A place in Bihar with relation to Mahatma Gandhi

Motihari (East Champaran): Motihari was to the first laboratory of Gandhian experiment in Satyagraha and probably it will not be very incorrect to say that is has been the spring board for India’s independence. Champaran district generated a wave of enthusiasm and inspiration to the people who were thirsting for a selfless and saintly leader. The technique followed by Gandhiji in Champaran was what attained later on the name of Satyagraha.

Hazarimal Dharamshala, Betia (West Champaran): It is at Betiah in the Lal Bazar area. Gandhi and his companions used to camp here and it was the epicenter of his “Satyagraha”. The State Govt. has declared this building a protected monument. The Betia Raj Kuteherry and the Dharmashala were Mahatama Gandhi stayed are well worth visit.

Bhitharwa Ashram (West Champaran): It is a village in the Bettiah Sub-division under Gaunaha Block. This was one of the centre for social work selected by Gandhiji, when he was in Champaran in 1917.
                At present there is a Khadi Centre working under direct control of the Bihar Khadi Samiti. There is a Gandhi Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi had stayed during the Indian freedom straggle.

Brindaba (West Champaran): It is a small village in the Betia sub-division under Champatia Block. It has the Gram Seva Kendra, which had been planned to work out the deals of the Gandhi Seva Sangh. The all India Gandhi Seva Sangh held there annual conference at this village in 1937. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Rajendra Prasad attended it. Gandhiji stayed here in 1939 and started an Ashram, which is still functioning.

Shri Rampur (West Champaran): Situated in the Gannaha Block of Bhitiharwa Panchayat. Gandhiji had stayed here on 16th November, 1917.

Koeldih (West Champaran): Under Gaunaha Block in the Belwa Panchayat. Gandhiji had visited this place on 16th November, 1917.

Amolwa (West Champaran): Under Gaunaha Block in the Majharia Panchayat, where Gandhiji spent a night on the 27th April, 1917 with his other companions.

Murli Bharhawa (West Champaran): It was the native place of Pandit Raj Kumar Shukla who had been a close associates of Mahatma Gandhi during the Champaran Satyagrah Movement. Pandit Shukla took a lead role in bringing Mahatma Gandhi to Champaran.

Sariswa (West Champaran): This place is in Ratanmala Panchayat under Majhaulia Block-Gandhiji and his companions had taken statement of raiyats in a open yard in front of the temple.

Hardiya Kothi (West Champaran): It is under Bishunpur Panchyat of the Nautan Block. It was house of Mr. G. P. Edward, a British Indigo Planter. Remains of this building are in some what better condition in comparison to other such old buildings.

Sadaquat Ashram (Patna): It is situated in Digha area on Patna Danapur Road and in pre independence days guided the freedom movement in Bihar. It is Associated with the memories of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Mautana Mazharal Haque and other leaders.

Gandhi Sangrahalay (Patna Museum): Close to the Western end of Gandhi Maidan in Patna. The Gandhi Sangrahalaya houses a large number of items and artifacts related with Mahatma Gandhi and his satyagrah movement in Bihar. It also has a vast collection of Gandhian literature and photographs depicting his life and works. A “Charkha” (Country made spinning wheel) used by Mahatma Gandhi is also well preserved in this museum.

Sufi Destinations in bihar

Maner Sharif (Patna, Maner):
 It is a large village of historical antiquities, situated in the extreme north west of Danapur Sub-division, about 32 kms west of Patna on Patna-Arrah Highway. In the early ages Maner was a centre of learning and it is said that grammarian Panini, and also Bararuchi, lived and studied here. Maner contains two well-known Mohammedan tombs, that of Shah Daulat or Makhdum Daulat, known as Chhoti Dargah, and the other that of Sheikh Yahia Maneri or Makhdum Yahia, called the Bari Dargah. Makhdum Daulat died at Maner in 1608, and Ibrahim Khan, Governor of Bihar and one of the saint’s disciples completed the erection of his mausoleum in 1616. The building is exceptionally fine one, with walls containing carvings of great delicacy and high finish. A great dome crowns it, and the ceiling is covered with carved inscriptions from the Quran. Every detail of it is characteristic of the architecture of Jehangir’s region, and it is by far the finest monument of the Mughals in Eastern India. Inside the compound there is a mosque also built by Ibrahim Khan in 1619, whiles a fine gateway bearing an older inscription corresponding to 1603-01, and affords access to the north. The tomb of Yahia Maneri lies in a mosque walls and ghats, and pillared porticos jutting out into it, which is connected with the old bed of the River Sone by a tunnel 400-ft long.

Khankah Mujibia (Phulwari Sharif, Patna): 
Nearly 7 kms from Patna Railway Station, Phulwari Sharif is an important Islamic pilgrimage. It has been always a favorite abode of Sufi saints in various times. Hazrat Pir Muzibullah Quadri was one of those in the 18th Century. The Khankah Muzibia, founded by him at Phulwari Sharif is called the Bari Khankah. An old Madarsa here has been the most important centre for teaching of Islamic philosophy since its establishment.
Sacred hairs of the beard of Paigamber Hazrat Muhammad Saheb are preserved here in Banri Khankah that attracts throngs of his followers and a big mela is held every year.
There is also an archeologically important and worth seeing ancient Sangi Masjid (mosque) built of red stones at Phulwari Sharif. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun.

Khankah Emadia (Mangal Talab, Patna City, Patna):
 One of the off-springs in the family of prominent Sufi Saint Hazrat Pir Muzibullah Quadri had founded another Khankah during 19th century near a tank called Mangal Talab that is situated in the Patna City Chowk area. It is called Khankah Emadia that houses a Madarsa. An Urs is held here annually when throngs of devotees assemble and pay their respect to their beloved Sufi Saint.

Dargah Sharif, Mithan Ghat (Patna City, Patna): 
A beautiful double storied mosque was built by Mughal Prince Azim on the banks of Ganges at Mittan Ghat, Patna City area that was previously called Azimabad during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This mosque was built for Mulla Mittan who was teacher of the Prince. It was the place from where the great Sufi Saint Hazrat Makhdum Munnem used to preach his disciples during the 18th Century. The ancient mosque still exists and is popularly known as Dargah Sharif. Every year, after 5 days of “the Eid festival, an annual Urs Chiraga is held here when devotees assemble at this Dargah Sharif in great numbers. 

Hajipur Karbala (Vaishali): 
It was constructed 175 years ago by Shah Alam. It attracts a large crowd of Muslims throughout the years.

Hasanpura (Siwan): 
The village is situated about 21 kms South of Siwan on the bank of Dhanai river. According to tradition, Makhdum Saiyed Hasan Chisti, a saint who came from Arabia to India and settled here, founded this village. He also founded a Khankah (religious institution) here. The village contains remains of a large mosque and tomb of the Saint, which is visited by both Hindus and Muslims. The grave is a large open court to the west of the village. In front of it is a basalt image of Vishnu but it has been ruthlessly treated. It is regarded as an inauspicious fiend who has turned into stone by the holy Makdum and must not be raised or placed erect. It contains no inscription but its style shows it to belong to about the seventh century A.D.

Bibi Kamaal Sahiba (Kako, Jehanabad): 
The village is the headquarters of the block of the same name and is situated on the Jehanabad-Bihar Sharif road, about 10 kms East of Jehanabad railway tation. According to a local legend, Ram Chandra’s stepmother, Rani Kaikeyi of Ayodhya lived here for sometime and the village took its name after her. The village took its name after her. The village has also a tomb of Hazrat Bibi Kamaal Sahiba, a great Muslim lady saint. It is said that this lady was the aunt of Hazrat Makhdum Saheb of Bihar Sharif and possessed divine powers.

Bari Dargah (Bihar Sharif, Nalanda): 
This is headquarters of Nalanda district that lays 30 kms South of Bakhtiarpur on NH-31. This is also a railhead on the Bakhtiarpur Rajgir branch line of the Eastern Indian Railway. This town is known as Bihar Sharif, owing to its many Muslim tombs that still retain traces of its former importance as a Muslim pilgrimage. There is a hill called Pir Pahari, about 1 m to the northwest of the town. At its summit is the dargah or mausoleum of the Saint Mallik Ibrahim Bayu, round which are tem smaller tombs. It is a brick structure surmounted by a dome and bears inscriptions showing that the saint died in 1353. Another great dargah is that of Mokhdum Shah Sharif ud-din, also called Makhdum-ul-Mulk, died here in 1379; the inscription over the entrance shows that his tomb was built in 1569. This tomb, which stands on the south bank of the river, is held in great veneration by the local Mohammedans, who assemble here on the 5th day of Sawan to celebrate the anniversary of his death. The Chhoti Dargah is the shrine of Badruddin Badr-I-Alam, famous saint who died here in 1440.

Chhoti Dargah (Bihar Sharif, Nalanda): 
Dargah of Makhdum Hazrat Sultan Ahmed Charampose, Bihar Sharif (Nalanda). The biggest and the oldest building of Mohalla-Amber in the Bihar Sharif Town (Nalanda), is Tomb of Hazarat Makhdum Sultan Saiyad Shah Ahmed Charampose Teg Barhana Rohmatulla Alaib. He was born in the year 1236 and passed away in 1335 (according to Islamic calendar 657-776 Hizri). He is ranked to a very high order among other Sufi saints and Auliahs. Thousands and thousand of people participate in the ‘Urs’ celebrated here in memory of the Saint every year.

Place related to Ramayan in Bihar

Tar (Bhojpur): Situated about 10 kms North West of Piro the village derives its name from Tarka, a she demon killed by lord Rama. There is an old tank in the village that is said to be the wrestling ground of Tarka.

Ahirauli (Buxur): Situated about 5 kms north-east of Buxur, this village has a temple of Devi Ahilya. According to the local tradition it dates back to the pre historic ages. Legend is that, Ahilya was transformed into stone as a result of curse of her husband, Rishi Gautam and she could be redeemed only when lord Ram Chandra visited her place.

Ram Rekha Ghat (Buxur): According to the legends, lord Ram Chandra and his younger brother Lakshman with their teacher Rishi Vishwamitra had crossed the Ganga here on their way to Janakpur where he later took part in the Sita swayambar (the public ceremony of Sita’s Marriage).

Pretshila Hills (Gaya): About 8 kms North-West of Gaya, the 873 feet high Pretshila Hills is situated. The literal meaning is the Hill of ghosts and it is sacred to yam, the Hindu god of hell and forms one of the sacred places of pilgrimage. On the top of the hill is a small temple, appropriately dedicated to Yam (The God of death).

Giddheshwar (Jamui): According to local legends, the epic fight between the vulture Jatayu and the demon Ravan took place here on the hill that is situated about 13 km south of Jamui, while the latter was abducting Sita. There is a temple of Lord Shiva, which draws big crowds on the occasion of Shivratri and Maghi Purnima.

Kako (Jehanabad): Situated 10 km each of Jehanabad Railway station. According to a local legends, Lord Ramchandra’s step mother, Rani Kekaiy of Ayodhya lived here for some time and the village took its name after her. The village has also a tomb of Hazarat Bibi, Kamal Sahiba; a great muslim lady saint. I is said that this lady was the aunt of Haryat Makdum Saheb of Bihar Sharif and Possessed devine powers.

Singheshwar Asthan (Madhepura): Singheshwar Sthan has been the abode of Lord Siva from the ancient times. Though there are various stories about the establishment of the Singheshwar temple, the one that is widely and popularly accepted, relates to Rishi Shringi. In ancient time Singheshwar was situated on the bank of the river Kosi and was surrounded by dense and lush green forest. It was ideally situated for ‘Tapasya’ (Meditation) and it is here that Vibhandak Rishi along with is son Rishi Shringi devoted all his time in deep meditation.

Phullahar (Madhubani): The village is situated about 6 kms West of the block headquarters at Umgaon under Harlakhi P.S. The village countains the temple of Goddess Girija. It is said that Sita, the daughter of king Janak, used to come here every day to worship the Goddess. Lord Rama saw her for the first time at this place.

Sita Kund (Munger): A village about 6 Kms East of the Munger town contains a hot spring known as the Sita Kund spring, which is so called after the well known episode of Ramayan. Ram, after rescuing his wife Sita from the demon king Ravan, suspected that she could not have maintained her honour intact, and Sita, to prove her chastity, agreed to enter a blazing fire. She came out of the fiery or deal unscathed, and imparted to the pool in which she bathed, the heat she had absorbed from the fire. The hot spring is now enclosed in a masonry reservoir and is visited by large number of pilgrims, specially at the full moon of Magh.

Ramchura (Vaishali): The place is situated in Vaishali block, where a fair is held every year on Ram Nawami day. the local tradition has it that lord Ram Chandra had a stopover here for a bath on his way to Janakpur. There are some marks on stone, which are said to be his footprints.

Ahilya Asthan (Darbhanga): The village is situated about 24 kms North West of Darbhanga and about 4 kms from Kamtaul Railway Station. It is known for the temple of Ahilya Asthan, which is associated with the well known legend of the sage Gautam and his wife Ahilya as told in the epics and Puranas. Inside the Shrine is a flat stone said to contain the foot prints of Sita, wife of Ram, as the main object of worship. 

Janki Temple (Sitamarhi): This temple is traditionally considered to be the birth place of Sita or Janki, the daughter of king Janak. This temple, however seems to have been built about 100 years ago.

Janki Temple (Punausa): This temple is about 5 kms South West of Sitamarhi. It also Stakes the same claim to be the birth place of Sita and is considered to be sacred place where people go for a pilgrimage.

Haleshwar Asthan (Sitamarhi): This is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva about 3 kms North-West of Sitamarhi. According to myths the King of Videha on the occasion of Putrayesthi Yojna, founded this temple.

Panth Pakar (Sitamarhi): An age old banyan… tree still stands here about 8 kms North-East of Sitamarhi. It is said that when Sita left Janakpur in a Paanquin for Ayodhya after the marriage to Shri Ram, she was given rest for a while under this very banyan tree.

Chanki Garh (West Champaran): Also known as Janaki Garh, this village is situated about 9 kms East of Ram Nagar Railway Station. There is a large mound in the eastern part of the village. It is a mass of solid brickwork and is 90’ high. It was probably originally a Fort and the remains of fortification can still be seen. The local tradition asserts that it was a Fort of king Janak.

Valmiki Nagar (West Champaran): This is a village on the Indo Nepal border 42 kms North-West of Bagaha to which it is connected by a metalled road. A barrage has been constructed here on the Gandak river for the purpose of irrigation. Besides an old Shiva temple constructed by the Bettiah Raj, there are also ancient temple of Nara Devi and Gauri Shankar at Valmiki Nagar.
There is a Valmiki Ashram, which is said to be the place where Maharshi Valmiki was living. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti every year a fair is held on the bank of River Gandak.

Sonepur Fair – a Bihar Prime Tourist Destination

A traditional Fair that has remained pristine in its charm through the ages it is also the largest cattle fair in Asia.

Legend has it that two brothers, devotees of Lord Vishnu, one wily and the other honest, cast a spell upon each other making one an elephant and the other a crocodile. On a Kartik Purnima day, the honest elephant went to the confluence of the holy river Ganga and Gandak to bathe and was attacked by the wily crocodile. Lord Vishnu himself intervened and helped the good triumph over the evil. With Lord Vishnu’s help the elephant prevailed upon the Crocodile.

Boats at the river banks, a large no. of elephants, camels, horses, cows, buffaloes, oxen, goats, dogs, cats & birds for sale, loosely robed sadhus (holy men), freshly washed animals, shops on the pavements overflowing with goods, swirling crowds in colourful dresses and joyful moods, curious onlookers-such are the scenes that dominate this wonderful fair.

A unique Fair in which imposing Indian elephants are the prime attraction. The central draw of the fair is cattle trade. All species of birds, poultry, bovines and beasts of burden specially elephants, have a market here.

The post-harvest season for paddy crops coincides with this fair. Sales are brisk in food grains, readymade garments, agricultural implements, weapons, furniture, perfumes, costume jewellery, handcrafted folk toys and utensils in wood, copper, brass and steel.

The fair entertains visitors with ‘nautanki’- a typical traditional musical drama performance. Other attractions are the circus, magic shows, fortune-telling parrots, and pedlers of fancy goods.

The Sonepur Mela is indeed A Fair to Remember, year after year.

Fair Duration: A fortnight following the first full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik Shukla Paksh (Kartik Purnima), which occurs in the period October/ November. Precise duration to be checked up every January.

How to reach: Sonepur is 25 kms across the river Ganga from Patna, the capital city of Bihar, which receives direct daily flights from Delhi and Calcutta, and is a major railway junction also linked by road to important towns on the Calcutta-Delhi route.

Where to stay: Fully furnished Swiss-type Cottages (with attached western toilets) in the Tourist village set up at the Sonepur Fair grounds, supported by catering and security facilities, and offering complimentary elephant ride.

For detailed information, accommodation and transport bookings please contact: Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) Tourist Bhawan, 
Beer Chand Patel Path, Patna-800 001
Tel: 0612-2225411, 2210219.
Fax: 0612-2236218

Antardwand – A Story of Tales of an abducted groom in Bihar

ANTARDWAND

Bihar seems to be infamous for a lot of social issues, one of them being groom kidnapping. This week’s release Antardwand (watch the trailer here) hopes to explore just that. Starring Raj Singh Chaudhary, who wowed us in Gulaal, the film follows the trials and tribulations of a guilt-ridden groom,who is desperate to escape his predicament. 

Chaudhary tells Rajul Hegde what his film, directed by Sushil Rajpal, is all about.

Tell us about Antardwand.

I play an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) aspirant, who lives in Delhi and decides to return to his native place in Bihar to seek permission to marry his girlfriend. But on reaching Bihar, he is confronted with the prospect of marrying a girl chosen by his father.

As the negotiations between his father and the would-be father-in-law break down, the guy decides to return to Delhi after confiding to his father of his intentions to marry his girlfriend. This is where the movie takes a dramatic turn and the protagonist is kidnapped, locked for 20 days, tortured and forced to marry at gunpoint.

Were you aware of such stories before doing the film? No. I got to know about it only after I read the script. I heard that there are 1,300 such cases, which are registered in Bihar.

Sikh gurdwara in Bihar

The capital of Bihar, Patna is one of the holiest city in Sikhism, as The tenth Guru of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh was born here in 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur.[7] Patna was also honoured by visits from Guru Nanak in 1509 as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1666.

* Takht Shri Harmandir Saheb – is , one of the Five Takhts of the Sikhism. The Gurdwara at Patna Sahib is in remembrance of the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, The tenth Guru of the Sikhs.[7]
   * Gurdwara Pahila Bara – commonly known as Gurdwara Ghai Ghat, is dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev, who during his visit into Patna stayed here in 1509 A.D. and later by Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his family visited this place in 1666 A. D.[8]
  * Gurdwara Gobind Ghat – is where the child Guru Gobind Singh used to play with his playmates on the bank of the Ganges. It is situated on the bank of river Ganga and hardly 200 yards from Takht Shri Harmandir Saheb. Its also known as Gurdwara Kangan Ghat.[9]
 * Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh -This Gurdwara is situated 2 miles far from the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh.[10]
    * Gurdwara Bal Leela – This place is just a few meters away from Takhat Patna Sahib. Guruji was playing with other children during his childhood. Gurdwara Bal Leela is also known as Maini Sangat.[11]
    * Gurdwara Handi Sahib – This Gurdwara was built in the memory of Guru Teg Bahadur. As Guru Teg Bahadur with Mata Gujri and Bala Preetam stayed here in 1728[12]
    * Gurdwara Taksali Sangat
    * Gurdwara Chacha Phaggu Mal
    * Gurdwara Pakki Sangat
    * Gurdwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Chauki

TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS IN BIHAR

Patna is a city abounding in the relics of the bygone ages. Takht Harmandir Saheb is of religious importance to the Sikhs and is believed to be the place of birth of the last Sikh guru, Govind Singh. The Jalan Museum with a rare collection of curios. Sher Shah’s mosque in the heart of the city is a splendid example of Afghan architecture. Among the numerous mosques in Patna, Begum Hajjam’s mosque stands as the oldest. Saif Khan’s Madarsa mosque, built in 1630, commands a magnificent view of the riverfront. Saif was married to Malika Bano, the elder sister of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of emperor Shahjahan. Excavations at Kumhrar have yielded the remains of a Mauryan palace with sandstone pillars. One can still see Agam Kuan or the fathomless well, which was part of Ashoka’s hell for prisoners. The famous Mahendru Ghat in today’s Patna is the reminder of Mahendru (Ashoka’s brother) who had sailed from this very Ghat to Ceylon in order to preach Buddhism. The Khuda Baksh Oriental library is a treasure trove of medieval manuscripts. The Patna Museum is noted for its collection of statues and a very old fossilized tree, 16 meters high. Close to the museum is the Gol Ghar, the 29 meter high beehive shaped granary constructed in 1786, following a terrible famine. The Patna Cemetery is a historically important European monument situated in what was once a Haveli (mansion) and is now a hospital. Some distance from the cemetery is the Padri ki Haveli, a Catholic church with an imposing façade.

Thirty kilometers from Patna is Maner, a medieval stronghold of the Turks and the site of the shrines of Hazrat Makhdum Yahya Maneri and his son Shafruddin Ahmed Maneri.

Tour to Bihar The remains of an ancient fort with massive cyclopean walls together with other sites amidst lush green surroundings of Rajgriha recreate the glory of the past. Until the discovery of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, this was believed to be the oldest architectural remains in India. The site is equally revered by the Jains, as their 24 Tirthankars are believed to have practiced austerities on the different hills of Rajgriha. The Jal Mandir at Pawapuri (the sinless city) marks the site where Vardhamana Mahavira (the 24th Tirthankar) was cremated while Parasnath hill is associated with the Nirvana of the 23rd Tirthankar, Sri Parsvanath.

Nalanda, in the heart of Bihar, stands as the world’s most ancient seat of learning. The ruins confirm the university’s ability to cater to the needs of 10,000 students until the 12th century AD. The excavations have yielded numerous monasteries, temples, stupas and statues of Buddha. The Vikramshila University was an important institution of Tantric Buddhism and there was a regular exchange of teachers between the two universities.

Bodh Gaya houses the site of the sacred Mahabodhi tree where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Adjoining the tree is the high-spired Mahabodhi temple considered to be the most sacred shrine for Buddhists. Add to this the Hindu legend of Gaya, which was the name of a demon that grew so powerful that the gods felt threatened. As a pre-condition to his death, he demanded that the area covered by his body should be one of the holiest spots of the world. This land is believed to be Gaya.

Rajmahal is a medieval settlement on the eastern fringe of Bihar. It is believed to have been founded by Raja Man Singh, the Rajput general of Emperor Akbar. It was earlier a strategic place for the Bengal sultans who pitched their advance tent here before moving on to any military campaign.

The picturesque mausoleum of Sher Shah at Sasaram, outdoes the Taj Mahal in size, with a dome that surpasses it by 13 feet. Also at Sasaram we find the mausoleum of Sher Shah’s father, Hasan Shah Sur. No less picturesque is the tomb of Sher Shah’s son, Salim Shah, built in the center of a lake. On the outskirts of the village is the tomb of Aliwal Khan, the chief architect working for Sher Shah. A few hours’ drive from Sasaram takes one to the Rohtasgarh fort. In the words of Abul Fazal it is “a well defended paradise (fort) with no equal for strength and solidity.” The fort, 28 miles in circumference, is a perfect platform for eco-tourism projects. It is perched high on the Kaimur hills and there are abundant springs and numerous monuments that bring to life the history of its Mughal and Afghan governors and still later the Britishers who almost destroyed the surviving parts.

The Chotanagpur plateau spread over 34,000 square miles that encompass the southern half of Bihar, is one of the most fascinating places in India. There is no end to scenic attractions, waterfalls, deciduous forests, hills (rising up to 3,000 feet), plateaus (at an elevation of 1,000 feet), valleys, wildlife, and of course the aboriginals, who predominate this region. Add to this the salubrious climate that makes the region an ideal getaway.

The oldest geological formation of India are found in the Chotanagpur plateau of Bihar that also stores a vast deposit of a variety of minerals that cater to national and international needs. Bihar, on an average accounts for half the total output of coal and mica, the whole of copper and about 45 per cent of the iron produced in India. It is also the only region in the country to have Uranium mines.

Prominent places in Chotanagpur include Ranchi (2,140 feet), a picturesque hill station that inspired Tagore to compose a book of poems; Netarhat or the ‘queen of Chotanagpur’ is perched at 3,700 feet and offers beautiful sunset and sunrise views; Palamau is famous for its tropical forest and is rich in wildlife, and is the place where the world’s first tiger census was conducted in 1932. As of today, there are 45 tigers in the reserve and they are now said to be venturing out in search of new territories. No less interesting is the Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary nestling at a low terrain (1,800 feet). Hazaribagh is also vying for a place in the international heritage list for its recent findings of rock paintings, caves, stone age tools and smelted iron slag that shows a much early advent of the Iron Age than the theorized Chalcolithic age. At another village in Hazaribagh, the archaeologists have unearthed densely packed layer of pottery shards that are identical to those found at Harappa.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS in Bihar

Though Bihar celebrates almost all the north India festivals, it has a festival that is unique to the state. Chhath is the most important festival of the state and is celebrated six days after Diwali, when people from all castes can stand together in the river and worship the sun god. The rituals related to Chhath are very stringent and there are several folktales, songs, and special sweets that make this festival a unique experience.

Tour to Bihar Another unique ritual confined to Bihar is the Pind-daan performed by the Gayawals in Gaya. It is considered to be an obligation of all devout Hindus to visit this place after the death of their parents, a mandatory rite believed to bring salvation to the departed souls. Though the pind-daan can be performed almost any time of the year, people prefer to do it during Pitrapaksha, which is the period just before Navratri and generally falls in September.

In the summer month of June, the people of Mithila in the village of Saurath organize a unique marriage mart in a mango orchard. During this fair, parents whose children are of marriageable age come here and the Mithila Brahmins settle a record number of marriages during this time.

Sonepur is the venue of a grand cattle fair held in the month of November. The fair is ranked as the world’s largest and it is not simply confined to animal trade but numerous shows and performances are also a part of the fair. Visitors also pay obeisance at the nearby temple of Hariharnath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Tourist destination in Aurangabad

Introduction

Aurangabad district is situated on the Grand Trunk Road. The National Highway-2 passes through the district connecting it to Delhi in the north and West Bengal in the east.
Obra is famous for its carpet and blanket industry. The carpet-weaving tradition here can be traced back to the 15th century with its main hub today being village Koriepur.
India’s freedom struggle had many a participant from Aurangabad, and ‘Bihar Vibhuti’ Anugrah Narayan Sinha, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajendra Prasad, hailed from the district. Sinha was also a member of the Constituent Assembly that wrote the Indian Constitution. In post-Independence days, he served the state as its first finance minister

Places of Interest

Deo Sun Temple
Built in 8th century AD by Chandravanshi King Bhairavendra Singh, this is one of the ancient Sun temples of the country. Reference to the temple can also be found in Puranas and other religious texts. The lOO-ft high temple resembles the temple at Konark in its architectural form. A unique thing about the Deo temple is that it faces west unlike the traditional Sun temples which face east. Needless to say, Deo is the place where Chhath, Bihar’s most sacred festival devoted to the Sungod,can be best seen.

Daud Khan Fort
This fort is situated at Daudnagar, on the eastern bank of the river Sone. It was founded by Doud Khan, governor of Bihar under the 17th century Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. Governor Doud is said to have stopped and taken rest at the place on his way back from a conquest, and fonded the town named after him. Later, Aurangazeb granted Daudnagar to him. There are an mosque and many ‘sarais’, built by Daud Khan as well his grandson Ahmed Khan, in the town.

Fairs & festivals
Deo Mahotsava is organised every year near the famous Deo Sun Temple. The two-day extravaganza is held in the month of February-March with artistes, local as well as those of national repute, showcasing their art during the fest. The Mahotsava is also listed in the state tourism calendar.
Jamhor,three km from Aurangabad’s Anugrah Narayan Road railway station,is the most sacrosanct place after Gaya for Hindus for offering ‘pindsdaan’ to their forefathers.The place is situated on the bank of river Punpun.

HOW TO REACH

Nearest Airport
Bodh Gaya International Airport
102 Km form Aurangabad
Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport Patna
126 Km form Aurangabad

By Rail: (Rail Route Map)

Nearest railhead
Anugrah Narayan Road
14 Km from the district HQ
Rafiganj
20 km From the district HQ

By Road:
Regular bus services-both private and government-from Patna.

Where to Stay:
Hotels, Rest houses and Dharmshalas in the Aurangabad Town.
J.K.Hotel Phone No : +91 94302 61426 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 94302 61426      end_of_the_skype_highlighting,Ac Rooms (Rs.550)
Non-Ac Rooms (Rs.250 Single; Rs.350 Double)
Hotel Royal Phones No : +91 93045 01479 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 93045 01479      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, +91 99313 67351 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 99313 67351      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Local Transport:
Auto rickshaws, Cycle-rickshaws, tangas.

In Emergency, Contact
District Magistrate: 06186-223167 (Off), 223168 (Res)
Superintendent of Police: 06186-223175 (Off), 223195 (Res)
Town Police Station: +91 94318 22231 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 94318 22231      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Medical Emergencies,Contact
Sadar Hospital: 06186-223183
Dr. Ramashish Singh (Physician): +91 94312 56220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 94312 56220      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Dr. Anil Kumar Singh (Surgeon): +91 94312 78953 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +91 94312 78953      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Tourist Season
October – November as lakhs of devotees throng the Deo Sun Temple during the period to observe Chhath.
February-April when Dep Mahotsav is organised.

Clothing:
Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter (specially during November to January).

Tourist Places in Begusarai

Begusarai

Introduction

Carved out of the old Munger district and notified as a district on October 2, 1972, Begusarai is a major industrial centre of Bihar. Indian Oil Corporation’s Barauni Refinery, one of the country’s oldest oil refineries, is situated here.

Btraces back its history to the Buddhist period when it was called ‘Anguttarapa’, as mentioned in Buddhist literature ‘Majjhim Nikaya’. There have been evidences of continued habitation here since the Mauryan period. It was an important centre of administration, art and culture during the Pala period.

Places of Interest

Situated 5 km west of Begusarai town on National Highway 31 at a place called Ulao, this temple is more than a century old and is embellished with exquisite murals of rich Rajasthani Shekhawati Art of painting. The theme of the paintings is based on the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other Hindu epics.

Panch Mandir Barauni Refinery

HERITAGE
Panch Mandir, another temple situated in close proximity to the Radhe Shyam Temple, is replete with Pala-era statues of various gods and goddesses and other artifacts of the same period. The Shivalinga in the temple also belongs to the Pala period.

Museums

The KP Jayaswal Radha Krishna Chaudhary Memorial Archaeological Museum, situated on the local G D College premises, has on display many statues and artifacts found during various archaeological excavations. There’s also a Government Museum at Lohia Nagar.

Son of The Soil

Famous Hindi poet, Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, belonged to Simaria village in the district. There’s a bust of the poet installed in the village to commemorate his contributions to the Hindi literature. The Dinkar Jayanti Samaroh Samiti, of which the Begusarai district magistrate is the ex-officio head, organises a Dinkar anniversary function at the Dinkar Bhawan in Begusarai town every year on September 23. Literary doyens of Hindi from across the country attend the function at which two Hindi litterateurs are feted.

Fairs & Festivals

The month-long Simaria Mela, organised on the bank of river Ganga at Simaria Ghat during October-November every year, draws thousands of devotees from Bhutan and Nepal. The devotees stay in thatched houses and take a dip in the river as there’s a widespread belief that a dip in the Ganga during the period washes all sins. The atmosphere becomes supremely religious during the period, and the festivities end with Chhath festival. 

HOW TO REACH 

Distance from Patna: 120 km

By Air:(Air Route Map)

Nearest Airport
Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport, Patna Private and state transport buses as well as taxis are available from Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and all other important towns of the state.

By Rail: (Rail Route Map)

Nearest Railway Stations
Begusarai Jn is situated on the Barauni-Katihar section of ECR.
Barauni railway station is situated 15 km away from the district HQ.
Hathidah railway station is situated about 20 km away from the district HQ.

By Road:
Connected by good roads with all Indian cities.

Where to Stay:
Guest Houses: The state government, Barauni Refinery, Barauni Thermal Power Station and the Barauni Sudha Dairy have their own guest houses.

Hotel Yuvraj, Barauni, STD Code : 06243 Phones : 265524/264780
AC rooms and suites available with tariff ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,500
Hotel Samrat, Barauni, STD Code : 06243 Phone : 265534
AC and non-AC rooms available for Rs 180 to Rs 700
Hotel Blue Diamond, Begusarai, STD Code : 06243 Phone : 242181
AC rooms and suites available with tariff ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500
Motel Sayonara, Begusarai, STD Code : 06243 Phone : 244078
Non-AC rooms available with tariff ranging from Rs 325 to Rs 500

WHERE TO EAT

Chilly’s, Tahiti Resort, NH 31
Phone: 244786
Celebrations, NH 31
Phone:243776
Ahaar Utsav, Barauni Refinery Township
Phone: 274289
Swayamprabha Restaurant, Motel Sayonara, near Begusarai railway station
Phone: 244078
Jubilee Dhaba, NH 31
Phone: 245973/274269

Local Transport:
Auto rickshaws, Cycle-rickshaws, tangas.

In Emergency,Contact, STD Code : 06243
District Magistrate: 212285 (Off), 200584 (Res)
Superintendent of Police: 213015 (Off), 200519 (Res)

Medical Emergencies,Contact, STD Code : 06243
Dr. M.N. Roy (Surgeon): 212849
Dr. Nalini Ranjan Singh (Ortho): 212877
Dr. Ramashraya Singh (Surgeon): 217281
Dr. K.K.Singh (Physician): 213630
Dr. Binay Kumar (Physician): 218440
Dr. Dinesh Prasad Singh (Physician): 212189
Sadar Hospital: 210002

Tourist Season
October-March as the Simaria Mela is held during the period. Besides, this is the time when Kawar Lake remains abuzz with migratory birds. The temperature is also comfortable except during the period between December-end and mid- January when it’s cold.

Clothing:
Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter (specially during November to January).