Bihar is a state in northern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at 38,202 sq mi (98,940 km2) and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh form the east and west boundaries, respectively, of the state and, it is bounded by Nepal to the north and by Jharkhand to the south.
The Bihar plain is divided into two parts by the river Ganges which flows through the middle from west to east. Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 sq km, which is 7.2 of its geographical area. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, while the majority of the people speak Angika, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili and Bajjika. In 2000, Bihar was subdivided, the southern part becoming the state of Jharkhand.
Bihar is one of the oldest inhabited places in the World, with a history spanning 3,000 years. The immensely rich culture and heritage of Bihar is evident[peacock term] from the innumerable ancient monuments spread throughout the state. Bihar is visited by scores of tourists from all over the world, with around 6,000,000 (6 million) tourists visiting Bihar every year.
In earlier days, tourism in the region was purely based educational tourism, as Bihar was home of some prominent ancient universities like Nalanda University & Vikramaśīla University. Bihar is one of the most sacred place for various religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam # Roza Sharif of Hazrat Makhdoom Syed Shat Hasan Ali Wali Azli (R.A)at Khwaja Kalan Ghat, Patna city.
Flora and fauna:
The sub Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and the Dun ranges in the Champaran district are another belt of moist deciduous forests. These also consist of scrub, grass and reeds. Here the rainfall is above 1,600 millimetres (63 in) and thus promotes luxuriant Sal forests in the area. The most important trees are Shorea Robusta, Sal Cedrela Toona, Khair, and Semal. Deciduous forests also occur in the Saharsa and Purnia districts. Shorea Robusta (sal), Diospyros melanoxylon (kendu), Boswellia serrata (salai), Terminalia tomentose (Asan), Terminalia bellayoica (Bahera), Terminalia Arjuna (Arjun), Pterocarpus Marsupium (Paisar), Madhuca indica (Mahua) are the common flora across the forest of Bihar.
The Ganges River dolphins, or "sois" are found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra.This river dolphin is the national aquatic animal of India. It is now considered amongst the most endangered mammals of the region. The dolphins range from 2.3 to 2.6 meters in length. They have impaired vision due to the muddy river water but use sonar signals to navigate.Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, near Bhagalpur is set up to ensure the protection of this species.
Valmiki National Park, West Champaran district, covering about 800 km2 (309 sq mi) of forest, is the 18th Tiger Reserve of India and is ranked fourth in terms of density of tiger population. It has a diverse landscape, sheltering rich wildlife habitats and floral and faunal composition, along with the prime protected carnivores.