Bihar occupies the flat eastern Ganges basin, south of Nepal, between Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. To its south, Jharkhand, occupying the hilly Chotanagpur plateau north of Orissa, was hewn out of Bihar in 2000, following agitation by its tribal majority. Both states are beset by poverty, lack of infrastructure, inter-caste violence, corruption and general lawlessness.

Although visitors are usually unaffected by the banditry and guerrilla war, Buddhist pilgrims and tourists have on occasion been robbed and few travellers spend much time here, which is a shame, because the region offers a fascinating mix of religious history. Check the safety situation with your government’s foreign ministry and the local press before travel; local state and tourist authorities tend to downplay safety concerns. The region is generally best avoided during local elections, when tensions run high, and riots and violent crime are not uncommon.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A first-timer's guide to India's Golden Triangle

A first-timer's guide to India's Golden Triangle

From busy bazaars and hurtling tuk-tuks to tranquil temples and majestic mosques, the Golden Triangle is a fantastically varied introduction to the sights and s…

02 Jan 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful places in India

The most beautiful places in India

We asked the Rough Guides team in Delhi to vote for the most beautiful places in India. After much deliberation, here are the results... 10. Chilika Lake, …

16 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month