It’s November, the terrible October heat is behind us and it’s time to hit the road again! As we increasingly take The reDiscovery Project to under explored parts of India, we thought it would be interesting to give our readers a view of Bihar, a state that has traditionally gotten a bad rap in terms of everything from development to crime to social indices, but has in the last few years made an attempt to rebrand itself.
What made up our minds to explore Bihar was the Sonepur Mela, the annual fair held around Kartik Purnima in the tiny town of Sonepur at the confluence of the Ganga and the Gandhak riviers, said to be the largest cattle fair in Asia! Of course being in Bihar we had to explore the capital of Patna and surrounding areas, like the town of Maner, home to the Dargah Maner Sharif, the oldest surviving Mughal era tomb in Bihar. Along the way we also visit the tomb of Sher Shah Suri, the Bihar born Pashtun who challenged the might of the Mughals and whose Empire once covered large swaths of north, east and central India, and the Barabar Caves, said to be the oldest rock cut caves in India.
Of course the prime attraction of Bihar is the Buddhist trail encompassing places of importance to Buddhism; Bodhgaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the stupas of Kesariya where the Buddha gave away his begging bowl and Vaishali where the chief of the monkeys famously fed the Buddha honey and the famous ancient university of Nalanda.
Lastly, one of the things we are really looking forward to are the villages of Madhubani in north eastern Bihar from where the famous Madhubani art hails, interact with some of the artisans and hopefully pick up a couple of beautiful paintings for ourselves!
Whilst we will be putting up all our stories right here on our blog, you can also follow our journey on Travel Libro, a social media network specifically for travelers where you can easily and beautifully document your journeys and memories.