Living in Patna makes people run out of options for places to visit around the city. As a Bihar and a travel enthusiast I have faced this problem frequently. Bad roads, lack of public transport and hardly available information makes things even more difficult.
If you really want to take a break and you have a day or two to spare then there are some quick destinations that you can visit.
- Maner Shareef – Maner Shareef is some 30 kms away from Patna and is easily accessible from Patna. While buses frequently run on this route most of them are extremely congested and inconvenience and is not recommended unless you are used to traveling like this. The place is easily accessible by car and by bikes. Maner Shareef is good option for family time out if one has to return by evening especially in winters. The architecture and the carvings in the buildings and the dargahs is remarkable and the famous Maner ke laddoo is a must try when leaving from here.
- Vaishali – Vaishali, the birth place of Lord Mahavir is famous of its ancient ruins from Magadhan era and beyond. This place is famous of Vaishali Festival that is organized in month of April and is again a few hour drive from Patna if you survive jam at Gandhi Setu. You can even combine your trip to Vaishali with Sonpur fair that is organized in November and continues till February, it is the biggest animal fair in Asia and is very popular among tourists and photographers.
- Rajgir – Rajgir is some 100 km away from Patna and is a very popular destination among locals and tourists from abroad. This city is said to be 3000 years old and has ruins all around the city. An early morning dip in one of the hot water reservoirs is real refreshing experience followed by adventurous trip to Shanti Stupa via chair car that goes over deep valley and can scare the hell out of anyone.
- Nalanda and Pawapuri – Both Nalanda and Pawapuri are at short distances from Rajgir and can be covered at the same time. Nalanda is famous for its ancient ruins of Nalanda University while Pawapuri is famous for Jain temples, most notably Jalmandir are very popular.
- Bodh Gaya – On equal distance from Patna to Rajgir Bodhgaya is situated. It is the most revered Buddhist scared site. Everything here is situated around a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main temple. Few kilometer away from Mahabodhi complex are the Barabar Caves that is the oldest rock-cut caves in India along with inscriptions from Ashokan era. It is located in Jahanbad district which is an hour drive away and locals trains frequently run between two cities.