Mahatma Gandhi SetuBihar
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Bihar hosts more than 6 million tourists every year, who are drawn to the state for its glorious past. Deriving its name from Vihara, meaning monasteries, Bihar is full of historical remains of various religious beliefs. Travellers come to witness the remains of one of the richest landmarks of ancient educational excellence – the Nalanda University. Equally popular is the holy place where Buddha attained his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, the Bodhi tree and the Mahabodhi temple – A UNESCO World Heritage. Additionally, Rajgir is a common tourist place as the land of seven hills, surrounded by caves and incredible waterfalls. Vaishali, a popular tourist attraction, is an ancient town famous as the birthplace of Jainism.
Serrounded by Bengal, Nepal, Orrisa, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the state of Bihar is nestled by the banks of the Ganges, further nourished by the Gandruk and Kosi rivers. The best time to visit Bihar is winter. The state is well connected through road, rail and airways.
Talk about food and Bihar has a whole platter of veg and non veg dishes on offer. Sattu or fried gram flour is a common item in Bihari cuisine. Some typical vegetarian items include Litti chokha, Makuni (parathas stuffed with sattu), Makai ke Roti, Chana (boiled chickpeas) Ghugni, Besan ki sabzi, Kadhi Bari, Dhuska, saag, kofta and Pittha among others. Biharis are also fond of nonveg dishes such as the Bihari mutton kebab, chiken kebab and biriyani, and several fish items.
There are a host of sweet dishes that originate in Bihar and are to die for. Khaja, Balusahi, Kesar Peda, Malpua, Basundi, Thekua, Tilkut, Khurchan, Rasia, Khurma, Lathko, Parwal Ki Mithai, Gur Anarsa, Postaa Dana ka Halwa and Laai to name just a few.
The street food or common Bihari snacks include Tarua, Kachauri, Daal Puri, Chaat, Pakora etc. Samosa, Bhujia, Bhurta, Bajka are also common Bihari fast food.
The most unique and famous festival of Bihar is the Chatth Puja – the worship of the Sun god. Celebrated twice a year, in March and November, the four day festival is celebrated in whole of Bihar with traditional folk songs devoted to ‘Surya Dev’ and ‘Chatti Maiya’, where women fast for prosperity. Men and women dress up and gather on the river bank to pay homage to the setting Sun, thanking Him for all the bounties on earth. The offerings are sweets and fruits in small baskets, and only vegetarian meals are cooked during the four days without salt, onion and garlic. The Chhath puja is actively celebrated in the Sun temples of Aurangabad and Baragaon near Nalanda.
Bihar, a landlocked state, comprises of four cultural regions- Bhojpur, Mithila and Magadha and Chotanagpur. Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh shrines cover the length and breadth of the state. In fact, Bihar is one of the richest spots of Buddhist culture and heritage. The Mahabodhi tree, the Mahabodhi temple and the entire Gaya is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists. In addition, Vaishali in Bihar is the place of origin of Jainism, as well as arguably the origin of the world’s oldest democratic republic.
Bihar is divided into four circuits based on these four major religious impacts on the state – Budhhist, Hindu, Jain and Sufi circuits. The major attractions of Bihar’s heritage tour also include the 2500 year old city of Patna, Bhagalpur – once known as Silk city, also famous for the ruins of the Vikramshila University, and Sitamarhi – replete with tales from Ramayana, derives its name from Sita from the epic tale, among others.
Shopping for a souvenir in Bihar, the most meaningful and unique item is the Madhubani or Mithila paintings and wall hangings. Its a unique kind of art form that depicts tales from Hindu epicsand deities, traditionally depicted on freshly painted mud walls, but today its a booming industry where Madhubani or Mithila paintings are done on cloth and canvas. Another ancient and dying art form is the Patna Kalaam Painting that originated in the state. Extracting organic colors from plants and metals, the artisans painted on glass, ivory and mica sheets, the everyday life of commoners. These paintings can almost be treated as antiques since very few artisans engage in this form of painting.
Other unique shopping items in Bihar include handicraft products, hand woven raw tussar silk, handloom, stone and bead jewellery, miniatures in paper and fabric, Khatwa appliqué, stone pottery, Sujini embroidery, bamboo and cane work as well as leather goods.
The main dialects in Bihar are Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili. Bhojpuri is most commonly associated with Biharis.
By Road: The Bridge connects Hajipur in north with Patna down south. There are innumerable buses and private cars which pass through this suspension bridge every day.
By Train: Patna railway junction is the closest rail station. It has regular connecting trains to Ara, Jabalpur, and New Delhi, Danapur, Gaya, Hatia and other places.
By Air: Patna is the nearest airport with regular flights to New Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bangalore and other metros in India.GET DIRECTION
Cinepolis, Maurya Lok, Panache, Forks n Pins etc are some of the restaurants located close to the bridge.
From October till March are the best times to explore this place.
The two lane roadway, footpath along the road and its unique cantilever construction method makes vehicular movement transportation smooth. One of the longest river bridge, this link overpass is a pride of Patna and a must see!
Kumrahar: Situated 5 kms from Patna, Kumrahar allows one to delve into the rich history of Patna!