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Top 5 Places to Visit in Begusarai

One of the most beautiful districts in the state, Begusarai is the industrial capital of Bihar. The name of the town is divided to two parts, ‘Begum’ and ‘Sarai’, which mean queen and inn respectively. The Queen of Bhagalpur used to come on the banks of the River Ganga for a pilgrimage, which influenced the name of the district.

Rich with history, plenty of important influences and a beautiful lush landscape around, Begusarai offers many places and spots for tourists to visit. The top 5 places to visit in Begusarai are mentioned below.

1. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary

Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
Photo by Vaibhavchou, CC BY-SA 3.0

A natural habitat filled with migratory birds, this bird sanctuary has natural access to the Kanwar Lake, which is Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Local birds as well as other unique species of birds migrate here during harsh winters.  Kanwar Lake is in a natural oxbow formation. It was formed due to the diversion of one of the major tributaries of River Ganga, the meandering River Gandak. Birds like Oriental white vulture, Kestrel, cranes, Spotted eagle, Long billed vulture etc can be seen here. In recent times, chemicals and pollution have deteriorated the water and the lake’s surroundings. Poachers, trappers and commercial land deals have put a great risk on the lives of species here.

2. Begusarai Museum

Established in the year 1981, this government museum houses physical evidences that witnessed the rich cultural history of Begusarai. Stone sculptures of Lord Buddha, Lord Ganesh, Sun God and Lord Vishnu etc. can be seen here. Coins, ranging from the period of Pal rule, Mauryan Rule to the end of British Era in India are treasured in the museum. Other attractions include manuscripts, terracotta and pottery specimens. Art objects are collected from all around the town, though the centuries.

3. Naulakha Temple

Naulakha Temple
Photo (cropped) by Hariniwas, Public Domain

Located in the heart of the town, this age-old temple is adorned with beautiful paintings and carvings on its walls. The word ‘Naulakha’ means ‘Nine Lakhs’ in English. This is the exorbitant cost of constructing the temple. It is believed that the temple was built in the 17th century by Mahanth Deer Das. In the year 1952, Mahanth Mahavir Das undertook the task of restoring and renovating the temple. The deity is adorned with glittering jewellery and head gear and beautiful clothes. Hundreds of devotees’ flock here to seek blessings and pray for their fortune and long life.

4. Jaimangal Garh Temple

This historical site is located in the village of Manjhaul. Jaimangal Garh Temple is a beautiful heritage and architectural location and is known as Shakti Peeth. The Goddess is known to fulfill any wishes that devotees pray to her for. The temple belongs to the Pali era and houses an idol of Lord Vishnu as well. Allegedly Tantra i.e. black magic was practiced here in olden times. The Kanwar Lake lies besides the temple premises. Buddhist relevance also had been found during archaeological work. The village also has a big market place and is an important place for commercial activities and education.

5. Ajatshatru Fort

Ajatshatru Fort
Photo by myself, CC BY-SA 2.5

Ajatshatru fort is a major tourist attraction in suburb Begusarai. It was built in the 6th century by the king of Magadha, Ajatshatru. The son of King Bimbisar and Queen Chelna, he was known as the most feared and powerful king to ever rule over Magadha. Traditions in Jain and Buddhist differ a little in small details, but he was a follower of both traditions. He ruled over majority of Northern India and he was the one who built Pataliputra, now known as Patna, the capital of the state. He has eight wives, according to Jain legends. He is known to die in 461 BC. The fort is an important defending fortress and is now mostly in ruins. It is of high historical importance.

Begusarai has other tourist attractions like Simaria Ghat and Jai Mangla Temple. It majorly depends on agriculture now, but also has industries for energy production, refinery and fertilizers. It was the centre of Indigo production and marketing under British Rule. This beautiful town is a must visit, especially during winter months, for a more pleasant stay.

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