Culture of Bihar
The cultural life of the traditional Bihar society comprises of
art, dance, music, festivals and fairs. Without considering all these
aspects the culture seems to be incomplete. Bihar has a
glorious past and a rich cultural heritage. The people of Bihar have
preserved their rich tradition. The folk dances of Bihar are extremely
enjoyable. Folk music is sung by people to remark some of the important
occasions. The festivals are also celebrated with joy and
happiness. The all-important Pitrapaksha Mela also takes place at Gaya
in Bihar. People of various religions and faith coexist together by maintaining their religious harmony with the philosophy of simple living and high thinking engrossed in their lifestyles. They are moderate and generous masses maintaining their affinity with the deep rooted culture of regional food habits and dressing senses.
Most common regional languages spoken in Bihar include Angika, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili, Magadhi Prakrit, Hindi, Urdu and English amongst others. State’s recognized languages are co-official language of Hindi which also has the recognition of being National Language with English. Urdu is another important language in Bihar spoken by good chunk of people as mother tongue and which is an important constitutionally recognized language in this state. Approximately 25% of Bihar’s population speak Urdu henceforth it has the status of second to the official language, Hindi. Maithili has also been included in the list of state's official languages recently.
Buddhism and Jainism the two major sects of the world owes their origin to Bihar.
World famous Madhubani Paintings belongs to Bihar.
The life-size standing image of Didarganj Yakshi is estimated to date from ca. 3rd century BCE.
Barabar Caves are amongst the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India.Bhagalpur in Bihar is well known for tussah or tussar silk.
Bhojpuri, Maithili and Magahi are some of the most common languages of Bihar.
Arts and Crafts of Bihar
Bihar has attained international recognition through arts and crafts since several centuries. The famous Madhubani and Mithila painting are at par and renowned on national spectrum and are therefore usually denoted with Indian paintings of global standards from Bihar. Darbhanga and Madhubani districts are famous for such paintings. They depict various themes related to humans and nature. Other art forms in the state are Manjusha Art or Manjusha Kala and Angika Art besides the Patna School of Painting or Patna Qalaam that showcase the Mughal Miniature School of Painting features.
The Madhubani paintings were done by the village women of Mithila with vegetable dyes on the walls. But once when they were encouraged by an artist these ladies started making their paintings on paper. The paintings normally are made of village scenes, human and animal forms, god and goddess. The Madhubani painting is very famous all over the country. Bihar is also famous for stone pottery, white metal statuettes, bamboo artifacts, wooden toys and leather goods. Infact, Bihar export leather footwear in large quantities wood inlay is another ancient craft quite famous here, and specific to Patna city. Several villages around Vaishali make delightful home made toys. Sikki Work is done by weaving the humble blade of grass into beautiful baskets and mats. Lac bangles are also prepared in Muzaffarpur city of Bihar.
Sculptures of Bihar
Being one of the oldest regions of the world Bihar still maintains its wonderful profile as a place with ample sources from the leaflets of history to enrich its cultural identity. Presence of large chunk of sculptures indicate how popular has remained culture and civilization of this region over the last few centuries. Bronze figures dating back to ancient Mauryan period helps us in understanding the ancient art. The state is dotted with several stone pillars with animal motifs carved on the top.They are assumed to exist since last 2000 years. What makes them unique
is their carving from single stone pieces which turn them exclusive.
Such sculptures are found in various locations in the state. Sculptures
found in different parts of the state turn it culturally impactful place
to explore. Didarganj Yakshi is considered one of the prime examples of Mauryan art. Almost 64" tall, carved out of a single piece of stone, it is well-proportioned, free-standing with well polished surface. The Didarganj Chauri Bearer is widely viewed by archaeologists as one of the finest and most precious artefacts of ancient Indian sculptural art.
Several bronze sculptures from ancient era are also found in Bihar state. Thorough assessment of these sculptures make one understand the advanced technology having been used to prepare them thousands of years ago. One of the famous bronze sculptures in Patna of approximately 7 ft., high and of 500 kilogram bronze old Sultanganj Buddha statue exists since last 1500 years to showcase region’s grandeur past.
Similarly, many other sculptures of Bihar ranging from those symbolizing Hellenistic Gods to numerous Gandharan period statues portray early Buddha and Bodhisattvas of ancient era Bihar. There are several such sculptures that showcase Greco-Buddhist art & culture. Gandhara has many such collections from the Kushans period to turn this state artistically and culturally enriched. Sculptures of Mandar Hills showcase Lord Vishnu statues built during the Gupta period. Prepared from black stones, 34 inches high statue exists since many centuries. Most sculptures from Bihar state represent Hindu and Buddhism religious values and faith. They are great sources to understand ancient culture and arts of this region which had great civilization in the ancient time.
Architecture in Bihar
Bihar has exemplified with unique architectural significance since time immemorial. Their traces are seen from the Vedic period itself that has always maintained its uniqueness with architecture. State’s architecture remained example for rest in country and in the far off regions round the world wherever its typical architectural richness went. Bihar architecture of ancient era witnessed typical use of stones, woods and bricks to develop exceptionally compelling architectural designs.Unique architecture therefore mixed stone, wooden and brick materials to develop the individualistic identity. Besides developing unique designs such architectures had added benefits of assuring maximum durability. One can witness the work of Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Mounts.
Grottoe of Lomas Richi. 3rd century BCE. The Barabar Caves are amongst the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India. History explains about the display of amazing architecture in Bihar’s kingdoms in ancient periods. Take for example information garnered from the famous Megasthenes that explain about the ancient city of Pataliputra having been aesthetically encircled through wooden materials to make it a replica of palisade.
Another example of Bihar state’s distinguished architecture can be found in the Nalanda and Vikramshila ruins built from brick and masonry mounds. Bihar’s architecture has shown way to several Southeast and East Asian countries. Take for example the numerous Buddhist stupas with their distinct dome shaped monuments present in various parts of the world today. They are indeed an inspiration from the rich architecture of Bihar state since ancient period. Many excavations have already proved those facts in the modern day Patna whose ancient city structure was truly appealing due to beautiful architecture. Artistic designs of monuments and sacred relics in Bihar have remained pathfinders for the future cultures since many centuries. The pagoda to Westerners, stupas, viharas and numerous artistically designed temples from the Mauryan regime showed the world to explore its unique architecture. Wooden, stone, bricks and iron architecture are some of the distinct forms and so is notable rock cut architecture of Bihar. They can be best seen in temples with elliptical, circular, quadrilateral and apsidal designs. Mixed architectural designs of Bihar in the medieval period showed various concepts including blend styles with Indian and ancient Roman architecture designs to Hellenestic that were then evidenced from the Greco-Buddhist architectural forms.
Completely revamped Islamic architecture came in Bihar with the arrival of Mughal in India in 15th century and their expansion in this region. Even today, one witnesses various tombs prepared from various types of sandstone and marble having complete Persian influence. Some of the witnesses of Mughal architecture in India are of Sher Shah Suri Tomb, Makhdum Daulat, Maner Sharif and et al. The replica of modern architecture in Bihar is assessed from the buildings in the state capital and other historic areas. The buildings of Patna High Court, Bihar Vidhan Sabha, Bihar Vidhan Parishad, Transport Bhawan, Patna, Golghar St. Mary's Church and Patna Museum are among those famous for their Indo-Saracenic architectural styles. The state has already welcomed good number of modern architectural projects prevailing in other parts of the country but they still maintain the distinct Bihari architectural values.
Folk Songs and Dances of Bihar
Bihar is famous for its performing arts culture. The Magahi folk singing
besides Hindustani (Indian) classical music is major contributions of
this state on national level. Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan was born
in Bihar. Likewise, Dhrupad singers Malliks from Darbhanga Gharana,
Mishras from Bettiah Gharana and Dagar School of Dhrupad have
irrefutable contribution from Bihar into Indian perspective. An
important center of awakening and cultural amalgamation Gaya remains
famous globally. It is a famous place in the state as a center of
excellence to popularize classical music such as Tappa and Thumri
varieties as much as it is known for being center of Buddhism—the famous
Bodh Gaya where people from far off regions from Asia and other parts
of the world flock.
Singing, dances and various other cultural
activities are common parts of the Bihar’s culture and tradition. Such
things can be witnessed during certain occasions of family get-togethers
and or on the wedding times, festivals or birth ceremonies that
propagate the variant cultural learnings of places which differ but at
the same juncture make state’s composite culture. The culture of musical
instruments Dholak, Bansuri, Tabla and Harmonium are commonest and used
too much during folk singing.
Folk Songs of Bihar
Bihar’s folk songs are associated with the various events take place in
the life of a person. Sumangali is associated with wedding while Sohar is performed at the birth of the child. Ropnigeet is performed during the season of sowing paddy and Katnigeet is performed during the paddy harvesting season. Some
of the other folk songs are purbi, chaita, hori, bidesia, ghato, birha,
kajari, irni/ birni, pachra, jhumar, jatsari, aalah, nirgun, and
Bihar has a very old tradition of beautiful folk songs. These songs are
sung during important family occasions, such as marriage, birth
ceremonies, festivals, etc. The folk songs are sung mainly in group
using Dholak, and sometimes Tabla and Harmonium are also used.
Folk Dances of BiharJhijhian Dance
This dance is done by village women in order to pray Lord Indra for rain, in times of drought when the lands cracks and becomes parched. The sky seems lifeless without clouds and the people await a downpour. The village women dance and sing to please Lord Indra, the Lord of Rain. Lord Indra responds back to their worship by heavy rainfalls. The words of the song which the village women sung are “Haali-Huli Barshun Inder Deveta”.Kajari Dance
Kajari dance is the popular dance of the rainy season. The Shravan month i.e. the rainy season is welcomed by this dance and song. The ladies of the village start dancing like a peacock with the song “Bhijat awe Dhaniya Ho Rama ...”Jat-Jatin Dance
Jat-Jatin is the most popular folk dance,
performed by a pair of man and woman in North Bihar, especially in
Mithila and Koshi region. Jat-Jatin is a folk dance in which the man
goes out of the village to earn and when he comes back, the dance
reflects their sweet and tender quarrel as well as some complaints
between husband and wife apart from poverty and sorrow. The folk dance
tries to teach that how one should overcome the hurdles of life
smilingly. The words of the song are “Tikwa-jab-jab Maugailion re jatwa -
Tikwa kahe na lawle re …”Holi Dance
Holi is a festival which is celebrated with full
joy all across the nation. The first day of the Chaitra month is
celebrated as Holi. In Bihar the people sing a typical style “Dhamar” on
Holi and dance in groups with full joy on musical instruments like
dholak, jhal-manjeera etc.Jhumeri Dance
Jhumeri Dance of Bihar is similar to “Garva of
Gujrat”. Specialized to the married women, it is a folk dance of
Mithilanchal of Bihar. In the month of Kartik when the sky is crystal
clear, and when the full moon spreads its rays all over. The women in
love go on dancing, singing and celebrating the turn of the season. The
amusing words of Jhumeri are – “Kartik Mas na Aakashey Badari ...”Harvesting Dance
Bihar is an agriculture based State. In the harvesting season, male and female villagers do their work with dance and song in the field. Their happiness and joy is the symbol of good crop. The popular melodious tune of the harvesting song is “Chal Dhani Khetwa mei gay…”Sohar-Khilouna Dance
This dance is associated with the birth
of child. The birth of child is celebrated all over the country with different traditional rituals. In Bihar, the ladies sing Sohar on the
occasion of birth ceremony of a child. The ladies compare the child with
god. They sometime compare the child with Lord Rama sometime with Lord
Krishna. The Sohar has its own unique pronunciation. The ladies bless
the baby by singing, acting and dancing on the words of Sohar which are
like “Machia baithal sasu puchelli…”
Performing Arts in Bihar
The culture of Bihar remains incomplete without mentioning its theatre art. It is one of the best means to express the Bihari culture in the country and abroad. A few prominent theatre forms in the state include Bidesia; Bihula-Bisahari; Reshma-Chuharmal; Raja Salhesh; Bahura-Gorin; Dom Kach and Sama Chakeva are theater forms with richness to project state’s indigenous identity.
Cinema in Bihar
Some Bhojpuri films have even surpassed country’s biggest entertainment industry. Bhojpuri film industry is famous in the country. Although a completely regional film industry, Bhojpuri films appeal to many in other states including UP, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and all those areas where various forms of Hindi dialects are spoken. The Angika language films of Bihar are smaller Magadhi and Maithili films popular in the state and its nearby regions. It was in the year 1961 that Bhojpuri dialoques became popular on national level through the movie Ganga Jamuna. Likewise, first Magadhi film Bhaiyaa was released in the year 1961 while four years later the first Maithili movie Kanyadan was released in 1965 to popularize various forms of cinema from Bihar state. Bhojpuri movies are released every year since decades. Some actors and actresses of Bhojpuri cinema have proved their mettle in Hindi cinema. Few movies remained more popular than the movies from even Bollywood that is considered India’s biggest entertainment industry.
Religion in Bihar
Bihar is one of those states that maintain its religious harmony and secular spirits through people of all religious faiths coexisting together. Bodh Gaya remains one of the major centers of Buddhism as it was here that Lord Buddha attained
Enlightenment. Likewise the 24th and last Jainism Vardhamana
Tirthankara, Mahavira was born in the 6th century BC in Vaishali area. It is in the state capital Patna (erstwhile Patliputra) that the 10th and last Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was born. People of Bihar consider their religious faiths integral parts of their lives. They are devotes and practice respective religious activities with firmness and dedication which therefore showcase the composite culture of this state. One can witness various shrines, temples and mosques that represent the religions of various groups to make the region distinct and worth admiring due to cultural richness and religious values.
Chhath is one of the most ancient and major festival of Bihar.
First Buddhist Council (c. 400 BCE) was held in Bihar.
Bodhgaya in Bihar is an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. It is believed that it was at this place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
It was at Takhat Patna Sahib where the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singhji was born in 1666.
Lord Mahavira, the final tirthankar and founder of Jainism, breathed his last at Pawapuri in Bihar.
Maner Sharif is counts amongst the most sacred destinations of Bihar.
Pitri Paksha Mela, Gaya
in the world famous religious center of Gaya in Bihar, Pitri
Paksha Mela is an annual religious festival held for a fortnight. The venue
of this fair is on the Falgu River banks. Large chunk of pilgrims visit
this festival and represent from far off places. Visitors arriving here
do participate in the special Pinda ritual in Gaya for the salvation of
their ancestors. As per the Bihar Tourism Department estimation, this
festival attracts pilgrims in the range of 5,00,000 to 75,00,000 every
year. They come Gaya to worship for world peace and dedicate their
prayers for the relatives who have died and seek their prayers for
Festivals in Bihar
India has a tradition of festivals. From national festivals to social ones, people come closer, enjoy and forget their differences. Festivals break the monotony of our day-to-day life. In Bihar there is a long list of festivals and people celebrate them with full joy and happiness.
Chatth Puja is one of the important festivals celebrated in Bihar. The uniqueness of this festival is that in this the setting sun is worshipped. People of Bihar celebrate this festival with immense faith. It is celebrated twice a year. Once in Chaitra (according to the Hindu calendar) which falls in March and in Kartik which falls in November.This is a 4 day festival, for which people maintain cleanliness and purity from even a month ahead. The sing folk songs in the honour of ‘Surya Dev’ and ‘Chatti Maiyya’ which can be heard at every corner and the sweetness of the songs makes you also devoted. Women fast for the good of their family and the society.
The festival is celebrated especially in Mithila during the winter season. The festival Sama-Chakeva is celebrated when the colourful birds from the Himalayas migrate towards the plains. The people of Mithila dedicate this festival to celebrate the brother sister relationship. The festival is started by welcoming the pair of birds sama- chakeva. Girls make idols of various birds with clay and decorate those birds in their own traditional way. During the period of festival various rituals are performed and the festival joyfully ends with the going back of these birds with a wish that these birds return next year.
Ram Navami is a Hindu festival which is celebrated with full joy and happiness in all parts of the country. This is the auspicious day when Lord Rama was born. People celebrate it observing fasts and offering prayers in his honour. For further information
Makar Sankranti, the festival marks the beginning of the summer season. The festival is also known as Tila Sankranti. People believe that from this day on, the days become longer and the heat of the sun also increases. Every year it is observed on the 14th of January. People celebrate it by giving offerings to the poor. For further information click here
Bihula is a well known festival celebrated in eastern Bihar especially in the Bhagalpur district. People pray to goddess Mansa for the welfare of their family.
Madhushravani is a festival celebrated in the month of Sawan (Hindu calendar) the month of August. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Mithilanchal. The festival carries a message that is it teaches us how we should keep religion and tradition together in our day to day life.
Teej and Chitragupta Puja are other festivals with Hindu religious
leanings in the state of Bihar that are completely state oriented
celebrations having ample fervor of this region. Similarly the festivals
of Bihula-Bishari in Anga region of the state and the month-long
Sonepur cattle fair organized on the banks of Gandak River in the town
of Sonepur are famous in Bihar. Many other religious and social festivals of Bihar that enchant masses
and remain integral part of state’s culture and civilization are Saraswati Puja,
Eid-ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Muharram, Rakshabandhan, Ram Navami, Maha
Shivaratri, Diwali, Durga Puja; Kali Puja/Shyama Puja/Nisha Puja;
Christmas, Buddha Purnima; Mahavir Jayanti; Gurpurab; Chitragupta Puja
and Bhai Dooj et al that mesmerize region’s culture in local fervor and
Literature of Bihar
Bihar has distinction of producing several literary luminaries in many disciplines. Most of them have already attained national and international recognitions in respective genres in either lifetime or posthumously. Contribution of famous writes of Hindi from Bihar especially those promoting Hindi language and its dialects are worth laudable. Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' was born in Bihar and gained acknowledgement for his work Rashmirathi. Similarly, good chunk of writers in Urdu and English have made their distinct identity in the state, country and the world. Following are the writers with roots in Bihar:-
- Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'
- Phanishwar Nath 'Renu',
- Raja Radhika Raman Singh
- Acharya Ramlochan Saran
- Acharya Shivpujan Sahay
- Divakar Prasad Vidyarthy
- Satyapal Chandra
- Ram Briksh Benipuri
- Phanishwar Nath 'Renu'
- Gopal Singh "Nepali"
- Baba Nagarjun
- Paigham Afaqui
- Shamoel Ahmed
- Shaukat Hayatare
- Zafar Anjum
- Satyapal Chandra
- Nikita Singh
- Birbal Jha
Writers from Bihar have also become popular through expressing their thoughts in regional languages. They became successful poets and authors over the ages to prove their mettle. Famous Bengali writer Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay spent good time of his life in Bihar. Famous English writer Upamanyu Chatterjee belonged to state capital Patna. Muzaffarpur, Bihar born Devaki Nandan Khatri was famous novelist of 20th century. His works of fiction Chandrakanta and Chandrakanta Santati attained national recognition. Eminent Maithli poet of 14th century, Vidyapati Thakur and Mrs. Usha Kiran Khan remains a famous Maithili writer today whose popularity has crossed state boundaries. Any discussion on literarture of Bihar will ever remain incomplete without mention of Patna Literature Festival
which is one of the prime events that witnesse the gathering of various literary perseonalities and art lovers from every sections. It strives to restore cultural and literary tradition of the state.
Cultural Festivals in Bihar
Rajgir Festival, Rajgir
Held in Quila Maidan in
Rajgir in Bihar’s Nalanda district, Rajgir Festival had been organized
for the first time in 1986 and continually held every year. Usually
organized during the months of December, the participants of this
cultural festival are hundreds of thousands of masses. This festival is
also denoted with the names like Rajgir Mahotsav. Previously this
festival was called the Rajgir Nritaya or Dance Mahotsav with key focus
on showcasing music and dance of the state of Bihar. Although the
festival was initially popular in the Nalanda district, it has now
gained nationwide popularity. The
festival has now attained a position of one of the state’s annual events
as part of the propagator of Bihari Culture festivals.
Vaishali Mahotsava, Vaishali
with Vaishali Festival, the renowned Vaishali Mahotsava is unique
celebration in the state of Bihar. This popular festival enlivens the
entire Vaishali area on the occasion of Buddha Parinirvana which is a
remembrance of Buddha who attained Parinirvana at this location. Being
an important venue of the world’s 2nd Buddhist Council this place have
remained into limelight since ancient period. Buddhists
are not the only people to participate in Vaishali Mahotsava. It is a
celebration of people from many other religions as well. Digambara and
the Shwetambara Jains equally celebrate this festival with ample zeal in
the memory of Lord Mahavir on his birthday. As a Jain Theerthankar,
Lord Mahavir has important value for the believers of Jainism. This
festival is therefore organized on the 13th day of Hindi month of
Chaithra. Vaishali Mahotsava has attained recognition in other
parts of the country as well. One can witness similar such celebrations
in Rajasthan and Gujarat states which make this festival from Bihar a
popular one with pan-India approach.
Bihari culture intact and enliven state’s cultural diversity; Kako
Festival is organized as one of the prominent Sufi Mahotsavs or
festivals in the state of Bihar at Kako in the state’s Jehanabad
district. Recently held Kako festival had the presence of eminent
singers Salma Agha, Ehsan Qureshi and Kamal Khan with an aim to project
the Sufi culture which Bihar has been witnessing since medieval era.This
festival is organized at Kako in the memory of eminent Saint Sufi Bibi
Kamal. With themes of peace and harmony this festival witnesses the
presence of people from all religious beliefs. This festival popularizes
Sufi culture in the region through annual Urs at Hazrat Kamal Saheb
Bibi's mausoleum which enchants visitors from around the country.
Costumes of Bihar
Bihar maintains its unique identity and tradition through many thing including lifestyle and costumes that differ its people from the rest. In the usual cases, people of Bihar prefer their traditional costumes that include the common dhoti-kurta worm by menfolk while women prefer sarees and so do they like various designs of kameez-salwar to wear on daily basis. Their traditional ‘seedha aanchal’ saree wearing practice is very much noticeable and which distinguishes them from the rest. There are too many varieties in the costumes Bihar’s men and women wear but all of them maintain the ascent of dressing they do. The society has mix of traditional, modern and latest fashion dressing practices that keep it into national limelight. Irrespective of different religions, old people usually have common dressing sense. They wear typical lungi (a type of petticoat for men) and pyjama (loose trousers) for common needs. Kurta (loose long cotton shirts) and shirts is common upper garment for males.
Apparels for special occasions or ceremonies include churidar, pyjamas
and sherwani common dresses. The womenfolk from Hindu and associate
religions married women maintain the tradition to smear their hair-
parting zone through symbolic sindoor (vermillion) powder. Most of them
wear tikli ornament on their foreheads. All married woman from Bihar, no
matter they represent rural or urban regions, wear typical bindi on
Women folk in Bihar likes to adorn themselves with various types of jewelries from rings to bangles and other traditional jewelries including chhara, hansuli and kamarbandh. Some of the famous Bihari ornaments like chandrahar, tilri, panchlari, satlari, and sikri are many such common jewelry accessories which women wear for their beautification to complete their dressing and accessories for common use and special occasions. They also like to have kajal through special eye-pencil which is an important part of their eye makeup. They also ensure to beautify hands through various mehendi designs as aprt of their makeups. Last couple of decades has brought drastic change in the lifestyle of people in Bihar like it is witnessed in rest states of India. Men and women now prefer western shirts and trousers in the urban areas.
Cuisines of Bihar
Food remains an important part of any culture in the world. Often the food habits of people identify them with the particular place they belong to. The cuisine of Bihar therefore has its uniqueness and features that make it popular in the neighboring states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The famous dishes of Bihar have craved niche for themselves in various countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, certain portions of Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana where it attained popularity due to the migration of Bihar masses at one point or the other which brought food cultures in those far off areas.
People of Bihar are mostly vegetarian. But the lower classes and as well as people of Mithila love eating non-vegetarian food items like fish, egg and chicken. The staple food of Bihar comprises of bhat (rice), dal, roti, tarkari and achar which is prepared from rice, lentils, wheat flour, vegetables and pickle. The traditional cooking medium is mustard oil. The meal served for most people in Bihar is
Khichdi, which is a broth of rice and lentils seasoned with spices and is served with several accompanying items. Kadhi bari is a popular food item among the people of Bihar and consists of fried soft dumplings made of besan (gram flour) that are cooked in a spicy gravy of yogurt and besan. This dish goes very well over plain rice.In the Anga region Chitba and Pitthow basically prepared from rice are special food items. Tilba and Chewda which are prepared from Katarni rice are also some of the special preparations of Anga. Roll is a typical Bihar non-vegetarian dish. These are popular and go by the generic name Roll Bihari in and around Lexington Avenue (South) in New York City.
Bihar offers a large variety of sweet delicacies which are mostly
dry.Many of these sweets originate in towns in the vicinity of Patna.
These include Anarasa, Chena Murki, Khaja, Thekua, Murabba, Tilkut, Pua
& Mal Pua, Khurma, Khubi ka Lai etc. Chiwra, dhuska, litti, makhana, sattu are traditional salted snacks popular in Bihar.
Fairs in Bihar
Bihar is famous for its innumerable cultural diversity that makes the
Bihari culture in the state. It is one of the few states of India whose
cultural richness since ancient period makes it notable on the global
levels. It is an undeniable fact that unique literature, cuisines,
visual & performing arts and most importantly festivals and fairs
keep state’s culture distinguished. Such festivals are commonly
practiced since centuries. Once upon a time they would enchant masses
from the far off areas from the many Asian countries. Several festivals
and fairs are organized in Bihar annually which popularizes the distinct
tradition of this region. Here are some of the prominent festivals of
Bihar with worldwide popularity.
Sonepur Cattle Fair, Sonepur
Cattle Fair of Bihar is one of the most notable festivals in the state
of Bihar which has its global recognition. The festival is also denoted
with other names Malegaon Mela and Harihar Kshetra Mela but its global
popularity is of Sonepur Mela. This festival is organized on Kartik
Poornima in Bihar’s Sonepur area and continues for one month. The
location of Sonepur Cattle Fair on the Ganges and Gandak River
confluence make it important on religious grounds as well.
Mela is also denoted with Harihar Kshetra Mela in the state. The
notable factor with it is that it has been attracting visitors from all
over the world. This festival has the
distinction of being the huge and biggest Asian cattle fairs held in the
continent that welcome people from many parts. The festival is in
practice since ancient time and therefore the period of 15 days to one
month remains crucial.
According to historians Sonepur Cattle Fair
remains into practice since the period of Chandragupta Maurya who bought
horses and elephants from this cattle fest across the river Ganges in
that period. Once upon a time this festival would welcome traders from
the Central Asian countries. It is said that Sonepur Cattle Fair
was originally held in Hajipur while ritual pujas were done at the place
where present day festival is organized at Harihar Nath Temple. Later
on the festival venue was shifted to Sonepur. The myths are that Lord
Rama had built the Harihar Nath Temple.
Some of the
important animals sold in the Sonepur Cattle Fair include Persian
horses, goats, rabbits, elephants and camels amongst others. Good number
of bird varieties is also available in this fair. Haathi Bazaar
(Elephant Fair) remains one of the major attractions of this festival.
The stalls located in this fair also deal into other products like
garments, weapons, toys, furniture sets and numerous types of utensils
and agricultural implements et al. the shops dealing into various types
of jewelries and handicrafts are equally rushed.Also Read: Culture of Buxar | Culture of Jehanabad | Culture of Muzaffarpur | Culture of Patna | Culture of Gaya