The historical monuments of Bihar always remain as popular tourist attractions for both international and national tourists. The heritage monuments are scattered all over the Bihar state. Some of the frequently visited monuments of Bihar are found in cities like Sasaram, Vaishali, Gaya, Bhagalpur, and Patna. The ancient buildings showcase the education and culture of the previous eras. The ancient buildings can be classified into religious monuments and historical monuments.
Bihar is said to be an exclusive state in India as it has a history of above than 3000 years. It is believed to be the ancient dwelling destinations in the world. Due to the existence of several ancient monuments, it showcases the rich heritage and culture of the state. Several fabulous remains of ancient monuments remain in Bihar. Tombs, caves, and forts are some of the important features of the topography of Bihar. Bihar remains as the best tourist destination for people who love history mainly because of its wealthy architectural monuments.
Visiit.com has listed some of the top historical monuments of Bihar which can be included in your Bihar tour itinerary.
17 Historical Monuments of Bihar
1. Tomb of Sher Shah Suri
Located in Sasaram, Tomb of Sher Shah Suri is the best instance of Indo-Islamic architecture. It has been praised as the honorable samples of Afghan construction in India. It has a brick structure and a portion of it is covered with stone upright in the center of the fine square tank. It is also worth to visit Hassan Shah Tomb and Salim Shab tomb and other archaeological buildings at Sasaram. Also known as the second Taj Mahal, Sher Shah Suri Tomb was built between 1540 and 1545. It was built in remembrance of Emperor Sher Shah Suri. It is a perfect example of Indo-Islamic construction. The Tomb was designed by Mir Muhammed Aliwal Khan. The Tomb is built in red sandstone and is 122 ft high. An artificial lake is built around the tomb. The lake is beautifully decorated with chhatris at the corners. The Tomb is octagonal in shape with a dome on top.
2. Caves at Barabar Hills
The cave of Barabar Hills is one of the oldest ancient architecture. It has four caves, Loma Rishi, Sudama, Karan Choupar, and Visvakarma. They are the perfect examples of rock-cut architecture in India. Each cave has two chambers, made of granite. The cave dates back to 3rd century BCE of the Mauryan period. The interiors of the caves are highly polished with fine scriptures of Buddhism and the Hindu religion. The caves also have beautiful Temple giving us an idea about the practice of the religion of the Ajivika sect of the Jains and the Buddhist. The caves of the Barabar hills are internationally famous for the beautiful arches.
3. Tomb of Makhdoom
The Tomb is named after a Sufi saint Makhdoom Bilawal Jam Hassan Samo. He was a poet and philosopher from Pakistan. This Tomb has become a place of pilgrimage and there’s a mosque in this tomb. It was constructed by his devotee Sardar Mahboob Khan Wagan. This Tomb is a perfect example of Mughal architecture. The tomb is the must visit place, when visiting Patna for its beautifully designed architecture.
4. Rohtasgarh Fort
The Rohtasgarh Fort was built by Raja Harishchandra and has named it after his son Rohitashv belonging to the Solar Dynasty. The Fort has four gates built on the four Ghats. One gate is in Raja Ghat and another in Kathauhiya Ghat. It is few of the strongest and largest fort in India and it served as a resting place for many emperor’s families. Historians believe that this fort has 14 main gates and 84 passages. This fort is so big that it takes about 2-3 hours to look around. This fort is located in Rohtas, Bihar. The best time to visit this place is during summer.
5. Relic Stupa
The Relic stupa was built in 5th century BC. It is 12m tall. This is one of the eight stupas built over the remains of Buddha. This stupa was the small mud stups measuring only 8.07m. Later, during the Mauryan, Kushan, and Sunga periods, it was increased to 12m high. The famous discovery of the stupa is the Stone Casket with Ashy Earth besides two small beads, copper coin with punch mark, a small conch and a small gold designed leaf. The Relic is now shifted to Patna.
6. Mahabodhi Temple
The Mahabodhi Temple is declared a Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is an ancient Buddhist Temple, where the Buddhist believe that the Buddha gained enlightenment. It is located in Bodhgaya, 96km from Patna. The Temple has the Bodhi Tree and it is believed that the Buddha gained enlightenment at this place. It is the main pilgrimage for the Buddhist religion. The temple wall has a stone railing, made of stucco-covered brick. This temple is stylishly designed with two large shikhara towers, over 55m high.
7. Vikramshila Univerity
Vikramshila University is located in Bhagalpur district in Bihar. It is one of the famous and largest university. Vikramshila University was founded by King Dharmapala and was later destroyed by Mohammed Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji. It was one of the largest universities serving one hundred Teachers and one thousand students. Many Scholars were born in this university and they were invited to spread Buddhism in foreign countries. The University is now ruined and now hosts the famous Vikramshila Mahotsav during the month of February.
8. Great Buddha Statue
The Great Buddha Statue is situated in Bodhgaya, Bihar. The Statue stands 19.507m tall. The Statue is in Dhyana Mudra Pose, also known as Meditation Pose. The Statue looks like it is seated in lotus in the open air. It took 12,000 masons to complete in seven years. The Statue is made from sandstone blocks and red granite and is one of the largest Statue in India. The Statue was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama on 18th November 1989. It is one of the famous tourist spots in India.
The Golghar is located in Gandhi Maidan, Patna. It is one of the finest architectures. It is 29m high with no pillars. The wall thickness at the base is 3.6m. It has 145 steps of spiral stairways. One can experience a beautiful view of the city and the Ganges from the top of Golghar. The building was built for the purpose to serve as a storehouse. The only flaw to this beautifully designed building is it opens inwards. If one fills the granary to its maximum capacity, the door will not open. So, it was never filled to its fullest.
10. Nalanda University
Nalanda was a Buddhist Monastery during the 5th century CE. It is located in Bihar, India. It is one of the oldest and greatest universities in India. The University was the center for Advanced Vedic learning till the 12th century. Students from Central Asia, Tibet, China, and Korea came to Nalanda University for higher education. The major subject of the university was Mahayana, Sanskrit, grammar, Vedas, Medicine, Logic and Samkhya. Nalanda University was at its peak when it was destroyed by the army of Bakhtiyar Khilji 1200 CE.
11. Bimbisara Jail
Bimbisara was the king of Magadha from the Haryanka Dynasty. He is also known as Shrenika or Seniya and was a protector and friend of Buddha. His son betrayed him for the throne of Magadha and imprisoned him. King Bimbisara himself decided the place to spend the rest of his life. He picked this place because it was a perfect view of Gridhakuta hill – a place where Buddha was seen going to the hill for mediation. The Bimbisara jail is located on the southern side of Maniyar Math. It has become a favorite tourist spot for its rich history and a beautiful view of the Japanese peace pagoda. The best time to visit Bimbisara Jail is during winter.
12. Mahatma Gandhi Setu
Mahatma Gandhi Setu is the second longest bridge in India extending from Bihar to Ganges. It is 5.7 kilometers long. The bridge is named after the Father of our Nation. It has been innovated engineered with only forty-five piers of 121 m height, leaving space below for the ships. The bridge connects the capital city of Patna to the north of Hajipur. This bridge has become a lifeline, giving a wonderful view and serving the public, at the same time.
13. Hiver Tsang Memorial Hall
Hiver Tsang Memorial Hall was built in memory of Hiver Tsang. The Hall is well maintained and describe the life and travels of a Chinese scholar. The Hall has a huge statue of Hiver Tsang in the center of the courtyard with a beautifully crafted doorway and a meditation hall. The hall has a description of Tsang life and travel from India to China. It is located in Nalanda, Bihar. This beautiful memorial hall can be visited at any time of the year. There’s also a huge bell, next to the statue, which attracts the tourist more.
14. Vishwa Sanchi Stupa
Vishwa Sanchi Stupa was built by the Buddh Vihar Society, joining hands with the Japanese Government. It is a 125 ft. peace pagoda, built in 1969. It is a white marbled huge stupa with a golden pinnacle on top is surrounded by greeneries and a pond. It is located in Vaishali, Bihar. The Sanchi Stupa is the center of all stupas and is one of the oldest structures of India. The structure is hemispherical built over the relics of Buddha. It is built to promote non-violence and peace across the world.
15. Nagar Fort
Nagar Fort is also known as Naulakha Palace. It was built by Maharaja Shri Rameshwara Singh. It is one of the ancient forts. The Archaeologist have found many artifacts and earthen potteries, dating back to 200BC. It has now been displayed in Hawa Mahal, in Jaipur. The fort was beautifully maintained but has since been destroyed by flood and earthquake. The fort is located in Madhubani, Bihar and attracts many historians and archaeologist.
Saurath is a small village located on the roadside from Madhubani to Jaynagar. This village is famous for Somnath Mahadev Temple. The temple is very famous and it attracts the Maithil Brahmins to fix marriage during the wedding season. The gathering is held annually, during the month of Jyesthaasadh. The original name for Saurath village is Tithi Niryana, and the god of this village is Somnath or Shiva.
Kapileshwar Sthan is a small village, 9 km away from Madhubani. This village is famous for Kapileshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Saint Kapil Muni installed the lord shiva statue, hence becoming the Kapileshwar Baba. The Temple hosts a huge fair on occasion of Mahashivratri. The entire village takes part in the occasion hosting shows and stalls. The Temple was built by Darbhanga Maharaja and spreads over 52 hectares. It is also a must visit place in Bihar.
Hope you have a clear idea about the historical monuments of Bihar. If you are planning for a Bihar trip, ensure to add these popular historical attractions in your Bihar itinerary.