Conclave pitch in Jharkhand government tourism push

Source: telegraphindia.com

The state government is keen to organise tourism and Buddhist circuit conclaves to boost the tourism sector in Jharkhand.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, state art, culture and tourism minister Amar Kumar Bauri said: “Compared with Bihar, we started quite late in discovering and developing historical places related to Lord Buddha in Jharkhand. Itkhori in Chatra district is an important site that marks the last journey of Siddhartha Gautama before he became Buddha at Bodhgaya. Kauleshwari in Hazaribagh district is also an important Buddhist site being developed by us.”

Bauri, who is a post-graduate in history, said chief minister Raghubar Das was very keen on organising the conclaves in September.

The minister said the tourism sector in Jharkhand had witnessed phenomenal growth in the last four and a half years and would substantially contribute to the state GDP in the coming years.

“The development of roads, hotels, tourist spots and better law and order situation have led to a spurt in the tourist inflow,” Bauri said.

He said in 2018-19, a total of 3.54 crore domestic tourists and 1.76 crore foreign tourists visited Jharkhand.

The number of hotels having a minimum of 10 rooms have risen to 618 in the state from 359 in 2014-15, the minister said, adding that the tourism sector has generated around 74,000 jobs.

“The development of Patratu Dam is another milestone for us. The first phase of the work has been completed at a cost of Rs 60 crore. We have decided to inaugurate the tourist spots at Patratu in September,” the minister said.

He said the department had categorised 132 tourist spots under international, national, state and local categories on the basis of their popularity.

“Jharkhand was earlier known for all the wrong reasons, but tourism has changed the face of the state. Jharkhand is blessed with beautiful and historical places, but unfortunately their potential remained untapped before the Raghubar Das government,” Bauri said.

The minister informed that his department was working on a proposal to install a lift at Pahari temple.

“A proposal for the construction of a ropeway was mooted years back, but the project, which was found unfeasible, was abandoned at the planning stage. Now we are working on a proposal to install a lift and technical discussions have been initiated,” he said.

However, the minister admitted that the department’s efforts didn’t produce the desired outcome regarding two specific issues — roping in Archaeological Survey of India in 2015 to conduct research and survey in 24 districts and the formulation of Jharkhand Sports Policy.

“The survey by ASI could not be undertaken as we lacked trained manpower to assist them. The department provided funds to students and teachers of history in Bokaro district to conduct research at some historic sites, but their report was found unsatisfactory,” he said.

On Jharkhand Sports Policy, Bauri said he had recently prodded officials of the department on the issue. “I hope we will able implement the policy in our next tenure,” he said.

Bauri said Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society started a talent hunt in 2016 to promote talented children.

So far, 5,48,700 kids took part in the drive and 448 were selected and being trained at the coaching centres.

“However, these coaching centres are meant for minor players. Now, we have decided to set up hostels for senior sportspersons in Ranchi and Dumka,” he added.

Centre’s Proposed List of World-Class Tourism Sites Has None from Odisha, Stakeholders Unhappy

Source: news18.com

Bhubaneswar: The Union government’s decision to develop 17 “iconic tourism sites” in the country into world-class destinations has disappointed many here as none of the world-famous sites in the state has found a place in the list.

Sites of cultural and national heritage with significant global appeal abound in Odisha drawing millions of tourists every year.

The sun temple of Konark, a 13th Century architectural and sculptural marvel that keeps attracting foreign tourists, is among the 38 world heritage sites in the country identified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The 10th Century temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri is another preeminent tourist destination in the state.

“The government is developing 17 iconic tourism sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites. The sites would enhance visitor experience which would lead to increased visits of both domestic and international tourists at these destinations,” said Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on July 5.

The sites identified by the Ministry of Tourism include Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Hampi in Karnataka, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, Mahabodhi temple in Bihar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar in New Delhi, Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, Amer Fort in Rajasthan, Somnath and Dholavira in Gujarat and Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra.

Since all of these selected sites are not UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the exclusion of Konark’s sun temple, a massive sandstone structure counted as one of the seven wonders of India, came as a rude shock to many in Odisha.

While other sites such as the Colva beach in Goa and Kaziranga National Park in Assam are among the 17 selected sites, similar sites of unique natural environment in Odisha were given a miss.

“It is disappointing. The selection process certainly raises questions. We will raise the issue with the Centre. Our MPs will raise it during the budget discussions in parliament,” said Minister for Tourism and Culture Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi.

The state, with its wealth of ancient sites of tourist importance, registered 1.5 crore tourist footfalls in 2018.

Buddhist Tourist Destination

Vaishali: Vaishali was one of the earliest republics in the world (6th century BC).It was here that Buddha preached his last sermon. Vaishali, birthplace of Lord Mahavira is also Sacred to Jains.

Patna: Patna once called Patliputra the capital of Bihar, is among the world’s oldest capital cities with unbroken history of many centuries as imperial metropolis of the Mauryas and Guptas imperial dynasties.

Rajgir: Rajgir, 19 kms from Nalanda, was the ancient capital of Magadha Empire. Lord Buddha often visited the monastery here to meditate and to preach. Rajgir is also a place sacred to the Jains, Since Lord Mahavira spent many years here.

Pawapuri: In Pawapuri, or Apapuri, 38 kilometres from Rajgir and 90 kilometres from Patna, all sins end for a devout Jain. Lord Mahavira, the final tirthankar and founder of Jainism, breathed his last at this place.

Bodhgaya: Near the holy city of Gaya, the Buddha attained enlightenment. The tree that had sheltered him came to be known as the Bodhi tree and the place Bodhgaya. Today Bodhgaya, an important place of pilgrimage, has a number of monasteries, some of them established by Buddhists of Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka etc.

Nalanda: A great centre of Buddhist learning, Nalanda came into prominence around the 5th century BC and was a flourishing university town with over ten thousand scholars and an extensive library.

Kesaria: This Stupa is in fact one of the many memorable stupa remarkable event in the life of Buddha. Kesaria has a lofty brick mound capped by a solid brick tower of considerable size, which it self is the remain of a Buddhist Stupa. The mound is a ruin with a diameter of 68 feet at its base and a total height of 5½ ft. originally it was crowned by a pinnacle which must have stood 80 or 90 ft above the ground. General Cunningham dated this monument to AD 200 to 700, and held that it was built upon the ruins of a much older and larger Stupa.

It is the highest Stupa found in the country with a height of about 104” from the base.

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.

Tourist places in Gaya

Gaya

Introduction

Gaya, one of the oldest districts of the state, was created on October 3, 1865. The place is of utmost religious importance for Buddhists as well as Hindus. It was at a distance of 14 km from the district HQ that about 2500 years back, Siddhartha Gautama, a wandering prince from the neighbouring Himalayan kingdom, attained enlightenment to become Lord Buddha.

For the Hindus too, the place is very important as it is associated with the final salvation of the soul. The performance of the ‘pindadaan’ rituals is mandatory for the salvation of souls. The Vishnupad temple, located here, is a very important shrine. The district is divided into four subdivisions, 24 blocks, and 31 police stations.

Places of Interest

WHAT TO LOOK FOR


Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple,the seat of Buddha’s enlightenment, is located at Bodh Gaya. Also located here are the Great Buddha statue, Thai Monastery, Tibetan Temple having a mega Dhamma Chakra, Muclind Sarovar and Maya Sarovar.
Dhungeshwari

Dhungeshwari, six km to the south-east of Gaya town, is the place where Buddha spent six years in meditation and it was here that the Buddhist philosophy of ‘madhyam marg’ or middle path dawned on Buddha. Kurkihar Another place associated with Buddha at a distance of 15 km from Gaya town.

Vishnupad Temple

Vishnupad Temple, in Gaya town, is the seat of final salvation. Though the temple is exclusively opened for the Hindus, there is a non-Hindu gate facilitating the entry of non-Hindus up to a certain point outside the temple sanctum. Patharkatti Located at a distance of 25 km from Gaya town, the place is known for its stone products crafted by sculptors of unbelievable skill. Dharmaranya or Lo-Thu-Kaba Flanked on both sides by the rivers Mohane and Niranjana, three km away from the Sujata stupa in Bakaraur, is the unique site of Dharmaranya, mentioned in Hindu and Buddhist legends. As the name suggests, it is a place in jungle which has its roots in Dwapar age. It is said that Yudhisthir after the Mahabharata war had performed yajna for purification from sins. According to Tibetan Buddhists, Lord Buddha meditated here for six years under the Peepul tree. It is a belief that this was also the site of the hermitage of Uruvela Kashyap, who had become a disciple of the Buddha.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

‘Pitripaksha’ the annual festival of souls. The fortnight-long festival begins on ‘Anant Chaturdashi’ in September every year during which lakhs of Hindus visit Gaya to offer ‘pindadaan’ for salvationof their ancestral souls. ‘Pindadaan’ is offered here throughout the year, though.

Annual Urs

Annual Urs of Makhdum, a Sufi saint of the area, is held in the last week of ‘Shaban’ month of Islamic calendar.

Bauddha Mahotsav

The three-day cultural event is organised every year at the Kalchakra Maidan of Bodh Gaya.
The Mahotsava begins on January 14.
Museum, South Church Road, Gandhi Maidan
Timings: 10.30 am to 4.30 pm
Entry free
Monday closed

HOW TO REACH



Gaya is connected by direct rail link to cities like Delhi,Kolkata,Mumbai, Patna.It is 18 km to the south of the GT Road and the link road branches out of the GT Road at a place called Dobhi.

Gaya has an international airport linking it with Colombo, Bangkok and Thimpu. Many chartered planes land at the Gaya airport during tourist season.

The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) runs a bus service between Patna and Bodh Gaya. The BSTDC bus leaves Patna (near Hotel Kautilya) at 7 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. The fare is Rs 60 per person. There is also an inter-city train service between Gaya and Patna. More than half a dozen EMU trains ply between Gaya and Patna. 

Private taxis are available at the Gaya railway station. Rate is negotiable. 
By Air:
By Rail:

Nearest railhead

Gaya.

By Road:

Connected by good roads with all major cities of India.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Ajatshatru, Near Gaya railway station


Phone: 2434584, Fax: 2434202
Tariff ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 900
Heritage Inn, in the middle of Gaya town
Phone: 2431009
Email: heritageinngaya@yahoo.com
Tariff ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 2500
Hotel Sujata, Bodh Gaya
Phone: 2200761, Fax: 2200515
Email: hoteLsujata@yahoo.com
Website: www.hotelsujata.com
Tariff ranging from Rs 2,800 to Rs 4,200
Lotus Nikko Hotel, Bodh Gaya
Phone: 2200700, Fax: 2200788
Email: lotusnikko_bodhgaya@yahoo.com
Tariff ranging from Rs 3,800 to Rs 8,500
Royal Residency, Bodh Gaya
Phone: 2200181, Fax: 2200367
Email: rrbodhgaya@gmail.com
website: www.theroyalresidency.net
Tariff ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,500
BSTDC’s Tourist Complex,
Siddharth Vihar, Bodh Gaya
AC & non-AC rooms are available Tariff (Oct-March): Rs. 800 (AC), Rs. 600 (non-AC);
Apr-Sept: Rs. 700(AC), Rs. 500 (non-AC)
Buddha Vihar (Dormitory)
Tariff: Rs. 150 per bed (Attached bath)
Sujata Vihar (Dormitory)
Tariff: Rs. 75 per bed (Common bath)
Phone: 2200445, Fax:2200127


In Emergency, Contact, STD Code: 0631 District Magistrate: 2420005 (Off), 2420008 (Res)
Superintendent of Police: 2420003 (Off), 2420004 (Res)

Medical Emergencies

,Contact, STD Code: 0631 Civil Surgeon: 2420009 (Res)
Dr. A.N.Rai (Physician): 2433426
Dr. Pandey Rajeshwari Prasad (Surgeon): 2423009
Dr. Manju Sinha (Gynaecologist): 2422190 
Local Transport:

Auto rickshaws, Cycle-rickshaws, tangas.

Tourist Season:

October to March.

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

Tourist places in Motihari

Motihari

Introduction

Motihari is a town steeped in history.When the British carved out the district of Champaran from Saran in the later part of the 19th century. Motihari was made its headquarters. After the creation of West Champaran district with Bettiah as its headquarters in 1972, Motihari continued as the headquarters of truncated East Champaran. 
Motihari holds its eminence as the birth place of famous writer George Orwell,born Eric Arthur Blair,and of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha. 
Places in and around Motihari have had an older link:Buddhism.The world’s tallest stupa is at Kesaria,just an hour from Motihari. Motihari,thus,is a crucible of both the Gandhi and Buddhist circuits. 
A museum and a stone pillar are there to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s links with Motihari.Gandhiji’s courageous statment given before a magistrate is inscribed here on a stone.The 48-ft tall Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Gandhi was prouced before the court of the sub-divisional magistrate on April 18,1917 for violating prohibitory orders. 
Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was experimented on the soil of Motihari in the Champaran district and,thus,Champaran has been the starting point of India’s independence movement launched by Gandhi.

Places of Interest

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Gandhi Sangrahalaya 
It has on display an array of photographs and relics of the Champaran satyagraha. 
  
Schools started by Gandhi 
The schools started by Mahatma Gandhi in the village of Barharwa Lakhensen and Madhuban are among other important sites of interest in the vicinity of Motihari. 
  
Kesaria 
There’s a stupa at Kesaria near Motihari which is said to be the tallest and the largest Buddhist stupa in the world.It was discovered in 1998 through excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India. 
 
The stupa’s height is 104 feet,which is far less than its reported original height.Yet,it is one ft taller than the famous Borobodur stupa in Java.Legend has it that Buddha,on his last journey,is reported to have spent a memorable night at Kesaria,where he reportedly made some historical revelations.These were later recorded in a Buddhist Jataka story 
  
Orwell’s birth place 
 
George orwell,one of the greatest writersof twentieth century and author of famous books like ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’,was born in Motihari in 1903.His father Richard walmesley Blair was a deputy posted in the opium department in Bihar.The cottage,where the famous author was born,lies in the midst of the town.A plaque commemorating has birth place stands outside the house. 
  
Areraj Temple 
A little away from Motihari lies the temple town of Areraj.The Shiva temple here is a popular pilgrim site.Also at Areraj lies an Ashokan pillar attracting tourists throughout the year. 
  
Lake Town 
Motihari has a picturesque lake-Motijheel-running through it.HOW TO REACH

By Air:

Nearest Airport
Motihari has a railway station. But it is advisable to travel to Motihari by road from Patna. Buses and taxis are available. The distance between Patna and Motihari is 160 km. 

By Rail: 

Nearest railhead
Motihari 

By Road:
A number of buses play between Patna and Motihari. 

Where to Stay: 
Hotels, Rest houses and Dharmshalas in the Motihari Town.
Aarti Hotel,Main Road,Phone: 06252-290664,09304255459
ACjnon-AC rooms are available for Rs 150 to Rs 1,000. Food is also served here.
Hotel Shakti,Chhatauni Road,Phone: 06252-235715
ACjnon-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 900.
Hotel Monica,Madhuban Chhawni Chowk,Phone: 09430255419
ACjnon-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 900.
Hotel Divya Raj,Madhuban Chhawni Chowk,Phone: 06252-241777 
ACjnon-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 1,400. 

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

In Emergency,Contact:
District Magistrate: 06252-222695(Off) , 242800(Res) 9431811222 (Mobile)
Superintendent of Police: 222684(Off),232683(Res) 9431822988 (Mobile
Sub-Divisional Police Officer: 222923(Off),9431800068(Mobile) 

Medical Emergencies,Contact
Dr.Shambhu Saran(Cardiologist): 9431233077
Dr.Ashutosh Saran(Surgeon): 9431233123
Dr. Jasbir Saran(Gynaecologist): 9431434954
Dr Shekhar Verma (Dentist): 9431434954
Dr. J. N. Gupta(Physician): 9431233022 

Tourist Season
October to March. 

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

Tourist places in Muzaffarpur

Introduction

Muzaffarpur’s recorded history dates back to the rise of Vajji republic, a confederation of eight clans of which the Lichchhavis were the most powerful and influential. The unity among the Lichchhavis was so strong that the royalty of even the powerful kingdom of Magadh had to go for matrimonial alliances with members of the Lichchhavi clans in 519 BC.

Besides being a seat of one the oldest republics of the world, Muzaffarpur is also believed’ by some Jains to be the birthplace of Lord Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankar. Also, this is the place where Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Lord Mahavir and Lord Buddha were contemporaries. 

The birthplace of Lord Mahavir at Baso Kund under the Saraiya block of Muzaffarpur district has a full-fledged Prakrit Institute which attracts visitors, mainly followers of Jainism, from abroad. Ambarati, which is believed to be the village home of Amrapali, the famous cour dancer of Vaishali, also attracts many. It is 40 km away from Muzaffarpur town. 
Muzaffarpur also boasts of having maintained communal harmony since the medieva period. Not a single Hindu-Muslim riot has ever taken place in Muzaffarpur 
The place is also associated with the first bomb exploded during India’s freedom move ment. The bomb was exploded by a young revolutionary from Bengal, Khudiram Bose, all of 1 years, with the help of his companion Prafulla Chandra Chaki. Khudiram threw the bomb at the horse-driven carriage of Pringle Kennedy, mistaking him for Muzaffarpur’s district judge Khudiram was captured near the Pusa Road railway station and subsequently hanged to death in the Muzaffarpur jail. Post-freedom, the railway station and the jail have been named afte Khudiram. 
Muzaffarpur is famous all over the world for the Shahi litchi grown here. It is because of the unique soil in Bochaha and Mushahari blocks of the district that Shahi litchi has a scent and sweetness which is not found in any other variety of the fruit.

Places of Interest

Litchi gardens of Bochaha, Jhapaha and Mushahari from the first week of April to the second week of May. They are located in a radius of five to seven km from Muzaffarpur.

Jubba Sahni Park, Gandhi Koop on L S College campus, Kamal Shah Mazaar in Purani Bazar, Garib Sthan Mandir, Ramna Devi Mandir and Baglamukhi Mandir in Kachchisarai, all in Muzaffarpur town, are also worth seeing.

One can also visit the National Litchi Research Centre at Rahua, five km from Muzaffarpur town, to know more about litchi. 
   
 
HOW TO REACH 
  
By Air: 
  
Nearest Airport
 
The distance between Muzaffarpur and Patna is 60 km, and one can take a bus or hire a taxi from Patna to reach Muzaffarpur. 
  
By Rail: 
  
Nearest railhead 
Muzaffarpur 
  
By Road: 
Connected by good roads with all Indian cities. 
  
Where to Stay: 
State Tourism Corporation’s and Private Hotels, Rest houses and Dharmshalas at Muzaffarpur
Hotel Elite, Phone: 0621-2245353
Hotel Lichchhavi, Phone: 0621-2268512
Chandralok Continental, Phone: 0621-2245911

WHERE TO EAT There are several motels and dhabas in and around Muzaffarpur.  

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

In Emergency, Contact
District Magistrate: 0621-2212101
Superintendent of Police: 0621-2217797
Town Police Station: 0621-2245252  

Medical Emergencies,Contact
Dr. Birendra Kishore (Surgeon): 0621-2212485
Dr. T.K.Jha (Physician): 0621-2261425
Dr. B.B.Thakur (Physician): 9431238285
Dr. Rangila Sinha (Gynaecologist): 0621-2213938 

Tourist Season
October to March. 

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

Tourist places in Nalanda

Introduction The ancient town in Bihar was once home to the world’s first university for higher learning. Nalanda is about 90 km southeast of Patna. Nalanda means “giver of knowledge”. 
The university at Nalanda began as a Buddhist monastery. Lord Buddha stayed at Nalanda several times in the local mango grove.

Nalanda

Lord Mahavir is also believed to have attained ‘moksha’ at Pawapuri, which is located in Nalanda. Also, according to one sect of Jainism, he was born in the nearby village, Kundalpur. 
Interestingly, there’s a Nalanda Buddhist Centre (NBC) in Brazil. Set up in 1989, the centre was so named as a tribute to the great legacy of Nalanda, The NBC was the second Theravada Buddhist tradition centre set up in Brazil 22 years after the Sri Lankan temple was first established.

Places of Interest

WHAT TO LOOK FOR 
Ruins of ancient Nalanda 
 
The university of Nalanda was established in 450 AD under the patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumaragupta. It was one of the world’s first residential universities. Its dormitories accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

The Nalanda varsity had eight separate compounds and ten temples besjdes many meditation halls and classrooms. There were also lakes and parks. The subjects taught at the university covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from as far as Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia and Turkey, among other countries.

Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang has given a detailed account of the university. The terracotta seal of Nalanda University has been put on display in the ASI Museum at Nalanda. 
  
Pawapuri 
 
Lord Mahavir attained ‘nirvana’ (salvation from the endless cycle of life and death) at Pawapuri,and thus the placeis a holy site for Jains.It is located 38 km from Rajgir in Nalanda district and 90 km from Patna,and it was here that Lord Mahavir,the last of the 24 Jain Tirthankars,breathed his last around 500 BC. He was cremated at Pawapuri,also known as APapuri (the sinless town).

There was a great rush to collect his ashes,and, as a result, so much soil was removed from the place of his cremation that a pond was created.Now, an exquisite marble temple, Jalmandir, stands magnificently on a rectangular island in the middle of the pond.

There’s another Jain temple, Samosharan, here. This is the placewhere Lord Mahavir delivered his last sermon 
  
Kundalpu  
Just 1.6 km from the ruins of Nalanda is this place called Kundalpur. The Digambar sect of Jains believes that the 24th and the last Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir, was born here. There are many Jain temples in this village. 
  
Multimedia Museum 
 
India’s first multimedia museum was opened here on January26, 2008. It has a section that recreates the history of Nalanda using a 3D animation film with narration by TV and movie actor Shekhar Suman. There are four more sections in the Multimedia Museum Geographical Perspective Historical Perspective,Hall o Nalanda and Revival o Nalanda. 
  
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Museum 
Nalanda,the archaeological museum set up in 1917, housesthe antiquities,mainly those excavated from the earliest university cum monastery complex at Nalanda and from Rajgir. Out of 13,463 antiquities, 349 are on display in the four galleries of the museum. The antiquities from Nalanda are datable from 5th to 12th century AD but some of those from Rajgir are a little older. The sculptures kept in this museum are made of stone, bronzes, stucco and terracotta but majority of those have been carved on basalt stone.
Most of the idols belong to the Buddhist faith but there are also those belonging to Jain and Hindu religions.
A scale model of excavated remains of Nalanda university occupies the central place of the hall. There are 57 idols and sculptures displayed in the first gallery.
Opening hour:10 am to 5 pm
Friday closed
Entrance fee: Rs 2 per head
Free entry for children up to 15 years  
  
Xuanzang Memorial Hall 
 
A memorial has been built and named after the Chinese traveller and scholar monk, Xuanzang, who was a student at Nalanda and subsequently became a teacher at the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara.The magnificent hall is located barely 1.3 km away from the ruins of Nalanda.
It was in January 1957 that India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on behalf of the government of India, received the relics of Xuanzang along with his biographyand an endowment for the construction of a hall in his memory from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lamaof Tibet. The initiative was aimed at enhancingthe cultural relationship between India and China. The construction work started in 1960 and was completed in 1984. The relics of Xuanzang have been preserved in the Patna Museum. 


HOW TO REACH

The road between Patna and Ragir-Nalanda-Pawapuri is in excellent condition. Private and state transport buses ply between Patna and Biharsharif, the district HQ town of Nalanda. Tempos or horse-driven carts can be hired from Biharsharif for Rajgir. Alternatively, one can hire a taxi from Patna to Rajgir-Nalanda-Pawapuri. There’s also a direct train between Delhi and Nalanda. Called Shramjeevi Express (2391 Up/2392 Dn), it runs via Patna. 
  
By Air:

Nearest Airport 
Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport, Patna, 100 km away. 
  
  
By Rail: 
  
Nearest railhead
 
Nalanda. 
  
By Road: 
Connected by good roads with all major cities of India. 
  
Where to Stay: 
There are several hotels in and around Rajgir. Apart from hotels, tourists can opt for tourist bungalows or government-owned hotels or guest houses

Indo-Hokke Hotel (3-star facilities), Phone: 255231, Fax: 255245
Rajgir Residency (2-star facilities), Phone: 255404, Fax: 255405
Hotel Tathagat Vihar, Phone: 255176, Fax: 255176
Hotel Siddhartha, Phone: 255216, Fax: 255352

Emergency, Contact

Nalanda District Magistrate: 235203, 235204, Fax: 235205
Nalanda Superintendent of Police: 235207, Fax: 233978
Rajgir Dy Superintendent of Police: 255461
Rajgir Police Station: 255258

Medical Emergencies, Contact Rajgir Hospital: 255102 

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

Tourist Season 
From October to February. From mid-December to the end of January, temperature here ranges from 5 degree C to 15 degree C. May and June are hot and the mercury goes up to 46 degree C. It’s monsoon time towards the end of June. 

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

Tourist places in Nawada

Introduction

Situated on the National Highway-31 on Patna-Ranchi main road, some 120 km away from Bihar capital Patna, Nawada is a place of historical and mythological significance. Half of the Nawada district’s land is surrounded by forests and hills and several important places, like Kakolat Falls, offer a panoramic and pleasant natural sight to the tourists visiting Nawada.

The legend has it that Nawada was visited by Pandavas of the Mahabharata fame during their exile. Historians in their writings have acknowledged and discussed the discovery of several monuments, statues and coins of the Mauryan, Sunga, Pala and Mughal periods in different parts of the district. One can have a dekko at these finds, preserved in the Nardah Museum at Nawada town, the district HQ.

Peasant leader Swami Sahajanand made this district his workplace while Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan or JP, whose historic ‘Total Revolution’ call in 1970s led to the formation of the first non-Congress government in New Delhi, had his ‘Sarvodaya Ashram’ at Shekhodeora in the district’s Kauakol block.

Places of Interest

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Sarvodaya Ashram

This Ashram, established by Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, is 55 km away from the district HQ and is located in the forests at Shekhodeora village. Endowed with very natural and scenic beauty, the place had been a home to JP for quite some time.

Tourist inquiries about the Ashram can be made from 9934082815.

Nardah Museum

Nardah Museum is one of the prominent museums of Bihar with a very rich collection of ancient artifacts adorning its shelves. Several statues and coins of the Mauryan, Sunga, Pala and Mughal eras have been preserved at this museum, opened in 1973 soon after Nawada was carved out of Gaya as a separate district.

Kakolat

 Kakolat Falls is a popular water falls of the district that attracts people from different parts of the country for picnicking in the summer. Water here falls from approximately 150 ft above the ground level into a well maintained pond at Kakolat, 33 km from the district HQ. It is surrounded by lush green forests, which add to its beauty.

This is the place which, according to the legend, was visited by the great Pandavas during exile. Also, a mythological king, cursed by a saint to take the shape of a python, got salvation after bathing in the water here. Having gotrid of the curse, the king proclaimed that those who would take a bath in the waterfall would never be reborn as a snake. A large number of people from far and near make it a point to take a bath under the falls due to this belief.

Tourist inquiries about Kakolat can be made from 9334610352.

Gunawan Jain Temple

One of the holiest temples of Jains, this temple is located one km away from the district HQ on the National Highway-31.

Handia Sun Temple

This temple, 12 km from Nawada town, is believed to have existed since the ‘Dwapar Age’. The legend has it that the water in the temple is sacred enough to cure leprosy patients.

Sitamarhi Cave

The Sitamarhi Cave is situated in a remote part of the district, about 30 km from the district HQ on the Gaya-Nawada main road, The cave is about 16 ft long and 11 ft wide. 


HOW TO REACH

Nawada is connected with rail link, but the neighbouring Gaya Junction is better connected with all major cities. Alternatively, one can reach Patna and hire a taxi to Nawada.

It is advisable to make Nawada a part of the package tour of Gaya, Nalanda and Rajgir because all these places are located in a radius of 100 km and are connected with good, motorable roads. 
  
By Air: 
  
Nearest Airport
 
Gaya and Patna 
  
By Rail: 
  
Nearest railhead
 
Nawada 
  
By Road: 
Connected by good roads with all Indian cities. 
  
Where to Stay: 
Private Hotels, Rest houses and Dharmshalas at Bihar Sharif/Nawada/Rajgir

Hotel Krishna Palace, STD Code: 06324, Phone: 9934747163, 216149
AC and nol’1-AC rooms available for Rs 250.R5 400 per day per room.
Hotel Rajshree International, STD Code: 06324, Phone: 215211, 9431227029
AC and non-AC rooms available for Rs 250-Rs 600 per day per room.

WHERE TO EAT Dozens of restaurants, motels and dhabas are around. The food at these places is not very costly.  

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

In Emergency, Contact, STD Code: 06324
District Magistrate: 212240, 212253, 9431413443
Superintendent of Police: 212263, 214389, 9430410983 

Medical Emergencies,Contact, STD Code: 06324
Civil surgeon: 212270, 9431227180
Sadar Hospital: 217579
Dr. Akhilesh k Mohan (Paediatrician): 9431251709
Dr. Prabhakar Singh (Physician): 9431831409
Dr. A.K.Arun (Physician): 9431257217
Dr. Madhu Sinha (Gynaecologist): 9771700421  

Tourist Season 
October to March. 

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

Tourist places in Rohtas

Introduction

Sasaram, the headquarters town of Rohtas district, is steeped in history. It is an important railway station between Mughalsarai and Gaya. The station has a stoppage of all the important trains. The Grand Trunk Road also passes through the town.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Tomb of Sher Shah 
The magnificent mausoleum of Sher Shah in the town is one of the noblest specimens of Pathan architecture in India. It stands in the middle of a tank.

Rohtas Fort

One of the most interesting places in Bihar is the ancient hill fort situated on Kaimur hills, some 1490 ft above sea level. It is 70 km away from Sasaram.

Tomb of Hasan Khan Suri

In the centre of the historical town is the mausoleum of Hasan Khan Suri, the father of Emperor Sher Shah (1538 AD).The tomb consists of an octagonal hall surmounted by a large dome and is surrounded by an arcade which is crowned on each side by three small domes.

Tomb of Salim Shah

In the middle of a large tank, about half a mile to the north-west of Shershah’s tomb, is situated the tomb of his son, Emperor Salim Shah.

Tomb of Alawal Khan

Outside the town to the south is the tomb of Alawal Khan. Khan was the officer in charge of the building of Sher Shah’s mausoleum and took advantage of his position to appropriate the finest stone for his own tomb.

Mundeshwari Mandir

 Mundeshwari temple is one of the oldest Hindu monuments in Bihar. It is located on the summit of an isolated hill, seven miles north west of Bhabhua, the headquarters town of Kaimur district. Kaimur is adjacent to Rohtas. The nearest railway station is Bhabhua Road. The temple is in the shape of an octagon. Octagonal ground plan for a temple is rather rare.

HOW TO REACH 
  
By Air:
  
Nearest Airport
 
Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport, Patna (147kms) Gaya International Airport, Gaya (About 125 kms) 
  
By Rail: 
  
Nearest railhead 
Sasaram 
  
By Road: 
Connected by good roads with all Indian cities. 
  
Where to Stay: 
Hotel Sher Shah, a unit of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, Phone: 221267 AC rooms and restaurant facility available
Hotel Gopal Deluxe, Phone: 224366
Hotel Jaya, Phone: 221277
Hotel Vijay, Phone: 222323

Emergency, Contact

District Magistrate: 222226 (Off), 222224 (Res), 9431632414 (Mobile)
Superintendent of Police: 253204 (Off), 253205 (Res), 9431822978 (Mobile)

Medical Emergencies,Contact Anjani Arogya Institution: 221215
Civil Surgeon: 222039
Chauhan Fracture Nursing Home: 222101
Gayatri Nursing Home: 222488


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

Tourist Season:
October to March. 

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