts from the ancient, medieval, and British periods in India. The Golghar, a granary built following a devastating famine, stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the British era. Don't forget to visit the revered Sikh Gurudwara, Harmandir Sahib, often referred to as Patna Sahib, the birthplace of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Bodh Gaya and Rajgir: One of the most famous tourist places in Bihar, Bodh Gaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is an epicentre of spiritual tranquillity. Pay a visit to the Bodhi Tree and the Great Buddha Statue, a towering 80-foot sculpture that exudes peace and serenity.

Next, set your compass to Rajgir, another prominent destination linked to Buddhism. The Vulture Peak, or Gridhakuta Hill, is where Buddha delivered many of his sermons. The peace pagoda, Viswa Shanti Stupa, is another attraction that presents panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

Nalanda University: The ruins of Nalanda University display the scholarly prowess of ancient India. Once a global learning centre, it attracted students from across Asia. The remnants of the university, including its libraries and meditation halls, reflect the architectural brilliance of the era. The adjacent Nalanda Archaeological Museum showcases a range of artefacts discovered during excavations, offering a glimpse into the past and making it one of the most famous tourist places in Bihar.

Valmiki National Park: Valmiki National Park, located in West Champaran district of Bihar, is an exquisite sanctuary renowned for its stunning biodiversity. Covering an area of approximately 900 square kilometres, it is the only tiger reserve in Bihar, providing shelter to the majestic Bengal tigers, among other diverse fauna. Besides tigers, the park is home to Indian rhinoceros, leopards, deer, and several bird species. The lush landscapes of the park, dotted with myriad flora, render it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Visiting Valmiki National Park offers an exciting opportunity to explore wildlife and immerse oneself in the serenity of nature.

Mithila: Bihar’s Mithila region is a hub of folk arts and crafts. Renowned for its Madhubani art, the region brims with vibrant hand-painted textiles, wall hangings, and exquisite paintings. These traditional artworks, mainly crafted by women, feature intricate geometric patterns, nature-inspired motifs, and depictions of Hindu deities. Mithila's folk music, another integral part of its cultural heritage, enhances the local experience. You should visit local markets for handicraft shopping and witnessing live art performances are absolute must-do activities when in Mithila.

Enjoy the best street foods in these famous places in Bihar

Bihar has a rich culinary culture, with its street food being an absolute delight for foodies. Here are the top places to enjoy street food in some of the famous tourist places in Bihar:

Patna: Known as the food capital of Bihar, Patna's streets are brimming with food stalls. The area around Boring Road and Maurya Lok Complex is famous for stalls serving delicious litti chokha, sattu paratha, and aloo kachalu.

Muzaffarpur: This city is known for its sweets and snacks. Indulge in local delicacies like peda and tilkut near the famous Motijheel area.

Gaya: One of the famous tourist places in Bihar, Gaya is famous for its local sweet dish, lai. Also, don't miss out on mouth-watering samosas and kachoris.

Bhagalpur: Known for its unique street food items like malpua and rabri. The Ghantaghar area is quite popular for these.

Darbhanga: Visit the bustling markets of Darbhanga to taste delicious makhana curry and fish dishes, as the region is abundant in fish and makhana.

How to reach Bihar

Reaching Bihar is fairly easy as the state is well-connected to the rest of India and the world through various modes of transportation. So, you can visit any of the famous tourist places in Bihar without any hassle. The capital city, Patna, has an international airport (Jay Prakash Narayan Airport) which connects it to major cities across India and also hosts flights from international destinations. Bihar also has a robust railway network, with major stations in Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, and Bhagalpur connected to different parts of the country. If you prefer road travel, the state has a well-maintained network of national and state highways. You can easily find inter-state buses or hire a taxi to reach Bihar from nearby states.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best time to visit Bihar?

Answer: Bihar has a tropical monsoon climate. The ideal time to visit is between October and March when the weather is cooler and pleasant.

  1. What are the traditional dishes to try in Bihar?

Answer: Some popular dishes include Litti Chokha, Sattu Paratha, and Ghugni. Don't miss out on the sweets, especially Thekua and Khaja.

  1. What languages are spoken in Bihar?

Answer: Hindi is the official language. However, several local dialects, such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, and Magahi, are widely spoken.

  1. What local souvenirs can I buy in some of the famous tourist places in Bihar?

Answer: Bihar is famous for Madhubani paintings, stone and bead jewellery, hand-painted wall hangings, and brass statues. These make for beautiful souvenirs.

  1. What is Bihar most famous for?

Answer: Bihar is known for its rich historical heritage, Buddhist pilgrimage sites like Bodh Gaya, and the ancient Nalanda University. It's also renowned for its unique Madhubani art.

  1. Is it easy to get around in Bihar?

Answer: Bihar has a good network of roads and railways, making it fairly easy to navigate. Auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and taxis are commonly available in cities.

  1. Are there any famous festivals celebrated in Bihar?

Answer: Bihar celebrates a multitude of festivals. The most notable ones include Chhath Puja, Bihula-Bishari, and Sonepur Cattle Fair.

  1. How many days are sufficient to explore Bihar?

Answer: Depending on the destinations you choose to visit, a trip spanning 7-10 days is generally sufficient to explore the major attractions in Bihar.