Bihar is a land of monasteries and Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim and Sikh shrines. The most initial university in the world was established in Bihar. The name of the State has been derived from the word Vihara, which means ‘monastery’. The State has a rich humanistic heritage. There are many monasteries as well as monuments of different religions here.
The main hill stations of the State are Brahmajuni Hill, Ramshila Hill, Pretshila Hill, Gurpa Peak, and Pragbodhi Mountain.
Pretshila Hill is situated at about 10 km from the Ramshila hill. The place is about 12 km from Gaya. Below this beautiful hill is the Brahma Kund Lake, where pilgrims take bath and offer Pind Dan, a ritual done to satisfy the departed souls of ancestors and parents. At the top of the hill is a beautiful Ahilya Bai Temple built in a unique architectural style and with magnificent sculptures.
Gurpa Peak is situated near a small village called Gurpa in the Gaya district. The sacred mountain is also known as Kukkutapadagiri. There are many Hindu shrines and Buddhist relics at this place. The Peak offers an ideal place for meditation. You can enjoy the beauty of the whole surrounding area from the top of the peak.
It is said that when Maha Kassapa, the successor of Lord Buddha was approaching the end of his life, he climbed to the summit of the peak. He struck the towering rocks which obstructed the way and rocks parted to make way for him. He then entered the cleft thus created and meditated there and the rocks closed around him. It is believed that Maha Kassapa is still awaiting the arrival of the Maithreya or the future Buddha who will deliver the message of Lord Buddha to mankind. Now the place has developed into a major pilgrimage center due to its association with Maha Kassapa. There is a steep path from the foot of the mountain that leads to the base of a sheer cliff. This cliff is famous for a huge narrow crack.
Pragbodhi Mountain is located in the Gaya district. This place is also known as Dhungeswara and is very close to Kiriyama village. The word ‘Pragbodhi’ literally means ‘prior to enlightenment’. It is said that Lord Buddha had stayed in one of the caves in this mountain before attaining enlightenment. The main tourist attraction here is a small temple, run by Tibetan monks. You can also find a number of ancient stupas on the top of the mountain.
Brahmajuni Hill, also known as Brahmayoni, is located in the Gaya district of the State. This is situated 1 km south-west of Vishnupad Temple. This is a famous ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the temple is built over the footprints of Lord Vishnu. The hilltop is an important tourist spot which gives a fascinating view of the Gaya town and can also enjoy the magnificent view of the temple. To reach the top of the hill there is a flight of one thousand stone steps.
The main tourist attraction here at the top is the two narrow caves called Brahmayoni and Matruyoni caves and temples dedicated to Astabhujadevi and other goddesses.
Ramshila Hill is situated at about 5 km from the Vishnupad Temple in Gaya. This is one of the most sacred hills of the district, with considerable antiquity. You can find here a number of beautiful stone sculptors doted in the hill. The main tourist attraction here is the Ramesvara or Patalesvara temple located on the hill… It is believed that Lord Ram had offered ‘pinda’ on the hill and so with that belief, ‘Pindas’ are offered by Hindu devotees during Pitripaksha for their ancestors here. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman.
The summers and the monsoons are the best time to visit the State. The peak season time is from the months of October to February. There are many holiday rental accommodations in Bihar available here such as holiday resort, homestays, cottages, serviced apartments and guest houses offering comfortable stay for its travelers. Now, these holiday homes are also arranging sightseeing packages for their guests.