Bihar remains an underrated tourist destination in India. We agree, we may have a lot of foreign tourists to invigorate Bihar but they unexpectedly said that they are all confined to fewer destinations in this historically rich state. If we see that the roots of the history of Bihar have gone back to the breakdown of the civilization of India and then the state was prosperous as the seat of a monarchical empire like Magadha.
It is also the state that has given two important religions of the world – Buddhism and Jainism. Over the years, Bihar has developed into a rich historical place rich in various cultures and traditions. Today, what we see is a taste of the legacy of different empires. And if we make ourselves more adaptable and open to travel, we may be able to explore an important gem from the chest of the Indian bow.
Best 15 places to Visit in Bihar
Located on the south bank of the Ganges, Patna is the largest city in Bihar. Known as Pataliputra in ancient India, it is also considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. As the birthplace of the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, Patna is a place of pilgrimage for Sikh devotees.
The city gained fame all over India during the Haryanka, Nanda, Maurya, Shunga, Gupta and Pala eras. Today Patna is a developing city, trying to keep pace with modernization; Cities have cropped up malls, high-end hotels and theaters. But Patna will have to move a bit to become part of the other universe. Overall, Patna is a decent destination, with most modern amenities available. This is one of the best tourist places in Bihar.
Gaya, is one of the best places to visit in Bihar, a Hindu pilgrimage site and a transit point for the Buddhist pilgrimage center in Bodh Gaya. This is one of the famous tourist places in Bihar. It is believed that the Buddha attained enlightenment under a tree here.
Gaya is a busy city situated on the banks of the Falgu River and it has many temples and historical sites dating back to different eras which stand here as evidence of the successful rule of the Maurya and Gupta dynasties. The glory of the gear was so enhanced that even Hiuen Tsang could not refrain from mentioning it in his travels.
Nalanda, is one of the oldest university in India, is an important place to visit in Bihar. An accurate recollection of the prosperous times of the Gupta and Pala periods, Nalanda Bihar attracts acclaimed tourists. Tirthankara, Mahavira, the last and most famous Jain, spent 14 monsoon seasons here. Even, it is said that Buddha Nalanda gave a speech to Mango Grove.
The reputation of this educational center was such that the famous Chinese traveler Hyun Tsang came here and stayed here for at least two years. Even, another famous Chinese traveler of i-teasing stayed in Nalanda for about 10 years and this place was a pride. Today most of Nalanda is in ruins but the place is definitely worth exploring!
4. Griddhakuta Peak
Also known as Shakun Shikhar, Gridhakuta Shikhar is located in Rajgir, Bihar. This peak is the most famous place to visit in Rajgir and it is located at an altitude of 400 meters. It is called vulture peak because of its shape and frequent vultures. This place is believed to hold an important place in history as it is considered to be the place where the Lotus Sutra was preached by the Buddha to convert the Mauryan king Bimbisara.
This is one of the top tourist places in Bihar. It is also believed that the Buddha started the second wheel of law and delivered several sermons here. At the top is a piece of pagoda that is believed to have been built by Japanese Buddhists. There are a couple of caves here which add to the thrill of reaching Cherileft here.
Marked as a yoga school in Bihar, Munger is another place that is popular among tourists in Bihar. The history of Munger dates back to the Aryans, who called Munger ‘Midland’ for their settlement. For Yoga Buff, Munger is not an unknown name, so we can expect this place to be crowded with lots of foreigners.
The present Munger is a twin town, consisting of Munger and Jamalpur. Regarded as one of the oldest cities in Bihar, Munger was once the capital of Mir Qasim before it fell to the British. The place has a number of historic ruins that make it fascinating.
Vaishali is an important archeological site that was once the capital city of the Licchavi rulers. Vaishali was the last Jain Tirthankar to gain fame as the birthplace of Lord Mahavira. It is believed that Mahavira was born and he was born in the 6th century BC in Kundalgram, Vaishali Republic.
Another great event witnessed by this place was the last sermon of the Buddha in 483 BC. Vaishali was a prosperous kingdom in Buddhist times, it is also known for its beautiful courtesy of Amrapali. So, you see, Vaishali has a considerable amount to remember and to add to its historic charm is the well-preserved Ashoka Pillar. This ancient city is mentioned in the travelogues of prominent Chinese travelers such as Fa-Hien and Hyun Sang.
Also Read: 26 Most Famous Temples to Visit in India
The Nabalkha Palace, lying in ruins, is located at Rajnagar near Madhubani in Bihar. The palace was built by Maharaja Rameshwar Singh and is said to have been extensively destroyed during an earthquake in 19334. No repairs were made after the demolition, the palace is now in ruins. It is a royal palace and despite it being so much damaged, one can still marvel at its architectural brilliance. The palace complex has gardens, ponds and temples. Navlakha palace is one of the best tourist places to visit in Bihar.
8. Janki Temple
Built about 100 years ago, the Junky Temple is located in Sitamarhi, Bihar. Sitamari is considered to be the birthplace of Sita, the goddess of Lord Rama. It is believed that the Junky Temple is the place where Sita was born and a temple was built here on the occasion of this ceremony. The temple has a welcome gateway and a huge courtyard that can be enjoyed by a large number of devotees. Also a pond nearby called Junky Kund is an interesting place for fans as well as tourists. This temple is one of the best tourist destination in Bihar.
9. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
Lake Kanwar is the largest freshwater lake in India. Located in Begusarai, Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is considered to be a haven for migratory birds of various species. Unfortunately, this place is losing its importance due to neglect, the state of wetland ecosystem was discussed at the 2014 South Asia Wetland Governance held in Delhi. We hope that some precautionary measures have been taken for this bird sanctuary which has become a habitat for both domesticated and migratory birds.
10. Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall
Apparently, the hall was built in memory of the famous Hall traveler Hiuen Tsang. It is believed that Hyun Sangs visited Nalanda in the 5th century AD and was so fascinated by this place that he decided to stay here for 12 long years for learning as well as teaching. This memorial is a reflection of the artistic and academic glories of Nalanda University. Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall is one of the best tourist places in Bihar.
One of the top places to visit in Bihar and important Jain pilgrimage site, Jalmandir is located at Papapuri in Bihar. The Jain temple is highly revered by Jains because it is believed to be the place where Lord Mahavira breathed his last in 500 BC. This last Tirthankara of the Jain community is considered as a crematorium. It is rumored that the demand for ashes of Lord Mahavira was so high that a lot of soil had to be destroyed around the funeral that a pond was created here. A white marble temple was built and it remains an important Jain shrine in Bihar.
12. Vishwa Shanti Stupa
Known as the World Peace Pagoda, the World Peace Stupa stands proudly in the historic city of Rajgir. It is one of the 7 piece pagodas built in India and it is definitely worth visiting in Bihar. Characterized by four statues of the Buddha that reflect the four important stages of the Buddha’s life – birth, enlightenment, education and death, this Peace Pagoda is one of the finest examples of Japanese architecture in India.
13. Vikramshila Ruins
Considered as one of the two important centers of Buddhist learning in Bihar, Vikramshila was founded by King Dharmapala. It is believed that the king was dissatisfied with the decaying quality of Nalanda, so he decided to establish a much better institute for education. Vikramshila is now in ruins but repair work has now started. During the excavations, Buddhist monasteries, stupas and several wall carvings have been unearthed here.
14. Kesaria Stupa
Considered to be the longest and largest Buddha Stupa in India, Caesarea Stupa is one of the major tourist attractions of Bihar. The stupa is believed to have been built between 200 and 750 AD during the reign of King Chakravarti. Completed at a height of 104 feet it is a pressed structure that is a must see when visiting Bihar.
15. Barabar Caves
The Barabar Caves are claimed to be the oldest rock-cut caves in India. Back in the Mauryan Empire, these majestic caves are definitely the best place to visit in Bihar. Located on top of two hills – Barabar and Nagarjuni, the caves are said to be used by the Ajibika community, but many traces of Buddhist and Jain art are found here. The Barabar hills consist of four caves, with the Nagarjuni hills consisting of 3 caves, each of which is beautifully polished and has free designs and inscriptions on its walls and ceilings.