Rajgir just 15 kms from Nalanda is located the complex of temples
and monasteries. The place is called Rajgir. It is one of the most
important tourist places in India. Being located in a valley, Rajgir
is a very scenic place. The small hill grit town is covered with
lush green forest which add to the beauty of the place. Rajgir was
the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State) when Patliputra was
not formed. In those days it was called Rajgrih.
Rajgir or Rajgrih means the home of Royalty. This place has been
associated with Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha not only spent
many years in Rajgir but also delivered sermons here and proselytized
emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill. The Jivekarmavan monastery
was the favorite residence for Buddha. Even Bimbisar gave Venuvan
Vihar to Buddha for his residence. It is said that it was at Rajgir
that physician treated Buddha, Jivak after he was injured by his
cousin Devdatta.The teachings of Buddha was penned down at Rajgir
and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council. Today
Rajgir has come up as one of the most important pilgrimage for the
Buddhist.Rajgir also has some very beautiful Hindu and Jain temples
which attracts Hindus and Jains also to the place. Not only as a
place for worship, Rajgir has come up as health and winter resort
with its warm water ponds. These ponds are said to contain some
medicinal properties which help in the cure of many skin diseases.
The added attraction of Rajgir is the Ropeway which takes you uphill
to the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries built by the Japanese Devotees
on top of the Ratnagiri hills.
Jarashand ka Akhara
This is the Ranbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the
Seat of the Royal Physician's dispensary where Lord Buddha was once
brought to have wound dressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during
the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara.
Built by Ajatshatru (6th century B.C.), the king of Magadha during
the Buddha's time. The 6.5 sq.meter Ajatshatru's Stupa is also believed
to have been built by him.
Once 40 Km long, it encircled ancient Rajgir. Built of massive undressed
stone carefully fitted together, the wall is one of the few important
Pre-Maurayan stone structures ever to have been found. Traces
of wall still subsist, particularly at the exit of Rajgir to Gaya.
The Vishwa Shanti Stup is located on a 400 meter high hill. The
stupa is built in marble and on the four corners of the stupa are
four glimmering statues of Buddha. To reach the top of this hill
one has to come through the Ropeways. This place is
also called the GriddhKoot.
Site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for
Lord Buddha to reside. This was the king's first offering to Lord
It is the tank in which Buddha used to bathe.
Two rather strange cave chambers were hollowed out of a single massive
rock. One of the chambers I believed to have been the guard room,
the rear wall has two straight vertical lines and one horizontal
line cut into the rock; the doorway is supposed to lead to king
Bimbisara Treasury. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi or shell script,
etched into wall and so far undeciphered, are believed to give the
clue to open the doorway. The treasure, according to folklore, is
still intact. The second chambers bears a few traces of seated and
standing etched into the outer wall.
his impatient saon and heir, Ajatashatru, imprisoned King Bimbisara
here. The captive king chose this site for his incarceration, for,
from this spot he could see Lord Buddha climbing up to his mountain
retreat atop the Griddhakuta hill. There is a clear view of the
Japanese Pagoda. The stupa of peace was built on the top of the
A Jain Temple and Museum
On hill crests around Rajgir, far in the distances one can see about
26 Jain Temples. They are difficult to approach for the untrained,
but make exciting trekking for those in form.
Chariot Route Marks
The Chariot Route and hell inscriptions are worth a visit for the
strangeness of the phenomenon, two parallel furrows cut deep into
rock for about thirty feet giving credence to the local belief that
they were "burnt" into the rock by the speed and power
of Lord Krishna's chariot when he entered the city of Rajgir during
the epic Mahabharata times. Several shell inscriptions, the undeciphered
characters current in central and eastern India from the 1st to
5th centuries AD, and engraved in the rock around the chariot marks.
At the foot of Vaibhava Hill, a staircase leads up to the various
temples. Separate bathing places have been organized for men and
women and the water comes through spouts from Saptdhara, the seven
streams, believed to find their source behind the "Saptarni
Caves", up in the hills. The hottest of the springs is the
Brahmakund with a temperature of 45 degree Centigrade.
Above the hot springs on the Vaibhava Hill, is a rectangular stone
sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used
as a watch tower. Since it later became the resort of pious hermits,
it is also called Pippala Cave and popularly known as "Jarasandh
ki Baithak" after the name of the King Jarasandh, a contemporary
of Lord Krishna described in the epic Mahabharata.
18 km. The lake with its temple of Surya, the Sun God, is a pilgrim
destination twice a year in "Vaisakha" (April-May) and
in "Kartika" (October-November) during the Chhath Puja
or Sun Worship.
The Digamber sect of Jains believe that Lord Mahavira was born at
Kundalpur, 18 km from Rajgir. A Jain temple and two lotus lakes
- The Dirga Pushkarni and Pandava Pushkarni mark the spot.
It is to be said that that it was a store of Gold of King Jarashandh.
A unread story about the cave is that there is a lot of gold in
this cave and a script is written on a stone is the code to unlock
the door of this Swarn Bhandar.
This was the place where the lord Buddha set in a motion his second
wheel of law an for three months even during the rainy season, preached
many inspiring sermons to his disciples. The Buddha Sangha of Japan
have constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (Peace
Pagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration. A bridle path
leads to up to the hill but it is much more fun to take the Aerial
Chair lift which operates every day except Thursday. One way ride
takes 7.5 minutes and the view is splendid over the hills of Rajgir.
New Rajgir Walls, Bimbisar Road, Maniyar math, Saptarni Caves and
Poppala Stone house are the sites of tourist interest.
The nearest airport is at Patna 101 kms. Indian Airlines connect
Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow.
Though Rajgir itself has a railway station yet the nearest convenient
railhead is at Gaya 78 kms.
Rajgir is connected by road to Patna - 110 kms, Nalanda - 12 kms,
Gaya - 78 kms, Pawapuri - 38 kms, Bihar Sharif - 25 kms etc. Bus
: Regular buses are available from all the above said points to
Taxis and Buses and Tongas are available.
General Information & Accomdation info on Rajgir city of Bihar - India