Things To Do In Bhagalpur
Bhagalpur is the third largest city in Bihar and consists of districts of Banka and Bhagalpur. Located on the banks of the River Ganga, the city is also known as the Silk City besides being a major educational hub as well as a commercial centre. The plains around the city are fertile with the major crops being rice and wheat as well as maize and barley. The city is also home to the endangered species, the Gangetic Dolphin. The sanctuary for these rare species is located near Bhagalpur. There are several things to do in Bhagalpur and these will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
Visit the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bhagalpur
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bhagalpur, located in Bhagalpur is spread over almost 18,000sqkm. It manages more than 70 schools, some of the well-known ones being St Joseph’s, Mount Carmel and St Teresa. The diocese helps people in the various districts it operates in. Their task includes providing material for flood relief and collecting money required for charity work. Visit the diocese and be aware of the good social work it is doing for the common people.
The Historic Rabindra Bhawan
The Rabindra Bhawan is among the most popular attractions in the area. It is located near Bhagalpur, in Sitanabad, only about 5km away from Bhagalpur. The Bhawan is also known as Tilha Kothi and is a part of the Bhagalpur University. The historic building is associated with Cleveland, Warren Hastings and Raja Chet Singh, the latter being the king of Oudh during the time of the British era. Later, the building was associated with the poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore who stayed here in 1910. It is because of this association that Tilha Kothi was renamed Rabindra Bhawan. The area around the building is lush green and one is treated with a grand landscape when at the monument.
The Unique P. K. Das's Driftwood Museum & Park
Das Driftwood Museum & Park is located inside the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary which is the only Dolphin Sanctuary in Asia. The Museum & Park is not only unique to India but also probably in the world. This is one rare place where one can see some of the most amazing driftwood that measure between 3 and 16ft in height. There are sculptures too in driftwood and it is this unique type of beauty that attracts a large number of visitors.
Saint Mahershi Mehi Ashram
Also known as Gurumaharaj, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans was born Ramanugrah Lal Das on 28th of April 1885 in the village called Majhua in Bihar. During his early days Mehi studied the Upanishad and Vedas besides the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. He had also mastered the Quran and the different sutras of Buddhism. He taught his disciples the easiest method towards Moksha and this consisted of Satsang and Dhyan. An avid worshipper of Lord Shiva, Mehi was deeply impressed by Tulsidas’ Ramcharit Manas. He had learnt English, Persian and Urdu and spent several years in meditation while in Katihar District. A good man Mehi left home early on in life and never returned.
Visit the Ajgaibinath Temple
Sultanganj, merely 27km by road from Bhagalpur is the location of Ajgaibinath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is where Lord Swayambhu resides and the deity in the temple is also known as the Gaibinath Mahadeo. This beautiful temple is located on the top of a hill known as Murli and one can access it only by boating on the Ganga River. The temple has several inscriptions that date back to the Gupta period besides Buddhist and Hindu images.
Picturesque Mandar Hills
The picturesque Mandar Hills are located 30km away from Bhagalpur and these hills are significant from the mythological point of view. These are sitting on top of a granite hill which is 800ft high. A popular text in Hindu mythology or Amritmanthana makes a mention of these hills and it seems that the gods used the hill to churn up the ocean for procuring Amrit from the churning. The hills are also the location for other places that are considered sacred such as the residence of Lord Vishnu as well as his footprints besides several statues, inscriptions and sculptures cut in the rock some of which depict images that are Brahmanical.
Beautiful Colganj Rock Cut Temples
One of the major attractions for tourists to Bhagalpur relate to the Colganj rock cut temples which are located roughly 8km to the west of Sultanganj City. Dating back to the Gupta Period, which is the period between 320 and 550 BC, these temples have carvings which depict deities related to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Visitors will also find etchings at these temples going back to the period of Emperor Ashoka. These etchings are very artistic and these are the result of excavations from towns in Bihar such as Kahalgaon and Sultanganj.
Ancient Vikramsila University
Bihar is famous for two of its ancient universities. One is the Nalanda and the other is Vikramshila. The Vikramshila University is located about 38km from Bhagalpur and was established by the devout king from the Pala Dynasty, Dharmapala, who was also called Paramasaugata. Situated on a hillock which is at the confluence of Ganga and Kosi, the surroundings are rocky and contain more than 100 temples that are smaller in size. 6th Century AD sculptures are also seen here.