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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Top things to do in Bihar, India – India's Buddhist History Revisited!
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Top things to do in Bihar, India – India's Buddhist History Revisited!

Located in the Eastern part of India, bordering the land Nepal to its north, Jharkhand to its south and Uttar Pradesh to its west, Bihar is a fairly small state in size, but quite unbelievably vast in culture. It is an important site for global Buddhists both as a pilgrimage and as a site of history. Bihar is a destination for all history lovers!


Visiting Bodhgaya and the Mahabodhi Temple Complex

Bodhgaya is perhaps the most important pilgrimage for Buddhists, considering that it is visiting the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha achieved Enlightenment and discovered the Noble Eight Fold Path that is the base of Buddhist Philosophy. Bodhgaya is situated on the banks of the Niranjana River where Prince Siddhartha renounced his worldly attachment and began his journey to Enlightenment.


The Nalanda University

Dating back to the 5th Century making it one of the world's oldest Universities, the Nalanda University or Nalanda Mahavihara was a centre of Buddhist learning and teaching. A world heritage site, the university is said to have flourished under the Gupta Empire. Much later, Bihar was raided by Muslim invaders and the site was set fire to and ransacked destroying an estimated nine million manuscripts in the process. Presently, one can visit the ruins of the once great centre of learning!


Sita Kund

Sitamarhi, Bihar is believed to be the birthplace of the Goddess Sita and is now a place dedicated to the Goddess and is also the location of one of India's holiest temples, the Punaura Dham, Janki Mandir. Built sometime before the 17th Century, millions of Hindu pilgrims visit the temple each year.

Accommodation in Bodhgaya is not an issue when there are plenty of Modern Bodhgaya Hotels. For example, the Oaks Bodhgaya is one option that you can pick from many others available.


The Lion Pillars of Vaishali

The Lion Pillars, also known as the Pillars of Asoka, were set up in the 3rd Century and is one of India's oldest remaining archaeological remains. Known by the Emperor Asoka as the "Dharma Sthamba" or "Pillars of Dharma", they serve as reminders of his famous renouncement of violence and subsequent conversion to Buddhism. Made of polished sandstone, topped by the four lions facing the four directions, the emblem adopted by present-day India as the National emblem, these pillars range anywhere from 40 to 50 ft. in height.


The Vishnupadh Temple

Overlooked by many people in the midst of all the other major historic sites, the Vishnupadh Temple, located in the village of Gaya, features a large imprint of the foot of the God Vishnu. It is also a testament of the Hindu heritage of Bihar. The name literally translates to the "Foot of Vishnu" as well. The only drawback is that non-Hindus are not actually allowed inside the Temple.