Rajgir, the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State) before the foundation of Patliputra is named after Raj Griha, literally meaning the “Royal Palace”. The town sprawls in a valley amidst scenic surroundings and is one of the most important tourist and Buddhist pilgrim centres in India. Lord Buddha is said to have spent several years here. During his stay, he delivered sermons and proselytized Mauryan emperor Bimbisar, at the Gridhakoota hill. Rajgir is reverently mentioned in great epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is also a sacred site for the jains and Hindus. Lord mahavira, the 24th Jain tirthakara and founder of Jainism, meditated and delivered his first sermon here. The hills around Rajgir are dotted with beautiful Jain shrines. The town is also an excellent health and winter resort. The hot water ponds here possess curative properties, which help in the cure of many skin diseases.
Rajgir Tourism Information
Amaravana / Jivekarmavan Gardens
It was the seat of the royal physician Jivaka, who is said to have treated the wound of Lord Buddha here.
It was built during 6th century BC by Ajatastru, the king of Magadha. The 6.5 sq. metre stupa is also believed to have been built by him.
King Bimbisara was imprisoned here by his son Ajatashatru. Bimbisara is said to have chosen the site for his incarceration, as from her he could see Lord Buddha climbing atop the Griddhakuta hill to do his meditation.
Chariot Route Marks
The strange marks cut deep into rock are believed to be of Lord Krishna’s chariot, when he visted Rajgir during the epic Mahabharata Peropd.
The relics of the wall, which once encircled the town, can be seen at the exit of Rajgir to Gaya. It is one of the few remnants of pre-Mauryan structure.
Griddhakuta Hill & Shanti Stupa
Lord Buddha set in motion his second wheel of law at Griddhakuta Hill. He delivered many sermons from here and his teachings were first recordedin writing at this sacred site. The Buddha Sangha of japan built a huge Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), atop the hill to commemorate the event. The stupa can also be reached by an aerial ropeway.
Hot Sulphur Springs (Saptdhara)
It lies at the base of the Vaibhava hills and has separate bathing places for men and women. The water is said to have curative powers. Above the springs is Pippala Cave, also known as “Jarasandh Ki Baithak”.
The first Buddhist Council was convened here after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha. Other places of interest are Jarashand Ka Akhara, karanda Tank, Swarna Bhandar, Veeryatan jain Temple and Venuvan Vihar etc.
Rajgir Tour Information
The Digambar jains believe that it is the birth place of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. A Jain temple and two lotus lakes mark the sacred site.
Pawapuri, also known as Apapuri ( a sinless city) is one of the most important Jain Pilgrim centres. Lord mahavira delivered his last sermon and breathed his last over here around 500 BC. His cremation site is marked by beautiful jalamandir temple, built in white marble. It is said that devotees not only took away the ashes of the Lord, but also removed a large amount of soil around the funeral pyre, which created the water tank. Samosharan is anther splendid shrine at Pawapuri.
Swarajpur – Baragaon (18km)
The lake with its temple of Sun God, comes to life, twice a year in “Vaisakha” (April to May) and “Kartika” (October – November) during the Chhath Puja or Sun Worhsip.