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Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Bihar, India
Bihar deserves priority when anyone draws up a list of places to be visited in India. Bihar offers valuable glimpses of our ancient civilization, spots of historic significance, many awe-inspiring religious sites, serene lakes, gorgeous waterfalls and natural hot springs. Bihar has been a unique cradle of Indian culture and civilization with tremendous landmarks in the fields of art, architecture, culture and religion. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and the Kingdom of Nepal neighbors Bihar.
Patna is the Capital of Bihar and replete with several not-to-be-missed tourist attractions. Shershah Masjid, built in 1545 by Sher Shah Suri, an Afghan chieftain, is the oldest mosque in India and unique piece of architecture in Patna. Kumhrar is an ancient garden that provides a key to the great Mauryan Empire and its capital, Pataliputra. One can still see some remnants - a large pillared assembly hall, a Buddhist monastery, parts of Anand Bihar, and some clay figures at the site.
The Har Mandir Temple, also referred to as Patna Sahib, is the second most important pilgrimage of the Sikhs next only to the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The Gurudwara is built with immaculate white marble and is an aesthetic piece of art. Miss not to see the Golghar which is a unique single dome structure and an architectural marvel. Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park is a great favorite with the local residents and a prized tourist attraction. It is also home to a picturesque collection of flora and fauna and a tempting golf course. You must not fail to drive on Gandhi Sethu, Asia's longest roadway bridge – the pride of Patna.
Nalanda is a great tourist destination in Bihar. The Nalanda University was one of the greatest centers of Buddhist learning in ancient times and erudite scholars from far-flung corners came here. The architectural remains of Nalanda, the world’s oldest university, indicate to us that the university was a stately structure with lofty walls and a massive gate. It had eight separate compounds and ten temples with many meditation halls and classrooms. There were also many scenic lakes and parks. The commodious library was a nine storied building and the University attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. The other important attractions of Nalanda are the Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall, the Surya Mandir, the Nalanda museum, and the Nav Nalanda Vihar. The present day ruins of its temples and monasteries creates an astounding impression of the sublime and ordered life of meditation and spiritual wisdom that prevailed here.
Bodhgaya, situated on the bank of river Niranjana, is the holiest site for the followers of Buddhism and it is a place of great historical and religious significance as Lord Buddha reportedly meditated under a pipal tree here and attained enlightenment. The tree is called Bodhi Tree and a descendant of the same tree, still flourishes here and draws a host of pilgrims as also the Mahabodhi Temple that stands testimony to the miracle. Bodhgaya houses an Archaeological Museum and many serene and sublime monasteries built by devotees from many Buddhist countries. The chief attractions of Bodhgaya include an 80 ft Statue of the Buddha, Lotus Tank, Buddha Kund, Rajayatana, Brahm Yoni, Chinese Temple & Monastery, Burmese Temple, Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan, International Buddhist House & Japanese Temple, Thai Temple & Monastery and Tibetan Monastery.
Kesariya Stupa, near Vaishali
The time-honored Vaishali city finds mention in Ramayana and it is believed that the second Buddhist council took place here. The place has tremendous religious significance as it is here that the Jain prophet Lord Mahavira was born in 527 BC. It is also here that Lord Buddha preached his last sermon and announced his ensuing Nirvana. The other tourist attractions are the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, the Ashoka pillars, and many magnificent Buddhist and Jain structures. Vaishali is an adorable place surrounded by banana, mango, thick groves and rice fields.
Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
Other attractions of Bihar
Sasaram houses the grand and beautiful mausoleum of Sher Shah, the man known for building the Grand Trunk Road across the whole of North India and the mausoleum is located in a romantic lake and resembles a floating structure. Make sure not to miss Pawapuri, where Lord Mahavira breathed his last around 500 B.C. and was cremated. Today you can see a marble temple, the "Jalmandir", later built in the middle of the tank. Rajgir is a well-known pilgrimage destination for followers of different faiths - Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism alike. The small hill grit town is covered with lush green forest which considerably enhances the beauty of the place. The Swarna Gufa, Griddhakuta Parvat, hot springs, and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa are some of the chief tourist attractions here.
Bihar's Tourism Industry has great importance mainly due to Bihar's long and illustrious history. Bihar is aptly acclaimed as the “Land of Nirvana” - as a land of monasteries, a land where one can have spiritual peace and contentment. Bihar's ecological wealth ranges from the foot of Himalayas, to the vast and fertile plains of the Ganges, rugged hills, green forests and wide plateau.