Introduction:- Rajgir: 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.
History: The Buddha lived in the sixth century BC, Mahavir was born in 567 BC and the traveller in Bihar will encounter them both constantly. Rajgir is 10 kms. south of Nalanda and sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism Lord Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here, and use to meditate and preach on Groddhkuta, the "Hill of the Vultures". Lord Mahavir spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda. Description: Rajgir is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site since the Buddha spent 12 years here, and the first Buddhist council after the Buddha ,was hosted here at the Saptaparni caves. Lord Buddha often went into 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.
Rajgir Quick facts
Rajgir Geography and Climate
Rajgir is located at 25.03° N 85.42° E. It has an average elevation of 73 metres (239 feet).
Best time to visit Rajgir
The best time to visit is between October and March.
The City stretches along the southern bank of the Ganges for about 15 kms. The hotels, main street, train station and airport are in the western half of Patna known as Bankipur. While the older area is to the east, in Patna City, The hub of the new Patna is at Gandhi Maidan, and the main market area is Asok Raj Path, which starts here. Fraser and exhibition roads have officially been renamed Muzharul Haque Path and Braj Kishore Path, respectively, and Horing Road has become Jal Prakash Road, but every one still uses the old names.
Nalanda, 15 km Gaya 68 km Pawapuri 38 km Bihar Sherif 25 km
How to reach Rajgir by Road
Local Transport: Taxis , Buses and Tongas are available.
How to reach Rajgir by Rail
Rail: Though Rajgir itself has a railway station,the nearest convenient railhead is at Gaya 78 kms.
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How to reach Rajgir by Air
Air: The nearest airport is at Patna 101 kms. Indian Airlines connect s Patna to Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow.
Rajgir Festivals and culture
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 years 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.
Rajgir Religious Places
Jain Temple: On hill crests around Rajgir, far at a distance, one can see about 26 Jain Temples. They are difficult to approach for the untrained, but make exciting trekking for those in form.
Jarashand ka Akhara: This is the Ranbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the Mahabharat battles.
Rajgir Entertainment and Night Life
Bihar Sharif: 25 kms. away, this little town on the top of a craggy rock, attracts thousands of pilgrims of all religions who visit the tomb of Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din, a Muslin saint of 14th century. Bihar Sharif was once the capital of Muslim Governors of Bihar between the 13th and 16th centuries when the city was an active cultural centre and an important seat of Muslim thought and learning.
Kidding around Rajgir
Swarajpur-Baragaon: 18 kms. 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 Digambar sect of Jains believe 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.
Rajgir Museum and Hill Stations
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.
Gardens and Parks at Rajgir
Jivakameavan Gardens: Seat of the Royal Physician's dispensary where Lord Buddha was once brought to have his wound dressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara.
Rajgir Travel Tips
The nearest airport is Patna from where taxis and luxury buses are available. Local trains are available from Patna or Bakhtiarpur.