In this site of one of the world's earliest and most highly developed civilizations, there are over 1,800 magnificent monuments bearing witness to the glory that was this land of Malwa. Cheek by jowl with this centuries-old culture of many varied streams, live some of the most primitive of aboriginal tribes in India. And in this great central plateau of rugged mountain ranges, deep ravines and rushing rivers, there are also vast unexplored tracts of thick forest where some of the country's finest big game roam.
FAMOUS TOURIST PLACES OF BIHAR
Lord Buddha Gaya
Lord Buddha had visited Vaishali and announced his approaching 'Mahaparinirvana' (death). And a hundred years later the second Buddhist council was held here. According to one belief, the 24th Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavira was born at Vaishali. In the 5th century and 7th century the Chinese travellers Fa-Hien and Hieun Tsang had visited Vaishali and had written about the city in their memoirs.
The most important pilgrimage of Hindus. It is believed that a Hindu will reach heaven if he is cremated under the celebrated' Akshayobat' or immortal banyan tree standing in the courtyard of Vishnupad temple. Believed to be built on the footsteps of Lord Vishnu, the grand temple was renovated by an Ahalyabai, queen of Indore.
Nalanda has an association with Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha who had frequently visited it in the 6th century BC. According to Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveller who visited Nalanda in the 7th century, says, that the place owned its name to a Naga saint of the same name who resided in a tank here. But he thinks it more probable that Lord Buddha, in one of his previous births as Bodhistawa, became a king with his capital at this place and that his liberality won for him and his capital the name Nalanda or "Charity without intermission ". The third theory about the name of the place is that it derived its name from 'Nalam' plus 'DO'. Nalam means lotus which is a symbol of knowledge and 'Does' means to give. The place had many ponds full of lotuses. The place subsequently came to be called Nalanda and later on Nalanda. The University of Nalanda was founded in the 5th century BC by the Gupta emperors and recorded as the world's earliest university.
Patna has a History and heritage which is more than two millennium years old. Different kingdoms gave Patna different names like -Kusumpur, Pushapapura, patliputra, Azeemabad but now being called Patna. A continuous history ranging from 8- 7 century BC to present times a record claimed by very few cities in the world. From 6th century BC to 6th century AD Ajatshatru, second in the line of Magadha. kings built a small fort at Pataligram at the confluence of the Ganga and Sone rivers. This later became the famous Mauryan metropolis of Pataliputra and was ruled by Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Ashoka who became immortal for the spread of Buddhism. Other emperors who ruled from Pataliputra were the Gupta and the Pala Kings, Sher Shah Suri (16th C.) and Azimush Shan (18th C.), grandson of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who renamed it Azeemabad. Today, Patna is an important business centre of eastern India and also the gateway to the Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya and Pawanpuri.
Rajgir is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by rocky hills The "Peace Pagoda" stupa built by the Japanese can be reached by an aerial ropeway. On one of the hills is the cave of Saptaparni where the first Buddhist Council was held. Hot water springs here have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus. Rajgir is 10 km south of Nalanda, sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism as the Buddha lived here in the sixth century BC. He used to meditate and preach on the " Hill of the Vultures".Mahavira was born here in 567 BC and spent fourteen years. It was in Rajgriha that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and had converted king Bimbisara "of the Magadha empire and countless others to his creed. Once a great city, Rajgir is just a village today but vestiges of a legendary and historical past remain, like the cyclopean wall that encircles the town and the marks engraved in the rock that local folklore ascribes to Lord Krishna's chariot. This legend like many others associated Rajgir to that distinct time when the stirring events recorded in the epic Mahabharata were being enacted.
Vaishali has an ancient history. The town had derived its name from the King Vishal whose heroic deeds are also mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana. However the history records that around the time Patliputra was the centre of political activity in the Gangetic plains, Vaishali became the centre of trade. Lying on the north bank of the Ganga it was the seat of the Republic of Vajji. Vaishali is credited with being India's first and the world's finest republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and an efficient administration in those ancient days. ,
Betla National Park
Palamu was famous all over the world for being a place with a large number of tigers. It got the honour of being the world. In 1974 it became one of the country's earliest tiger reserves. Thick tropical forests adorning the surroundings, this place possesses a large variety of amazing fauna. The most important part of the sanctuary is named as Betla National park. It covers a total area of 232 sq. kilometres.
A major attraction for the tourists, this place is best visited from February to April. It lies at a distance of 140 kilometres from Ranchi. Of the fauna, most noticed here are herds of Gaur and Chital. The biggest creature, the elephant, can also be seen here when the puddles of water dry up. Among the other animals, visible are the tiger, panther, sloth bear, wild bear, Sambhar, Nilgai, Kakar, mouse deer are also permanent residents. Betla not only has exotic fauna but also plays abode to enchanting scenic views, waterfalls and hot springs.
There are many historical monuments here that are regarded as a remembrance of the Chero Kings. Also present here is a fort of 16th century, situated inside the forest. Two rivers namely Koel and Burha flow nearby and join the Sone river. You can have a good round watching the creatures in action. Arrangements have been made by the forest department regarding the same. They provide jeeps for viewing the wildlife in the area.
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