Tourism in Bihar
Bihar was the seat of education in the ancient era .Bihar was the cradle of religions like Buddhism Jainism and Hinduism .They all flourished in Bihar .Years have rolled by and now we are in the 21st century .In modern times the economy of a state is boosted by its tourism industry .Though the tourism industry in Bihar was not very much developed in past decade with the onset of the new governance in Bihar tourism has developed rapidly and there a quite a few places of tourist attraction in Bihar .
Figures say that around 500000 Indian and 70000 foreign tourists visit Bihar every year. Important places of tourist attraction include Nalanda ,Bodh Gaya ,Patna ,Rajgir and Vikramshila .
Starting with Nalanda it was one of the first residential universities in the world. Students from all over the world came to seek knowledge in Nalanda .Its ruins are spread over 14 hectare in Nalanda .It had students from Tibet China Japan ,Persia and Egypt .Around 10000 students lived here and Kulapati (vice chancellor) got grants from kings .At its prime in 600AD it is assumed to have 400 villages under it .Nalanda had a massive strength of 1500 teachers .It had a very accomplished library with various books on many subjects .Its count is said to be around a hundred thousand .It was ransacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193 A.D ..It is said that Bakhtiyar Khilji burnt the library and it kept on burning for 3 months .Some historians also say that destruction of Nalanda was the reason that Indians lagged behind in field of astronomy ,anatomy ,medicine etc .It can be reached by train from Patna .
Bodh Gaya is the most sacred place in the world for Buddhists .It was here that Buddha gained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree .Bodhgaya is visited by thousands of tourists every year as Dalai Lama the Buddhist spiritual head spends some time here every year.
Next come Rajgir old name Rajgriha or the kings abode .Rajgir has the peace Pagoda or the Shanti Stupa built by on a high mountain .It is one the 80 Peace Pagodas in the world .Rajgir also has hot water springs which are said to cure skin ailments .Rajgir is 100 km away from Patna .Trains runs direct from New Delhi to Rajgir .Other places of intrest in Rajgir is the Jarasandha’s Akhara were he fought with Bheema and Bheema tore him in two pieces in Mallayudha .
Patna as many would know was the capital of Ashoka .It is the capital of Bihar now and can be reached very easily by train or by air .Agamkuan (the great well ) is a well 120 feet deep and 20feet wide .It is believed that Ashoka threw his 99 brothers in this well for ascension to the throne .Golghar is a large granary and was built by the British in order to store grain for its troops .Built by captain Jhon Garstein it is completely round and has no pillars .There are 145 stairs in it and has a capacity to store 140000 tonnes of grain.
The Sonepur mela is the largest cattle trading market in Asia.People from all over the nation come to buy and sell animals such as elephants ,horses,cows ,rabbits etc .Many people visit it to study how such a huge event is oraganised .
If the resources are channelized in the correct direction I have no doubt that Bihar can prove to be a good tourist destination.