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Tourist Places To Visit In Bhagalpur
Bhagalpur in modern Bihar is well known as the Silk City. Its famed silk fabrics are today under the spotlight once again. Several generations have been involved in making this fine silk. The Government has set up institutes in the city in order to prevent the art of weaving silk from dying. Bhagalpur silk industry is now more than 200 years old and the silk is known as Tussar Silk. Today Bhagalpur is also known as a centre of learning. There are several tourist places to visit in Bhagalpur. These are discussed below.
Located roughly 30 km from Bhagalpur City, the Mandar Hills are known for their mythological relevance. Based on a granite hill which is 800 ft high, Mandar Hills find mention in a Hindu mythological text known as Amritmanthana. As per this mythological text the god used this hill for churning the huge ocean for extracting the amrit. These hills also have other places that are considered sacred. These are well known as the residence of Lord Vishnu who killed an asura or demon and thereafter covered his body with these hills. Mandar Hills have other attractions such as the footprints of the Lord, statues and inscriptions besides sculptures that depict images that are Brahmanical.
Ancient Vikramsila University
Bhagalpur has an amazing attraction in its ancient Vikramsila University which is located about 38 km away from the city limits in a town called Vikramshila. Established by Dharmapala who was a devout king from the Pala Dynasty and was also known as Paramasaugata, this is an education centre that teaches Tantric Buddhism. Rocky hillock provides the scenic surroundings of the university at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Kosi and there are some 108 smaller temples at the site as well. You will also see a number of rock cut sculptures and caves that hark back to the sixth century AD here.
Colganj Rock Cut Temples
The rock cut temples of Colganj are among the major attractions for tourists in Bhagalpur. Located about 8km to the west of Sultanganj City these rock cut carvings that you will find on the temples go back to the period of the Gupta Dynasty. Several Buddhist, Jain and Hindu deities are depicted in these carvings. Visitors will also find many etchings done artistically in these temples which have been excavated from diverse towns that include Kahalgaon and Sultanganj in Bihar. It is possible that these etchings go back to the times of Emperor Ashoka.
Located in Sultanganj and dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ajgaibinath Temple is quite a popular Hindu shrine that also goes by the name Gaibinath Mahadeo. The Ajgaivinath Temple is located on top of the Murli Hill. One can reach the temple by boating down on the Ganga. Historians are attracted by the inscriptions that one will find here since these go back to the times of the Gupta Dynasty. One will also find some Buddhist and Hindu images. Visitors to this temple find it “iconic”.
P. K. Das's Driftwood Museum & Park
The solitary Dolphin Sanctuary in Asia, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, is located in the only island in the Ganga River. This is also the location of the Das Driftwood Museum & Park. This is a unique project in India and it is an experience one is not likely to forget. It is also possible that perhaps this may be the only Driftwood Park in the world where a visitor is able to see driftwood art measuring heights of between 3 and 16 ft. You will also find sculptures here and colourful art besides, very impressive, and all these add to the general aura of the museum and park.
Maharshi Mehi Ashram
Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, also known as Gurumaharaj, studied the Vedas and the Upanishad besides the Bhagavad Gita as well as the Holy Bible and was a saint in the Sant Mat tradition. He was also well versed in Buddhism and the Quran. He propagated the easiest method to achieve Moksha with the help of Satsang and Meditation or Dhyan. One of the direct disciples of Baba Devi Sahab of Muradabad, UP, he was the main guru in Akhil Bhartiya Santmat Satsang. Born in Majhua, a small village in Bihar, on 28 April 1885, Maharshi Mehi was an intense worshipper of Lord Shiva. The sage left household life when he was still studying Class X.
Rabindra Bhawan has a chequered history. It is located at Sitanabad only 4.7km away from Bhagalpur and is among the major tourist attractions of the place. This monument was known as Tilha Kothi and is also among the various buildings associated with Bhagalpur University. Situated on top of a mound, this building is truly beautiful. The building is associated with important personalities that include Cleveland, Hastings and Raja Chet Singh of Oudh. But, the main personality after whom the building is named is of course Rabindranath Tagore, who visited this place and stayed here in 1910. It is understood that the poet laureate penned a few verses of Geetanjali while residing in Tilha Kothi. Entry is free. The place is closed on Sundays.
Rajmahal Fossil Sanctuary
Rajmahal Fossil Sanctuary is located in the Rajmahal Hills in the Santhal Pargana of Jharkhand State about 117km away from Bhagalpur. These hills are home to prehistoric plant fossils that are between 68 and 145 million years old. The Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow is the custodian of these fossils. The area covering these hills is inhabited by the Santhals and covers almost 2600sqkm. The hills and their surrounding area resulted from severe volcanic activity that occurred during the Jurassic Era and today you will find the River Ganga wandering around these hills even as it changes the flow direction to South from East.
Vaasupujya Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Mandir
The Vaasupujya Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Mandir has been named after the 12th Jain Tirthankar Vasupujya who was born here. The Lord Vaasupujya had five Kalyanaks and all of them used to perform at this place which is located at Champapur about 4km away from the railway station in Bhagalpur. The Jain Bhavan which is very close to the Jain Mandir has been built so that tourists who visit the temple could have a comfortable stay. Visitors comment that the architecture of the temple is beautiful and that the place is peaceful and calm.
The Vikramshila Setu near Bhagalpur is a bridge across the River Ganga. The bridge has been named after the ancient Mahavihara of Vikramashila that was established by the King Dharmapala who lived between 783 and 820 AD. It is the fifth longest bridge over water in the country and has a length of 4.7km. It was opened in the year 2001 and made of concrete, it is a 2-way bridge. The bridge connects Naugachia on the north bank of the River Ganges to Barari Ghat on its south bank besides connecting Bhagalpur to Katihar and Purnia thereby substantially reducing the road travel time between Bhagalpur and the other cities nearby across the river.