Rajgir, which means “the home of Gods,” is a town in the Nalanda district about 93 kilometers southeast of Patna. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata as the realm of Jarasandha, Krishna’s and his Yadava clan’s arch enemy. While the precise date of Rajgir’s establishment is unknown, the city is thought to be around 3000 years old. Rajgir is separated into two sections: one walled and encircled by seven hills. The other is said to have been constructed by King Bimbisara’s son, Ajatshatru. There are two competing theories concerning the town’s name. Rajgir was the capital of the Magadha Empire until the 5th century BC, when Ajatshatru moved his kingdom’s headquarters to Pataliputra.
Bhima defeated King Jarasandha in an epic wrestling bout. The wrestling battle is said to have taken place in an arena known as Jarasandha’s Akhada. Aside from the Mahabharata, the town has also been referenced in Jains’ and Buddhists’ ancient texts and the diaries of Buddhist travelers who visited the region during the Mauryan era. The town has played a significant role in major religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. During archaeological digs, relics associated with the Jain and Buddhist religions were discovered.
Gautam Buddha is supposed to have meditated for several months atop Gridhakut, which translates as “Hill of Vultures.” Mahavira spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir and its surrounding areas. Near the train station and on State Highway 71, there are a few cheap and mid-range motels. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation maintains three tourist bungalows that provide enough room for large parties at reasonable rates.
Rajgir’s top 7 tourist attractions are listed below.
Vishwa Shanti Stupa
The Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage destination. It is located on Ratnagiri Hill. It is a white beauty that depicts the four stages of Buddha’s life via four golden statues of Lord Buddha. Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist monk, is claimed to have erected the Peace Pagoda in 1969. This stupa is the world’s highest Peace Pagoda and an emblem of peace and harmony.
Ajatshatru Fort was erected during the 6th century, during the period of Gautama Buddha, by the Magadha King, Ajatshatru. The fort features a stupa, also known as the Ajatshatru stupa, that measures 6.5 square meters. The fort is a work of art in terms of architecture. The massive scale of the towering walls and stone tower, in particular, draws travelers. Lord Buddha is claimed to have lived here throughout its building.
Rajgir is not just a Buddhist pilgrimage, but it is also a Jain pilgrimage. Rajgir and its surroundings are densely packed with Jain temples. The most notable is the Digambar Jain Siddha Kshetra Temples. Rajgir is encircled by four hills, each of which has eight temples. Aside from these eight temples, there are two more in the valley. One of the most popular temples is Lal Mandir, which is located in the Udaigiri highlands. It’s a stunning building made of red and white stones.
It is believed that after becoming king, Ajatshatru imprisoned his father, Bimbisara. The Bimbisara Jail is located within the Ajatshatru Fort. It is located on Maniyar Math’s southern side. It is fortified with thick walls and stone pillars. It is claimed that King Bimbisara chose to spend his final days in this little room of the jail because he could observe Lord Buddha, who was staying in the fort at the time, walking to Girdhkut Parvat for meditation. As a result, the prison offers a magnificent view of the World Peace Pagoda.
Venu Vana is the Bamboo Forest, which was given to Lord Buddha by Magadha King Bimbisara around 2500 years ago and is considered to be one of Buddha’s favorite places during his time there. In the middle of the Venu Vana, there is a large pond. Lord Buddha is reported to have bathed at this pond before beginning his day in Rajgir. The pond enhances the natural beauty of the woodland. The tranquility and tranquillity of the location are the major draws for travelers.
Cyclopean walls are 40-kilometer-long walls that encircle ancient Rajgir. It was erected during the Mauryan period to commemorate the capital of Rajgir and is composed of raw stones. Even though the wall is no longer in its former glory, it continues to draw tourists.
Rajgir has a plethora of hot springs. They are all regarded as sacred sites in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The Hot Springs are also well-known for their therapeutic properties. The Saptarni cave source of Hot Spring is considered to be the holiest. Brahma Kund is Rajgir’s hottest Hot Spring, with a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. Rajgir is a popular tourist attraction in India because it is a sacred location for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Rajgir’s ties to ancient India and Lord Buddha and Mahavira make it a must-see destination in Bihar.
It is the Royal Physician’s dispensary’s headquarters. Jivaka, the royal physician during the reigns of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara, treated Lord Buddha’s wounds here. Jivaka was the Royal Physician of the Magadha monarchs Bimbisara and Ajatashatru. He had his dispensary within this garden granted to him by Bimbisara. He utilized the plants to manufacture Ayurvedic remedies and heal his patients.