Bihar was once the center of learning, heritage, and culture where scholars, philosophers, and explorers from all over the world used to visit to know about its wonders and achievements. Home to some of the earliest universities in the world, holy places of spiritual and deep religious values and the surrounding that will freshen your mood right up, contrary to popular belief Bihar is a gem of a place that needs to be explored more keeping all the biases aside.
Bihar tour packages play a vital role in making your dreams of visiting this city easier and smoother here are the top 10 places to visit in Bihar which will paint the perfect travel picture for you:
01. Nalanda University Ruins
Did you know that Nalanda was one of the earliest universities that came into action in the world? A place where academic excellence was a priority, where Gautam Buddha himself used to give lectures regarding dhamma, and a top-notch learning center where students from all over Asia used to come to learn about spirituality, culture, history, and philosophy. After falling in the hands of invaders, burglars, and looters, this place now stands only in ruins. Libraries containing crucial information about studies were destroyed among other major destructions. However, you can still go to Nalanda to take a step back in time and see what life and learning was during that era.
This erstwhile ‘Bettiah Raj’ is situated at a mere distance of 26 kms from the town of Darbhanga and is home to some of the most exotic culture and vibrant heritage experiences. Literally, the word ‘Madhuban’ translates into “forest of honey” and this place guarantees an experience equally sweet and memorable. This ancient city which was once under the thriving region of Mithila is famous for its rich culture and art like paintings and sculptures among a plethora of others. You may have known about the vibrant cultures of Rajasthan but this underrated city in the heart of Bihar remains underrated but has a lot of unique experiences to offer.
Initially, a capital of Licchavi rulers Vaishali is one of the most significant archaeological sites of India. It is an iconic religious pilgrimage site for Jain followers as it was the birthplace of the last Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir in 6th century BCE. Other than that it is also the pilgrimage destination for Buddhist followers as it was here that Gautam Buddha had given his last and final sermon in 483 BCE. Once a prosperous kingdom during the Buddhist era Vaishali, also has a one of kind and unique surroundings, consisting of mango groves and banana plantations. Flocked by tourists all year long due to its religious significance it is all about good vibes and positivity.
04. Mahabodhi Temple
Also known as the ‘great awakening temple’, this temple of unmatched Buddhist significance stands tall on the place where Gautam Buddha had achieved his enlightenment. It houses one of the descendants of the tree under which Buddha had attained complete enlightenment. No matter which time of the year you go, you shall be met with Buddhist followers from all over the globe and especially in the Asian regions. The temple was an initiative undertaken by the great ruler Ashoka who was an avid dhamma follower himself and wished for everyone to take this path one day. The temple is covered all over with elaborate and finely carved out designs depicting the life and times of Buddha.
05. Barabar Caves
All of us are familiar with the spirituality and religious shrines housed in Bihar but did you know that Bihar has so much more to offer than just temples and holy places of pilgrimage. Barabar caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves that look like a very unique structure. These mysterious caves date back to the Mauryan empire and consists of some Ashokan inscriptions on its interior and exterior walls. The legend of these caves revolves around the fact that it was utilized by the sages of the Ajivika sect which was founded by the contemporary of Gautam Buddha, Makkhali Gosala. It is a unique and extremely underrated place that deserves some much-needed attention.
06. Griddhakuta Peak
Popularly known as the ‘vulture peak’ and located in Rajgir, Bihar this scenic and lush hill is placed on an altitude of around 400 meters. This place is named so owing to the constant and frequent visits by vultures and some people also say that this place is shaped like a vulture. It is another one of the places holding a lot of religious and spiritual significance as it is here where Lord Buddha used to come and perform intense meditation on the lotus sutra in order to convert the Mauryan king of that era Bimbisara. You will find several inscriptions here showcasing that Lord Buddha used to deliver numerous sermons here along with setting forth the 2nd wheel of dhamma.
07. Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall
Hiuen Tsang was a very highly revered Chinese world traveler in whose memorial this hall is built. He is extremely famed for his travel writing accounts that give us insight about the life and times of the people and government during the 5th century AD. He had visited Nalanda during that time and he loved this place so much that he decided to stay in the university for 12 long years. He not only stayed there but also taught the students about travels across the world. This memorial hall truly captures the essence that Nalanda once was through its artistic brilliance.
08. World Peace Pagoda
Peace Pagoda is a popular Buddhist stupa which is designed with the sole intention of igniting a feeling of immense peace across people of all races and creeds with an aim of uniting everyone in one thread of complete world peace. A peace pagoda is built across the world by a Buddhist monk from Japan who was greatly inspired by the idea of non-violence that was promoted by Mahatma Gandhi. Due to its theme and intention, it is referred to as the ‘Vishwa Shanti Stupa’ which also includes a large lush green park in front of it. You can go there, relax, do some meditation and get more in touch with inner peace in these trying times.