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Bihar Introduction

Patna Vaishali Gaya Bodhgaya Nalanda Rajgir Galudih Jamshedpur

Of all India's states, Bihar is the one most intimately linked to the Buddha's life, resulting in a trail of pilgrimages, which have come to be known as the Buddhist circuit. It derived its name from the word 'vihara', which means Buddhist monastery.

The Buddhist trail begins at the capital city, Patna, where a noteworthy museum contains a collection of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures. The Khuda Baksh Oriental Library has rare Muslim manuscripts including some from the University of Cordoba in Spain. 40 km away, Vaishali was the site for the second Buddhist Council as the presence of ruins testifies.

90 km south of Patna is Nalanda, which translates as 'the place that confers the lotus' (of spiritual knowledge). A monastic university flourished here from the 5th to the 11th century. It is said to have contained nine million books, with 2,000 teachers to impart knowledge to 10,000 students who came from all over the Buddhist world.

Rajgir, 'the royal palace', 12 km south, was the venue for the first Buddhist Council. The Buddha spent five years at Rajgir after having attained enlightenment, and many of the remains at Rajgir commemorate various incidents, the hill of Gridhrakuta being perhaps the most important, as this is where the Buddha delivered most of his sermons. Bodhgaya is the spot where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, with the Mahabodhi Temple marking the precise location.

General information 


82, 878, 796


94,164 sq km



Languages Spoken




People Per Sq. km




Fairs and Festivals

Chatt Puja
Chatt Puja is the only occasion where the setting sun is worshipped. The people of Bihar have immense faith in this festival. It is celebrated twice a year, once in ‘Chaitra’ (according to the Hindu calendar), which falls in March and in ‘Kartik ‘, which falls in November. For this 4-day festival, people maintain sanctity and purity from even a month ahead. People celebrate this festival with immense faith the folk songs sung in the honour of ‘Surya Dev’ and ‘Chatti Maiyya’ can be heard at every nook and corner the sweetness of the songs lets you feel the holiness of the festival.  
Women fast for the good of their family and the society. Regardless of the social status, to celebrate this festival only the faith counts. Though it is a festival of the Hindus, some of the Muslims also participate actively in the puja. 

It is during the winter season that the birds from the Himalayas migrate towards the plains. With the advent of these colorful birds, celebration of sama–chakeva is done. This is a festival especially celebrated in mithila. Mithilanchal dedicates this festival to the celebration of the brother sister relationship. It represents the tradition of this land as well as the art of making idols. This festival starts with the welcoming of the pair of birds sama-chakeva. Girls make clay idols of various birds and decorate them in their own traditional ways. Various rituals are performed and the festival joyfully ended with the ‘vidai’ of sama and with a wish that these birds return to this land the next year. 

A Hindu festival celebrated in all parts of the country. This is the auspicious day when lord RAMA was born. People celebrate it observing fasts and offering prayers in his honor. 

Also known as Tila Sankranti, the festival marks the beginning of the summer season. People believe that from this day on, the days become longer and the heat of the sun also increases. Every year it is observed on the 14th of January. People celebrate it by giving offerings to the poor.

Bihula is a prominent festival of eastern Bihar especially famous in Bhagalpur district. There are many myths related to this festival. People pray to goddess ‘Mansa’ for the welfare of their family. 

Art and Handicraft

Tikuli Art 
This art originated from the gold foiled Tikuli, bindis with a glass base, adoring the forehead of the Queens and Aristocrats ladies of yore. Today hard board, enamel paints and Madhubani motils are used to create produce for interior decorations and utility items like tablemats and coaster. These art pieces are heat proof and waterproof. 

Mithila Arts 
Bihar boasts of an enviable wealth of rural handicrafts comprising of hand - painted wall hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves, stone pottery, bamboo and leather goods, and appliqué work. But Bihar’s most famous and fascinating indigenous art forms, by far, are its Madhubani Paintings. This art is a strict monopoly of the women of Mithila. Done in primary colors of natural origin on paper and cloth, they narrate mythological and religious events.

The art of Mithila is linked to religious ceremonies, particularly marriage and its consequence, procreation. Interspersed with the Vedic marital rites, with the Sanskrit chanting by the Brahmins, is a tradition controlled by the women and devoted to female deities Durga, Kali and Gauri.

Wall Paintings  
The wall paintings have deeper themes, also narratives, for they are the stories being told sometimes in a series of panels. Apart from their decorative purpose, they also constitute a form of visual education like picture books, from which ones learns of ones heritage. Some outstanding ones are done in the Madhubani area. They have a naiveté and simplicity, which perhaps is their attraction that both soothes and pleases the eyes. Wall Painting is communal act done by all the women of a family or group.

The first mention of a crafts similar to ‘’ Sujuni’’ comes in the description of bedspreads and wall hanging of Uzbek; they were popular as ‘SUJUNI’ (from Persian and Tadjik ward for needle). Sujuni is a labor intensive but simple embroidery. Tiny running stitches cover the entire fabric, which is traditionally white or red, with the main outlines of the motive highlighted in a thick chainstitch.

Bamboo Work 
Bihar greatly noted for its bamboo work sends itself to multifarious uses. The use of cut bamboo as a container to drink water is an ancient practice. In fact the rural people in remote, still keep their precious possessions in bamboo basket with side. Against this tradition, commendable experiments work has been done in Patna to adopt these very object to modern use. Finely shaped lamps and lanterns, elegant furniture, complete tableware, travel kit, almost anything seems possible to get from the bamboo.

Wood Inlay 
Wood inlay is one of Bihar’s ancient industries. The inlay continues to be done with different materials, metal, ivory and, stage horn chips of woods in other grains or tints are used to get varied effects to great advantage. Apart from decorative pieces like wall hanging, tabletops, trays, a number of utility articles are also ornamented with inlay work. The designs are mostly geometrical but very fine and colorful.

 Tapper Mats
Tapper mats are made on a large scale in Palamau district, Bihar. Tapper is rather like jute, taken out of the sun hemp plant. The usual method of soaking and using pressure is used to extract the fiber, which is then spun into yarn and used for making tapper. This is said do be more durable than jute fiber. The yarn is dyed generally in indigenous colors, which used to transport grain on any heavy stuff. Today a number of article, of modern use are made like travel kit and hand bags, some of them quite, stylish looking. Hazaribagh and Purnea also produce tapper

NORTHERN STATES- Delhi -|- Hariyana  -|- Himachal -|- Jammu- Kashmir -|- Punjab  -|- 
Uttar Pradesh
-|- Uttranchal 
SOUTHERN STATES - Andaman & Nikkobar  -|- Karnataka -|- Kerala -|- Lakshdweep
-|-  Tamilnadu -|-  Andhra Pradesh
WESTERN STATES - Daman and Diu -|- Goa  -|- Gujrat  -|- Rajasthan  -|- Maharastra 
EASTERN STATES - Arunachal -|- Assam -|-  Manipur -|- Meghalaya -|- 
-|- Nagaland  -|- Orissa  -|- Sikkim -|- Tripura -|- West Bengal  -|- Bihar -|- Jharkhand
CENTRAL STATES- Madhya Pradesh -|-   Chattisgarh

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