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Living and Learning in Bihar

Updated on: May 30, 2013
Living in Bihar

Bihar, bordered by Nepal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, is a state highly involved with agriculture. It is divided into two parts by the Ganges river, which flows through the middle from the west to the east. The capital city, Patna, is located on the Ganga. Other major cities of the state are Bhagalpur, Munger, Purnia, Motihari, Aurangabad, Nawada, Sitamarhi, Jamalpur and Muzaffarpur. The main industries of Bihar are in the agricultural sector. Major agriculture based units are rice mills, roller flour mills, biscuit production units, edible oil/refined vegetable oil processing plants, tobacco manufacturing units and food and vegetable processing units. Handlooms, leather and jute are some of the non-agricultural products. Many minerals like pyrite, limestone and mica are found in this state as well.

Entertainment

Some important places you can visit in Bihar include Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Vaishali, Kushinagar, Pawapuri, Rajgir and Patna. Some other places which are visited often are Ram Rekha Ghat, Sita Kund, Ram Chura, Janki Temple and Ahilya Asthan. Many festivals and fairs are celebrated and can be enjoyed thoroughly by both locals and tourists alike. Bihar also offers a wide range of variety for those who love to shop. Many shops have collections of local handicrafts and handloom products native to Bihar, and also from other parts of India. Bargaining is very popular here, and there is no set minimum or maximum for that. Some of the popular items that are generally bought in Bihar are Madhubani paintings, hand-painted wall hangings, stone pottery, bamboo and cane work, as well as leather goods.

Cost of living

Cost of living is a variable expense that depends on where you live and your budget. Below are some average prices for items in the capital city, Patna.

 

Inexpensive restaurant meal

Meal for 2, mid-range restaurant

Apartment in city centre (1 bedroom)

Apartment outside city centre (1 bedroom)

International release cinema ticket

One-way ticket, local transport

Taxi, 1 km

Gasoline, 1 liter

Basic utilities

Mean cost in rupees

75.00

275.00

15,000.00

7,000.00

167.50

11.00

6.50

75.00

2,000.00

Source:

Numbeo

Transportation

Bihar is one of the larger Indian states and the home of many famous monuments. If you own a means of transport, travel can be hassle free. If not, Bihar has local transport facilities which can be availed. Most cities in Bihar have railway junctions which will help connect you to other parts of the state. If not by train, you can opt to travel by bus. Both state transport and privately owned buses run through Bihar. Most buses run on a daily basis. Some mini buses offer short distance trips within the city. Taxis are another mode of transport which can be availed for intra-city travels and inter-city travels. For short travel, taxis with meters are convenient. The best mode of travel for short distances is the auto rickshaw. These are available both as metered and non-metered. In non-metered auto rickshaws, you can negotiate the fare before travel. Twenty nine national highways run through Bihar, as well as many state highways. Patna Airport (Jayaprakash Narayan National Airport) and Gaya Airport are the major airports in Bihar, which connect Bihar to India and the world. The Patna Airport connects to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Ranchi, and is categorized as a restricted international airport. Gaya Airport is connected to Colombo, Singapore, Bangkok and more.

The state

Bihari is considered 'the land of peace' as Lord Buddha walked on their soil. This state is known for its beauty and its rich cultural heritage and the legacy it leaves behind. Many Biharis are huge fans of movies, mostly Bhojpuri, and swarm to cinema halls. Dance clubs are another aspect of Bihar culture. Theater is a very important part of entertainment culture.

Language

Bihar, being a northern state, uses mainly Hindi. Since Bengal is a border state, some speak Bengali, mostly those who live close to the Bihar-Bengal border. English is generally understood, but it is not widely spoken. Some of the other languages spoken include Assamese, Oriya, Urdu and Bhojpuri. There are local dialects as well, which vary by district.

Culture

Bihar's rich mixed heritage is where this state's art and culture originated. Madhubani paintings are a signature art form and they were originally done by women pasting vegetable dyes on walls. Artists, inspired by them, took it to another level and did the same on paper and marketed it, thus bringing attention to this form of art. Another form of art is stone pottery. Life in Bihar is incomplete without dance, music, festivals, fairs and art and they revolve around tradition. Bihar celebrates its festivals and fairs with great fanfare and flourish. Chatth Puja, Shiv Ratri, Makar Sakranti, Nag Panchmi, Bihula, Deepavali, Madhushravani, Holi and Ramnavmi are some of the more celebrated festivals.

Food

Though grand rivers flow through Bihar, the diet is mainly vegetarian, so much so that there are said to be five hundred varieties of pickles! Bihar is well known for its sweet tooth and the delicacies made to cater to it. Some of the better known ones are the laddoo of Maner, khaja from Silao, kheer makhana, perukia and shakarpara. Soanpapdi, a popular sweet made of sugar, gram flour and butter, is also found throughout the state.

Sports

Bihar is the birthplace of many famous athletes, such as M.S. Dhoni, Kavita Roy, Rajesh Chauhan, Zafar Iqbal, Subroto Banerjee and Rashmi Kumari. The three main sports promoted in Bihar are cricket, hockey and football. Bihar participates in the Santosh Trophy games and also hosts its own tournaments. Competitions are mostly at the district level and inter-district competitions are held as well. After Bihar and Jharkhand separated, Bihar has lacked in good grounds and players, so this has temporarily taken a backseat, but it is still quite popular in the state. Cricket is governed by the Bihar Cricket Association, which is involved in conducting games from the basic level up to the international level.

School listings

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sources

"Airports in Bihar," Bharat Online

"Bihar Cuisine," Bharat Online

"Bihar Tourism," Bihar Tourism

"Cost of Living in Patna, India," Numbeo, April 2013

"Local Transport," Bharat Online

"Sports," Brand Bihar

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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