Bihar is a state in North-Central India. The state is t is bounded by Nepal to the north. The state bears testimony of rise and fall of some of India's major dynasties - the Mauryas, the Guptas and the Palas. The region is dotted with innumerable ancient monuments of historical and cultural significance. The state of Bihar is known as the birth place of Buddhism in India. It was home to ancient universities like Nalanda and Vikramasila.
Major tourist sites in the state include Vishnupada Temple, Mahabodhi Temple, Sasaram, Maner Sharif, Pataliputra, Rohtasgarh Fort, Sasaram Fort, Palamu Fort. Bihar is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, Muslims and Jains. Popular pilgrimage places include: Mahavir Mandir, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Gaya, Patna, Darbhanga, Gurdwara at Patna Sahib, Gurdwara Ghai Ghat, Bodhi Tree, Bodh Gaya, Gaya, Vaishali, Pawapuri, Rajgir.
Bihar is known for the biggest cattle fair of Asia taking place every year at Sonepur, in November, International Patna Film Festival, Hindu Festival – Chhatv and Rajgir Mahotsav, a festival of dance and music.
The region is known for Mithila paintings don by women using pigments from spices, minerals, charcoal and vegetable matter to paint local deities and scenes from mythology, often intermingled with special events and aspects of everyday life. Other popular handicrafts include caning and weaving and Manjusha art: temple-shaped boxes made of bamboo, etc.
Bihar has a very old tradition of folk singing and dancing.
The Ganges River dolphins are the national aquatic animal of India and is now considered amongst the most endangered mammals of the region.
Bihar accounts for 71% of India's annual litchi production.
Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. Some dishes which Bihar is famous for include Sattu Parantha (paranthas stuffed with fried chickpea flour), chokha (spicy mashed potatoes and/or brinjal), fish curry, Posta-dana ka Halwa (sweet poppy seed pudding), Bihari kebab (usually made with mutton splashed with red chillies, cumin, coriander, raw papaya, cinnamon, garlic and ginger and sometimes wrapped inside paratha and served as rolls).
Major Bihari festivals and Fairs include: Pataliputra Mahotsava, celebrating its historic past with parades, sports, dancing and music, Rajgir Mahotsava - a classical performing arts festival with folk dances, devotional songs and instrumental music, Chhath Festival, when people line the banks of rivers and water bodies to honour Surya, the Sun God and Sonepur Mela – largest Asia’s cattle fair with 700,000 attendees and countless thousands of Marwari horses, brindled goats, camels, birds and elephants taking part.
Bihar has a subtropical climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Average temperature during summers is around 35–40 °C (95–104 °F), and 0–10 °C (32–50 °F) during winters.
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