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Rajgir, A sacred religious site in Bihar

Rajgir, previously known as Rajgrahi (abode of royal family), is a small hilly valley on the peak of Vulture in Nalanda District and it surrounded by the seven small hills namely Vaibara, Ratna, Shaila, Sona, Udaya, Chatha, and Vipula. This place is considered as a sacred by all of Buddhist, Jain and Hindus. The founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha spent several months here at Gridhrakuta to meditate and preaching. Lord Mahavira, founder of Jain religion, spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda and his beloved follower, king Bimbisara also treated Rajgir as his capital. And according to the Hindu holy epic, Mahabharata, Rajgir is also the sacred place for Hindus. The great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharatha depict that the mythical king Vasu, (son of Lord Brahma) founded this town when it was called as Vasumati and the king Jarasandha was killed here by Bhima in a duel.

Rajgir, A hilly religious site in Bihar

(Rajgir, A hilly religious site in Bihar)

Mauryan emperors Brihadratha and Bimbisara ruled the city of Rajgir as their capital city of the kingdom of Magadha. During the rule of Bimbasara, Lord Mahavir stayed at Rajgir for quite a long time. After his ruled over, his son Ajatashatru moved his capital from Rajgir to Pataliputra in 5th century BC. After that, many Jain saints have attained nirvana at this holy pilgrimage site. There have more over 24 Jain temples and many Buddha monasteries in Rajgir Town. This historical and religious site stays crowded by the travelers through out the year. Best option to visit here is to catch a tourist bus from Bodh Gaya (near Birla Temple) at 8 am which return at 7 pm after traveling Rajgir, Nalanda and some other spots. Nalanda is located just 15 km away from Rajgir.

Tour Spots in and around Rajgir

Nalanda is located just 12 km away from Rajgir. It is famous for its ruin evidence of the great ancient Nalanda University. Nalanda was once the seat of higher learning but was devastated by a Turkish invader in the twelfth century. According to Chinese traveler, Hiuen Tsang, it was place where more than ten thousand students used to learn their lessons by above thousand faculty members.

Griddhakuta or Vulture's Peak is the main destination spot in Rajgir. The famous Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) is placed here which was constructed by Buddha Communities of Japan. Lord Buddha spends lots of time here in every three months of rainy season to preach his second wheel of law and many inspiring sermons.

Hot Springs called as Brahmakund is the main attraction in Rajgir located at the foot of Vaibhava Hills. At the end of this hot spring a big lake is created where lots of devotees reach to take holy bath. This hot water comes through spouts from Saptadhara, the seven streams, believed to find their source behind the "Saptaparni Caves", up in the hills.

Jain Temple: Rajgir is very sacred place for Jain follower from where Lord Mahavir performed Twelve ‘Chaturmas’ and sprayed his spiritual ambrosia to its surrounding region. Now, you will find more than 25 Jain temples through out the hill of rajgir.

Pippala Cave was used once as the bench of the king Jarasandha. It is located above the hot springs on Vaibhava Hill and it became a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used as a Watch tower.

Ajatshatru Fort was built by the famous Mauryan Raja; Ajatshatru during 6th century BC as his residential place. You can also see the 6.5 sq m Ajatshatru's Stupa here.

Chariot Route and hell inscriptions are two must see places in Rajgir by travelers. Usually these are two parallel furrows cut deep into rock for about thirty feet.

Venuvana is a religious place for Buddhist. They believe that the house was created by the king Bimbasa of Mauryan Dynasty as a residential place of Lord Buddha.

Swarna Bhandar is a very famous tourist spot in Rajgir for it has two rock cut caves of which is believed to be the doorway to the treasury of King Bimbisara.

Amaravana or Jivaka's Mango Garden is a place where the royal physician of Maurya Dynasty, Jivaka had treated the patient of royal family.

Cyclopean Wall will be seen in the exit of Rajgir and it stretched to Gaya. This wall is about 39 km. long constructed during the pre-Mauryan period.

Bimbisar jail: King Bimbisara was imprisoned at this jail by his son Ajatsastru. You will get a clear bird eye view of the Japanese Pagoda from this point.

Some other tour spots in and around Rajgir town are Archeological sites, Shanti Stupa, Venu Vana, Karanda Tank, Sonbhandar Caves, Veerayatan, Pawapuri, etc.

How to reach Rajgir Town?

Travel by Airways
The nearest airport of Rajgir is situated at Patna about 100 km away. Indian Airlines operates regular flights to this airport from Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi, Delhi, Ranchi, Lucknow and Katmandu. The nearest international airport is located at Kolkata.

Travel by Railways
Rajgir railway station is under the Eastern Railway Branch and it connected with regular trains from Patna and other adjoining major places. One can travel here from Gaya Railway station as it is the nearest big station to Rajgir which placed about 76 km away.

Travel by Roadways
Rajgir is well connected by several national highways namely NH-30A, NH-31 and NH-82. you will get regular bus services to Rajgir from the neighboring cities like Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, Pawapuri, Bihar Sharif, etc. One can arrange for guided tour packages.

Hotels in Rajgir

Centaur Hokke Hotel
Rajgir, Nalanda-803116
Phone: 06112-55032
Bihar Tourism Hotel Rajgir
Rajgir, Nalanda, Bihar
Phone: 06112-255266
Hotel Siddharth
Near the hot springs
Phone: 06112-255616
Hotel Gautama Vihar
Near railway station, Rajgir
Tele-fax: 06112-255273
Hotel Rajlaxmi, Rajgir
Phone: 06112-255005
Hotel Mamata, Rajgir
Phone: 06112-255044
Digambar Jain Kothi
Phone: 06112-255235
Jain Shwetambar Kothi
Phone: 06112-255220
Bengali Buddhist Society
Phone: 06112-255166
Vermise Temple Hotel
Phone: 06112-255024
Hotel Prince, Rajgir
Phone: 06112-255339
Hotel Ratnagiri
Phone: 06112-255021

General info of Rajgir

Country India
State Bihar
District Nalanda District
STD Code 06112
ISD Code +91
Postal Code 803116
Population in Rajgir 41620 (census 2011)
Dialects Bihari, Maithili, Hindi.
Climate Winter Minimum - 6°C and Summer Maximum - 39°C
Best season to visit October to May
Targeted Railway Station Rajgir Railway Station
Airport Patna Airport