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 Odisha, 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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook