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Pilgrimage in India »» Buddhist Pilgrim Centers»

Rajgir, Bihar, East India

Information on buddhist pilgrimage site Rajgir- India, providing on-line reservation /booking for visit to Rajgir on discounted rates, air/rail ticketing, car/ taxi / coach hire for Rajgir Tour, package tour to Rajgir and Hotel Booking in Rajgir.

Click Here to book a pilgrimage to Buddhist Pilgrimage site Rajgir in India.

RAJGIR FACTS & FIGURES

Location: Bihar, East India
Best time to Visit: October to March.
Significance: Shanti Stupa, Saptparni Cave, Amaravana, Venuvana, Ajatashatru's Fort, Bimbisara's Jail, Swarna Bhandar, The Cyclopean Wall, Griddhakuta, Jain Temples, Hot Springs, Pippala Cave, Jarasandha Ka Akhada.

Rajgir, "House of the King", is an important religious place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. This ancient town has reference in Mahabharata, Buddhist and Jain texts. Lord Buddha lived here in the sixth century BC while Vardhman Mahavir spent 14 years here. It was in Rajgir that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons. King Bimbisara of the Magadha Kingdom got converted here. A small town, Rajgir is witness to a glorious and legendary past. The historical monuments here presents the real scene of the glorious past. The monuments are said to be built by the business class who devoted themselves to Buddha. Jivaka, the legendary physician of Magadha kingdom, also resided here and once served Buddha for illness. Lately, the Japanese have built a Stupa on top of the Ratnagiri hill, linked by a rope way. It was here that the teachings of Buddha were penned down for the first time. Rajgir also has the Nipponzan Myohoji, the Japanese temple, and the Centaur Hokke Club which offers some traditional facilities to Japanese pilgrims.

The Past

Now a small town, Rajgir was once the capital of the kingdom of the mighty Magadh empire and was known by various names such as Vasumati, Barhdrathpura, Girivraja, Kusagrapura, and Rajgriha. The great Hindu epic Ramayana says that the mythical king Vasu, a son of Lord Brahma, founded this town and named it Vasumati.

According to the Mahabharata, Jarasandha who was killed by Bhima in a duel, ruled over this area and his capital was at Barhdrathpura. Though nothing is known about the other names Kusagrapura, Girivraja and Rajgriha, they figure regularly in Buddhist and Jain texts. The last Rajgriha is the one from which the present name Rajgir has been derived.

During the sixth century BC, Rajgir was the capital of the powerful kingdom of Magadh. It was also the centre of great religious and intellectual activity. The Buddha made several visits to this town and stayed here for a considerable time to propagate his doctrine. Jain texts, on the other hand, say that their last apostle, Mahavira, passed 14 rainy seasons in Rajgir and Nalanda.

Fairs & Festivals

The Rajgir Mahotsav is held every year from October 24 to 26. Classical dance, folk dance, music, and art performances are organized during this festival.

The Malamasa Mela is celebrated in Rajgir every three year and a large fair is held here. According to the Indian solar calendar, every third year has 13 months, which is called Malamasa.

Another festival specific to Rajgir is the Makar Sankranti Mela, held on the last day of the lunar calendar month of Paus, in mid-January. Devotees offer flowers to the deities of the temples at the hot springs and bathe in the holy water.

Prominent Pilgrimage Attractions of Rajgir

Shanti Stupa

This is an immence white structure situated on the top of the hill Ratnagiri and is the main Buddhist attraction at Rajgir. This houses four gold statues representing Buddha's birth, enlightenment, teaching and death.

Gridhakuta Hil

Gridhakuta Hill was the favourite place of Lord Buddha, where he delivered many discourses after he attained enlightenment. It was here that he gave two important sutras the Lotus Sutra and the Prajnaparamita.

Ancient Ruins

There are many sites including ruins of the ancient city, caves, and places associated with Ajatasatru and king Bimbisara can be seen here. Here one can see the Ajatasatru's fort built in 5th century BC where the emperor had imprisoned his father. The 1.5-km long outer wall was built by stone blocks.

Saptparni Cave

It was here, where the first Buddhist council was held after Buddha attained Nirvana. Also a Burmese temple, and a modern Japanese temple can be seen here.

Amaravana (Jivaka's Mango Garden)

Jivaka, the royal physician during the times of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara used to practice here. It is said that lord Buddha was also brought here for a cure of a wound.

Swarna Bhandar

The twin Rock-cut caves, are supposed to be the doorway to the treasury of King Bimbisara. One of the cave is said to be the guard room. While the other is supposed to be the passage to king Bimbisara's treasury. The treasure, according to folklore, is still intact.

The Cyclopean Wall

The 40 km long wall encircles ancient Rajgir. Built from massive pieces of stones, it was constructed before the Mauryan rule.

Griddhakuta (Vulture's Peak)

At the top of Ratnagiri hill, where Lord Buddha preached many inspiring sermons, a Peace Pagoda has been built by the Buddha Sangh of Japan. There is a roapway which takes around 8 minutes to take tourists on the top. It gives a splendid view of Rajgir.

Jain Temples

There are more than 25 Jain temples around Rajgir. Situated on mountains, they are approached easily by those who love trekking.

Hot Springs

The hot springs are a major tourist attractions. They are at the foot of the Vaibhava Hill. The hot water is supposed to come from the 'Saptaparni Caves', situated on top of the hill. Brahmaputra is the hottest spring with water temperature being 45 degree C. Separate bathing places for men and women have been organised.

How to Reach Rajgir

Air : The nearest airport is the Loknayak Jai Prakash International Airport, Patna, 100 Km away.

• Rail : The nearest railway station is Bhakhtiyarpur, 54 Km from Rajgir.

• Road : Rajgir is connected by an excellent road to Patna as well as to Bodh Gaya.

Important Buddhist Pilgrimage Places»

Bodhgaya
Dharamsala
Lumbini (Nepal)
Kushinagar
Nalanda

Rajgir

Sarnath
Sankashya
Sravasti
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