Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bihar, the land of Viharas

Entrance of Patna museum
I took advantage of the longish weekend last week. Took an off on the 1st and got a four day break! I did utilize it pretty well. Went off on a hurricane trip to Bihar. Managed to pack in a lot of places. It was quite a hectic but exciting trip. We covered over 900 kms in three days. We visited, Patna, Gaya, Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Kesariya, Vaishali, and Danapur!

I can't believe that we actually covered so many places. We saved a lot of time because we flew from Kolkata to Patna. Our friend in Patna had booked an AC car that would be with us for the next three days. We started touring from the moment we landed in Patna! One piece of advice; It is best to avoid traveling in Bihar during summer .It is much too hot. Thank God for the AC car, I don't think we would have managed to do so many things without getting dehydrated! If you are thinking of traveling to Bihar, March is the best time to travel to Bihar.
Museum building

Day 1- After landing in Patna, we went straight to the Patna museum, then to Kumrahar, which has excavations from ancient Pataliputra, the capital of the Mauryan emperors, finally to Barabar caves (oldest rock-cut caves in India) in Jehanabad district near Gaya. Our agenda was to cover all of this on day 1, and stay the night in Bodh Gaya.

Patna museum was quite nice, I was impressed with the collection. The other interesting thing that we found out, was that the sacred ashes of Buddha, is in Patna museum. You need a special permission to view it, but you can only see the container though. The museum guide explained where it was found, and till date the ashes are in the same sacred container as it was found. There is plenty to see in the museum, but we did not have that much time so we saw certain sections, and moved on to our next destination. I will continue with my trip report in my next post.

An ancient doorway at the museum