The current region of Bihar, because of its geographical location and climatic conditions, was the capital of many empires and also saw a boom in economic, political and intellectual activity in ancient times. The Maurya Empire was centered around Patliputra (Patna) and spread to almost all of India from here. After the 3rd century BC, this empire declined to give way to the Gupta Empire. The Sanskrit language attained its best form in Bihar, and many famous works like Abhijanshakuntala were written in this state. The Pala dynasty also made Patliputra their capital, but the importance of Bihar declined during the Medieval age as political activity shifted to Delhi. During the struggle for independence, the iconic Champaran Satyagrah, Gandhiji's first satyagraha in India took place in Bihar. Many prominent leaders of the freedom movement like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jayaprakash Narayan, and Khudiram Bose emerged from Bihar.
Here is the list of 13 Historical Places in Bihar For A Whirlwind History Tour
Known For : Nalanda University | Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall | The Great Stupa
The most popular Mahavihara of the ancient times, a significant Buddhist seat of academic excellence and a modest pilgrim center, all wrapped in a wisp of spirituality, Nalanda continues to be an equally enriching historical place in Bihar in the present. It offers vibrant substance of spirituality, history, culture, architecture, and tourism.
Best Time : October to March
Situated in the city of Patna, Golghar is a simple yet charming historical place in Bihar which is an amalgam of history and natural beauty. It was built in 1786 by Captain John Garstin with the purpose of serving as a storehouse. Incidentally, Golghar was never filled to its maximum capacity. It is believed that due to an engineering fault the doors open inwards only, and if the granary were to be filled all the way, the doors will not open.
The second longest river bridge in India only next to the Bhupen Hazarika Setu (a.k.a. Dhola-Sadiya Bridge) in Assam, the Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Bihar extends over the Ganges for 5.7 kilometres. Named after the father of the nation, the bridge connects the capital city of Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north. Hosting four lanes of roadways and pedestrian pathways on each side, the bridge is an indispensable part of the daily vehicular transport. Earlier, there used to be toll gates, but the Government has revoked that. It provides some spectacular views of the sacred Ganga flowing underneath.
Known For : The Ashoka pillar | Vishwa Shanti Stupa , Abhishek pushkarni (coronation tank) and Archeological museums | Buddha's stupa
Located in the interiors of Bihar, Vaishali is a small district which is also a revered Hindu, Buddhist and Jain worshipping site. It is the city where Lord Mahavir was born. Considered as the first republic of the world, Vaishali is believed to have been named after King Vishal, from the time of Mahabharat and is a famous historical place in Bihar. It is also the city where Buddha delivered his last sermon. Surrounded by groves of mango and banana and extensive rice field, it is now a part of Trihut division of Bihar. The village is an important religious and historical place in Bihar and is flocked by tourists year in and year out.
Best Time : October to January
Known For : Mahabodhi Temple | Great Buddha Statue | Tibetan Refugee Market
One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, Bodhgaya is a village in the state of Bihar. It was here under the Bodhi tree that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The historical place in Bihar is bustling with pilgrims all through the year who come to pay their homage in the monasteries, shrines and temples. It also attracts tourists from India and abroad owing to its magnificent Buddha statue, the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree.
Best Time : October to March
Known For : Venuvana | Japanese Stupa | Vulture's Peak or Griddhakuta
Rajgir is town where the air that surrounds its beautiful sceneries carries hints of spirituality and vibrant hues of history with links with both Buddhism and Jainism. It is one of the most visually appealing historical place in Bihar.
Best Time : October to March
Hajipur is one of those cities of India which connects the past and the present in a smooth transition over the years. Though scarce and scattered, Hajipur keeps coming back in the pages of Indian history - be it the time of Lord Buddha or the rule of Islam or the British era, in some way or other, Hajipur is always there. The district of Vaishali, of which Hajipur is the headquarter as well as the largest city, is known for being the historical place in Bihar where Lord Gautama Buddha decided upon his final resting - nirvana after bodily death.
Lauriya Nandangarh is a small town situated 28 km northwest of Bettiah famous for its beautifully architected Ashokan Pillar. Lauriya gets its name from a pillar (Laur) of Mauryan emperor Ashoka, which is sited here. Nandangarh is the name of a bank, located about 2 km to the south-west of the Ashoka Pillar. Lauriya Nandangarh is also a site for about 20 archaeological banks organized in three rows. Forty pillars were built in this historical place in Bihar by Emperor Ashoka originally but today only one pillar exists in complete form, at its initial position in Lauriya Nandangarh.
Built by Maharaja Shri Rameshwar Singh, the Nagar fort is popularly known as the Naulakha Palace. The fort had to suffer tremendous destruction owing to the severe earthquake in the year 1934, since then, this once magnificent structure which used to be the residence of the royal family now just stands as a historical place in Bihar like a Khandahar.
Ajatshatru was a king and the ruler of the Magadha's in 6th Century B.C when he built this grand fort. According to the legend of history, Ajatshatru imprisoned his father Bimbisar in a jail inside this fort after he took the throne; and Bimbisara, a staunch Buddhist, chose a spot from where he could see Lord Buddha give his sermons every morning. The once sturdy and stable fort is now famous for being in ruins and a historical place in Bihar.
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