What would Bihar be without Patna?

No, please not Bihar is the natural reaction as soon as one comes up with the problem child of North India. With an enormous population density of 880 people per km² (India's second highest value), a record-breaking educational situation, a permanently corrupt government regardless of all elections and outdated industries that are not competitive even in India, Bihar would not be a cause for national pride, even if it wasn't organized crime and political unrest (Maoists), not to mention the occasional monsoon catastrophe.

Since the turn of the millennium, however, the permanent problem case has blossomed somewhat and is now much better in current statistics; This probably has to do with the fact that the tribal areas in the southern part were separated as the new federal state of Jharkand, which forced political modernization on both regions. Nevertheless, the largely agrarian country (with some ugly industrial cities) is still noticeable today because of its extreme backwardness, and tourism also lags.

Apart from the well-known and much-visited Bodh Gaya there is no other tourist magnet - even though Bihar has a large number of religious sites of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam on offer and can look back on a history that is as old as it is glamorous. This is where Buddhism and Jainism originated, and even the name of the state is from the Sanskrit term Vihara derived, which designates Buddhist monasteries and temples. However, the state was repeatedly devastated by wars, so that one can only admire little of the old buildings.

Traveling in Bihar is more difficult than most anywhere else in India; The fault is not only the poor infrastructure, but rather the poor level of education (English can be a problem when you are out of town) and the complete lack of understanding of the residents towards foreigners, which makes any useful help impossible. The extreme overpopulation also easily leads to claustrophobia, and the mood of the masses can easily turn into mockery or aggressive.

  • Bodhgaya - the place where the Buddha was enlightened
  • Bodhgaya 2 - multinational Buddhist ambience
  • Rajgir - all religions side by side
  • Nalanda - a look into the past of Buddhism

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