Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami !
The 1200 year old Mahhabodhi Shrine, the seat of buddha's enlightenment, is the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage place as it is associated with the attainment of enlightenment of the lord, his brush with ultimate truth and the cause of human suffering and misery. Buddha also offered the prescription for reducing pain and misery.
The realization dawned on Buddha after six long year of self deprivation, meditation and wandering. It was under a "peepal" tree that the wandering prince received enlightenment. One of the descendants of the original tree still exists at the place where Siddhartha got transformed into Buddha, the enlightened one. Footprints under the tree are said to be those of Buddha.
A sprawling tiger reserve forest sanctuary spread over 840 sq. kms from Valmikinagar to Thari and Rampur along the Nepal border forms Bihar's only forest spread. The beauty of the area is amazing, lying as it does at the foot of the Himalayan ranges whose sight on clear days is breathtaking.
Valmikinagar is probably the quietest retreat that any tourist can aspire for. Overlooking the Himalayas, it is by the side of the clear blue – gree Gandak floiwing down from Nepal, close to the site where the famous mythological " Gaj Grah yuddha" or elephant – crocodile duel began, culminating in the Ganga at Hariharnath at Sonepur, the site of Bihar's most famous annual fair.
Bihar – A Home to SUFISM !
Bihar has been one of the earliest places in the Indian Sub Continent where mystic Sufis has settled. Its earliest adherents belonged to the Christi and Suharwardia order of Sufism. The Qadri order, which is now believed to be one of the chief Sufi orders in the state, had one of its prominent representatives, Syed Muhammad of Amjharsarif, based in Aurangabad district of the state.
The advent of Sufism in Bihar and its adjoining areas also lead to the mushrooming of mosque and ' khanqahs' of eminent Sufi saints and preachers. These became center of learning.
In April 1917, Mohandas Karam Chand Ghandhi, the brief less barrister who created a flutter in south Africa, came face to face with god, ahimsa and truth in Champaran, then a North Bihar district reeling under the exploitative yoke of European Indigo planters. The Mahatma, who later came to be known as the father of the nation, blazed this Indigo trail with what is a milestone not only in Bapu's life but also the history of India. The Champaran Satyagraha.