Bihar at a Glance:
Position of state: Bihar is a luminous state in Northern part of India, with a rich a history behind. The state is bordered by Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, West Bengal and Jharkhand. On 15th November, 2000 Jharkhand was segregated out of Bihar. Holy river Gange cleaves Bihar into 2 distinctive sections by flowing through its middle.
Official Languages: Hindi, Maithili and Urdu. Additionally a number of languages are spoken locally across communities such as Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Bajjika, Angika and many other languages.
Costume: Females are seen wearing sari and salwar kameez while males don dhoti and kurta.
A brief intro:
Bihar tourism in the north India can be equated with a journey to the bygone era. So, many of important events of history can be traced here. This is the place that also has got its mentions in the holy scriptures of Hindus and epics of Ramayana. This state is also closely associated with the life of Gautama Buddha.
History of Bihar:
The history of Bihar is very old and a number of Dynasties in a succession have made it their seat for power. Very first it was King Jarasandh. Jarasandh belonged to Brihadratha Dynasty. He had been a semi-mythical king, son of Brihadratha. After he was Killed in a mace dual. After him, reign was assigned to sahadev. In course of time, dynasties kept changing namely, Brihadratha dynasty, Pradyota dynasty, Haryanka dynasty, Shishunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty, Maurya dynasty, Sunga dynasty, Kanva dynasty, Gupta dynasty. With the invasion of Muslims in India, The ancient Hindu and Buddhist constructions began to be destroyed. Mohammad Ghori, Mahmud Ghajani, Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji and several other Muslim invaders caused much destruction to these age old stupas, temples, idols etc. It was because of these invasions, that Nalanda University was also destroyed. Eventually the region was captured by Englishmen.
Sightseeing in Bihar:
This state is particularly ideal to serve the interest of historians. Many of the tourists places in Bihar are plenteously described and referred in the history books of students. This region has link to the very old times of this country and with the number of famous scholars of India, who have left deep imprint of their existence on Indian scene. Years back, confused Gautama Siddhartha had landed here in search of truth and had attained the enlightenment while meditating under shade of a peepal tree called as mahabodhi. Where the tree stood, has now been erected a magnificent temple called Mahabodhi temple. The temple was originally built by emperor Ashoka, approximately 250 years back and later on renovated by Alexander Cunningham in year of 1883. This place has been frequent haunt for Buddha followers and here can be found number of constructions linked with the life of Buddha such as Vishwa Shanti stupa, 18 ft Buddha and the like.
Ruins of some of the prominent universities which occupied place of importance in the history of India can be seen here and the list includes ruins of Nalanda University that is one of the most famous learning centers in the ancient India. As you embark on tour to Nalanda district in Bihar, the globally famed relics of remote and glittering past of India will come gushing by. Rajgir is the city based in Nalanda district and had been the capital of Magadha, which later developed into much known and exaggerated epoch making Mauryan empire. Magadha has been one of 16 renowned kingdoms of Ancient India, the first capital of which had been Rajgir and later the capital was shifted to pataliputra, the modern day Patna. The references to the kingdom of Magadha can be found aplenty in numerous Holy scriptures and epics of Hindus and also in Jain and Buddhist texts. Number of prominent dynasties in succession have ruled over this region namely, Brihadratha dynasty, Pradyota dynasty, Haryanka dynasty, Shishunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty, Maurya dynasty, Sunga dynasty, Kanva dynasty, Gupta dynasty. It is said that Rajgir had been the capital of Magadha kingdom around 600 BCE.
As per references made in the great epic Ramayana, this capital had been established by King Vasu and for that reason it used to be called as Vasumati. Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosha had been here and he has given the detained accounts of this place. After the capital was shifted from Rajgir to Pataliputra, the political significance of Rajgir gradually began scaling back. This has been the much frequented region by followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Islam and Buddhism.
Some Key points about Bihar state:
Youths below age 25 constitute more than 50% of Bihari population.
During British raj, Bihar boasted of having a number of large scale industries but with introduction of government policies like freight equalization policy, since 1970’s many of the Indian states rich in minerals including Bihar were left behind in the race to attain the rapid industrial growth.
In past, Bihar has been the abounding state in terms of culture, learning, and also administration, being the cradle for one of the greatest Indian empires known as Maurya Empire and the greatest and most adhered to religion like Buddhism.
During 5th and 8th centuries, when the rest of world had been groping in the darkness of ignorance, Bihar had seen the great emergence in centers of learning like internationally renowned Nalanda and Vikramshila universities.
During 19th century, a multitude of Biharis migrated to various parts of world in search of livelihood. Majority of them were employed as indentured laborers around sugarcane and rubber fields and with advancing time, they permanently settled in countries like Mauritius and Natal-south Africa under title “Indo-Mauritians”.
Bihar is the state that experiences slow growth rate causing its inhabitants to migrate to other distant places in look out for employments. Unfortunately, Biharis have been subjected to prejudice and unjust treatments in other parts of India like Delhi and Maharashtra, where they are usually mocked at and also at times physically assaulted. This has resulted in their unification under umbrella of Bihari sub-nationalism, crossing over all sorts of caste based and religion based distinctions which earlier existed among them.
A closer look at Bihar:
Music: There is great contribution by Bihar towards Hindustani classical music. Also, Bihar is known to have the great convetion of singing the folk songs on distinctive major occasions in life such as sohar sung on a child birth, Sumangali during a marriage, ropnigeet sung while sowing paddy. The ballad sung in memory of the great freedom fighter during British raj called Babu veer Kunwar Singh is also very famous and popular folk song sung across state.
Cuisine: Wide gamut of locally popular cuisines can be relished during Bihar tourism such as Chitba, Pitthow, Tilba and chewda, Kadhi bari, Arikanchanak tarakari, Daail-Jhinguni, Ramruch, Machchak jhor, Kankorak chokha, Ramruch and the kind. Among sweet items the most poular and worth relishing are the richly spiced up Malpuwas, Ammath, Makhanaak kheer and varieties of others.
Festivals: One of the most famous festivals observed throughout Bihar is the worship of sun god(symbolic of life, enlightenment and prosperity as per Vedic religion) during Chhath. Wherever Biharis have migrated they carried along with them the age old tradition of observing Chhath. This festival is celebrated twice a year i.e. between the months of March and April during Chaitra Shashti as per Hindu calendar and then again between the months of October and November. Among other significant festivals observed in state of Bihar, included in the list are the festivals namely Teej, Chitragupta puja, Bihula-Bishari puja, Deepawali, Makarsankranti, Saraswati Puja and myriad others.
Art and craft: Bihar is renowned for Madhubani or MIthila painting, Manjusha kala or Angika art, Patna kalam paintings and many others. Wide range of handicrafts are produced across communities of Bihar and included in the list are wares made of cane reeds or bamboo-strips such as baskets, cups, saucers and the like. They also produces marvelous cotton dhurries curtains, colorful bed sheets and so on.
Dance Forms: Wide gamut of dance forms are popular among Biharis such as Jhumar, Dhobhi nach, Kathghorva naach, jat jatin, natua nach and myiriad others.
Things to do in Bihar: There are splendid opportunities to indulge in a slew of activities to do in Bihar such as trekking, camping, paying visits to temples, wild life sanctuaries and museums.
Places to stay: Options for accommodation in Bihar are in galore and they can be easily finding. Bihar hotels are in all ranges that go well to all pockets.
Shopping in Bihar: There are numerous articles that can be included in the list of shopping in Bihar and they are number of painting, bead jewellery, bed and table linen and several other hand-made articles.
Best time to tour Bihar:
Although, hot waves during sultry season leave no stones unturned in scathing whatever comes in their path, but yet tour can be undertaken during this time to catch the glimpses of wild life in the various sanctuaries and have the strolls around the parks. Nevertheless, a trip during the hot days of summer is recommended only for the tourists who are all set and confident of their abilities of withstanding the lashes of hot winds. However, most appropriate season to embark on Bihar tour would be the frosty seasons between the months of November and February.