In Bihar, 105 kms from Patna.
: Griddhakuta, Pipphali House or Cave, Jain
Temples, Hot Springs, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Venuvana, Tapodarama etc.
Best Time To Visit :
October to March
is a town located in Nalanda district of the state of Bihar. Literally
meaning the 'house of king', Rajgir was the ancient capital city of the
Magadha Kings until the 5th century B.C when Ajatshatru moved the capital to
Pataliputra ( now Patna). During that period, Rajgir was called as Rajgirh,
which mean the 'home of Royalty' The mythological epic Mahabharata has
called it Girivraja, besides, it has also been mentioned in Buddhist and
Jain scriptures with different name. Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, Faxian and
Xuanzang has given the reference of Rajgir and many other nearby locations
in their works. Rajgir has been associated with both the Buddhism and
Jainism religions and also with Lord Buddha and Mahavira. Echoing with the
great historic tales, Rajgir is now a famous pilgrimage and tourist
destinations of Bihar. Due to its warm water ponds, Rajgir has now developed
as a health and winter resort. According to local belief the hot springs
contain some medicinal properties that help in the cure of many skin
diseases. The Rope way is another attraction of Rajgir that leads uphill to
the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries built by the devotees of Lord Buddha.
Moreover, whether you are religious minded people or a common tourist, visit
Rajgir and enjoy a vacation of lifetime.
How to Reach Rajgir
By Air :
Nearest airport is located in Patna (107 kms),
which has flights for major destinations of India. Indian Airlines /
Alliance Air and many other airlines operate flight to and from Patna to
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ranchi and Lucknow. From the airport private taxis
are available for various parts of Patna.
: Rajgir is connected by rail with Patna which is
the major railhead of Bihar. Patna railway station is served by large number
of express and superfast trains with all the important cities of India.
By Road :
Good motorable roads connect Rajgir with
important places of the state and rest of the country. From Patna, the Bihar
State Tourism Development Corportation (BSTDC) organises round trips to
Rajgir. Air Conditioned and Non-Air Conditioned cars, mini deluxe coaches
and deluxe coaches are also available. You can also hire cars or taxis from
Patna to Rajgir for a day trip.
Places Where You Can Stay
Good accommodation options are not available at Rajgir, better you stay in
Patna and take a day trip to Rajgir. Patna has a number of deluxe and budget
hotels that offer accommodation at reasonable rates. Some of the popular
hotels of Patna include Hotel Maurya Patna (South Gandhi Maidan), Hotel
Chanakya (Beer Chand Patel Marg), Pataliputra Ashok (Beer Chand Patel Marg),
Samrat International (Fraser Road) etc.
Tourist Attractions in Rajgir
Griddhakuta (Vulture's Peak) :
Griddhakuta is an ancient
hill and described in Buddhist canonical texts as one of playes where Lord
Buddha stayed when he was at Rajgir. Described both by Xuanzang and Faxian,
Griddhakuta was identified in the later 19th century and now crowned by the
Japanese built Shanti Stupa and has a chairlift at the top. Griddhakuta has
remained a major destination for pilgrims in both the ancient and modern
Pipphali House or Cave :
Papphali House is also an
ancient place mentioned in the Pali Canon. It is regarded as the place where
Maha Kassapa stayed for a short time, when he was ill. Actually Maha
Kassappa stayed at the Pipphali Cave, but adjacent to this there was also a
house with the same name.
Jain Temples :
There are 26 Jain Temples on hill crest
around Rajgir. Jain Temple are located at tough terrain and it is very
difficult for the untrained to reach there. However, if you are an
experienced in trekking you will surely enjoy the trek to the temple.
Hot Springs :
Hot Springs of Rajgir are very popular and
they lie at the foot of the Vaibhave Hill. Separate bathing arrangements
have been made for men and women and a staircase leads upto the various
temples. The water of the springs comes from the Saptadhara through spouts,
believe to find their source behind the Saptaparni Caves high in the hills.
The Brahmakund spring is the hottest of the springs and has a temperature of
around 45 degree Celsius.
Venuvana, a bamboo grove was given by
Bimbisara to Lord Buddha, which was also the first Buddhist Monastery ever.
The bamboo grove was given to Buddha so that he and his monks could relax
here and give their massages to people.
Jivakarama monastery was donated to Buddha
by Jivaka, the greatest physician of Buddha's time.
An ancient monastery of the time of Lord
Buddha, Tapodaram was located on the site of the hot springs. Now a Hindu
temple has been erected here, called the Laxmi Narayan Temple. During the
ancient times, the hot springs used to be the site of Tapodarama, a Buddhist
Saptaparni Cave :
Saptaparni Cave is the site where the
first Buddhist Council was held under the guidance of Maha Kassapa. Lord
Buddha also stayed at this place sometimes and it was used an an
accommodation for monks.
Jarasandha Ka Akhara :
Jarasandha Ka Akhara is an
important place related to the great albeit evil warrior who used to
practice martial arts here daily. There relentless attack on Mathura also
caused Lord Krishna to migrate the people of Mathura to Dwarika.
Laxmi Narayan Temple :
Temple, a pink-coloured Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his
consort Goddess Laxmi. Within its grounds the temple has ancient hot
springs, where the people used to take a dip in the ancient time. Now the
spring has been tapped at a higher level and flows through many ceramic
pipes in a hall, where people sit under it and enjoy the bath. Muslims are
not allowed to enter inside the hot spring bath hall.
Bimbisara's Jail :
Situated in the middle of the valley,
Bimbisara's Jail is a ruin of circular structure with turrets at each
corner. Discover in the year 1914 AD, the Bimbisara's Jail looks like a
military structure and possibilities are that it could be a Buddhist
monastery of the first millennium AD.
It is said that Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajastashatru here, and
took the glance of Gridhakuta and the Lord Buddha through a window.
Tourist Attractions Around Rajgir
Just 10 kms
Rajgir is Nalanda, from where ruins of the ancient university have been
excavated. One of the oldest universities of the world, the Nalanda
University was founded in 5 th century AD and flourished till the 12th
Kundalpur is 18 kms away Rajgir, the Digamber
sector of the Jains believe that Lord Mahavir was born here. Here you will
see a Jain temple and two lotus lakes - the Pandava Pushkarni and the Dirga
Swarajpur - Baragaon :
Located at a distance of 18 kms
from Rajgir, Swarajpur - Baragaon is a pilgrimage destination and houses a
lake and temple of Surya, the Sun God. Thousands of people visit this
pilgrimage destination during 'Vaisakha' (April - May) and in 'Kartika'
(October - November) during the Chhath Puja.
Bihar Sharif :
Situated at a distance of 25 kms from
Rajir, Bihar Sharif once the capital of Muslim Governors of Bihar between
the 13th and 16th centuries. Bihar Sharif houses the tomb of a Muslim Saint
of 14th century Makhdum Shah Sharifuddin and attracts thousands of pilgrims
of all religions every year.
: Located 35 kms away from Rajgir, Pawapuri is a
place of great importance for the Jains. Pawapuri is home to two beautiful
temples Jalamandir and Samosharan temple. Mahavira Teerthanks, the greatest
profounder of Jainism had given his last sermon and Mahaprinirvana here, and
he was cremated here also.
Other Attractions of Rajgir
Rajgir Dance Festival :
Department of Tourism and
Development Bihar organizes the dance festival from October 24 to 26. During
the festival the artists from the state present the classical and folk
Malamasa Mela :
Malamasa Mela is held here in every three
years in which thousands of the people participate. According to the Indian
calendar every three years has a 13th month which is considered auspicious,
that's why this festival is held.
Makar Sankranti Mela
: A specific festival of Rajgir, the
Makar Sankranti Mela is held on the last of the lunar calendar month 'Paus'
(mid January). During the Mela the devotees offer flowers to the deities of
the temples at the hot springs and take a holy dip.