If you live in West Bengal or Bihar, and are a great history aficionado, plan a quick trip to Katihar in Bihar. Surrounded by mountains, rivers and lakes, the town comes alive especially during monsoons; and offers exceptional natural beauty to the onlooker.

What makes it such a delight is its close proximity to the Himalayas in north, Jharkhand plateau in south and the river Ganga meandering through it. The most important attraction in Katihar is the Gorakhnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Shiva is adorned with flowers and ornaments and attracts hordes of people especially during Maha Shivratri. Another temple that’s worth a visit is the Kali Temple.

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Bagi Math, in Bagi Village, is a space dedicated to spirituality and faith. There are about a 108 rooms here; that have been constructed for spiritual activities. If you want to take a few days off and completely immerse yourself in meditation, this is the perfect place for you.

For a nature lover, a trip to Katihar can’t be complete without visiting Goga Lake, one of the largest wetlands of Bihar. Especially during monsoons, the lake joins the Ganga and Mahananda, through the tributaries that flow once the rain starts. Extremely rich in flora and fauna, the varieties of terrestrial, aquatic animals and avifauna gives the place the potential to develop into a national park. About 300 varieties of birds flock to the lake during the monsoons from Siberia.

And then there’s Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, which was created for providing relief to plague and malaria patients back in the year 1925, but then eventually established itself as a regular seva centre for all. From housing schools for children and a library to participating in religious activities and welfare work, it has bloomed to be one of the most active centres of Ramakrishna Mission in India.