Things to Do in NalandaThe very mention of the name Nalanda conjures in our mind images of monks in saffron robes chanting sacred prayers or the dilapidated structures that were once supposed to be a great learning centre, where hundreds of scholars from all over the world came to impart and gain knowledge on various subjects. Apart from these Nalanda has much more to offer to its visitors. The calm and soothing environment, the historical monuments, the lush green nature add to the vibrancy and charm of this place. For all those who think of Nalanda as nothing more than just a historical site, it is time to reconsider your opinion as here is a list of some of the activities to be tried out in Nalanda that could make your trip more interesting and memorable.
Explore the ruins of NalandaThe ruins of Nalanda University, spread over the vast area of land speak volumes about India’s rich and varied heritage. The atmosphere is entirely different making you feel about the glorious past of India. The aesthetics planning and other aspects of the Nalanda throws light on once populated monastic-cum-educational site. It make one wonder what kind of a university it was before destruction. The
very fact that this place continued to burn for months together, brings
tears to the eyes. It seems as if the stones here are trying hard to
narrate their story.
However the ruins are very well maintained. There are surrounded by beautiful gardens and lawns in the area and one can sit in the lawn under a tree and feel what the place must have been like when students thronged the place. A museum adjacent to the ruins where the samples excavated from the Nalanda are kept well preserved. A visit to the Nalanda ruins is a must for the curious explorer looking for more in the city.
Travel to famous religious destinationsThere are so many temples and other religious spots in and around Nalanda to explore. The tombs and mosques in Bihar Sharif, the numerous temples and shrines in Nalanda and Rajgir including the Pawapuri Jalmandir, Kundalpur, Surya Temple, Japanese and the Thai temples offer the tourists a sense of spiritual satisfaction. There are a number of meditation and prayer halls, well- maintained and surrounded by a spiritual aura.
The splendid Jalmandir amidst the lake with beautiful blooming lotuses, the statue of Black Buddha with his oiled belly, the magnificent Goddess Parvati in the Surya Temple, the constant divine sound of ringing of the bells and gongs, monks in saffron chanting sacred hymns offer the tourists a surreal and magical experience. The energy radiated by these places is palpable and soothing to the mind. The experience of visiting these religious places is ethereal, beyond words and need to be experienced.
Take a bath at Brahmakund
There are many hot water springs in Rajgir. The most visited hot water spring with multiple structures and stories related to Mahabharata and a popular pilgrim spot for Hindus is the Brahmakund. The temperature of the scalding water here is about 45 degree centigrade. It is believed that the water has curative powers and is of great medicinal value. A dip into the magical waters is believed to cure skin diseases, joint pains, arthritis and other dermatological problems. There are many temples and religious sites near the Brahmakund.
Go trekking and spelunking in RajgirRajgir has a number of caves. The adventurous people can go spelunking or cave exploring here.The Barabar caves at Rajgir is beautifully worked with murals depicting Lord Buddha’s travails that makes it interesting and worth exploring.Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir made of pure spotless white marble is one of the world’s tallest peace pagodas. If you are brave, adventurous and reckless enough to travel in a single chair aerial ropeway spanning two hills, as a reward for your trek, you get to see this marvelous structure along with the Japanese temple nearby.
Enjoy the panoramic view of the entire region submerged in the misty blanket of cloud. Colourful flags floating with the light wind do not let the place become dull and add the colour and vitality to the place. It is a breath- taking and delightful experience, not to be missed.
Go shopping in Nalanda
If you want to take back some memorable and unique gifts for your friends and loved ones, Nalanda is the ideal place for you. From glass bowls, trinkets, statues, handicrafts, wall-hangings, all are there to occupy spaces in your kitty. These are symbolic representations of the culture of the region, manifested in the exquisite handiworks of the local artisans.These handicrafts are a hit among the tourists, especially among the foreigners, who are often seen purchasing loads of them.
Enjoy the lip-smacking delicaciesThere are many famous restaurants and eating joints with hygienic conditions and in and around Nalanda, where you can satiate your hunger-pangs.One cannot simply leave Nalanda without tasting the various mouth-watering cuisines that are the manifestations of the rich Bihari culture. Especially, the puffy ‘Khaja’ that melts in the mouth, is a speciality of the Silao halwais. Prepared out of sugar, edible oils and refined wheat flour, it has a divine taste. Though it is famous all over India, and is known by different names in various places, the khajas of Silao and Rajgir are known for their unique goodness and taste.
Similarly, the roadside combo dish litti-chokha has a universal appeal, tickling the taste buds of the haves and havenots alike for centuries. The taste of this tangy delicacy remains in the innermost recesses of our minds forever. Tilkut, Pedas, Dalpuri, Samosa, Kachori etc are other roadside specialties of this place that can be enjoyed by one and all.
Thus these activities can help you to get out of the routine life, sit back and enjoy life. These can wake you up and shake up your sights, tastes, and feelings. Experiencing these new senses can help you to better appreciate the surroundings in your day to day life. These activities can rejuvenate you, help you reconnect with yourself and return to your life, fully charged.
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