Bhagalpur is one of the oldest cities of Bihar, a prominent state located in eastern India. Known as the ‘Silk City’ of the country, it holds religious as well as historical importance, apart from being home to a large number of tourist attractions. Situated on the banks of river Ganges, Bhagalpur boasts of highly fertile land. In the present time, it serves as the educational center of Bihar, where students migrate from neighboring states, for their higher studies. Bhagalpur is also one of the prime Buddhist destinations in India. Given below is information about the places to see in Bhagalpur.
Vikramshila is a small town located 40 km from the city of Bhagalpur. The town is famous for ancient Vikramshila University. Founded by Dharmapala, a Pala King, in 8th century, the educational institution served as a learning center of Tantric Buddhism. At the center of the building was a huge Buddhist temple, surrounded by 108 smaller temples. The remains excavated from this university make Vikramshila one of the most important historic places near Bhagalpur city.
Located 30 km from Bhagalpur, Mandar Hill is well known for its mythological background. The hill finds special mention in Hindu Mythology, according to which, ‘Samudra-Manthan’ was carried out in the place. According to the legends, Panchjanya - the conch shell used in Mahabharata War - was also discovered here, in the Sank Kund. Mandar Hill is equally honored by the Jains who believe that their 12th Tirthankara attained nirvana on its peak. Apart from the mythological significance, the hill is also famous for rock cut sculptures, depicting various Brahmanical images.
Colganj Rock Cut Temples
Colganj temple is famous for its rock cut carvings, which date back to Gupta period (5th-7th Century CE). These carvings depict a number of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain deities. The remains of these structures have been discovered from Sultanganj and Kahalgaon in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar.
Sultanganj is an important religious center for the Hindus. Situated on the bed of river Ganges, it is 26 km away from Bhagalpur. A large number of pilgrims visit this place in the month of Shravana (July-August), in order to fetch water from the north-flowing Ganges. After walking bare feet for about 80 km, on the trek from Sultanganj to Deoghar, the congregation moves to Lord Baidyanatha temple at Deoghar, to offer prayers and pour the Gangajal (Holy Water) on the deity.