About Bihar, Why Bihar, Culture and Facts, Bihar
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About Bihar

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Bihar is an Indian State in the eastern part of India. The state is the 12th largest state, area wise and is third most populous state. River Ganges intersects Bihar into two parts. The state has a forest area of 6764 km². Patna is the capital city of Bihar and the languages spoken are Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magadhi, Bajjika and Angika.

Four out of the five greatest emperors in India belonged to this part, namely Samudragupta, Ashoka, Vikramaditya and Chandragupta Maurya. Bihar in the ancient period was the epicenter of learning, culture and power. The city Pataliputra from this state was an integral part of Indian civilization. Bihar houses the Nalanda University, which is the world’s oldest university and had students from across the world.

Why Visit Bihar

Bihar has a historical relevance of over 3000 years. Scores of ancient monuments are dotted across the state and these are visited by around 6 million tourists each year. Bihar is a sacred hub for Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism. The Mahatma Gandhi Setu Bridge is one of the longest bridges in the world. The Mahabodhi temple is a UNESCO heritage site and is located in Bihar.

The state is dotted with forts, pilgrimage sites for Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians.

Exploring the Culture of Bihar

The official languages in Bihar are Urdu and Hindi. However Bhojpuri and Magadhi are widely spoken. Hindi is the first official language of the state and Urdu the second. Maithili has been recognized as a different language that is written with the help of the Devanagari script.

Bihar is home to scores of scholars and writers and some of them are R.K. Sinha, Dr. Bhagwati Sharan Mishra, Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Ram Avatar Sharma, Raja Radhika Raman Singh, Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, Ram Briksh Benipuri, Mridula Singh and Gopal Singh. Hrishikesh Sulabh is a prominent writer in modern literature and is also a playwright, theatre critic and short story writer. Upamanyu Chatterjee is a famous English writer and hails from Patna.

The Mithila region in Bihar practices the Madhubani painting style. This form of painting is traditionally done over fresh plastered mud walls. The paintings glorify Hindu religion and its deities. Some paintings also depict the moon, sun and the religious plant Tulasi. Manjusha Kala is a form of art practiced in the anga region in Bihar. The Patna School of Painting has branched out from the famous Mughal Painting School, where artists and painters from the Mughal era found refuge.

Craftsmanship is wonderful in Bihar and the artisans build wonderful products out of meager resources. Bhagalpur in Bihar is famous for its silk yarn manufacture, sericulture and weavers and has some of the most skilled workers.

Bihar has many stalwarts who are an integral part in the fabric of Indian classical music. Dhrupad is a renowned form of music and has stalwarts such as the Mishras, the Malliks of different Gharanas. Gaya was the centre in musical expertise in the ancient era. Pandit Jasraj and Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan are some of the most known musicians.

Daal, Roti, Khichdi, Litti and Chokha are some of the famous dishes in Bihar. Sweet dishes include Chena Murki, Belgrami, Anarasa, Kesari Peda, Khurma, Mal Pua and Tekua to name some.

Chhath is a major festival in Bihar. The Shravani Mela is also one of the most celebrated rituals here. Chitragupt Puja and Teej are celebrated with much aplomb.

Facts for Tourists

The climate is generally hot in Bihar, so visiting the state during the summer is unadvisable. Women are advised not to wear revealing or body hugging clothes during their visits to temples. The use of drugs is an offence. It is important that tourists do not dirty the area around the heritage monuments. Use of plastic is banned in many attractions.




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