One of the significant cities of north Bihar located in the heart of Mithilanchal, Darbhanga, is a wonderful tourist destination in Bihar. Full of architectural marvels and religious places, rich in its musical form, folk arts and century’s old tradition, it is considered as the cultural capital of Bihar. The name Darbhanga is a blend of two words- “Dwar” meaning gate and “Banga” meaning Bengal, giving way to “Gateway of Bengal”. Situated between the lower ranges of the Himalayas and Ganga River, it is only 50 km away from Nepal. Do not get startled if you come across songs written by renowned Maithili poet Vidyapati on social occasions. Darbhanga is also known for its mangoes, especially Maldah variety. Here goes the list of top five attractions of Darbhanga that you cannot give a miss.
1. Shyama Kali Temple
If you are seeking for absolute holiness, the beautiful and appealing ground of the Lalit Narayan Mithila University that hosts the Shyama Kali Temple is the right place for you. Built in the year 1933, also known as Shyama Mai, this place buzzes with a lot of activities and festivity in December for the annual Shyama Mai festival. Believed to have been built in the funeral ashes of Maharaja of Darbhanga, the temple complex has 6 temples built around a central pond (said to be made up of water of 7 rivers). Wide expanse, lush greenery with multiple temple structures greet you giving a soulful experience and positive energy. It is also believed that Goddess Kali grants wish of those who pray with full faith and belief. Along with the Kankali temple, it is considered one of the major tantric temple of North Bihar. It can be easily reached from Darbhanga Railway station.
2. Ahilya Asthan
Ahilya Asthan stands in a village called Ahiya Gram which along with the temple is said to date back to the time of Ramayana. It is dedicated to Ahilya, wife of Gautam Rishi. According to mythology, he had cursed her to turn into a stone. But when Lord Rama’s feet touched the stone on his way to Mithila, she regained her human form. This famous temple is located at a distance of 3 km from the Railway Station of Kamtaul in the Jale block. Festival of Ramnavmi is celebrated here with high enthusiasm every year in late March-early April. Besides this temple, the village hosts many other temples and mosques.
3. Chandradhari Museum
If you are a history buff, Chandradhari Museum is a perfect place to collect information about ancient period of this region. You will be mesmerized by the 11 galleries that contain rare artefacts made of glass, metal, wood, ivory and clay along with coins of different ages and library facilities. Established in 1957, it is located on the eastern bank of Mansarovar Lake. Costly gems and stones are showcased in the natural history section. Statues of Buddha from Nepal and Tibet, brass statues of gods and goddesses and rare paintings on themes from the Ramayana and Jaidev’s Geet-Govinda are some of the highlights of this place. There is no entry fee and it is closed only on Mondays.
4. Kusheshwar Asthan Bird Sanctuary
Kusheshwar Asthan Bird Sanctuary is a perfect tourist spot for all the wildlife lovers. It consists of 14 villages that come under Kusheshwar Asthan block in Darbhanga that remain waterlogged most of the times. These wetlands are winter capital to at least 15 endangered species of migratory birds from places as far as Mongolia and Siberia. Under Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, these villages (spreading over 7019.75 acres) have been declared as Kusheshwar Asthan Bird Sanctuary. You can spot Dalmatian Pelican, Indian Darter, Bar-headed goose, Siberian Crane and many more between November and March. Kusheshwar Shiva Temple lies nearby from which the name of this place is derived.
5. Darbhanga Fort
A wonderful tourist destination bounded by beautiful mango trees, Darbhanga Fort is another attraction of this beautiful city. This imposing heritage monument is a large complex which used to be the residence of Darbhangha Royal family of Zamindars. Successors of royal clan still stay inside the fort. Also known as Raj Qila, it hosts numerous palaces like Ram Bagh Palace and Nargona Palace. Modelled after the fort in Fatehpur Sikri, the fort houses Kankali Temple.
Darbhanga is the most captivating tourist spot in North Bihar with historical sites, magnificent palaces, exotic wildlife and unique culture.
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