Bihar is a place full of history and spiritual significance. Located in the eastern part of India, this state is known as the land of monasteries. There are many things that make this place worth visiting.
Two of India’s most glorious dynasties, Mauryas(321 -185 BCE) and Guptas (320 to 550 CE) flourished in ancient Bihar region, which was then known as Magadh. The Great King Ashoka (born 304 BCE, died 232 BCE) of Mauryan dynasty whose empire spread across South Asia. He had his capital in Pataliputra that is present Patna. The Gupta period termed as India’s golden age was also based in Magadh and Pataliputra as its capital. Nalanda and Vikramshila were centres of learning established in the 5th and 8th century respectively in Bihar, and are regarded amongst the oldest and international universities, where students from across the world came to study. It is in Bihar that the world’s first democracy was in governance by the Lichchavi(the present Vaishali).
The great spiritual way of Buddhism originated and thrived in ancient Bihar, as Buddha attained his enlightenment in Bodh gaya. Therefore the region is full of remains of the monasteries known as Stupa. Jain leader Mahavira also belonged to this region and attained his Nirvana at Pawapuri. Among Hindu religious places Bihar has one of the most prominent pilgrimages at Gaya for imparting offerings to ancestors. Ramayana and Mahabharata, the grand epics of India which are still extremely popular and connected to Hindu religion have numerous tales associated with various places in Bihar. The author of Ramayana, Valmiki also belonged to this region.
Bihar had also been a hub for the development of Sufism as quite a few of Sufi saints who initiated brotherhood among Hindu and Muslims settled here around the Islamic period. Imam Taj Faqih from Maner, Shihabuddin Pir, Jagiot are few Islamic saints amongst the many. The Qadri order, which is now believed to be one of the chief Sufi orders in the state, had one of its prominent representatives, Syed Muhammad of Amjhar sharif, based in the Aurangabad district of Bihar.
The Sikh leader the tenth Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji Maharaj was born in Patna in 1660. The Takht Shri Har Mandir Ji Sahib built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to commemorate his birth place is regarded as one of the five ‘Akal Takht’s by the Sikhs.
The religious choice is there to take trips on the basis of the Buddhist Circuit, Jain Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Hindu Circuit, Sikh Circuit etc. for pilgrimage purpose or just to enjoy the sheer beauty of the archaeological remains and the amazing unspoilt natural surroundings of this land.
During the 12th century CE Bihar suffered aggressive attacks from the Afghan rular Bakhtiar Khilji and all the glorious historical places were plundered by him. Later during the reign of the ruler Sher Shah Suri, the Grand Trunk Road was built.
During British rule Mahatma Gandhi started his Satyagraha movement from the Champaran region against the oppression of the indigo farmers by the Britishers. In 2000, Bihar got separated in two states, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Presently, Bihar is one of the country's fastest-growing states in the country. This economic revival is the direct result of the improved governance which focused on investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities and education. Thus, Bihar has become a prospective opportunity for investment interest to global business and economic leaders.