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Rajgir, from the name you must have some idea about what the name signifies. Yes, you are right Rajgir means “The House of the King” or “The Royal House” (Originated from Sanskrit ‘Rajagrha’ ). It is a historic town in Nalanda District in the state of Bihar located in the southeast 93 km from Patna. The city is known for its natural serenity, historic monuments, and religious pilgrimages. For that reason, every year a large number of tourists visit the city from across the globe.
However, The correct date of origin of the city is not known but the pieces of evidence reveal its origin dates back to 1000 BC. It was the first capital of the “Magadh” Kingdom. The amazing unification of natural sanity with history here provides a unique experience to tourists that can’t be found anywhere else. That’s why it attracts all kinds of tourists and proves itself a perfect match for their travel destination.
If you are looking for a destination, and want to feel some sense of pride in your history along with refreshment, Rajgir is the perfect match for you.
How to Reach Rajgir?
Rajgir is well connected with all the major cities of India through all kinds of transportation such as air, road, and rail. As well as you will also find local transport easily for your roaming around the city at nominal fares. The people are nice and, friendly here, and will co-operate with you in a very good manner.
The nearest airport to reach Rajgir is the “Gaya Airport” at a distance of about 78 kms from Rajgir. From “Gaya” you can reach Rajgir directly by Road through Buses Available at regular intervals. You also have the option to reach Rajgir from “Patna Airport” which is about 100 km from Rajgir and is well connected with major city airports such as Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, and others.
Rajgir Railway Station is the only railway station in the city that is well-connected with Patna and Bodhgaya. You can reach Rajgir from Patna or Bodhgaya.
Regular buses for Rajgir are available from cities like Patna, Bodhgaya, Biharsharif, Sheikhpura, and Pawapuri. So, if you are coming to Rajgir, you can take connecting buses from these points at your convenience.
The local transport includes taxis, autos, local buses, cabs, and tongas. The fares are nominal in the city for any of the visiting sites, you can take them for your visit.
Best time to visit Rajgir?
Rajgir is suitable for visit in any of the four seasons as none of the seasons are very extreme here, but post-monsoon falling in October to April is the ideal time to visit. However, you must gather some weather-related data before you plan to visit Rajgir. In summer the average temperature can go up to 45⁰ which can make it a little bit difficult to roam around.
However, if you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Rajgir, it is best reflected in the monsoon. The place is pleasant during monsoon and fresh natural showers make the place enjoyable. But, again roaming around the city might be a bit difficult because of rain.
Top places to visit in Rajgir?
There are many top places in Rajgir which is significant in terms of its Historical, religious, or adventure aspects. These places are enough to enrich your knowledge along with giving you a sense of satisfaction that you made the right decision to visit this place. Here is a list of some of the top tourist attractions in Rajgir.
It is a historical place where Ajatshatru, the son of King Bimbisar imprisoned his father during his last days of life. The place is just the remaining ruin of the Jail. You can see the top of the Gridhakuta Parvat clearly (Gautam Buddha used to meditate on the Top of Gridhakut Parvat). Bimbisar was the founder of the Magadh Kingdom and established the Haryak dynasty during the late 5th century BCE. You will wonder to know that the Bimbisara was the contemporary of the Lord Gautam Buddha.
The Cyclopean Wall is a 40 km (approx) wall of stone having a width of about 14 inches. Basically, It used to encircle the ancient Rajgir city to protect it. The fortification, done either by Bimbisar or Ajatshatru has traces all around the city. The Pali text mentions 32 large gates and 64 smaller ones to enter the fortified city.
The Ashoka Stupa situated at the top of the Hill is the point of attraction for a large number of tourists because of its location. The great emperor Ashoka built the Stupa in the commemoration of Buddha. As per the belief, It houses the ashes of Buddha.
Gridhakut Hill is the most ancient site in Rajgir to visit. According to the beliefs, Lord Buddha preached his Lotus Sermon here. This hill is amongst the favourite places where Buddha used to meditate and even today, one can feel the spiritual power in the air here. The hill derives its name from the shape of the hill that appears in the form of a vulture peak.
Buddha Sangha of Japan constructed a massive stupa at the highest point of the Ratnagiri Hill (at 400m altitude). The Stupa houses four golden statues of Lord Buddha representing the birth, enlightenment, preaching, and death of Lord Buddha. The stupa is visible from a longer distance because it is high altitude location.
The Stupa is famous for its other names such as Peace Pagoda or Japan Stupa. It has significant religious importance among Buddhists. One can reach the Stupa through a ropeway or the serpentine staircase.
The Brahma Kund is the merger of seven hot water springs (Saptrishi). It finds its mention in the Mahabharat, also. People believe that water has healing power for several chronic ailments. Therefore, The Devotees especially Hindus from all over the country reach Brahma Kund in large to take a bath in the sacred water.
The ropeway in Rajgir is the oldest single-person ropeway in the country. The ropeway leads you to the top of the Ratnagiri Hills where you can visit Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Makhdoom Kund, and various monasteries built by Buddhists. The panoramic view of the Wildlife Sanctuary and the peaks of Udaygiri, Vaibhagiri, Songiri, and Vipalachal will fill you with romance and enjoyment. The ropeway ride is open between 8 AM to 5 PM.
The Glass walk
The glass bridge in Rajgir, located inside the Nature Safari Park gives a stunning experience to the tourist. The 85-foot-long and 6-foot-wide bridge is the second of its kind in India and can accommodate 40 visitors at a time. You will find a clear view of the safari and nearby from the top.
The Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary
The Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary is at a distance of 4 km from the Rajgir Railway Station and hence will not cost you much time to reach there. This point of attraction lies between the hills of Vaibhgiri and Songiri and is spread over an area of 472 acres. The sanctuary is the house of animals like tigers, lions, leopards, elephants, and many others that roam freely in the sanctuary. Visitors can visit the safari only in a closed glass bus (20-22 persons at a time). It has the facility to book online tickets for visiting the sanctuary. It is open to visit on all day between 9 AM to 6 PM all day, except Monday.
Other Places to Visit
Particularly, there are some other places that are also a point of attraction in Rajgir, so, if you have time you can visit them also. It includes Jarasandh Ka Akhara or, Pippala Cave, Sataparni Cave (Nalanda District), Ajastshatru Stupa, Venuvana Vihara, Maniyar math, Sone Bhandar and Rajgir festival.
Jarasandh ka Akhara
Jarasandh ka Akhara is the place where Jarasandh and Bheem(One of the Pandavas) fought their dual. In this fight, Mahabali Bheem brutally defeated Jarasandh and killed him by tearing apart his body. It is situated at a distance of 5 km from the Rajgir Railway Station.
This place is situated just above the Brahma Kund on the way to Saptaparni Caves. Local people say that it is actually the “Baithak of Jarasandh (meeting quarter)” but the Buddist text refers to it as Pippala cave.
The Venuvana Vihara is the only place that was a gift to Lord Buddha By King Bimbisara of Magadh. Currently, it is the most beautiful park in Rajgir with a Bamboo garden theme and an artificial lake in the center of the park. The park houses the statue of Lord Buddha. You can spend some quality time in the very peaceful atmosphere here.
Maniyar Math is one of the most important archaeological sites in Rajgir. It is the most famous religious site as well as a historical site in Bihar. It is the worshipping area or shrine of the Naga Cult according to Buddhist Text. The place is located at a distance of 4 km from the Rajgir Railway Station and you can easily reach out here.
Son Bhandar Caves
The Son Bhandar Caves are the two artificial caves carved into the base of Vaibhar Hills in Rajgir. The cave originally dates back to the 3rd or 4th century CE but some scholar relates it to the Maurya Empire. This is one of the most mysterious sites to visit in Rajgir.
Rajgir is a place that has everything to provide the tourists whether from a religious point of view, historical point of view, or adventurous point of view. Lord Mahavira has spent almost 14 years of his life here in Rajgir, and for Lord Buddha, it was amongst the most preferred preaching locations. Its history is rooted in the Mahabharat (The Dual fight between Jarasangh and Mahabali Bheem). There are a lot of things in Rajgir for you, and I am sure after reading all this you must have started planning for your trip. Have a wonderful Travel to Rajgir.