At one time, Patna was the capital of a good part of India. The name Bihar comes from the word vihara, “monastery.” Bihar is the place where Buddhism was born. There are also important holy places in relation to the Hindu and Jain religions.

Not many travelers come to Bihar, but pilgrims come to visit Bodhgaya, the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Besides Bodhgaya, there are several other Buddhist places in Bihar: Nalanda, where there was a great Buddhist University, Rajgir, and Vaishali. Many people travel through Patna on their way to Kathmandu and Nepal.