Classification of Monuments of Bihar
These Monuments of Bihar can be classified as historical monuments and religious monuments based on their purposes of construction.
Historical Monuments of Bihar
Bihar is the only state with the history of 3000 years and is considered as the oldest dwelling places in the world. Beautiful heap of ruins of ancient monuments still exist in Bihar. Forts, caves and tombs are a regular feature of the Bihar topography. Caves at Barabar Hills, Jehanabad are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India. Rohtasgarh Fort is one of the most ancient forts of India located in a small town of Rohtas in Bihar. Such historical monuments bring alive the memories of the years long lost. These are reminiscent of the rich culture and heritage of the ancient and medieval period.
Religious Monuments of Bihar
Numerous religious monuments are located in this state. In ancient times, this state was known as Magadha nestled on the bank of the sacred river Ganga. The cities of Bihar, like Gaya, Patna, Deoghar and others, house several religious monuments. In the 12th century, innumerable Islamic monuments were also constructed in Bihar due to the invasion of Muslim rulers. The Tomb of Sher Shah Suri is the greatest example of the Islamic monument of Bihar. This province consists of several Sikh monuments as well and is considered as a sacred place for thousands of Sikh communities of India. Bihar has very well incorporated in itself a rich historical background of every religion in its soil.
Notable monuments in Bihar
Bihar is termed as the seat of ancient culture and knowledge. This East Indian state stands out as one of the most popular tourist destinations. The monuments of Bihar have a major role to play in this context.
Koteshwarnath Temple is one of the oldest temples of India having unique Shivling which is believed to be dating back to 7th of 8th century. It is presently protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Nalanda was a renowned Buddhist monastery and university in ancient Magadha, now Bihar. Presently lying in ruins, the place has a rich history that dates back to 427 to 1197 CE. Notable scholars from across the world have been a faculty of student of this ancient University.
Golgong Rock Temple
The Rock temples in Golgong in Bhagalpur dates back to the Gupta period. The temple has carvings showing multiple religions like Hindu, Jainism and Buddhism. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the monument is protected by Archaeological Survey of India.
Pillars of Ashoka
The pillars of Ashoka are a series of monolithic columns dispersed throughout the Indian subcontinent. 4 of these pillars are found in Bihar, out of which three are in Champaran and one in Vaishali. These pillars dates back to 268 to 232 BCE and are known as pillars of Dharma.
Tomb of Sher Shah Suri
The tomb of Sher Shah Suri is in the Sasaram town of Bihar. The tomb was built in memory of Emperor Sher Shah Suri and built between 1540 and 1545 using red sandstone. The monument is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Temple of Mundeswari Devi
Mundeshwari Devi Temple, located at an elevation of 608 feet on the Mundeshwari Hills of Kaimur plateau is protected by Archaeological Survey of India since 1915. The temple dates back to 108 AD making it the oldest Hindu temple in the country.
Tomb of Hasan Khan Sur
The Tomb of Hasan Khan Sur is an ancient tomb associated with Hasan Khan Suri who was the father of Sher Shah Suri. It is situated in the heart of Sasaram town and is one of its popular tourist attractions.
Built back in 1786 under the commands of the erstwhile Governor General of India, Warren Hastings, Golghar was aimed at serving as a gigantic granary to store grains that can be utilized at the time of potential famine. Resembling a beehive, this building features no pillars, but a spiral staircase having 145 steps.
Vishwa Shanti Stupa
Established back in 1969, Vishwa Shanti Stupa is considered to be one of the important Buddhist historical monuments in Bihar. It is a 40 meters tall pure white peace pagoda that sits on the top of the Ratnagiri Hill at an elevation of around 1000 feet above sea level. The whole structure of shanti stupa was inspired by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the nation.
Barabar Caves is considered to be one of the country’s most ancient rock-cut caves that have successfully survived the test of time. Carved out of granite, these caves have their name in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. Constructed during the Mauryan dynasty, it consists of a total of 4 caves.
Rohtasgarh is situated on the upper course of the river Son. The monument sitting on a 1500 meter high heel makes for one of the country’s oldest fortifications. According to popular belief, this fort was constructed under the command of Raja Harishchandra of the Solar dynasty. A 1223 CE inscription suggests that Rohtasgarh was in possession of one Shri Pratapa.
Mahabodhi Temple is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient Buddhist temple but much has been rebuilt and restored several times in history. The site contains a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment.
Constructed in the 6th century BC under the reign of King Ajatshatru, the stunning Ajatshatru Fort is one of the oldest forts in the state. Dating back to over 25,000 years, this fort is one of the finest historical monuments in Bihar. Although the fort is in ruins at present, it was once a rectangular structure with each of its four corners featuring a stone tower.
Chhoti Dargah is a 3-storied mausoleum located in Maner. Also known as Maner Sharif, the place is an architectural marvel. This 405 years old mausoleum of the renowned Sufi saint, Makhdoom Shah Daulat has a huge tank built in its compound in 1619 by Ibrahim Khan.
Padri Ki Haveli
The earliest catholic church, the stunning Padri ki Haveli is constructed in the same place where a tiny cathedral was established in 1713 by the city’s first Catholics. The previous cathedral was redesigned in 1772 by the renowned Venetian artist Tirreto and the present structure of the Padri ki Haveli was erected.