Eastern part of India is a kaleidoscope of nature’s beauty, rich cultural heritage, architectural brilliance and warm welcome. This part of the Indian subcontinent is bestowed with the majestic Eastern Ghats, green meadows and evergreen forests. Bihar is home to the oldest university of the world, Nalanda University. The City of Buddha in Bihar is where the Lord Buddha attained nirvana, making it one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Jharkhand literally means ‘the territory of forests’ and is blessed with one of the few dense evergreen forests in India. One of the most pious sites for Char Dham Yatra, Puri in Odisha is an important religious destination for the Hindus. Home to the majestic Konark Temple, Odisha offers scenic hills, beaches and forgotten woods. The last stop on the journey to East India ends in West Bengal. Known worldwide for the rich tea plantations, scenic hills, green woods and the colonial era buildings, West Bengal is a treasure waiting to be explored!
With eco-tourism soaring high, the bliss of nature in Eastern part of India attracts travelers from all over the world. The lush green Eastern Ghats adorn the state of Odisha while Jharkhand has one of the few dense evergreen forests of India. A vacation to eastern part of India leaves you with a calmer inner self. It rejuvenates you to go back to life with a positive body and soul. The scenic view of the Himalayan range in the backdrop of West Bengal is beauty personified. The first tea garden of West Bengal was planted in 1857 at Darjeeling, making it the second largest producer of tea in India. Bihar’s eco tourist is a lesser-known destination but quite exquisite. From Telhar Kund to Barabar Caves the region is blessed with offbeat natural beauty.
The rich cultural heritage of a destination attracts a large number of travelers. Eastern India is bestowed with exquisite heritage sites which make it one of the most visited destinations in India. From the famous Mahabodhi Temple where Lord Buddha attained nirvana to the historic town of Nalanda, Bihar is filled with rich heritage. The terracotta temples of Maluti in Jharkhand whisper stories of the past. Not to forget, the famous Konark Temple in Odisha that has bagged a place in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Odisha houses around 500 ancient temples and therefore known as the ‘Temple City of India’. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal rides through the scenic valleys and tea plantations with the backdrop of snow-clad Kanchenjunga. The city of Murshidabad in West Bengal is a historic town housing ancient tombs, mosques and museums which speaks of the times of Nawabs.
India is a land of many religious beliefs and spirituality. The eastern part of India contributes generously to the pilgrimage tourism of India. The famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple in West Bengal is the most visited temple of the state. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, devotees visit this place of worship to repent and seek blessings from the Almighty. One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, the Baidyanath Dham in Deoghar, Jharkhand is one of the most important religious sites for Hindus. The famous Jagannath Temple in Odisha is one of the important sites of Char Dham Yatra for Hindu pilgrimage. Bihar is known for the ancient Patan Devi Temple, one of the 51 Siddha Shakti Pithas. Takht Sri Patna Sahib is an important pilgrimage site for the Sikhs. Thus, the ancient and important religious sites of eastern India lures a large number of devotees to visit them and seek the blessings from thousands of Indian Gods.
States of Eastern India
- Bihar- A place that even the great Chinese explorer, Hieun Tsang couldn’t resist. Home to the place where Lord Buddha attained nirvana, Bihar is not only a religious destination but also a heritage one. With the ruins of Nalanda and Vaishali, this state whispers stories of the glorifying past of India.
- Jharkhand- Jharkhand literally means the ‘abode of forests. With tribes as a majority, this state is popular for tribal tourism. Also, it is one of the most religious destinations in India because of the presence of one of the twelve ‘jyotirlingas’ of Lord Shiva.
- Odisha- A land of unspoken beaches, scenic hills, tribal charms and architectural brilliance, Odisha should surely be on every traveler’s bucket-list. One of the auspicious pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham Yatra, this state welcomes thousands of tourists all year-round.
- West Bengal- Land of tea gardens, lush green hills, white cascading waterfalls and glorifying rich culture and history, West Bengal is a must visit for all the travelers out there.
Must Visit Popular Hill Stations in West Bengal
- Deomali – Nestled in the Eastern Ghats, Deomali mountain peak is the highest peak in Odisha. Surrounded by dense woods, small creeks, scenic hills and serenity, this off-beat destination is a must-visit in Odisha.
- Hazaribagh – Hazaribagh literally means ‘Land of Thousand Gardens’. It is a famous health resort surrounded by manicured gardens, lush green woods and clean air. Hazaribagh also houses great Jain temples and cantonments of British Raj.
- Darjeeling – Darjeeling is a quaint hill town in the state of West Bengal known for its large tea and coffee plantations. Darjeeling tea is famously known as the ‘champagne of teas’ because of its rich taste and aroma. This town is blessed with scenic beauty, clean air and solidarity.
- Brahmajuni Hill – Located in the Gaya district of Bihar, Brahmajuni Hill is a picturesque hilltop that offers breathtaking views of the town of Gaya. Home to a famous religious site, Vishnupad Temple is a beautiful place of worship. It is believed that a flight of 1000 stone steps should be taken to reach the temple.
- Daringbadi – Popularly known as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’, Daringbadi is a dainty hill station bestowed with pine forests, green valleys and majestic view. Lush green coffee and black pepper gardens adorn this state waiting to be explored.
- Netarhat- Located in Latehar District in Bihar is the hill station of Netarhat. Popularly known as the ‘Queen of Chotanagpur’, this place is supposed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.
- Kalimpong- A hill town nestled in the Himalayan range in North Bengal is a beautiful hill station with ancient Buddhist monasteries, exquisite churches and palaces, old temples and a warmth in the air.
- Gurpa Peak- Situated near a small village called Gurpa in Bihar, Gurpa peak offers an ideal environment for meditation. It offers a bird’s eye view of the town and is known for ancient Buddhist relics. It is also believed to be the place where Maha Kassapa, the successor of Lord Buddha, left his mortal life.
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Must Visit Popular Heritage Destinations in Eastern India
|Heritage City/Site Name||State|
- Nalanda, Bihar- A quiet hamlet scattered with the ruins of one of the world’s greatest learning centres, the Nalanda University, eleven monasteries and six temples, Nalanda is one of the most visited heritage sites of India.
- Konark, Odisha- In India’s best kept Secret is the heritage beauty of Sun Temple in Konark. Built in the 13th century, this temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya and is designed as his chariot driven by seven horses.
- Bishnupur, West Bengal- The origin of this town is traced back to the formation of the Malla Dynasty. Bishnupur is known for its magnificent terracotta temples dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Intricately designed temples showcase the brilliance of art and architecture in that era.
- Bodh Gaya, Bihar- Bodh Gaya is the homage paying site of Buddhism. It shelters the Mahabodhi Complex Temple, one of the four holy sites of buddhism and a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the renowned Bodhi Tree, where Lord Buddha attained nirvana.
- Kolkata, West Bengal- Popularly known as the ‘Cultural Capital of India’, Kolkata teleports you to the colonial era. Once the capital of British Raj, this lively city whispers stories of the glorious past of India. The magnificent Victoria Memorial or the ancestral home of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore takes you through the heritage and colonial treks of the city.
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Must Visit Popular Religious Sites of Eastern India
|Religious Site/City Name||State|
- Puri, Odisha- Popularly known as the ‘Abode of Lord Jagannath’, Puri is one of the pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham Yatra. The annual festival of Rath Yatra- a chariot procession witnesses thousands of devotees who feel a deep connection with the gods.
- Gaya, Bihar- Gaya is where two religions live in harmony. It houses the famous Dungeshwari Temple also known as Mahakala Caves where Lord Buddha meditated for six years before going to Bodh Gaya to attain nirvana. Gaya also houses the renowned Vishnupad Temple, believed to be built over the actual footprints of Lord Vishnu.
- Kolkata, West Bengal- The Cultural Capital of India also houses the famous Hindu pilgrimage site, Dakshineswar Temple. The temple stands beside River Hoogly and is dedicated to Goddess Kali.
- Deogarh, Jharkhand- Home to the famous Baidyanath Temple which is the only temple in India to be a jyotirlinga and a shaktipeeth. Housing one of the twelve jyotirlingas, this temple is one of the most pious sites for the Hindus.
- Patna, Bihar- The capital city of Bihar is home to the sacred shrine of one of the five takhts of Sikhism. Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib also known as Patna Sahib marks the birth of the tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Gobind Singh.
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Some of the Popular Wildlife Tourist Attractions in Eastern India
|Wildlife Destination Name||Location|
|Sunderban National Park||West Bengal|
|Simlipal National Park||Odisha|
|Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary||Bihar|
|Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary||West Bengal|
- Sunderbans, West Bengal- One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sunderbans is one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. It shelters the largest number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the world. Nature and wildlife enthusiasts come here for the rich wildlife, dense forest covers, rivers and creeks.
- Simlipal, Odisha- Nestled in the dense forest cover of Orissa, Simlipal National Park is also a tiger reserve. It is the seventh largest national park in India. Home to nearly 42 species of mammals, 242 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles, this park is no less than a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
- Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, Bihar- Established in 1991 to protect the Gangetic dolphins in Asia. This sanctuary is a haven for aquatic wildlife enthusiasts. It also houses species of turtles in freshwater and aquatic birds.
- Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jharkhand- Nestled in the dense dry deciduous forests near Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, this wildlife sanctuary is an abode of Indian elephants. Dalma Sanctuary also houses species of sloth bears, porcupines, barking deers and sambhars.
- Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal– Located near Lataguri in West Bengal, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most visited wildlife habitats in India. With the Himalayas in the backdrop, this sanctuary is home to elephants, leopards and gaurs among many others. You can also stay at the rest house on the premises of the habitat.
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