Difference between revisions of "Rajgir"
Revision as of 14:54, 20 May 2009
Rajgir is a city in Bihar, located about 15 km from the ruins of Nalanda University. Rajgir is near the site of Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak), where the Buddha stayed and gave teachings on the Mahayana (the second turning of the wheel), and Venuvana, the first Buddhist monastery. The area around Rajgir is also known for its hot springs, which are open to the public.
The city of Rajgir (ancient Rajagriha or Rājagṛha; Pali: Rājagaha) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city.
The city was in a valley surrounded by five hills: Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula.
The epic Mahabharata calls it Girivraja and recounts the story of its king, Jarasandha, and his battle with the Pandava brothers and their allies Krishna. It is also mentioned in Buddhist and Jain scriptures, which give a series of place-names, but without geographical context. The attempt to locate these places is based largely on reference to them and to other locations in the works of Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, particularly Faxian and Xuanzang. It is on the basis of Xuanzang in particular that the site is divided into Old and New Rajgir. The former lies within a valley and is surrounded by low-lying hills. It is defined by an earthen embankment (the Inner Fortification), with which is associated the Outer Fortification, a complex of cyclopean walls that runs (with large breaks) along the crest of the hills. New Rajgir is defined by another, larger, embankment outside the northern entrance of the valley and next to the modern town. The sources do not agree which of the Buddha's royal contemporaries, Bimbisara and Ajatashatru, was responsible for its construction. Ajatashatru is also credited with moving the capital to Pataliputra (modern Patna).
This place has been associated with both the historical Buddha and Mahavira. Rajgir has also developed as a health and winter resort due to its warm water ponds. These baths are said to contain some medicinal properties that help in the cure of many skin diseases. The added attraction of Rajgir is the Ropeway that leads uphill to the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries built by the Japanese Devotees of the Buddha on top of the Ratnagiri hills.
There are several train and buses are available from Patna, Capital of Bihar State. Patna is well connected by air and rail.
The main attaction of Rajgir is Buddhist Temple on the Mountain. Walk there is enjoyable; there's also a rope-way.
Other attraction include hot springs.
1. Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Stupa) built and maintained by Japan is a stupa on Gridhakuta mountain dedicated to world peace and Lord Buddha. The stupa is reachable by a ropeway or a long flight of hundreds of steps.
2. Venuvan : The garden where Lord Buddha used to take rest
3. Jarasandha hall : Said to be the hall of Magadh's king Jarasandh who is mentioned in Mahabharata. Actually it was a hall where a Buddhist sangama took place.
4. Bimbisara Jail : The jail where the Magadh King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatshatru
5. Hot water springs
6. Maniara Mutth : Ruins of the an abode of a Snake worshipping cult has been found
7. Son Bhandar : Ruins of what is said to be the treasury of the Magadha Kingdom
Take a deep bath is hot spring (Kund).