Bihar is located in the eastern part of India between West Bengal in the east and Uttar Pradesh in the west. The river Ganga flows through the middle of Bihar, dividing the state into two unequal halves.Bihar is the land of Buddha, who spent most of his life there and achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, which has made it one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. The historical past in Bihar provides for many tourist destinations especially pilgrim centers such as Patna, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Vaishali and the ruins of the world famous, ancient University of Nalanda. It is a land of monasteries - Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim and Sikh shrines abound. The best time to visit Bihar is from October to March.
Mahadobhi Temple, Bodhgaya, India
Bodhgaya is considered the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world. Thousands travel to Bodhgaya to join the resident monks in meditation and prayer.Mahadobhi Temple is next to the spot where Buddha came to Enlightenment and formulated his philosophy on life. The temple was built in the 6th C and underwent extensive restorations from the 11th C to the early 19th C.Mahadobhi Temple is topped with a pyramidal spire and houses a large gilded statue of Buddha in the yogic posture. The best time to visit is October to March when Tibetan pilgrims travel from Dharamsala.A pipal tree, a descendant of the original bodhi tree where Buddha continued to meditate for seven days after the Enlightenment is located near the Mahadobhi Temple. The tree is among the oldest and the most venerated trees in the world. A red sandstone slab is located under the tree to mark the spot. The slab is called the Diamond Throne.Northeast of Bodhgaya is Nalanda, site of one of the world's earliest universities. It began as a Buddhist monastery and then became a center for learning from the 5th to 12th C. The stupas, temples and monasteries stand in ruins but still provide a great sense of the past for visitors!