WELCOME TO BIHAR
Bihar offers to the discerning tourist a variegated wealth of our ancient civilization, history and culture and religion that India stands for. The ruins of ancient capitals and learning centres and the religious sites, which are dotted over the tourist map of Bihar, remain the major draw for the people who visit the state.
The state lies steeped in history as a mute witness of rise and fall of some of India's important dynasties - the Mauryas, the Guptas, the Palas. The world's earliest university flourished here between the 5th to the 11th century, the remains of which is the biggest of the tourist attractions in Bihar.
The holy places of the Buddhist religion here form a circuit, which is renowned across the world as the most important among the tourist attractions in Bihar. And some important sites of Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism are also located within the state.
PLACES TO VISIT
Nalanda: This renowned Buddhist University was founded in the 5th century by the Gupta emperors. There were thousand of teachers and students from all over the world and its fame continued to spread far and wide until the end of the 12th century.
Rajgir: This forest clad small hill grit town of today was once the the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State). Lord Buddha spent many years here and delivered sermons. It was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council.
Bodh Gaya: Lord Buddha meditated under a pipal tree here and attained enlightenment. The tree is called "Bodhi Tree". A descendant of the same tree, still flourishes here. Gaya is also an important Centre of Hindu Pilgrimage where people go to pray for the salvation of their ancestors.
Patna: Today's capital city was also the capital of ancient Bihar - Pataliputra. The history dates back to 2 millennia. In around the city there are many places, worth a visit.
Vaishali: The city finds its mention in literature as old as the Ramayana. The second Buddhist council took place here. The place remains twice blessed by virtue of the birth of Jain prophet Lord Mahavira here in 527 BC. Historians also maintain that the world's first elected assembly of representatives was formed here giving birth to a republic in 6th century.
Vikramshila: Excavations have unearthed the ruins of Vikramshila University founded by King Dharampala.
Pawapuri: Here Lord Mahavira breathed his last around 500 B.C. and was cremated. It is said that the demand for his ashes was so great that a large amount of soil was removed from around the funeral pyre, creating the water tank. Today here stands a marble temple, the "Jalmandir", later built in the middle of the tank.