Darbhanga – Bihar’s Cultural Capital

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Darbhanga sits in the northern part of the state of Bihar. It is the 6th largest city in the state with historical traditions which traces back to the 2nd Century B.C. Darbhanga is a part of the fertile Gangetic plains of Northern India, and there is almost no area in and around the city which is not cultivated. Darbhanga used to be home of the Darbhanga Royal family who held massive wealth and influence during British colonisation. It is known for being the cultural centre of Bihar. Tourists can get to know a lot about the rich folk traditions of music, art, and literature passed on over centuries of civilisation in the area. Darbhanga is only 50 km away from the Nepal border.

Best time to visit Darbhanga

The weather in Darbhanga can be classified as humid and subtropical. Summers are very hot and humid, and winter temperatures are mildly cool. The best time to visit Darbhanga would be between August and December when temperatures range between 27°C and 6°C. Latter months of the year are preferred by travellers who like the cold. August to October has amicable weather conditions when it is neither too cold nor too warm for travelling. A month-wise weather breakdown will help you plan a trip to Darbhanga more easily. 

March-May (Spring)

Springtime in Darbhanga is warm and slightly humid. The months of March through May rarely experience much rainfall. Temperatures in Darbhanga during this period generally range between 28°C and 38°C. This has been noted as a busy time for tourism in Darbhanga.

June-August (Summer/Monsoon) 

The months of June through August experience very hot and humid weather conditions. Temperatures soar up to 42°C in May. Precipitation occurs from July which brings down the temperature. Rain generally continues up to August. 

September-November (Autumn) 

The months of September to November are a pleasant time in Darbhanga. The humidity is also not too much, making it a great time to explore the place without facing sweltering heat or discomfort due to humidity. The temperature around these months in Darbhanga ranges between 27°C and 33°C. 

December- February (Winter) 

The winter months of Darbhanga get cold but do not experience harsh weather conditions. The months are mildly cool, and generally, temperatures range between 27°C and 20°C. However, temperatures also drop to around 6°C at times. 

Languages spoken in Darbhanga

  • Maithili is the most commonly spoken language in and around Darbhanga. It is one of the native languages in Bihar and finds a large number of speakers in Nepal due to the proximity of the two areas. A lot of the literature and music in Darbhanga is in Maithili. 
  • Hindi is another widely spoken language in the area. Travellers can communicate with the locals very easily in Hindi, as many people in the area are also well-versed in this language. 

How to reach Darbhanga

Darbhanga is well-connected to India's rest with a network of rail lines, roadways, and air. Here is how you can reach Darbhanga.

  • Flights to Darbhanga: Darbhanga Airport is situated only 6 km away from the city's central part. The airport is fairly new, and flights became operational from the city in 2020. Currently, direct flights to and from the airport connect Darbhanga with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad.
  • By train: The main railway station for the city is Darbhanga Junction which is connected to major destinations across India. It is part of the East Central Railway of India. Trains to and from Kolkata, Delhi and Patna operate daily from Darbhanga Junction. The Laheriasarai Station is another station in Darbhanga city's proximity, which connects Darbhanga to other places. 
  • By bus: The east-west corridor expressway of India passes through Darbhanga. The National Highway 27, National Highway 527B and Bihar State Highway 50, 56, 88 and 75 connect Darbhanga to other parts of the state and country. There are frequent buses to Darbhanga from Patna, Delhi, Bhagalpur, Muzzafarpur, Gaya and Kolkata. 
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Tourist attractions/places to visit in Darbhanga

  • Shyama Kali Temple: The royal family of Darbhanga built the Shyama Kali Temple in 1933. It is a place of immense historical and cultural significance. The temple is located in a compound which the royal family built. There are a total of six temples in the compound which is surrounded by lush greenery. The Shyama Kali Temple is the most revered out of the six temples. It is an architectural beauty along with being a cultural icon of Darbhanga. 
  • Ahilya Asthan: Ahilya Asthan is another place of great significance to followers of Hinduism. Ahilya Asthan is a serene temple which is located very close to Darbhanga Junction. Visitors can sit and enjoy a peaceful time by the pond in the temple complex. Ram Navami is a festival celebrated with great pomp in the temple, and it is a great time to visit. 
  • Maharaja Laxmiswar Singh Museum: This museum is situated on the Mansarovar Lake's eastern bank in Darbhanga. Established in 1977, the museum holds valuable collections of the royal family of Darbhanga. Rare pieces of art, artefacts, weapons, gold, silver and other precious gems adorn this museum. A great sight is the royal family's throne, which is made of gold, silver and other precious gems. Various other artefacts are on display in the glamorous museum. 
  • Darbhanga Fort: The Darbhanga Fort is a heritage monument of the city, and it used to be the residence of the royal family of Darbhanga. It is a beautiful structure surrounded by mango orchards. There are palaces inside the fort which are of great historical and cultural significance.

Best tourist spots in Darbhanga 

Darbhanga is the cultural capital of Bihar. Located on the northern bank of Mansarovar Lake lies the Chandradhari Museum, established in 1957, to preserve archaeologically and culturally important artefacts of the region. Madhubani artefacts like paintings, sculptures, glasswork and textiles are on display apart from various other pieces of art from the region. This museum is a celebration of the rich culture of Bihar and an ode to the artists of the region. The museum offers a great insight into the rich culture which translated into the establishment of Darbhanga as a popular settlement in Bihar. The erstwhile royalty of Darbhanga plays a very important role in the city, and tourists can truly immerse themselves in the place's heritage while visiting Chandradhari Museum. 

Places to eat in Darbhanga

  • Swadisht Family Restaurant: One of the best eating spots in the city, Swadisht Family Restaurant is great for enjoying a meal with family and friends. 
  • BhajGovindam Restaurant: BhajGovindam is regarded as one of the best places for vegetarian food in the city. Enjoy great local cuisine at this place. 
  • Rasraj Sweets Corner and Bakery: Indulge your sweet tooth with some of the finest sweets in Darbhanga. Rasraj is a favourite among locals for their great sweets. 

Shopping in Darbhanga

When visiting Darbhanga, one should shop for Madhubani handicrafts and Mithila paintings. 

High-end shopping/luxury shopping/shopping malls in Darbhanga 

  • V2V Mall: The V2V Mall is one of the best shopping malls in Darbhanga. You can find many brands all under one roof and fulfil shopping needs at one place. 

Street shopping in Darbhanga 

  • Tower Chowk Market: This market is a great place to shop for apparel, traditional handicrafts and home décor items. 
  • Bakarganj Market: The Bakarganj Market is another great place to shop for Madhubani paintings, handlooms and handicrafts. It is best known as the jewellery market and has the best collection in the city. 

Where to stay in Darbhanga

Enjoy your stay in Darbhanga at one of the many accommodations in the city. 

  • Hotel Ganga Residency: This hotel is one of the best accommodations in the city and lies within the Rambagh Fort. Located at a central part of the city, it is a great place for visitors to stay for ease of travel. 
  • Hotel GV Heritage: Hotel GV Heritage is a luxurious hotel with modern amenities for its visitors. It is located near the central market area of Darbhanga. There are deluxe suites available for guests of the hotel. 
  • Hotel P and P International: Hotel P and P international is a well-decorated and maintained hotel with the amenity of penthouse suites available for guests. The service is top-notch, and services like laundry, 24-hour kitchen and pick-up and drop-off services are also available. 

More reasons to visit Darbhanga/Top things to do in Darbhanga

  • KusheshwarAsthan Bird Sanctuary: The sanctuary area encompasses fourteen villages, and the area remains flooded throughout a major portion of the year. Winter is a great time to visit this sanctuary as many endangered migratory birds like Siberian Crane, Indian Darter, Bar Headed Goose and Dalmatian Pelican visit the sanctuary. 

Festivals in Darbhanga

Darbhanga celebrates many festivals with grandeur like Dussehra, Diwali and Makar Sankranti. Chhath is a very popular festival celebrated with great vigour in Darbhanga. Holi is also a lively time in the city, as the whole city partakes in the festival of colours with great joy. 

Darbhanga International Film Festival

Darbhanga, being the cultural capital of Bihar, celebrates films with great intensity at the Darbhanga International Film Festival. It has been organised at the city since 2013 and celebrates the art of film with eminent personalities partaking in the festival each year. 

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