Nalanda

 

  • Monuments:

Nalanda University Ruins: It was the centre of learning in ancient India. Many well known historical figures traveled from far to study here. Even though it is in ruins now, but the remains have a story and speak volumes about the past glory. In 2016 it was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Pawapuri: It is one of the most important holy sites of Jains. It is said to be the cremation place of Mahavir. It has a beautiful lotus pond in the middle of which lies a temple made up of marble called the Jalmandir.

Stupa of Sariputra: The Stupa is located inside the Nalanda University premises, and is the most noticeable structure in the ruins. It is in honour of Sariputra who was one of the great students of Buddha. 

Vishwa Shanti Stupa: It is a Buddhist peace Pagoda at Rajgir and was constructed by a Japanese Guru. It is located at the top of Gridhkuta Mountain and is very serene. One can reach it through ropeway or can even trek.

Black Buddha Statue: This 9 feet statue of Buddha in Sparsh Mudra was made from black basalt rock, It is installed close to the Nalanda University ruins. The idol is also worshiped by Hindus as Teliya Baba.

Kundalpur Digambar Jain Temple: Barely a km away from the Buddha statue, it is the birthplace of Mahavir-the founder of Jainism. One can reach here by hiring a tumtum.

Gaon Mandir: It is the place where Mahavir attained Nirvana. The magnificence of this place is that it is made up of white and red marble.

Jarasandha Ka Akhara: Located in Rajgir, it is believed to be a place where Bhima with the help of Krishna defeated Jarasandha after 18 days battle. Even though the place is of religious and historic significance, it is poorly maintained.

Maner Sharif: Maner Sharif located near Patna shelters two very popular Muslim tombs. It is a sacred place for the followers of Sufism. 

  • Natural Places:

One can visit the small nearby hill station Rajgir and enjoy the ropeway or cable car ride there while visiting Vishwa Shanti Stupa. Those looking for some peace of mind must visit Venu Van in Rajgir. A trek to Saptaparni cave can prove to be memorable. It is full of natural beauty and gives a panoramic view of the rural countryside. Ghora Katora lake is another beautiful place to visit. This place can be reached by hiring a tonga. Rajgir Kund, a hot water spring is another place blessed with natural beauty. Visitors make it a point to take a holy dip in the pond. Swarn Bhandar Cave in Rajgir is also a famous tourist location that sits in the lap of nature. 

  • Food:

The traditional simple thaali comprising of dal, vegetables, rice and roti is best suited for lunch and dinner. Jhaal mudhi, Litti Chokha, Ghoogni, Choora, Dahi Choora, Bhooja, Aalu Kachalu, Kachori and Samosa are some of the famous snacks. For Dessert one can have Khaja, Peda, Kalakand,Tilkut,Thekua, Gulab jamun, Malpua and Bengali sweets like Rasugullas and Chamcham. Sattu-pani, Aam-jhor and lassi are some of the popular beverages. 

  • Activities:

Nalanda Archaeological Museum is the best weekend getaway where you can enjoy watching ancient part of India. One can visit Xuan Zang Memorial to learn more about the famous historian from ancient India who was the student at Nalanda University. History buffs can also visit Cyclopean Wall, which is a museum situated in Rajgir. Delhi Darbar is another museum that can be visited. One can also go trekking on Rajgir Hills, or enjoy cable car ride there.

  • Shopping:

Since Nalanda is a tourist destination, there are many shops in an around the town that sells handicraft items, traditional paintings and jewellery. When at Nalanda one must buy Madhubani Paintings, wood inlay craftwork, handwoven baskets and mats using sikki work, mortar pestle etc using stonecraft, and khatwa work fabrics. Hathua Market is the most popular market. Leather shoes, Handicraft items and fresh flowers can be bought from here. Shakuntala Market, Prasad Market are other popular markets in Nalanda. One can also visit nearby town of Biharsharif to buy exquisite saris that are imported from Surat, hence the market is named as “Mini Surat”. A few malls have also sprung up in and around the city from where one can shop for branded items.