With an area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi) Bihar is a state in eastern part of India. Bihar shares its border with Uttar Pradesh in its west, Nepal in its north, the northern part of West Bengal in the east and Jharkhand in the south. Bihar has a huge stretch of fertile plains created by the Ganges and is divided into two parts – North Bihar & South Bihar. Patna is the capital city of Bihar.The major rivers are mainly tributaries of the Ganges – Gandak, Koshi, Bagmati, Budhi Gandak, Chandan, Orhani and Phalgu. Gandak & Koshi originates from the Nepalese Himalaya and Bagmati from the Kathmandu Valley.
Bihar has some low height hills witj Rajgir Hills in the center, Kaimur Range in south-west and Shivalik Hills in the north. Bihar has 7.27% of its land area covered by forests and due to heavy rainfall during the year it has rich deciduous forest in the sub-Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and the Dun ranges in the Champaran district. Deciduous forests also occur in the Saharsa and Purnia districts.
In ancient India the region of Bihar was known as Magadha and was considered as a center of power, culture and knowledge. India’s first empire, Maurya empire started from this Magadha. Magadha was also the place where from Gautam Buddha spread Buddhism all over the world and is still considered a major hub of Buddhism. In fact Bodh Gaya, the place which is marked as the location from Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment exists in the Gaya district of Bihar.
Bihar is the hosting place of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Bodh Gaya which is just 96km from Patna and Nalanda Mahavihara at the Nalanda district of Bihar. These two places pull huge tourists from through out the world all over the year. Nalanda is believed to be the most ancient university of Indian sub-continent. Major areas of tourist attraction in Bihar are:
- Ancient Monuments & Historical Places – Bodhgaya, Mahabodhi Temple, Vishnupad Temple, Nalanda, Munger, Vaishali, Navlakha Palace, Vikramshila Ruins (Bhagalpur), Sher Shah Suru Tomb (Sasaram) etc.
- Flora & Fauna – Valmiki National Park, Valmiki Sanctuary, Bhimbandh Sanctuary, Rajgir Sanctuary, Udaypur Sanctuary, Kaimur Sanctuary etc.
- Hills – Rajgir Hills, Brahmajuni Hill, Ramshila Hill, Pretshila Hill, Pragbodhi Mountain, Lattu Hill etc.
- Waterfalls – Telhar, Karkat, Manjhar Kund, Dhua Kund, Lilavaran etc.
- Health Refreshing Places – Simultala.