Rajgir is a city located at a distance of 100 km from Patna, the capital of Bihar. Historically, it was known as ‘Rajagirha ‘ which means, ‘House of the Kings’. It is located in the Magadha region of the Nalanda district. The city offers its visitors a quiet, serene ambience and religious destinations of Buddhism and Jainism.
Rajgir is situated amidst the lush greenery and beautiful Rajgir hills in the Indian state of Bihar. Historically, Rajgirha was the first capital of the Magadha Kingdom which played an important role in the Mauryan Empire. The foundation date is not clearly known. However, it is said this city was founded 3000 years ago. According to a belief, the town got its name from a Hindu word, ‘Rajgirha’ meaning House of Kings or Royal House. Another belief is, the town was named Rajgir, from a Hindu word, ‘Rajgir‘ meaning a royal mountain.
How to reach Rajgir?
You always have an option to deduce your time of travelling by taking a flight to the desired destination. To reach Rajgir by air, you can take a flight to Gaya Airport, 68 Km away from the city. Additionally, the airport connects the prime cities of Delhi and Varanasi. Another option is to take a flight to Patna, 98 Km away. From there, you can take a cab or a private taxi to reach the desired location.
Many state-owned buses, as well as private buses, connect to Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, and other cities. Traveling via car from Delhi to Rajgir would take 21 hours to cover a distance of 1100 Km.
You can easily book a ticket from Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, or Varanasi to reach Rajgir by train. The major railhead of the city is, Gaya Railway Station situated 60 Km away from the main city.
When to visit Rajgir?
You can visit this city from October till March. If you plan to visit during October, you also have an opportunity to attend Rajgir Mahotsav, a famous festival celebrated in the city every year. Moreover, winters are pleasant and preferably the best time to visit.
The natives of Rajgir speak the Hindi and Magadhi languages.
- Summer season: March to June
- Temperature: 24o – 42oC
- Monsoon season: July to September
- Temperature: 31o– 35o C
- Winter season: October to February
- Temperature: 8o – 10o C
Transportation/Stay to prefer
You can explore the city by taking local transportation that includes: buses or taxis and even tongas are also available for local transportation.
Stay to prefer
For staying in Rajgir, you can choose to stay in a hotel available in the city. There are many hotels near the railway station and bus stand as well. One of the nearest hotels from the city center is ‘Hotel Anand LOK’ situated at a distance of 0.5 Km.
Fairs & festivals in Rajgir
Formerly known as Rajgir Nritya Mahotsav, is a famous dance and music festival which is held during the month of October. This festival is a three-day event portraying classical and folk dance and music as well.
Rajgir Mahotsav commenced in 1986. Annualy, it is organized by the Nalanda District Administration and Bihar Government supports it.
Makar Sakranti Mela
Makar Sakranti Mela is celebrated every year in January. The devotees offer flowers to deities in the temples and take bath in the hot springs. People from the different regions come for a visit.
Malmas Mela is another exclusive fair is held in this town, every 3 years according to the Indian solar calendar. The last month of this calendar is the 13th month namely, Malmas.
Places to visit in Rajgir
The Cyclopean walls encircle the city of Rajgir which is 40 Km long. Built by the Mauryan Empire around 2500 years ago in order to strengthen and fortify the city. You must visit the place to explore more about the history of the city.
The Veerayatan Museum is a Jain museum displaying the history of all 24 Tirthankaras. You can also see some amazing and artistic arts on the walls which are handmade and designed by Acharya Sri Chandanji.
The Magadha King, Ajatshatru built the fort in the 6th century BC. The Ajatshatru fort has its own beauty and architecture to be admired. The major attraction of the fort is the stone tower and the high walls built around it.
Inside of the Ajatshatru Fort is another place that you can visit in Rajgir. Bimbisara Jail is the place where King Ajatshatru kept his father, Bimbisara. Surrounded by walls made of stones and pillars, Bimbisara Jail is another famous tourist attraction in Rajgir.
Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary
This Wildlife Sanctuary distanced at 102 Km away from Patna, the capital of Bihar. Spread across an area of 36 square meters and enveloped with hills all around. You get to see a variety of animals namely, leopard, nilgai, hyenas and many more.
Ghora Katora Lake
It is a well known lake often visited by the locals. Additionally, the Ghora Katora Lake is one of the tourist attractions in Rajgir because of its resemblance to a horse-shaped face. On your visit to this place, you can find a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
There are other religious sites in Rajgir that you can visit namely, the Hot Springs, Venuvana, Makhdum Kund, and many more. The entire city of Rajgir has a historic and religious importance in India.
Cuisines to taste in Rajgir
Snacks to taste
The very famous and authentic flavorful snack famous amongst the tourists is Litti-chokha. You can aslo try dal-puri, samosa, dahi-vada, kachori, etc. Another famous drink to taste in Rajgir is, Sattu Paani made from some roasted grains.
Sweets to taste
There are many sweet dishes that you can enjoy eating in Rajgir. One of the famous one amongst them is, Khajas made from several layers of rice flour and sugar juice. Other delicacies’ to taste in Rajgir are Kesaria Peda, Gulab-jamun, Lai k Laddu. Do not miss out to try these sweet delicious dishes.
Souvenirs to buy in Rajgir
You can find some amazing wooden artworks, Madhubani Paintings, wooden statues in Rajgir that you can buy. Khatwa is a very different artwork in Bihar which includes making decorative items by cutting different colored clothes and stitching them altogether as a new product. You can also buy handicraft items at a reasonable rate.
Hopefully the information provided would help you to plan a trip to Rajgir and explore more about this beautiful city.