Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple

The magnificent Unesco World Heritage-listed Mahabodhi Temple, marking the hallowed ground where Buddha attained enlightenment and formulated his philosophy, forms the spiritual heart of Bodhgaya. Topped by a 50m...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Patna

Patna Museum

Housed in a majestic colonial-era building, this museum contains a splendid collection of Mauryan and Gupta stone sculptures, some beautiful bronze Buddhist statuary, and a gallery of early-19th-century landscape...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Patna

Golghar

This massive, bulbous granary was built by the British army in 1786 and was being restored at the time of writing. The idea behind its construction was to avoid a repeat of the terrible 1770 famine – look for the...

Buddhist Site in Bodhgaya

Bodhi Tree

Undoubtedly, the most sacred fig tree ever to grace the Earth was the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgaya, under which Prince Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, achieved enlightenment. Buddha was said to have stared...

Buddhist Site in Vaishali

Kolhua Complex

Set in a landscaped park, Kolhua comprises a large, hemispherical brick stupa guarded by a lion squatting atop a 2300-year-old Ashoka pillar. The pillar is plain and contains none of the Ashokan edicts usually...

Historic Site in Nalanda

Nalanda Ruins

Allow an hour or two for wandering the extensive ruins at Nalanda – they’re peaceful and well maintained with a parklike atmosphere of clipped lawns and shrubs. The red-brick ruins consist of 11 monasteries and...

Park in Patna

Buddha Smriti Park

This peaceful 9-hectare park, inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2010, is notable for its massive sandblasted charcoal stupa (₹50), which houses a unique, bulletproof relic chamber, and sapling plantings from both...

Buddhist Site in Rajgir

Vulture Hill

Buddha is thought to have preached the Lotus sutra on this rock outcrop. There are some faint remains of a 1500-year-old stupa, some prayer flags and a small shrine where Buddhist pilgrims come to pray. Get here...

Buddhist in Bodhgaya

Great Buddha Statue

This 80ft-high Japanese-style statue of the Buddha seated in a lotus posture towers above a pleasant garden at the end of Temple St. The impressive monument was unveiled by the Dalai Lama in 1989 and is...

Museum in Patna

Bihar Museum

This impressive museum, one of the largest in south Asia, has three history galleries, plus displays on contemporary art and ethnic groups of Bihar. It has poached some of the finer pieces of the Patna Museum,...

Museum in Nalanda

Archaeological Museum

The Nalanda archaeological museum is small but has some fascinating finds, including the Nalanda University seal and a host of sculptures and bronzes unearthed from Nalanda and Rajgir. Along with the many Buddha...

Buddhist Stupa in Vaishali

Buddha Relic Stupa

This 5th-century stupa, originally 12m tall, is now in ruins, but it was once one of the eight locations in which Buddha's ashes were buried. The soapstone relic casket found here now reside in Patna Museum.

Buddhist Site in Patna Area

Kesariya Stupa

Rising high out of the earth from where the dying Buddha donated his begging bowl, the enormous Kesariya Stupa is an enthralling example of how nature can reclaim a deserted monument. Excavated from under a...

Nature Reserve in Betla (Palamau) National Park

Betla (Palamau) National Park

This lovely, rarely visited national park covers around 250 sq km, much of which comprises the Palamau Tiger Reserve. Hiding behind dense stands of teak forest, rich evergreens, sal trees and bamboo thickets are...

Buddhist Site in Bodhgaya

Dungeshwari Cave

This fairly nondescript cave in the Pragbodhi Hills northeast of Bodhgaya is where Buddha is said to have spent seven years living as an ascetic, almost dying from starvation in the process. There's not much to...

Monument in Bihar

Mausoleum of Sher Shah

Sher Shah was a warrior who briefly seized power from the Mughal emperors in 1540 to become the ruler of the Suri empire for five years. If you’re motoring from Gaya to Varanasi, a detour to his Afghan-style...

Mausoleum in Patna Area

Chhoti Dargah

One potential excursion from Patna is to hire a taxi to this architecturally elegant three-storey mausoleum fronted by a large tank, 30km west of Patna. The venerable Muslim saint Makhdum Shah Daulat was buried...

Historic Site in Patna

Ruins of Pataliputra

You'll have to rely heavily on your imagination to envisage what was once one of the greatest cities in the ancient world, ruled by kings Ajatasatru (491–459 BC), Chandragupta (321–297 BC) and Ashoka (274–237...

Buddhist Stupa in Bodhgaya

Sujata Stupa

The huge Sujata Kuti stupa, across the Falgu River from Bodhgaya, was built to commemorate the residence of Sujata, the cow-herder who fed the starving Buddha rice pudding, thus ending his seven years of...

Buddhist Stupa in Rajgir

Vishwa Shanti Stupa

Constructed in 1965, this blazing-white, 40m stupa stands atop Ratnagiri Hill about 5km south of town. Recesses in the stupa feature golden statues of Buddha in four stages of his life – birth, enlightenment,...