There are currently two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bihar, the first is Mahabodhi Temple Complex, and the second is the Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara.
The full name of UNESCO is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Anything added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites is based on outstanding universal value to cultural or natural heritage. As of 2023, there are 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in India. Out of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type.
The first site to be listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites from India was in 1983. In 1983 the Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, and Taj Mahal were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Out of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Bihar. Check out all the details about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bihar location, entry timing, entry ticket price etc., in this blog post.
List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bihar
1. Mahabodhi Temple Complex
Mahabodhi Temple Complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bihar in 2002. The Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex comprises the 50 m high grand Temple, the Vajrasana, the sacred Bodhi Tree and six other sacred sites of Buddha’s enlightenment.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex Location: The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is located in Bodh Gaya, which is 114 km away from Patna and 15 km away from Gaya.
How to Reach Mahabodhi Temple Complex: The nearest airport is Gaya Airport which is an international airport. The nearest railway station is Gaya railway station which is 15 km away and well-connected from major stations in India.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex Entry Timing: Mahabodhi Temple Complex is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex Ticket Price: There is no entry fee in Mahabodhi Temple Complex. Travellers need to pay 100 rupees for cameras, and 300 rupees for video cameras. In order to maintain peace inside the temple premises, visitors are not allowed to enter with cell phones and electronic devices.
2. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara
The Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bihar in 2002. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. Nalanda Mahavihara is also known as a Buddhist monastic university and it is considered the world’s first residential university. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years.
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara Location: The Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara is located in the Northeastern state of Bihar, India. This is located 86 km away from Bihar’s capital Patna.
How to Reach the Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara: The nearest airport to the Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara is Jayprakash Narayan Airport, Patna, at a distance of 90 km. The nearest railway station is Rajgir, at a distance of 12 km. There is a regular bus service between Patna and Nalanda for tourists.
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara Entry Timing: Nalanda Mahavihara open from 09:30 am to 05:00 pm all six days a week. It is closed on every Friday.
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara Ticket Price: Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara Ticket Price is 15 rupees for Indians and SAARC and BIMSTEC citizens; 200 rupees for foreigners; free entry for children below 15 years of age