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Location : Bihar
Languages : Angika, Hindi
Climate : Tropical
Temperature : In summers, temperature may rise above 47 degree Celsius; in winters it may drop to 4-5 degree Celsius
Major Attractions : Vikramsila University, Mandar Hills
Best Visiting Time : Months between October and March
Bhagalpur, a treasure of fine quality silk, is a city of historical and commercial significance to Bihar. Referred to as "Bhagdattpuram", it rests leisurely over the fertile Gangetic plains. Ruled upon by many mighty rulers from time to time, the city occupied a prominent place as a trade market for colonial powers. Learned personalities like Fa Hein and Huan Tsang visited it; the city has found mention in epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The most significant industry here is sericulture. The silk produced in its industries of highest quality and is called Tussar Silk. It is the silk-weaving that Bhagalpur is termed as India's silk city. A number of families have been into this business from centuries. Its ideal location over the fecund plains of Ganga has bestowed it with several crops like wheat, rice, barley, mango and many others.
Historical Significance :
The city was an important part of Angha kingdom. Snake worship was quiet popular and was celebrated with enthusiasm by the denizens. It was, later, merged with the mighty empire of Magadha. Centuries later, it was subjugated by gaur kingdom. Mughal emperor Akbar had a stronghold over the city and mingled it with his Delhi kingdom. With the establishment of British colonial rule, Bhagalpur became part of East India Company.
Vikramsila University : This royal university is located 38 kilometers off from Bhagalpur. In prestige and popularity, it comes closer to Nalanda University. Dharmpala, a follower of Mahayana sect of Buddhism, was responsible for creation of this center of education and learning. It was the idyllic location around University that prompted the king to construct the structure here. Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and goddess Kali, and rock cut caves are present in its vicinity. The university was a highly venerated pilgrimage center in ancient times. It is the repository of several Tibetan texts and is linked with mysticism.
Mandar Hills : Set picturesquely amidst splendid landscapes, Mandar Hills are laced with mythological stories of Hinduism. An impression left on the hills is linked with the coiling of the snake which was used in churning of sea-nectar by angels and demons. It is also believed that the conch shell used in Mahabharata was found here. The sacred importance of the hills can be seen from the fact that theses are mentioned in the Puranas as the abode of Lord Vishnu. A plethora of Brahmanical images have also been carved out on the hills.
Madhusudan Temple : This holy temple (of Lord Vishnu) of Bhagalpur is located in the vicinity of Mandar Hills. The simultaneous presence of a Shiva temple and a mosque is the clear indication of the communal harmony.
Yogini Dham : At about 100 kilometers from the city, a pilgrimage place called Yogini Dham is present. A sheer dedication to goddess Durga, this dignified place is attracts a large crowd of devotees who arrive here to seek divine blessings. If you have ever been to Vaishno Devi, a holy place of Jammu & Kashmir, you will see a striking similarity between two temples. As per the belief of Hindus, those who pray by laying prostate over the temple platform are cured of their sicknesses.
Ajgaibinath Temple : This tourist attraction is located at about 39 kilometers from Bhagalpur. Every year, lakhs of devotees arrive here to pay their veneration to Lord Shiva. A month-long festival is organized in Shravan month. The temple is used as stop before proceeding to Deogarh Temple of Jharkhand.
Khanqah-i-Shahbazia : It served as an institute to scholars in ancient time and today it acts as a seminary to Muslim followers. Here, you can see a rich library laced with a multitude of books on Persian and Arabic languages. As you enter its premises, you will come across many old structures. The oldest mosque ever built with in the precincts of Bhagalpur is present here. Some of the medieval aged tombs are also present here and enshrine the sacred foot prints of prophet. The presence of Holy Quran makes the interiors even more sacred to devotees.
Sahjangi : Situated at about 2 kilometers from Bhagalpur rail head, Sahjangi is a sacred place where devotees pay their obeisance. The festival of Muharram is organized with zest and enthusiasm.
Other Monuments : The city is intertwined with a number of historical monuments. The white colored Bikanpur Mosque, Khaligabagh mosque of medieval period, mausoleum of Hussain Khan at Khanjarpur are a few names in this regard. In addition, there are several other monuments like Jain temples, Burh Nath Temple, Visharhi Asthan, Durga Asthan, and Mahashay Deori that may be interesting to you.
Durga Puja : This festival of paramount importance to Hindu devotees is celebrated with mirth and gaiety. At places like Kalibari and Durgabari, a special puja is organized on this occasion. The festival attracts a large number of devotees every year.
Mansa Puja : Every year in the month of July, a special puja ceremony is organized that involves worshipping snakes. The festivities are organized at a place called Bishahari Sthan; is said that the dead husband of a lady became alive here.
Kali Puja : Kali is one of the several avatars of goddess Parvati; the puja ceremony is performed with sheer devotion. "Akharas" are also organized on this religious occasion and comprises of taking out idols out in a procession and finally immersing them in waters.
Dolphin Sanctuary : Occupying a sprawling distance of about 50 kilometers of Gangetic plain, the Sanctuary is a protected area that shelters numerous endangered dolphins. Gangetic dolphins are the center of attraction of the place. Enthused with the rare aquatic life, the Sanctuary is blessed with about 135 waterfowls and numerous turtles. It is best if you visit the place in the months between October and June. The place is accessible via Bhagalpur rail head. Recently a number of conservation projects have been initiated to preserve dolphins in their natural habitats.
Eminent Personalities :
Many important personages that are renowned in their respective fields are associated with Bhagalpur. Kadamabari, Pritish Nandy, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Tilka Manjhi, Nandlal Bose are a few such names. Rabindranath Tagore resided for a short span of time and wrote his Nobel Prize winning poem 'Giatnjali' at this place.
A few accommodation places that you may find informative to know are listed below:
Shiva International, Rajhans International, Vineet Hotel, Mahavir Hotel, Sriyash Regency, and Sanan Hotel
Among the eating joints that offer palatable dishes to their customers are Vineet Hotel, Rajhans International, and Hotel Nihar.
Bhagalpur is an important tourist destination of Bihar that has loads of fun and excitement in its kitty.