Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at 38,202 sq mi (99,200 km²) and 3rd largest by population. Close to 85% of the population lives in villages. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India.
Bihar lies mid-way between the humid West Bengal in the east and the sub humid Uttar Pradesh in the west which provides it with a transitional position in respect of climate, economy and culture. It is bounded by the country of Nepal to the north and by Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is divided into two parts by the river Ganges which flows through the middle from west to east. Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km², which is 6.8% of its geographical area. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, whilst the majority of the people speak one of these languages — Angika, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili, and Bajjika.
Important places to visit
Built in the native Stupa architecture, the building has a foundation of 125m, and a height of 29 m. It is pillarless with a wall of thickness of 3.6 m at the base. One can climb atop the Golghar through the 145 steps of its spiral stairway around the monument. The spiral staircase was designed so as to facilitate the passage of the coolies, who had to carry grain-bags up one flight, deliver their load through a hole at the top, and descend the other stairs.
The top of the Golghar presents a wonderful panoramic view of the city and the Ganges flowing nearby. At time of its construction, it was the tallest building in Patna
One interesting fact about the Golghar is that never in its existence has it been filled to its maximum capacity and there are no plans in future as well. The reason for this is that due to oversight while designing and construction of the Golghar, the doors were designed to open inside. Thus, if it is filled to its maximum capacity, then the doors will not open. It is a samadhi sthal of samrat ashoka.
Paṭnā is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the second largest city in eastern India after Kolkata.Patna is the 5th-fastest growing city in India and 21st fastest growing city in world. Patna is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Gupta, Pala and Suri dynasties. Pataliputra was also a famous seat of learning and fine arts. Its population during the Maurya period (around 300 BCE) was about 400,000. The walled old area, called Patna City by the locals, is a major trading centre.
The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganga. The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak and Punpun. The city is approximately 25 km long and 9 km to 10 km wide.In June 2009,The World Bank ranked Patna as the second-best city in India to start a business, after Delhi. The economy of Patna is based on the local service industry. Patna has the highest per capita gross district domestic product in Bihar: Rs 31,441 and has almost equivalent per capita when compared to other metropolitan areas in India List of most populous metropolitan areas in India.
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India. The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history."Some buildings were constructed by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great (i.e. Raja Asoka: 273–232 BCE) which is an indication of an early establishment of the Buddhist learning center Nalanda. The Gupta Empire also patronized some monasteries. According to historians, Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Gupta king Śakrāditya (also known as Kumāragupta, reigned 415-55) and 1197 CE, supported by patronage from Buddhist emperors like Harsha as well as later emperors from the Pala Empire. The complex was built with red bricks and its ruins occupy an area of 14 hectares. At its peak, the university attracted scholars and students from as far away as China, Greece, and Persia. Nalanda was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1193, a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the Mughals set fire to it, sacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site. In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University.
Bodh Gaya or Bodhgaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous for being the place of Gautama Buddha's attainment of Enlightenment, known by the Buddhist as Bodhimandala.
The name Bodh Gaya did not come into use until the 18th century. Historically, it was known as Uruvela, Sambodhi, Vajrasana or Mahabodhi.The main monastery of Bodh Gaya used to be called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now it is called the Mahabodhi Temple.
For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The surrounding town, by contrast, is dusty and somewhat noisy.A new development plan has been proposed to "ensure a sustainable and prosperous future" for Bodh Gaya, but has become controversial because such a plan may require the relocation of whole neighborhoods.
Ancient Bihar (which consisted of Anga (East Bihar and some parts of Bengal), Videha/Mithila (north-eastern Bihar and some parts of northern Bengal), Magadha (South Bihar) and Vaishali (Bihar)) was a centre of power, learning and culture in ancient and classical India. From Magadha arose India's first great empire, the Maurya empire as well as one of the world's most widely adhered-to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Its capital Patna, earlier known as Pataliputra, was an important centre of Indian civilization. Nalanda was a centre of learning established by the 5th century CE in Bihar.
Today, Bihar lags behind the other Indian states in human, economic development terms, Economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the skewed policies of the central government, such as the freight equalisation policy, its apathy towards Bihar, lack of Bihari sub-nationalism (resulting in no spokesperson for the state), and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company. The current state government has however made significant strides in improving governance.
Bihar is a vast stretch of fertile plain. It is drained by the Ganges River, including its northern tributaries Gandak and Koshi, originating in the Nepal Himalayas and the Bagmati originating in the Kathmandu Valley that regularly flood parts of the Bihar plains. The total area covered by the state of Bihar is 94,163 km². the state is located between 21°-58'-10" N ~ 27°-31'-15" N latitude and between 82°-19'-50" E ~ 88°-17'-40" E longitude. Its average elevation above sea level is 173 feet (53 m).The Ganges divides Bihar into two unequal halves and flows through the middle from west to east. Other Ganges tributaries are the Son, Budhi Gandak, Chandan, Orhani and Falgu. Though the Himalayas begin at the foothills, a short distance inside Nepal and to the north of Bihar, the mountains influence Bihar's landforms, climate, hydrology and culture. Central parts of Bihar have some small hills, for example the Rajgir hills. To the south is the Chota Nagpur plateau, which was part of Bihar until 2000 but now is part of a separate state called Jharkhand.
Bihar is mildly cold in the winter (the lowest temperatures being in the range from 4 to 10 degrees Celsius; 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter months are December and January. It is hot in the summer (with average highs around 35-40 Celsius; 95-105 Fahrenheit). April to mid June are the hottest months. The monsoon months of June, July, August, and September see good rainfall. October, November and February, March have a pleasant climate.