Bihar, Land of Monasteries
Bihar is a place of spirituality that welcomes over 6 million tourists one year from all corners of the world. People know it as the land of enlightenment and nirvana, where the vibes of spirituality flow through numerous temples. If you are planning to visit Bihar for religious purposes, here are some must-visit temples to relish a calm and peaceful state of mind!
Top 4 Temples in Bihar
Here are the top 4 most popular Temples in Bihar.
#1 Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya
People believe that Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment at the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, which lies in Bodh Gaya. The Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment, is still present at the temple complex, which is a prominent worship center for Buddhist followers. The Main Temple wall follows the classical style of Indian temple architecture and has an average height of 11 m. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which means the Great Awakening Temple.
(Image Credit: UNESCO)
Experts associate the Diamond Throne, Vajrasana, made of polished sandstone, with the third century BCE, and it is present in the temple premises. The temple periphery has two straight-sided Shikhara Towers, out of which the largest stands over 180 feet high and 55 meters tall. The Bodhi tree is one of the four holy sites that is directly connected to and displays the life of Buddha very beautifully.
#2 The Jal Temple, Pawapuri
The Mahavir Swami Jain Water Temple is also recognized as The Jal Temple. Jaina followers consider it one of their major pilgrimage destinations, and they dedicate the temple to Mahavira, a religious preacher of Jainism. This is the place of cremation of the 24th Tirthankara – Mahavira, who attained Nirvana or death in Pawapuri at around 527 BC. The incredible white marble temple is a holy pilgrimage center of Jainism, also known as Apapuri.
(Image Credit: nalanda.nic)
King Nandivardhan, elder brother of Mahavira, built the Jal temple in a pond full of vibrant red-colored lotus. The temple, one of the five main temples in the city, houses the ‘Charan Paduka’ or the impression of the feet of Mahavira. The Jal Mandir derives its meaning as a ‘temple in water’ built in white marble within the water tank, which measures 84 bighas. The water pond is home to aqua life fed by the devotees and priests who visit this temple.
#3 Iskcon Temple, Patna
Iskcon Temple, also known as Sri-Sri Radha Banke Bihari Ji Temple, lies deep into the heart of the capital city of Bihar, which is one of the major pilgrimage hubs of Patna. Founder Acharya visited Patna with the first Governor of the state and has written about preaching in Bihar. In April 2007, the Chief Minister of Bihar laid the foundation of this temple in Patna. It stands as one of the largest Krishna temples in the city and the entire state of Bihar.
(Image Credit: ISKCON Patna)
Iskcon is a religious community that focuses mainly on the Hindu deity – Sri Krishna. The temple worships three divinities – Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Radha Banke Bihari, and Sri Ram Darbar. Skilled artisans carved the statues of Radha and Krishna that serve as a significant attraction. Devotees can relish the delightful and mesmerizing Harinam Kirtan and prasadam offered throughout the day. The temple celebrates numerous religious activities, such as Yatras and festivals, with great enthusiasm and joy.
#4 Vishnupad Temple, Gaya
Translated as the Temple of Vishnu’s feet, it is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple stands on the banks of River Phalgu and serves as a hub for Shraddha rites or religious practices in Gaya. People believe that Vishnu constructed the temple at the site where he defeated and killed the evil spirit of Gayasura. A devotee donated a 50-kilo gold flag that crowns the top of the structure.
(Image Credit: Bihar.gov)
Lord Vishnu’s 40 cm long footprint appears in the temple, engraved in a piece of basalt known as Dharamsala. The god created this rock by stepping on the chest of the devil Gayasura and pinning him to the ground. The state government has marked this place as a prominent tourist spot in the state. The 1000 stone steps directed towards the top of the Brahmani hill give a beautiful view of Gaya city.
The above information reveals that Bihar has a large number of holy temples to explore. These are not just temples but divine places to calm the heart and soul. For maximum convenience, the government has introduced facilities for smooth boarding, lodging, and other systems to support visitors. Do plan a visit to these sacred temples when in Bihar!
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