Rajgir (Buddhist Pilgrimages )


Rajgir About Rajgir : The history of Rajgir began with the Mauryan Empire, of which it was the first capital, and remained so all the way till the 5th century. The name itself loosely translates to ‘the house of the king’. There is however, mention of the site in the Mahabharata, which states that the king Jarasandha ruled over it, and that it was at the time called Girivraja.

Geographical Information : Rajgir is located in the Nalanda district of Bihar, India. Located in a tropical region, Rajgir experiences hot and humid summers, where the temperature may go up to 45 degree Celsius. The winters are pleasant, and hence the best time to visit Rajgir would e between October and February.

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Buddhism in Rajgir : Gautama Buddha spent twelve years in Rajgir. Groddkuta or “vulture hill” was supposedly one of his favorite places to meditate. It was here that Bimbisara, the Emperor of Magadha, and one of the most celebrated patrons of Buddhism , was converted to the faith by the Buddha. It was also here that the Buddha delivered many sermons, and that the first attempt at documenting his teachings was made. It is commonly believed the area was inhabited by a prosperous merchant community, all of which in totality adopted the Buddhist faith shortly after his arrival. The Saptaparni caves found here hosted the first Buddhist council after the Buddha. Rajgir also holds great importance for the Jain faith, the founder of which, Mahavir, spent fourteen years here.

General Information || How To Reach || Major Attractions
Groddkuta || Shanti Stupa || Venuvana || Hot Springs || Chariot Route || Jain Temples || Pippala Cave|| Nearby Place


General Information About Rajgir
Country : India
State : Bihar
Location : Southern Bihar.74 kilometers from Bodhgaya and 100 kilometers from Patna.
Climate Winter : Cold and Pleasant; Summer - Hot; Monsoon - Warm
Significance : Lord Buddha spent 12 years in Rajgir.
Languages : English, Hindi and Magahi(a regional language).
Must Eat in Rajgir : The famous 'Khaja'(a sweet) of Rajgir.
Buddhist Festival in Rajgir : Buddha Jayanti in the month of May.
Other Festivals in Rajgir : Malamasa Mela, Makar Sankranti and Rajgir Dance Festival.


Tourist Attraction in Rajgir
Groddkuta : loosely translated, the name means “Vulture’s Hill”, or “Vulture’s Peak”. The Japanese Buddhist Sangha constructed the monumental Shanti Stupa atop this hill in memory of the historical significance it holds. it was here that two immensely important sermons were delivered among many others: the Lotus Sutta and the Prajnaparamita.

Shanti Stupa :a magnificent white structure at the peak of the hill, the Shanti Stupa features four gold statues depicting the birth, enlightenment, teaching and death of the Buddha.

Venuvana : this was a monastery built by king Bimbisara as his first offering to Lord Buddha. An artificial forest, it was intended for the facilitation of meditation and peace.

Hot Springs :these are sacred for Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. The springs are also believed to have medicinal properties that assist in battling skin ailments. Located at the foot of the Vaibhava hill, they lead onto several temples and bifurcated sites to serve as bathing places for the two sexes. The hottest spring is called the Brahmkund, and has an average temperature of forty five degrees.

Pippala Cave:beyond the hot springs, higher up on the mountain, there sits a stone forged (entirely by the course of nature) into a perfect rectangular shape. There are theories to suggest it was used as a watch tower. There is certain evidence of it being a favorite of the pious hermit, hence the name Pippala Cave.

Chariot Route : the locals attribute the inexplicable markings on the rock to the Mahabharata and the two parallel furrows that are cut into the rock, spanning about thirty five feet, are said to have been burnt into the rock by the sheer force of Lord Krishna’s speeding chariot.

Jain Temples : there are more than two dozen Jain temples to be found in the hills, the accessibility to which, however, may prove challenging for some.

Nearby Place
Nalanda: 15 km from Rajgir sit the ruins of the famous Nalanda University which was founded in the 5th century, and where the remains of several monasteries and temples can still be identified.

Pawapuri: this is the site where the great founder of Jainism, Mahavir, passed away, thus attaining Mahaparivarna. It is located approximately 33 km from Rajgir.


How to reach Rajgir

Airways - technically the closest airport is Gaya, but the Patna airport, located approximately 20 km away may prove to be a more prudent choice in terms of connectivity.

Railways - there is a railway station within Rajgir, and an alternative in the event of such a need is the Gaya railway station, approximately 90 km away.

Roadways - the roadways provide an efficient means of accessing the major cities of Bihar, and in turn, other parts of the country.

Buddhist Tourist Pilgrimage in India

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