Rajgir, refers to “the Royal Palace”, (or Raja Griha in hindi) is about 106 kms south of Patna (capital of Bihar). Rajgir is a site of great sanctity and significance for Budhhists. The Gridhakuta Hill, in Rajgir, was the seat from where Buddha delivered many of his sermons. It is the place where the teachings of Buddha were recorded in writing for the first time. An aerial ropeway takes visitors up the hill where the Japanese have built a beautiful Stupa. Many sites of historical and archaeological significance surround the holy city of Rajgir.
Bimbisara Jail: It reminds one of the devoted Mauryan King Bimbisara (5th-6th Century B.C.) a follower of Buddhism, chose this as a place to spend his last days. From here he could see Buddha climbing up the Grihakuta Hill to do his meditation.
Ajatashatru’s Fort: It is yet another place of tourist attraction. The Sculpture which depicts the `Parinirvana ‘, or the `great cessation’ of Buddha is a beautiful monument of artistic and historical importance. It shows the Buddha lying on his head to commemorate the final salvation or ‘Mukti’, of the great founder of the Buddhist Faith.
Other prominent sites at Rajgir:
- Saptdhara, the hot springs which supposedly have healing powers;
- Venuvan Vihara, the residence built by the king Bimbisara for Buddha;
- Jivaka’s Mango grove, residence of an ardent Buddhist follower, Jivak, who was a surgeon;
- Karanda Tank, bathing site of Lord Buddha.
- The first Buddhist Council was convened here, at the Saptaparni Cave, after the Mahaparinirvana of Buddha.
- Air: Patna is the nearest Airport having connectivity to all the major cities in India.
- Train: Rajgir is connected by rail with Patna with several trains plying in a day.
- Road: Rajgir is connected by roads to the nearby towns and Patna and there are abundant tourist vehicles available.
- State: Bihar
- District: Nalanda
- Famous for/as: Heritage
- Languages: Hindi
- Best time to visit: October to March
- Weather: Summers 22 to 38°C, Winter 19 to 32°C
- Pincode: 803116
- STD code: 06112
- State Govt. tourism website: http://www.bihartourism.gov.in/