Rajgir Tour features famous Hot Water Springs, ruins of an Old Fort

bihar hotel, bihar hotels, rajgir hotels, rajgir hotel, bihar tourist places, bihar tour, rajgir tour, bihar tours, bihar travel agency, bihar tour packages

Rajgir - Quick Facts

Area: 61.6 sq. Km.
Population: 41,587
Altitude: 240 m above sea level
Season: October to March
Clothing: Summer- Light Cotton, Winters- Heavy Woollen
Rainfall: 186 Cms average
Languages: Hindi, Bhojpuri & English


When Gautama the ascetic first visited Rajgir on his way to Bodhgaya he was met by King Bimbisara. The king was so impressed by the bodhisattva that he tried every means to persuade him to stay. Failing in this, he received a promise that Gautama would return to Rajgir after his enlightenment. Accordingly, after teaching in Sarnath, the Buddha travelled to Rajgir, the royal capital of Magadha, followed by over a thousand monks of the new order.

King Bimbisara welcomed them all and offered the Veluvana Bamboo Grove. This was to be the first property of the Order and one of the Buddha's favorite residences. The site was ideal for a monastic order, being not too near the city, calm by day and night, free from biting insects and having mild air and tanks of cool water. Thus it was suited to the practice of meditation, and here Shakyamuni passed the first rainy season retreat following his enlightenment. He was to return to this place for several rainy season retreats later in his life. When Hsuan Chwang visited Rajgir he saw a monastery and the Kalanda tank, where Shakyamuni bathed and which still exists. Close to this stood an Ashoka Stupa and a pillar surmounted by an elephant. Not far away King Ajatasatru had built two stupas, one over the portion of the Buddha's relics that he had received, the other over half of Ananda's body. Later Ashoka unearthed the first of these to obtain relics for his 84,000 stupas.

Perhaps the most important event of the Buddha's first visit to Rajgir was the conversion of Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. The story of their conversion is as follows. Ashvajit, last of the five ascetics to be converted by Buddha, was making his alms round one morning and happened to meet Sariputra. Sariputra was greatly impressed by the monk's noble and subdued demeanor, and asked him what teachings he followed. Sariputra immediately attained arhantship, and when he repeated what he had heard to his friend Maudgalyayana, he also instantly achieved the same. Later, stupas were erected at the places associated with these events. The two left their teacher Sanjaya and came with 500 of their former followers to meet the Buddha. Buddha welcomed both as his chief disciples, Sariputra having the greater intelligence, Maudgalyayana wielding the greatest miraculous powers. Both were born near Rajgir and later, retiring to their respective villages, entered nirvana before the Buddha did.

During his stay in Rajgir, Shakyamuni received two significant invitations: one from his father King Suddhodana, the other from a wealthy merchant who wanted him to spend the next rainy season in Sravasti. Accepting both, the Buddha returned briefly to Kapilvastu and sent Sariputra to Sravasti to prepare for his visit there.

Shakyamuni later visited Rajgir on a number of occasions. On several of these, attempts were made on his life. Once a lay follower of the nirgrantha jains concealed a fire-pit in front of his house and invited the Buddha to a meal of poisoned food. However, the pit changed into a lotus pond with a flower bridge and the Buddha proved that one freed of all inner poisons could not be harmed by external means. At another time he predicted the birth of a son to the wife of a Jain, who in defiance killed her. But as her body was being burnt, the child came forth from amidst the flames. Stupas marking these places were later seen by the Chinese pilgrims.

King Ajatasatru, who had usurped his father Bimbisara's throne and allowed him to die in prison, came under the evil influence of Shakyamuni's jealous cousin Devadatta, who had tried to force the Buddha to permit him to lead the Order. Failing to achieve this, Devadatta invited the young king to harm the Buddha. Professional assassins were hired for this purpose, yet in the end they fell at the Buddha's feet in devotion. The king then let loose a maddened elephant from his palace, but the animal, affected by the Buddha's presence, fell on its knees out of homage to him. It is also in Rajgir that young boys later to be reborn as the great king Ashoka came to him and offered him a handful of sand, wishing it were gold.

Yet the most important of all associations of the Buddha with Rajgir is that with Vulture's Peak, a small mountain just outside the city. Here, sixteen years after his enlightenment, he set forth the second turning of the wheel of Dharma to an assembly of 5,000 monks, nuns and laity, as well as innumerable bodhisattvas. This collection of teachings, which extended over twelve years, includes the Saddharmapundarika Sutra and the Surangama Samadhi Sutra, as well as many Prajna-paramita Sutras, which, as the Buddha himself told Ananda, contains the very essence of all his teachings. Mahakashyapa recorded these latter teachings and Shakyamuni placed them in the custody of the nagas until such time as men were ready to receive them. The Buddha's respect for Mahakashyapa was such that when they first met, the two exchanged cloaks. The great disciple now resides within the Gurupada Mountain near Bodhgaya. Here he awaits Maitreya, upon whom he will place the cloak of Shakyamuni.

When the Chinese pilgrims visited Vulture's Peak they found the summit green and bare. Fa Hien mentions a cave and Hsuan Chwang a hall slightly below it, where the Buddha is said to have sat and preached. Here also he once reached through the mountain with his hand to calm Ananda, whose meditation was being disturbed by Mara in the form of a vulture. Before the cave were the walking and sitting places of the previous Buddhas, and a stupa where the Saddharmapundarika Sutra was taught.

King Bimbisara built a causeway leading up to the hill. At the foot of the hill was Amaravana, the mango grove offered to the Buddha by the physician Jivaka. The remains of what was once a monastery may still be seen here. According to Hsuan Chwang, at one time on Vulture's Peak there was a monastery occupied by many meditators and several arhants. The final journey of Buddha's life, which ended with the Mahaparinirvana at Kushinagar, began at Rajgir. Shortly after this, the First Council--an assembly of 500 monks presided over by Mahakashyapa--met under the patronage of Ajatasatru in the Shrataparna Cave, a short distance southwest of Veluvana Bamboo Park, and compiled the Buddha's teachings into a collection known as the Sthaviranikaya. A stupa once marked the spot where, with great exertion, Ananda achieved arhantship on the night before the council in order that he might attend.

Ashoka later erected a stupa in honour of this First Council at the place a distance west of Shrataparna Cave where at the same time the mahasanghikas, regarded by some as proto-Mahayanists, compiled their canon. According to Nagarjuna, an assembly of bodhisattvas also met on Vimalasvabhava Mountain, located to the south of Rajgir, and compiled the Mahayana scriptures. Nagarjuna states that Samantabhadra presided over this meeting, while Vajrapani recited the Sutras, Maitreya the Vinaya and Manjushri the Abhidharma. The sites of many of these events may still be found in and around Rajgir, which is also a flourishing pilgrimage centre of Hindus and jains. A Burmese temple offers resting facilities for pilgrims and there is a new Japanese temple near the remains of Ajatasatru's stupas. Vulture's Peak retains a quiet peace, but just as Pa Hien warned of lions and tigers at certain places of pilgrimage during his lifetime, here present pilgrims should beware of bandits.

The Ratna Girl Hill above the Vulture's Peak is now crowned by the beautiful Vishwa-Shanti Stupa, built recently by Japanese Buddhists. On four sides golden statues of the Buddha depict his four great actions: birth, enlightenment, teaching and passing away. In a nearby temple, Japanese monks continue their strident practice of resounding sutra and drum.
Lastly, one may remember that the Buddha sent the sixteen arhants to various parts of the world to safeguard his doctrine, and one of them, Kshudrapanthaka came to and still resides on Vulture's Peak.

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 adds 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 Buddha was treated by physician, 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 Stup and Monasteries built by the Japanese Devotees on top of the Ratnagiri hills.

Rajgir, in district Nalanda, is a great holy place of the Buddhists. It is the ancient Rajagriha, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Magadha. During the days of Mahavira and Buddha, who visited it very often, it was a very flourishing city. It was the venue of the First Buddhist council held immediately after the Nirvana of Buddha, during the time of king Ajatasatru.
Partly excavated ruins of Rajgir cover an extensive area within and outside the hill enclosure and include the ancient defense and remains of habitations, shrines, stupas and monasteries. A monastery with large Elliptical halls has been recently excavated and identified as Jeevak Amravan mentioned in the Buddhist texts. Only 46 kms from Bodhgaya, Rajgir is sacred to the memory of the founders of both Buddhism and Jainism. Rajgir today has vestiges of legendary and historical remains like the cyclopean wall and marks engraved in the rocks.

Rajagriha in Patna district was the ancient capital city of the Magadha kings. The Buddha often came here to retreat at the Jivkamaravana monastery in a beautiful orchard. One of his most devoted and prosperous devotees, surgeon Jivaka also lived here. The rich merchant community here soon became the Buddha’s followers and built many structures of typical Buddhist architecture. The Buddha converted the Mauryan king Bimbisara, one of his most celebrated followers at the Griddhakuta hill, where he delivered many of his sermons as well. The Japanese have built a Stupa on top of the Ratnagiri hill, linked by a ropeway. After the Buddha reached ’Parinirvana’ his followers met at the Saptparni cave in Rajagriha, the first Buddhist Council ever held. It was here that the teachings of the Buddha were penned down for the first time. Rajgir is also an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindus and Jains. Other places to be visited are Bimbisara ka jail, Jarasandha ka akhara, Venuvana, Karand tank, Maniyar math, Swamabhandar cave, Pippala cave, Viswa Shanti Stupa, the famous hot water springs and ruins of an old fort.


By Air

The nearest airport is at Patna 101 kms. Indian Airlines connect Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow.

By Rail

Though Rajgir itself has a railway station yet the nearest convenient railhead is at Gaya 78 kms.

By Road
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 Rajgir.


Rajgir was the capital of King Bimbisara who was converted to Buddhism after listening to the famous sermons of the Buddha delivered here. Ajatashatru (6th cent. B.C.), King of Magadha built a fort. He is reported to have built the 6.5 sq. metre stups named after him.
Rajgir hills abound in stupas and forts of the Buddhist and Jaina faiths. The cave of Saptparni on a hill is renowned as the place where the first Buddhist council met. Hot sulphur springs with curative properties, sourced from this cave, are shaped like falls or wells. The hottest of the springs is 45o C called Brahmakundi emanating from the Saptparni caves at the foot of the Vaibhara Hill. There are two cave chambers hollowed out of a rock and the local legend is that one of the chambers housed King Bimbisara's gold treasury and the as yet undeciphered inscriptions in Shankalipi of Shell script (dated to 1st cent. A.D.) Etched in the wall would provide the clue to open the doorway.

Gridhra Kuta

The Hill of the Vultures, is a hermitage of the Buddha; from this hill, the Buddha propounded his second Wheel of Law. An aerial ropeway with chairlift links the hilltop stupa (called Shanti or Peace Stupa) built by the Japanese. Mahavir the founder of Jainism spent 14 years at Rajgir and Nalanda. 26 Jain temples were built on the hill tops around Rajgir. Rajgir, known earlier as 'Rajagriha' or Girivaraja, nestles in the rocky hills that witnessed the teachings of both Buddha and Mahavira. It lies 15 km south of Nalanda, and was the ancient capital of the Magadha kings. The Buddha frequented Rajagriha, seeking the solitude and tranquility of the Jivkamaravana monastery, preaching and meditating at the Griddhakuta hill (Hill of vultures). It was at this hill, that he converted one of his celebrated followers, the Mauryan king Bimbisara, to Buddhism. After the Buddha reached 'Parinirvana', his followers held the first Buddhist council at the Saptparni cave. It was here, that His teachings were penned down for the very first time. An important pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Jains, Rajgir is also known as Panchpahari with shrines on five hills. Today, Rajgir is a picturesque and serene place, visited by pilgrims from all over the globe. It has also gained recognition as a health resort, thanks to the famous hot springs. The Swarna Gufa is around six km from the railway station. It is believed that there is a treasure house of gold still hidden here. It is said that if one can decipher the inscription engraved here, the doors to the golden vaults would open.
On the Griddhakuta or Vultures Peak, the Buddha set in motion his second Wheel of Law and for three months every year during the rainy season preached his disciples about it. The Buddha Sangh of Japan has constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti (peace) stupa at the top of the hill. One can climb up to the top along a bridle path but the aerial chairlift is far more exciting.
The Vishwa Shanti Stup is located on a 400 meter high hill. The stupa has been built in marble and on the four corners of the stupa are four glimmering statues of the Lord Buddha. To reach the top of this hill one has to come through the rope ways. This place is also called the GriddhKoot. Gridhra Kuta, the Hill of the Vultures, is a hermitage of the Buddha; from this hill, the Buddha propounded his second Wheel of Law. An aerial ropeway with chairlift links the hilltop stupa (called Shanti or Peace Stupa) built by the Japanese.

Jarashand ka Akhara
This is the Ranbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the Mahabharat battles.

J
ivakameavan Gardens
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.

Ajatshatru Fort
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.

Cyclopean Wall
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.

Shanti Stupa
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.

Venu Vana
Site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for Lord Buddha to reside. This was the king's first offering to Lord Buddha.

Karanda Tank
It is the tank in which Buddha used to bathe.

Sonbhandar Caves
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.

Bimbisar jail

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 hill.

Veerayatan

A Jain Temple and Museum.

Jain Temple

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.

Hot Springs
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.

Pippala cave
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.

Swarn Bhandar
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.

Gridhakuta
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 has 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.


Swarajpur-Baragaon
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.

Kundalpur

The Digamber sect of Jains believes 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.

Pawapuri
35 km. Pawapuri is also known as Apapuri (A sinless city), it is a great pilgrimage center of the Jains. Mahavira Tirthankar, the greatest profounder of Jainism had delivered his last sermons here, took Mahaprinirvana here and was cremated here. Jalmandir and Samosharan are two beautiful temples.

Bihar Sharif

25 km away, this little town on the top of a craggy rock attracts thousand of pilgrims of all religions who visit the tomb of Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din, a Muslim saint of 14th century. Bihar Sharif was once the capital of the Muslim Governors of Bihar between 13th and 16th centuries when the city was an active cultural center and an important seat of Muslim thought and learning.

Nalanda
10 km, where ruins of the great ancient University has been excavated. The University of Nalanda was founded in 5th century AD, this great seat of learning flourished until 12th century. Once 2000 teachers and 10000 students crowded it portals. King after king built monasteries and temples here.


Though there is nothing unique to buy in Rajgir, the local handicrafts of the place can be purchased. Many tourists also buy small religious items like beads, incense sticks etc. Small vendors could be seen putting up stalls near the many tourist attractions of the place.

Let's socialize
AA RECREATION LOGO

License No. 86/2016

© All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy
Powerd by GWS

Newsletter
Payment Modes