The Sanskrit word Vihar means monastery and it is only natural that the State of Bihar should have a
very large number of temples. Most of the temples of Bihar were built of bricks and have
been subject to the ravages of time. The relies of ancient Pataliputra are mostly in
bricks. Nalanda and Rajgir have both brick and stone temples.
The images are usually of black stone and there is an abundant supply of
stone-hard and soft-for making the images within the State. Many of the temples that
we now see in Bihar are not very old. The temple of Mundeshwari neat Bhabua in Shahabad
district, which has been described in the text, is commonly accepted as the oldest temple
in Bihar. But the legends clearly indicate that there must have been many more ancient
temples in different parts of Bihar. It may be worthwhile to have an inquiry as to whether
some of the temples have not replaced older ones.
Author - P. C. Roy Choudhury