Palamau National Park
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Rest of India
Of all Indias states, Bihar
is the one most intimately linked to the Buddhas life, resulting in a trail of
pilgrimages which have come to be known as the Buddhist circuit. The very name Bihar is
derived from the world vihara, which means Buddhist monastery. The Buddhist
trail begins at the capital city, Patna, where a noteworthy museum contains a
collection of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures. The Khuda Baksh Oriental Library has rare
Muslim manuscripts including some from the University of Cordoba in Spain. 40 km away,
Vaishali was the site for the second Buddhist Council as the presence of ruins testify. 90
km south of Patna is Nalanda which translates as the place that confers the
lotus (of spiritual knowledge). A monastic university flourished here from the 5th
to the 11th century. It is said to have contained nine million books, with 2,000 teachers
to impart knowledge to 10,000 students who came from all over the Buddhist world. Lord
Buddha himself taught here and Hieun Tsang, the 7th century Chinese traveller, was a
student. Ongoing excavations have uncovered temples, monasteries and lecture halls.
the royal palace, 12 km south, was the venue for the first Buddhist Council.
The Buddha spent five years at Rajgir after having attained enlightenment, and many of the
remains at Rajgir commemorate various incidents, the hill of Gridhrakuta being perhaps the
most important, as this is where the Buddha delivered most of his sermons. Bodhgaya is the
spot where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, with the Mahabodhi Temple marking the
precise location. Bihars Buddhist circuit has modest back-up facilities by way of
accommodation, international dining and surface transport. (For those interested in the
Buddhist circuit, it may be worthwhile to note that Sarnath, in Uttar Pradesh, close to
Varanasi, is an important part of the circuit, and has been beautifully developed. Besides
the excavated sites, a museum here houses several Buddhist icons, among them the Ashoka
Lion, Indias national emblem).
PATNA- THE IMPERIAL CITY
Patna once called Pataliputra the capital of
Bihar,is among the world's oldest capital cities with unbroken history of many centuries
as imperial metropolis.
A very fertile arched stretch of land
along the bank of the Ganga, the history and heritage of modern day Patna go back well
over two millennia. Like Delhi, Patna too had been the regal seat of governance for
successive kingdoms since ancient times. And to this day, it is the capital city of the
state. As each ruler ascended in power and established dynastic glory, he gave his capital
a new name. Thus the ancient Kusumpura metamorphosed through Pushpapura, Pataliputra,
Azeemabad and now into Patna, a continuous history ranging from 6th century BC to present
times a record claimed by few cities in the world. It was Ajatshatru the Magadha
king who first built a small fort in Pataligram on the bank of the Ganga in 6th century
BC, which later blossomed into the ancient glory still to be seen in the neighbouring
archaeological sites at Kumrahar. Bhiknapahari, Agamkuan, Bulandi Bagh and Kankar Bagh.
Pataliputra dominated the political fortunes of the whole of north India between 6th
century BC and 5th century AD, a fact established by archaeological excavations. After a
temporary eclipse, in 16th century Sher Shah Suri returned the city to its former glory
and established the present Patna. After the decline of the Mughals, the British too found
Patna a convenient regional capital and built a modern extension to this ancient city and
called it Bankipore. It was in Gandhi Maidan in this area that Mahatma Gandhi held his
PLACES OF INTEREST
Archaeological findings in this area establish Patnas claim to over a thousand years
of political glory -. 600 BC to 600 AD, and then again, 16th century onwards, spanning the
rule of several dynasties. Very little of this grandeur remains though, except the
remnants of a huge Mauryan hall supported by 80 sandstone pillars dating back to 400
Alarmed by the famine of 1770, captain John Garstin built this huge granary for the
British army in 1786. The massive structure is 29 m high and walls 3.6 m wide at the base.
The stairway winding around this monument offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city
and the Ganga flowing by.
Har Mandir Takht
It was in Patna, far from Punjab, where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs who
consolidated the warrior sect, was born in 1660. The Har Mandir Takht, one of the four
sacred shrines of the Sikhs, stands at this holy site, The original temple was built by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh and contains belongings of the Guru and Sikh holy texts. As a sign
of reverence, it is also called Patna Sahib by the Sikhs.
A memorial to seven freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in "Quit India"
movement of August 1942, it is a modern sculpture facing the Secretariat where they were
shot in their attempt to hoist the national flag.
Pathar ki Masjid
Adjacent toHar Mandir Sahib, this beautiful mosque was built by Parwez Shah, son of
Jehangir, when he was the governor of Bihar. Situated on the bank of the Ganga, it is also
called Saif Khans mosque, Chimmi Ghat mosque and Sangi Masjid.
Sher Shah Suri Masjid
Sher Shah Suri built this mosque in 1545 to commemorate his reign. Built in Afghan
architectural style, it is one of the many beautiful mosques in Bihar and a landmark in
Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
A magnificent one man collection of rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal
paintings, assortment of old books and new books from the university of Cordoba, Spain, it
is one of the national libraries of India now.
The museum contains a First World War cannon, metal and stone sculpture of Maurya and
Gupta periods, Buddhist sculpture, terra-cotta figures. The famous Didarganj Yakshi of 3rd
century BC and a 16 m long fossilised tree are some of its special possessions.
Built at the old site of Sher Shahs fort, it has an excellent collection of jade,
Chinese paintings, Mughal glass and silver filigree carvings. It is a private collection
and visitors need prior permission.
It is the headquarters of Bihar Vidyapeeth, a national university. Indias first
President Dr.Rajendra Prasad lived here after his retirement and there is a small museum
here displaying his personal belongings.
About 29 km from Patna, Bari Dargah, is the cenotaph of the Sufi Saint Hazrat Makhdoom
Yahiya Maner. The tomb of his disciple Shah Daulat is also here. It is an important
pilgrimage place for Muslims during the annual urs.
Other places of interest near
Padri ki Haveli - an 18th century catholic church.
Biological Park a zoo cum botanical garden.
Patna Yoga Vidyalaya. Patna School of Yoga famed for excellence of Yoga teaching.
Quila House (Museum), Laxmi Narayan Temple,
Pathar-Ki-Masjid, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Rajendra Mueusm, Gandhi Museum.
Maner 29 kms, Sasaram 148 kms, Sonepur 25 kms, Vaishali 56 kms, Nalanda 90 kms,
Rajgir 102 kms, Gaya 174 kms, Bodhgaya 179 kms.
Altitude : 53 metres.
Temperature (degree C) : Summer - Max. 43, Min. 21; Winter - Max. 20,
Rainfall : 120 cms.
Clothing : Summer - Cottons, Winter - Heavy Woollens.
Best Season : October to March.
Vaishali today is a small village surrounded by
banana and mango groves and rice fields. But excavations in the area have brought to
light an impressive historical past. The epic Ramayana tells the story of the heroic King
Vishal who ruled here. Historians maintain that one of the world's first democratic
republics with an elected assembly of representatives flourished here in the 6th century
B.C. in the time of the Vajjis and the Lichhavis. And while Pataliputra, capital of the
Mauryas and the Guptas, held political sway over the Gangetic plain, Vaishali was a rich
centre for trade and industry.
Historically important, Vaishali, on the left bank
of the Gandak river, is spiritually supreme : Lord Buddha visited this place frequently
and at Kolhua, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor
Ashoka, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred
years after the mahaparinirvana of the Buddha - Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist
council. Two stupas were erected to commemorate this event.
Jainism, too, has its origins in Vaishali, for in 527 B.C., Lord Mahavir was born on the
outskirts of the city, and lived in Vaishali till he was 22. Vaishali is then twice
blessed and remains an important pilgrim centre for both Buddhists and Jains, attracting
also historians foraging for the past.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Ashoka Pillar at Kolhua; Buddha Stupa I; Buddha Stupa II; Raja Vishal Ka Ghar;
Coronation Tank; Museum; Bawan Pokhar Temple and Harikatora Temple; Miranji Ka Durgah;
Kundupur (4 km).
The Jain Prakrit Institute offers a place of study
for researchers interested in Jainology and Prakrit, one of the spoken languages of
Northern India in ancient times.
Visitors must return to Patna (55 km) to undertake
any excursions they may wish to organise.
Altitude : 52 metres
Temperature : (Max./Min.) Summer 44 Deg C/21 Deg C Winter 23 Deg C/6 Deg
Rainfall 120 cms
Best Season : October to March
Bihar has some of the most sacred
Buddhist and Hindu shrines. Gaya is one of the most important pilgrimage places for the
Hindus. It is believed that a Hindu will reach heaven if his last rites are offered under
the celebrated Akshayabat or immortal banyan tree, standing in the yard of
Vishnupad temple. Believed to be built on the footsteps of Vishnu, the grand temple was
renovated by Ahalyabai, queen of Indore.
Brahma - Yoni, Ramshila,
Pretishila beautiful hills.
Deo 20 km from
Gaya, Surya temple here is the site of famous Chhath puja in November. Kurkihar - ancient
habitation with ruins. Presumed to be the Kukkutapadagiri mentioned by Hiuen Tsang in 7th
Barabar caves 40
km from Gaya, earliest Buddhist rock cut caves. Sasaram 123 km from Gaya, tombs of
Sher Shah Suri, his father and son. There is a cave with Ashokan edicts and a Dargah on
Chandan Pir Hill.
In Pawapuri or Apapuri, 38 km from Rajgir and 90 km from Patna, all sins end for a devout
Jain. Lord Mahavira breathed his last here and was cremated here. People took away not
only the ashes but also the scooped out earth and thus a tank came into being. Now the
famous Jalamandir marble temple stands at the site. There is another Jain temple here viz.
It is believed that 22 tirthankars out of 24 attained salvation here and is
one of the most sacred pilgrim centres for the Jains.
Call of the hills
The Chotanagpur plateau is one of the
most beautiful areas in Bihar. Studded with hills 300 900m in altitude and covered
with verdant virgin forests, this area of rivers, lakes, meadows and valleys is an ideal
retreat of peace and beauty. Rich in wildlife, these forests are an anthropologists
delight, since the ancient lifestyle of the tribes like Santhal, Ho, Munda, Oraon, Koi,
Chero, Kharia, Paharia has remained essentially unaltered.
A popular tourist resort 140 km from Ranchi. Betla National Park is nearby where gaur,
chital, elephant, sloth bear, wild bear, sambar, nilgai, kakar, chinkara, mouse deer,
dhole, tiger and panther can be seen. This is one of the Tiger Project Reserves. There are
tree top towers, watch towers and ground level hideouts for professional photographers.
February March and October - November are the best seasons and excellent
accommodation is available here.
Site of one of the earliest power projects, river Damodar is harnessed here in a massive
network. Maithon. Panchet and Tilaiya are the major dams.
Famous for its silk and a university town today, it has a long heritage of learning. The
ruins of the ancient Vikramshila university is 42 km away. Rock cut temple at Colganj and
Vishnu temple on a hill top are tourist attractions.
The little town has nothing to show today for its long history except a Mughal fort and a
temple, but it was once the capital of the ancient Anga kingdom. The British conquered
Bihar in the battle of Buxar at Buxar nearby. There is a sound and light show at Buxar
recounting the story of Ramayana and history of India.
How to get there
Gaya is an important railway junction.
There are bus services from all important towns of Bihar.
Where to stay
Many dharamshalas, modest hotels and rest
house are available.
Bodhgaya is one of the sacred places for the Buddhists as well as for the
Hindus. Here under the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Budhha,
the `Enlighted One'.
"The Buddha once lived here"
Lord Buddha the gentle colossus who
founded the first universal religion of the world, worked and lived much of his life in
Bihar though he was born in Kapilavastu, now in Nepal. Most of the major events of his
life, like enlightenment and last sermon happened in Bihar. Significantly. the
states name originated from Vihara meaning Buddhist and Jain
monasteries, which abounded in Bihar.
Though the Buddha was born as a Sakya
prince in the Terai foothills of the Himalayas, Buddhism as a religion was really born in
Bihar and evolved here through his preaching and the example of his lifestyle of great
simplicity, renunciation and empathy for everything living. Perhaps the present day life
of trauma and tension reminds us of the other alternative that was always available to us,
the Buddhas way of life, gentle and simple.
Several centuries after Buddhas
passing away, the Maurya emperor Ashoka (234-198 BC) contributed tremendously towards the
revival, consolidation and spread of the original religion. It is the monasteries Ashoka
built for the Buddhist monks and the pillars erected to commemorate innumerable historical
sites associated with the Buddhas life, mostly intact to this day, that helped
scholars and pilgrims alike to trace the life events and preachings of a truly
The Buddha attained enlightenment in
Bodhgaya, under the Bodhi tree, 10 km from Gaya. the ancient Hindu pilgrimage centre. The
tree from the original sapling still stands in the temple premises. It is the most
important Buddhist pilgrimage centre as Buddhisrn was born here.
The magnificent Mahabodhi temple in
Bodhgaya is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries cultures and many heritages
that came to pay their homage here. The temple definitely has architecture of the Gupta
and later ages, inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and
China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple Hiuen Tsang
visited in 7th century.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Mahabodhi Temple, Animeshlocan Chaiyata, Mohanta's Monastery, Ratnagar,
Archaeological Museum, Tbetan Monastery, Thai Temple & Monastery, International
Buddhist House & Japanese Temple, Buddhist Monastery of Bhutan, The Burmese Temple,
The Chinese Temple & Monastery.
Dungeshwari 12 km, Muchalinda Lake 3 km, Gaya 12 km, Majadha University 3.2 km.
Altitude : 113 metres
Climate (deg c) : Summer- Max.47, Min.28; Winter- Max.28, Min.4.
Rainfall- 186 cms ( Mid. June to Mid. September ).
Best Season : October to March.
Founded in the 5th centuary A.D. Nalanda is known as the ancient seat of
learning. World's most ancient University lies in ruins which is 62 kms from Bodhgaya and
90 kms south of Patna. Emperor Ahoka built many monastries, temples and Viharas here.
Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several
times during his lifetime, this famous centre of Buddhist learning shot to fame much
later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hiuen Tsang stayed here in 7th century and has left
detailed description of the excellence of education and purity of monastic life practiced
here. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and
10,000 students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. The Gupta kings
patronised these monasteries, built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells
around a courtyard. Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of its most celebrated patrons who
built temples and monasteries here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures
here. Hiuen Tsang had left ecstatic accounts of both the ambiance and architecture of this
unique university of ancient times. An international Centre for Buddhist Studies was
established here in 1951. Nearby is Bihar Sharif, where an annual urs is celebrated at the
Dargah or tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya. Baragaon, 2 km away has a sun temple, famous for
Chhath puja. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to
the great ruins.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall, The Nalanda University
Complex, Swarajpur Baragon. The Nalanda Museum (Opens 1000 to 1700 hours. Closed on
A 11.5 m high Ashokan column was erected here in 249 BC. The polished sandstone pillar has
six edicts on it. The site is 30 km from Motihari.
This site, 23 km from Bettiah and 14 km from Shikarpur, has the famous lion pillar erected
by Ashoka. The 8.5 m polished sandstone column also has an edict engraved on it. Nearby
there are the remains of Nandangarh Stupa, believed to contain the ashes of the Buddha.
Bihar Sharif 13 kms, Gaya 65 kms, Bodh Gaya 50 kms,
Rajgir 12 kms.
Altitude : 67 metres.
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max. 37.8, Min. 17.8; Winter- Max.27.8,
Rainfall : 120 cms (June to September)
Best Season : October to March.
46 kms from Bodhgaya, Rajgir is sacred to the memory of the founders of both
Buddhism and Jainism. Rajgir today is vestiges of a legendary and historical remains like
the cyclopean wall and the marks engraved in rocks.
Rajagriha in Patna district was the
ancient capital city of the Magadha kings. The Buddha often came here to retreat at the
Jivkamaravana monastery in a beautiful orchard. One of his most devoted and prosperous
devotees, surgeon Jivaka also lived here. The rich merchant community here soon became the
Buddhas followers and built many structures of typical Buddhist architecture. The
Buddha converted the Mauryan king Bimbisara, one of his most celebrated followers at the
Griddhakuta hill, where he delivered many of his sermons as well. The Japanese have built
a Stupa on top of the Ratnagiri hill, linked by a ropeway. After the Buddha reached
parinirvana his followers met at the Saptaparni cave in Rajagriha, the first
Buddhist Council ever held. It was here that the teachings of the Buddha were penned down
for the first time. Rajgir is also an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindus and
Jains. Other places to be visited are Bimbisara ka jail, Jarasandha ka akhara, Venuvana,
Karand tank, Maniyar math, Swamabhandar cave, Pippala cave, Viswa Shanti Stupa, the famous
hot water springs and ruins of an old fort.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Ajatashatur's Fort, Amaravana (Mango Garden), Venuban, Bimbisara's Jail, Swarna
Bhandar, Cyclopean Wall, Griddhakuta (Vulture's Peak), Saptparni Cave, Pippala Cave (Watch
Tower), Jain temples, Karnada Tank, Maniyar Math.
Bihar Sharif- 25 kms, Nalanda- 12 kms, Sawarajpur Baragaon, Gaya- 34 kms, Bodh
Gaya- 50 kms, Kundalpurr- 18 kms.
Pawapuri: 38 kms. Pawapuri is also known as Apapuri, is a sacred Jain pilgrim
centre. Jalmandir, a marble temple in the centre of a big lotus tank, is the biggest
attraction here. Other places of interest here are Samosaran and Naya mandir. It was here
that Mahavir delivered his last sermon and was also cremated.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. 45, Min. 20; Winter- Max. 28,
Rainfall : 186 cms (Mid-June to Mid-September)
Best Season : October to March.
Palamau has the distinction of being the forest where the world's first tiger
census was enumerated in 1932. Large herds of Gaur & Chital are commonly seen.
Elephants are present mostly after the monsoons upto the time when the water holes begin
to dry up in March. Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Wild Bear, Sambar, Nilgai, Deer are also
permanent residents. Palamau National Park is now a part of one of nine tiger reserves in
India under "Project Tiger".
Area : Total Area- 1026 sq.km., Buffer Zone- 813 sq.km., Core
Area- 213 sq.km., Tourist Zone- 35 sq.km.
Established on : June 1974.
Altitude : 300 to 1140 metres.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max.47, Min.28; Winter- Max.23, Min.07.
Best Season : October to March.
Languages Spoken : Hindi, English.
Galudih lies among small hills and attracts the tourist
for its natural beauty with calm and quiet atmosphare. In the rainy season the hills, the
jungles, the agricultural lands make Galudih green. Though the best season is July to
March but actually tourist can visit Galudih throughout the year.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Suvarnarekha River: Suvarnarekha
means the golden line. One can easily take a morning-walk using station-side road to reach
the river. Barrage on the river is also an another attraction here. But the most
interesting venture here is to cross the river by bullock-cart to reach the hilly village on the other bank of the river.
Satgurum: 15 kms towards the
north-side of the tourist lodge its an another river here. Seven streams of the river
encircle seven separate hills seven times, hence the river is named as Satgurum. Trecking
to the hills through the jungle-path full of unknown trees and flowers is the best
attraction here. Elephants may also be seen in the jungles.
Tatanagar, Dimna Lake (Tatanagar), Jubili Park
(Tatanagar), Burudihi Lake, Dharagiri, Jadugorar Jungle, Devi Rakshkhini Temple, Copper
32 kms from Madhupur, Giridh is now a District Town of Bihar. Regular Buses
connect Giridh with Munger, Dhanbad, Bhagalpur, Koderma and other places. Usri falls is
only 11 kms away from Giridh. Tongas are available as the main local transport here.
An Important Railway Junction for Baidyanathdham Trains.
Jugal Kishore Dharamsala - Opposite Railway Station.
Restaurants : Dinabandhu Hotel, Janata Hotel, Railway Catering
Banks : Allahabad Bank.
A popular Health Resort. Deoghar (55 kms) is connected by Bus.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Haldi Jharna - 3 kms, Soikitia - 3 kms, Lattu Pahar
- 2 kms.
It is the first Dam and hydro -Electric power Station constructed by Damodar
Valley Corporation across Barakar river in Hazaribag district. It is 1,200 ft. long
and 99 ft. high. It is situated in an ideal surrounding with a Reservoir streching
in 36 sq. kms. The main object is to control floods.The hydro -electric station produces
only 4,000k. watt. The beautiful natural surroundings are the attraction to tourists. The
main road from Barhi on G.T.road through reservoir and the hillocks is picturesque.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Hydro. Electric Power House.
Terrace Gardens on the hillock Deer Park.
Picnic Island with swimming corner approachable by motor boats available on hire.
an ancient land
Like in many ancient civilisations Indian
way of life was also clustered around its magnificent rivers. And, few rivers of the world
have moulded the culture, economy and personality of the people evolving on their banks as
the great river Ganga. Cutting straight across Bihar from west to east, the bounteous
Ganga had made the region so fertile and plentiful that its natural prosperity nurtured to
veritable fountainhead of political and cultural civilizations down the millennia. And,
the unbelievable range and quantity of mineral wealth buried under the region certainly
helped. To this day, the coal belt in Bihar is the mainstay of thermal energy in north
India. Bihar has 41% of the total mineral wealth of India. Here, kingdom after kingdom
rose and fell, leaving their indelible mark on history. Rival kings fought legendary
battles, devastating the land and people. Yet, by some strange alchemy, the same land saw
the birth or maturity of some of the most gentle and progressive religious teachers like
the Buddha, Mahavira and Guru Gobind Singh. Then came the Muslims, ruling with panache for
five centuries, to be eliminated in their turn by the ever expanding colonisation of the
English, who ruled till the middle of this century. Bihar today is a quaint interface of
the old and new.
Hallowed by the footsteps of the Buddha,
the fertile plains remain rich in farm lands growing paddy, cotton, sugar cane, wheat,
maize, barley, jute and fruit. Bihars modern visage sports some of Indias
largest steel and mining industries.
Bihar has its usual assortment of rural
handicrafts of hand painted wall hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves,
stone pottery, bamboo and leather goods and appliqué work. But Bihars most famous
indigenous art is Madhubani paintings. Originally humble expressions of the sheer
creativity of the rural women, this village wall paintings now adorn gracious city homes
and are exported. This art is a strict monopoly of the women of Mithila. Done in primary
colours of natural origin on paper and cloth, they narrate mythological and religious
events. However, the ancient designs in bright colours can still be seen on the mud walls
in the districts of Champaran, Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Samastipur.
Begusarai, Purnea, Bhagalpur and of course, Madhubani the trade centre for this unique
- Hazaribagh wildlife sanctuary 107
km from Ranchi, February - March, October - November.
- Palamau tiger reserve - February - March,
October November. 180 km from Ranchi.
- Lawalong wildlife sanctuary - October - June,
100 km from Gaya.
- Mahuadanu wildlife sanctuary
November June, 80 km from Daltanganj.
- Dalma wildlife sanctuary October -
June, 10 km from Jamshedpur.
- Rajgir wildlife sanctuary October
June,102 km from Patna. -
- Topchanchi wildlife sanctuary
October June, close to Dhanbad.
- Valmikinagar wildlife sanctuary - October
- June, 100 km from Bettiah.
- Gautam Buddha wildlife sanctuary 45
km from Gaya.
- Kabar Lake bird sanctuary November
March, 22 km from Begusarai.
In the true spirit of its multi religious
heritage, Bihar celebrates its many religious festivals and fairs of great local appeal.
Like most ancient fairs in India, Sonepur fair is also steeped in mythology and folklore.
Today, it is a fantastic cattle fair, perhaps the largest in Asia. The fortnight long fair
is held on the full moon day of Kartik (November) and all manners of domestic and farm
animals are bought and sold.
Buddha was born, attained enlightenment
and passed away, all on the same full moon day of April/May, Thus, Vaisakhi Poornima, one
of the most beautiful full moon nights in the year, is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti.
Bihar being a holy land for the Jains as
well, two major Jain festivals are celebrated here - Mahavir Jayanti at Parasnath Hill in
April and Deo Deewali, which commemorates the final liberation of Lord Mahavira.
Unique in Bihar is Chhath Puja, or
worship of the sun god. Most famous one is at the sun temple in Baragaon near Nalanda,
where new paddy, sweets and fruits are offered in worship. Traditional Indian festivals of
Ramnavami, Dassehra, Diwali and Holi are also celebrated with great extravaganza in Bihar.