Bihar is rich in handicrafts. Madhubani Paintings, Lacquerware, Sujini and Khatwa Embroidery, Stonecraft and Sikki Work are to name the major craft items of Bihar.
Art & Crafts
Bihar is rich in handicrafts. Madhubani Paintings, Lacquerware, Sujini and Khatwa Embroidery, Stonecraft and Sikki Work are to name the major craft items of Bihar.
Sujini and Khatwa Embroidery:Sujini is the most popular form of conventional art and craft prevailing in Bihar. It is basically a quilt, widely in use in the rural areas, which is made with numerous layers of clothes. Old clothes find proper use in Sujini as they are used for the inner stuffing. The embroidery is done with colourful threads generally cotton in nature. A lively depiction of religious scenes and the village life like the dancing of the peacocks, boys flying kites and bride leaving her maternal home in a palanquin, etc. is done. The craft of canopies, decorative tents and shamianas are done with the Khatwa, the popular appliqué work in Bihar. Persian type trees, birds, animals, flowers, etc. are the common appliqué designs for tents. The canopies involve the cutting out of a single piece of cloth for the design applied to the circular central motif.
Madhubani Paintings:The Mithilanchal region is famous for its Madhubani art, a folk painting that pours creativity from its inner depths. This painting, traditionally done by the womenfolk, depict symbolic motifs, religious deities like Shiva, Parvati, Krishna, Radha, Durga, etc. The painting is done on the walls with natural colours, with the depiction of animals such as parrots, fishes, elephants, giant flowers and the moon and the sun. Vibrant red, yellow, green, ochre, black, brown, are the colours that the paintings are generally done in. Minerals, vegetable matter, plants, flowers, charcoal and spices are the sources of the variant and the vivid colours used in the paintings which depict both special events of the lives of the people and day-to-day events. These paintings done with strong primary colours including black and white are produced on paper, textiles and canvas by professionals for the sake of national and international exhibitions.
Wood Inlay:Wood inlays, one among the renowned and ancient industries of Bihar, are still being made by the artisans using various metal, materials, ivory, stag-horn, etc. It has been present almost in every household in the form of trays, table tops, wall hangings, along with innumerous utility articles. A number of household articles are being made using this craft such as boxes, trays, etc. Beautiful geometrical and colourful designs are carved in the craft.
Lacquerware:Almost all the boxes and bangles used by the people of Bihar have been the product of lac that is dominantly present here since time immemorial. The Laheris community makes the vermilion container, ‘Sindoordan’, using this very craft. Peacock, Chakra and fish are the prominent motifs found in the boxes. A round box conical in shape is presented to the bride by her parents along with a nose ring that has the symbols of longevity and fertility etched on its body that is red in colour.
Stonecraft:The ancient pillars that have been standing on this land since the Mauryan period bear testimony to the rich heritage of stone craft and handicraft of Bihar. Patharkatti in the district of Gaya, being the centre for traditional stoneware, is famous for the abundant supply of the pot stone blue black in colour. It is the same stone that is famous for the making of Buddhist icons, household articles such as the mortar kharal (another name for the medicine grinder), pestle and other images.
Printed Textiles:Textile printing done on wool, silk and cotton is yet another craft that Bihar is widely known for. Places like Bihar Sharif, Saran, Patna, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga are known for the excellence in this craft. Gaya is famous for religious textiles wherein one can find either the name or the footprints of gods and goddesses coloured in red or ochre. The chunris are yet another example of the textile printing which embrace elegant designs-traditional or floral and sometimes animal forms. Sursand is famous for the Mica ( Khari) printing which is done in bright colours.
Other Handicrafts:Among these fall the crafts like leather work, papier-mache art, tikuli making, etc. These exclusive forms of art have crossed the traditional boundaries and are being exhibited in national and international levels. These crafts include etching of beautiful objects in floral and traditional designs in bright hues. Papier-mache art materials encompass religious scenes and pictures of deities.
Diversity can be experienced in every part and every object of the country. Same is the case with costumes in Bihar. Though the most of the population still remains in rural area the costumes wear by them are still traditional. The clothes for the people of different religions are a bit dissimilar. In case of Hindu men, they still prefer wearing dhotis with kurtas or shirts. Dissimilar is the trend with Muslims they like to wear dhotis which are also called as men petticoats or pyjamas with kurta. Well for special occasions attiring up goes different. It’s specially stitched lavish sherwanis or kurtas with chudidar pyjamis which men wear. The most infested trend in Bihar is followed by Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs. They use attar (perfumes with lavish fragrance). The interested habit of men over there is wearing ornaments which include Bali and kundals. However the trend is shifted to beaded necklace. Traditional and cultural values are implemented in every part of life. The women in Bihar also wear the traditional clothes. A unique hair parting is done by the married women in Bihar and with a filling of sindoor combining it with an ornament called tikri. Values are never forgotten by a Bihari women whether is a rural or an educated urban every one applies bindi on forehead with an elegant touch of kajal under the eyes. To smell well they even apply different flavor of soothing scented oils. Different methods like tattoo paintings and applying mehndi on hands foot are done by Bihari women to enhance there beauty and to look more appealing.
Jhumarnach, Gond nach, Bamar nach, Dhobi nach, Som Chakwa and More morni are some of the still well-practiced dance forms in the villages of Bihar.
Jhijhian Dance:The superstitions, misbelieves and customs still prevails in some parts of Bihar. Moreover these rituals are interesting to see and many beliefs of Bihar can be experienced in that. Well whenever drought is in Bihar a very unique practiced is followed by the women. They sing and dance for rain to please the god of rain that Indra. The devotion and faith in god is stringent and firm. At end if lord Indra is pleased, heavy rainfall is there. The interesting practice is called Jhijhian Dance.
Jat-Jatin Dance:The old saying “culture and tradition is different after every ten miles India” is correct up to the much extent. Now talking of another fascinating dance of north Bihar, it’s Jat Jatin dance. This dance showcases the love between husband and his spouse. The husband emigrated for better earnings dance with her spouse and different aspects of a deep relationship of marriage are experienced in this dance.
Kajari Dance:Songs on the beginning of Shravan (rainy season) are really popular in the rustic area of Bihar. These melodious songs are called Kajari. The songs are really soothing and heart touching. It portrays the happiness in words.
Chhath, Deepawali and Shravani Mela are just to name three main of the festivals of Bihar.
Chhath Festival:Introduction :
Chhath Puja is an occasion when the people Indian thanksgiving festival devoted to the Sun God. People gather on the banks of the River Ganges to take a bath in its holy water, pray and make ritual offerings to the Sun God during the jubilations of Chhath Puja. Chhath Puja is an elaborate festival noted for its remarkable display of colorful dresses, music, singing and extravagant rituals. Chhath Puja is celebrated mainly in the northern regions of the state of Bihar in India.
On the day before the festival of Chhath Puja, people gather on the banks of the River Ganges and freshen themselves. The Chhath Festival – Fasting is very popular. Before the beginning of the Chhath Puja, people fast throughout the day continuing it into the early evening. The fast is followed by worship in the home. The whole family is fed with freshly reaped rice, puris, bananas, coconut and grapefruit. On the second day of the Chhath Puja a 24-hour fast is strictly observed, even water cannot be consumed. The senior women of the household cleanse all the cooking utensils which are necessary for the main part of celebrating Chhath Puja. The participants go to the river bank with their offerings and pay homage to the Sun God. More celebrations take place with sunset and before sunrise the people get back to the river bank with the offerings to pray to the rising sun. This is considered as the focus of the ceremony. After prayers and bathing in the river, the fast is ended.
Languages of Bihar
Bihar is renowned for its history and rich cultural heritage. Language has played a very vital role in shaping its identity. The major languages spoken in Bihar are Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magahi, Surajpuri, Vajjika etc. These languages are collectively referred as Bihari language. Hindi is its official language and is spoken as the main language of contact in the region. And Urdu is its second official language widely used in government gazettes. But the mainland of Bihar is dominated by two offshoots of Hindi language i.e. Bhojpuri and Maithili.
Bhojpuri is mainly spoken in western part of Bihar, north-eastern part of Jharkhand and Purvanchal region of U.P. About 150 million people who include 15% population of the region speak Bhojpuri. Bhojpuri is categorized in Indo Aryan branch of languages. The language follows Devanagari and Kaithi script in writing. It shares its major parts of vocabulary with Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and other Indo Aryan languages. Bhikhari Thakur is one of the most erudite scholars of the language.
Another important language widely spoken in Bihar is Maithili. It also falls in the branch of Indo Aryan language, a branch of Indo European origin. It is extensively spoken in the northern part of Bihar and Terai region of Nepal. Earlier Maithili was considered as a dialect of Hindi but in 2003 it was officially granted the status of independent language and is included in the eleventh scheduled of Indian Constitution. About more than 45 million people in Bihar speak Maithili. This includes approximately 14.26% of Bihar population. The main region where this language is spoken is around Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur etc. The language is written in Devanagari and Tirhuta or Mithilakshar script. Maithili language has its rich literature also. Mahakavi Vidyapati is a famous exponent of Mithilanchal. His works are seminal not only in this region but also popular in other Hindi speaking regions of India.
There are many other local dialects spoken in Bihar. They share each others vocabularies and diction and have flourished here from the ancient time.
Bihar is a state rich in its culture and indigenous traditions. Music is an indispensable part of the people of Bihar. They have songs ready for almost all occasions; from the birth of the child to the death of a person. The folk songs of the region are cited from various aspects of an ordinary man. Various songs are dedicated to different situations of life like ropnigeet-for performance in the season of sowing paddy, Katnigeet- at the time of harvesting. Separate songs for separate sacraments such as Sumangli for weeding ceremony, sohar for the time of child birth are very popular in the state. Beside this numbers of folk songs like hori, Jat –Jattin, Purbi, Chitra , Bedesia, Biraha, Ghato, Kajari, Irni/Birni, Jumar, Aalah Nirgun, Samdaun and many more reflect the smell of the soil. These songs have echo in the music of other parts of the world also like Mauritius and Caribbean, where many Bihari settled in 19th century as they settled their as bonded laborers. The most famous bard of the region, Bhikhari Thakur started new tradition of folk songs. Other group of folk artists is called Kathaks wandering in group and performing with instruments like Dholak, Thambura, Sarangi and Manjira. Bihar is also famous for other groups of musicians like Pamaria, Roshan Chauki, Bhajania Kirtania etc. Pandit Ram Chatur is a famous classical musician of Bihar.
Tribes of Bihar
Tribal population of Bihar is very dominant in southern part of the state. They are mainly inhabitants of Chotanagpur plateau spanning several districts of Bihar. These tribes are not only different from other non-tribal societies in the state but are also different from each other. Bihar is home of many aboriginal tribes like Santhals, Mundas, Cheros, Bumij, Asurs and Lohars etc. The state reflects a colorful and vibrant culture of tribal heritage.
The tribes of Bihar are believed to be migrated from sub Himalayan terrain. The tribal population of the state are basically short statured, dark skinned, curly haired with broad nose. Their rich and exuberant tribal customs can be shown in home decoration, festivals, music and dance. Santhals the main tribes of the region are highly developed society. Their settlements in their locality are highly advanced in compare with their counterparts. But most of the other tribal populations live in mud house with thatched roofs. There is provision for kitchen garden in their houses and some space is also left for cattle they usually rear. Most of the tribes in the region earn their livelihood by cultivation and many people have also migrated in the other part of the state for better earning prospects. The tribes of Bihar are famous for their unique customs and tradition. Their festivals like Sarhul and Mukka Sandra are celebrated with much pomp and grandeur. They celebrate these festivals with rich dose of music and tribal dance. They are religiously inclined people believing in many deities and Gods. Their prayers to their Gods are generally dedicated for protecting them from natural calamities and evil spirit.
The state of Bihar is land of many delicious and delectable cuisines. Though mainly dominated by upper and middle class Brahmins people of Bihar are generally vegetarians in their eating habits. However there are some group who also like to eat meat and fish. Dal, bhat, tarkari and chokha are their chief and much loved food. Chuda, dahi, chinni and anchar are another popular food they relish in the region of Mithila. Paddy being staple food of Bihar, it has innumerable rice based cuisine to offer like khichri, kheer, chawal ki roti , pua etc. Foods in Bihar are always served with sweet and appetizing sweets like peda, gulab jamun, khaja, thakua, rasgulla and so many to name. Another famous food stuff of the region is litti and choka. This litti is prepared with the powder of chana famously known as sattu, lemon, garlic, chilly, onion and many tasteful spices. Litti is first stuffed with sattu and then roasted on coal. It is then served with paste of boiled potato and brinjal called chokha. Bihar is also famous for non-vegetarian foods such as Bihari kabab, nargis kufte, saljam ghost etc reflecting multi cultural Bihari culture of both Hundis and Islam. Roll Bihari as typical Bihari non-vegirarian cuisine very popular in the region of New York, U.S.A.
A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a lingam built of black stone with four faces of Lord Shiva carved on it. This black basalt, four-headed shivalingam called Chaumukhi Mahadeva was discovered when a reservoir was being dug.
Maintained by The Archaeological survey of India, this museum has a large collection of stone sculptures and other artifacts. The museum has small but interesting collection of stone and terracotta statues of Buddha and his devotees It also has a small collection pillars. The museum houses rare collection of Buddhist sculptures from 1st century B.C. to 11th century A.D.
Bodhi Sarovar is situated in an attractive place this pond is towards the west of Bodhi temple and it is believed that before going in for meditation, Buddha took bath in this pond. This pond is situated towards the west of Bodhi temple. It is very attractive place and is worth visiting.
Date of Establishment- 1973.
Area covered- 1,026square.kilometers.
Location- The reserve is situated in the western side of Chhotanagpur plateau, in the state of Jharkhand.
About Palamau Tiger Reserve!
The Palamau Tiger Reserve was declared a reserve in the year 1973 under the umbrella of Project Tiger. The reserve is situated on the western part of Chhotanagpur plateau, Jharkhand. The reserve occupies an area of around 1026square.kilometers, which abounds in vast natural vegetation cover. In the... read more
Area Covered- 36square.kilometers.
Best time to visit- October-June.
Location- The sanctuary is located at Rajgir, in the district of Nalanda, Bihar.
Explore the wilds of Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary!
Rajgir wildlife Sanctuary is situated at Rajbir, around 102kms from the capital city of Patna in Bihar. The sanctuary covers an area of around 36sq.kms and is surrounded by various hills. These hills are related to Buddhist & Jain religion and have a very rich historical past. The place has a very beaut... read more
Hindu temple, Bawan Pokhar temple is located on the banks of a pond called Bawan Pokhar. The old temple, built during Pala period, enshrines beautiful images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
In Bawan Pokhar temple a large number of Hindu deities are enshrined at one place and worshipped together. The Harikatora Temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, Shiva's son and commander-in-chief of the armies of the Gods. The Bawan Pokhar temple houses a rich collection of black basalt images dating back to the Gupta and Pala ... read more
Situated about 13 kms from Gaya, it is one of the important places of worship for the Buddhists and is also a significant archaeological site. It is 15 metres square and rises to a height of 52 metres. There is a big statue of Lord Buddha inside with his hands touching the earth.
The focal point of Bodhgaya is the Mahabodhi Temple. A high pyramidal spire crowns the Mahabodhi temple, inside which, is a large gilded image of the Buddha. The temple is believed to be standing on the site of a shrine, erected by As... read more
Location: East India
Year of Construction: 1621 AD
Constructed By: Parwez Shah
Type of Construction: Medieval
Type of Building: Mosque
Accomodation: Patna is a city that can provide easy accomodations in hotels and lodges.
Accesibility: Patna is the nearest city which is very well connected to the other cities by air, rail and road.
Pathar Ki Masjid of Patna is also popularly known as Saif Khan's Mosque Chimni Ghat Mosque and Sangi Masjid. This beaut... read more
Address: 13 kms from Gaya and 113 kms from Patna city.
Location: East India
Year of Construction: 3 BC
Constructed By: Ashoka
Type of Construction: Ancient
Type of Building: Temple
Importance: It is here that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree around 2540 years ago
Accomodation: Accomodations are available at hotels and lodges in Gaya.
Accesibility: Gaya is well connected by air,rail and road with other major cities.
Nea... read more
Location : Patna Famous For : The Birthplace Of Guru Govind Sahib Built In : 1839 Houses : Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib The Sikhs consider the city of Patna as particularly holy, as the tenth guru of the Sikhs was born here. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born in the year 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honoured by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur. The Harmandir Takht, the gurudwara that c... read more