Bihar is home to a variety of fascinating historical sites that offer a glimpse into the state's glorious past, as well as its cultural, traditional, and architectural heritage. These sites include ancient forts, magnificent mausoleums, intricate caves, and informative museums. Some of the historical monuments in Bihar, such as Golghar and The Agam Kuan, have stood the test of time and are well-preserved. Golghar, for example, is the first of several large grain stores built for emergencies. Others, like Nalanda Mahavihara and Ajatshatru Fort, are in ruins. Many of these attractions have been excavated by archaeologists over the years.
Rohtasgarh Fort in Rohtas, for instance, showcases the ingenious defence strategies of early kings. The Sher Shah Suri Tomb in Sasaram is a testament to the stunning craftsmanship of early architects. The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya provides insight into the life and teachings of Lord Gautama Buddha, while Nalanda Mahavira inspires with remnants of early Buddhist teachings. These historical sites in Bihar are truly captivating and worth exploring for anyone interested in the state's rich history and culture.
Golghar, a famous historical monument in Bihar, was built in 1786 under the orders of the former Governor General of India, Warren Hastings. Its original purpose was to serve as a massive granary for storing grains in case of potential famine. However, this purpose was never fulfilled. The building, which resembles a beehive, has no pillars but features a spiral staircase with 145 steps that lead to the top of the dome. From here, visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the lush garden, the picturesque Ganges, and the bustling cityscape.
Some historical facts about Golghar include that it was intended to be the first storage facility for emergency grain storage, and its construction was completed on July 20, 1786. Captain John Garstin of Bengal Tigers designed the beehive-like shape, and the spiral staircase was built to facilitate workers' movement during the grain loading process. The construction has a stupa-like architecture and stands at a height of 29m. Despite its size, it remains pillarless and is sustained only by a great wall. To reach the top, visitors must climb 145 steps. Aside from its marvellous structure, Golghar offers an uninterrupted panoramic view of the sunset along the river from its top.
The Sher Shah Suri Tomb, also known as the 'Second Taj Mahal of India,' is a renowned historical monument in Bihar. The magnificent structure houses the mausoleum of Emperor Sher Shah Suri and is surrounded by an artificial lake on three sides, with a connection to the mainland on the other. Constructed between 1540 AD and 1545 AD, the three-storied mausoleum is made of red sandstone and boasts an impressive Indo-Islamic architectural design. It stands tall at a height of approximately 122 feet and contains 25 graves.
These caves were built during the Mauryan dynasty and showcased ancient Indian architecture. One interesting feature of the Barabar Caves is that if you shout inside, the echo can last for several seconds. There are a total of four caves, each with highly polished interiors that add to their appeal. These caves are believed to date back to 322 BCE to 185 BCE and display the brilliance of the Indian Rock Cut style of architecture. The Barabar Caves are also known for their historical significance, as some of them contain Ashokan Inscriptions and are considered to be one of the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India.
The Rohtasgarh Fort, standing at a height of 1500 meters, is among the oldest fortifications in the country and can be found on the banks of the River Sone. According to legend, Raja Harishchandra of the Solar dynasty commissioned the building of the fort and named it after his son, Rohitashva. Despite withstanding many attacks and storms, the magnificent Rohtasgarh still stands today, albeit in ruins.
The nearest airports are Gaya International Airport (also known as Bodh Gaya Airport) and Patna, which is better connected. The nearest major railway stations are Gaya and Patna.