Bihar is a state in East India, bordering Nepal. It is divided by the River Ganges, which floods its fertile plains. Important Buddhist pilgrimage sites include the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya's Mahabodhi Temple, under which the Buddha allegedly meditated. In the state capital Patna, Mahavir Mandir temple is revered by Hindus, while Sikhs worship at the domed, riverside Gurdwara of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji.
Land area: 99,200 km²
Bihar (/bɪˈhɑːr/; Hindi pronunciation: [bɪˈɦaːr] (About this soundlisten)) is a state in eastern India. It is the twelfth-largest Indian state, with an area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi). The third-largest state by population, it is contiguous with Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to the east, with Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges, which flows from west to east. Three main regions converge in the state: Magadh, Mithila, and Bhojpur.
On 15 November 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand. Only 11.3% of the population of Bihar lives in urban areas, which is the lowest in India after Himachal Pradesh. Additionally, almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people of any Indian state.
In ancient and classical India, the area that is now Bihar was considered a centre of power, learning, and culture. From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world's most widely adhered-to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Another region of Bihar is Mithila which was an early centre of learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom.
Since the late 1970s, Bihar has lagged far behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic development. Many economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the policies of the central government, such as the freight equalisation policy, its apathy towards Bihar, lack of Bihari sub-nationalism, and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company. The state government has, however, made significant strides in developing the state. Improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities, greater emphasis on education, and a reduction in crime and corruption.
Tibetan monastery is one of the biggest attractions of Bodh Gaya tourism. It is the oldest and largest monastery in Bodh Gaya and contains a large number of ancient Buddhist scriptures and documents. There is an idol of Maitreya Buddha decorating the temple. Another attraction of the Tibetan Monastery in Bodh Gaya is the 10 meter high metal drum painted in golden and red. This object is known as Dharmachakra or the Wheel of Law. There is a vast library within the monastery that contains books on different aspects of Buddhism.
Timings: 7 AM – 5:30 PM
Trivia: The meditation centre within the monastery conducts various courses on meditation and the principles of Buddhism.