Religion in Bihar
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Religion in Bihar

The main religions in the Indian state of Bihar are Hinduism (practiced by 82.7% of the population) and Islam (16.9%). Other religions are practiced by small minorities. Places in Bihar have important historical and cultural associations with Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism along with Hinduism.

History of religion in Bihar

Since Bihar was a part of Aryavart the oldest religion of Bihar was Vedic Hinduism. The majority of the people in Bihar adhere to Hinduism (82.7%), followed by Islam (16.9%).[1]


Hindu Pilgrimage sites in Bihar are as follows:

Hinduism is the main religion of the state, being practiced by 82.7% of the total state population. The Hindu population in Bihar is 86,078,686 as of 2011 census report. Hindus are majority in all the districts in Bihar except Kishanganj. Most of the festivals stem from it. There are many variations on the festival theme. While some are celebrated all over the state, others are observed only in certain areas. But Bihar being so diverse, different regions and religions have something to celebrate at sometime or the other during the year. So festivals take place round the year.

On arrival in any part of this state, a tourist finds around him evidence of the extent to which religion enters into the daily life of the people. The calendar is strewn with festivals and fairs of different communities living together. Many of these are officially recognised by the days on which they take place being proclaimed as Government holidays.

The battle cries of the Bihar Regiment, consisting of 17 battalions, are "Jai Bajrang Bali" (Victory to Lord Hanuman).

Buddhist pilgrimages

Buddhism is very closely integrated with Bihar. Gautam Buddha attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, a town located in the modern day district of Gaya. Buddhist pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:


Islam constitutes second largest religion in Bihar. According to 2011 Indian census, there were 17,557,809 Muslims constituting 16.9% population of the state.[1] Most of Bihari Muslims are concentrated in Seemanchal region which comprises Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar where Muslim population is around 45-50%.


Sikh pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:

The capital of Bihar, Patna, is one of the holiest cities in Sikhism. The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here in 1666 and spent his early years here before moving to Anandpur.[2] The Gurdwara at Patna Sahib marks the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh.[2] Patna was visited by Guru Nanak in 1509 as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1666. Takht Shri Harmandir Saheb (also known as Patna Saheb) is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev visited Patna and stayed in GaiGhat in 1509, and later same place was visited by Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his family in 1666.[3] Gurdwara Pahila Bara (commonly known as Gurdwara Ghai Ghat) is dedicated to these two Guru and is situated at the same holy place.

Other shrines are Gurdwara Gobind Ghat[4] and Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh.[5]Gurdwara Bal Leela[6] is directly related to the childhood of Guru Gobind Singh. Gurdwara Handi Sahib was built in the memory of Guru Teg Bahadur, who stayed here in 1728 with Mata Gujri and Bala Preetam.[7]

After the partition of India in 1947, many Sikhs came to Patna.[8] The total population of Sikhs in Bihar is only 20,780. Most of Bihari Sikhs are Nanakpanthi. Most of the Sikhs are residing in Patna and mainly they are self-employed or in business.


The famous Jain temple located at Pawapuri, Bihar
31-foot statue of Lord Vasupujya, 12th Tirthankara of Jainism, in Champapur, Bhagalpur

Jain pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:

Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and the last Tirthankara of Jainism, was born in Vaishali around sixth century B.C.[9] Vasupujya, the 12th Jain Tirthankara was born in Champapur, Bhagalpur. He attained all his five Kalyanaks (Garbh, Janam, Tap, Kevalgyan and Moksh) from Champapur.


Padari ki haveli is a Roman Catholic church of centuries.

Bahá'í Faith

In 2012, plans were announced for the construction of a local Bahá'í House of Worship in Bihar Sharif.[10] This would be the second Bahá'í House of Worship in India (the first being the well-known Lotus Temple in Delhi),[11] and one of the first two local Bahá'í Houses of Worship in Asia (the other being in Battambang, Cambodia).[10]

In 2013, the Bahá'í World Centre released an hour-and-a-half-long video in five languages entitled Frontiers of Learning, showing Bahá'í community-building activities in four cities from different continents, the fourth of which is Bihar Sharif.[12]

Other religions

Sarnaism has a presence among the tribal populations.

Religious demographics

Religion in Bihar [13]
Religion Population
Hinduism 86,078,686
Islam 17,557,809
Christianity 53,137
Sikhism 20,780
Buddhism 18,818
Jainism 16,085
Other 52,905
not stated 37,817
Total 103,998,509
Religion in Bihar[14][15]
Religion Percent

See also


  1. ^ a b "Bihar religion data".
  2. ^ a b Johar, Surinder Singh (1979). Guru Gobind Singh: A Study. Marwah Publications. p. 23.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ Gurdwara Gobind Ghat Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh (archived copy)". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Gurdwara Bal Leela (archived copy)". Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ Gurdwara Handi Sahib Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "The Sikhism"
  9. ^ Pathak Prabhu Nath,Society and Culture in Early Bihar, Commonwealth Publishers, 1988, pp. 140
  10. ^ a b "Plans to build new Houses of Worship announced". Baha'i World News Service. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Iconic "Lotus Temple" focus of worldwide campaign". Bahá'í World News Service. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "Frontiers of Learning". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Total population by religious communities". Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Census of India - Socio-cultural aspects". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "Bihar elections among factors in religious data of Census 2011 release". The Hindu. 3 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016.

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