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'''Rajgir''' is a city in [[Bihar]], located about 15 km from the ruins of [[Nalanda|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.
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'''Rajgir''' (or ''Rajagriha'') is a city in [[Bihar]] in [[India]].  It is 15 km from the ruins of [[Nalanda|Nalanda University]], and 100 km from [[Patna]], the capital of the state.  
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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Rajgir, meaning the abode of Kings, has been mentioned fist in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata as the capital of Magadh, ruled by the mighty King Jarasandha.  Although the exact time of the origin of this city has not been established, it is estimated by scholars that it must be around 3,000 years old.
  
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.
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Rajgir has been mentioned in ancient Buddhist and Jain scriptures and also in the travelogues of Buddhist travellers Huen Tsang and Fa Hian who visited India during the Mauryan and Gupta times. The city is divided in two parts, the old fortified city which lies in the valley surrounded by seven hills (Chhatha, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Vaibhara and Vipula) and the new city established by Ajatshatru, the son of Bimbisara and a contemporary of Lord Buddha.  
  
The city was in a valley surrounded by five hills: Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula.
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Rajgir has been closely related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and has played host to Lord Buddha and Mahavira, thus has many archeolgical sites related to Buddhism and Jainism.
  
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 one, 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).
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==Get in==
  
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.
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====By air====
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[[Patna]] and [[Gaya]] are the nearest airports which are connected to the major cities of India.
  
==Get in==
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====By train====
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Rajgir is connected to [[Patna]], [[Kolkata]] and [[Delhi]] by train.
  
There are several train and buses are available from Patna, Capital of Bihar State. Patna is well connected by air and rail.
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====By road====
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Rajgir is connected to Patna by road and one can reach there form Patna by using NH 31-82. There are regular buses from Patna to this town. Busses from Bodh Gaya operate twice a day (7am and 2pm) during peak season. Buses from Gaya leave every half hour during the day, even in off season. The bus station is about two kilometers south (down the road) from the train station, and all buses in and out of the town will stop here.
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One can also take a rented car to reach the place.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
 
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.
 
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
====Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak)====
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* <see name="Japanese stupa" alt="" address="" directions="Atop Gridhakuta" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""></see>
The hill is listed in Buddhist canonical texts as one of the places stayed in by the Gautama Buddha when at Rajgir; and several notable events, including an attempt on his life by his evil cousin Devadatta occurred there. Described both by Faxian and Xuanzang it was identified in the later nineteenth century as a hill lying to the east of Old Rajgir.  It is now crowned by the Japanese-built ''Shanti Stupa'' and has a chairlift to the top.
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====Venuvana====
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* <see name="Gridhakuta" alt="Vulture's Peak" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The place is atop a small hill and believed to be a meditating place of Lord Buddha. On the top of the hill, there is a Viswa Shanti Stupa (Peace Stupa) build by the Government of Japan. One can reach the monument by using the ropeway or the flight of 600+ stone steps leading to the top of the hill.</see>
Magadha king Bimbisara gave a bamboo grove (Venuvana) to Gautama Buddha, which was the first Buddhist monastery ever. It was given to Buddha so that he and his monks could take rest here, and give discourses to people.
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Karand Tank, Maniyar Math, Swarnabhandar Cave, Pippala Cave, Viswa Shanti Stupa, the famous Hot Water Springs and ruins of an Old Fort, 40&nbsp;km long and 12 ft wide 2,500 year old cyclopean walls.
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* <see name="Venuvana" alt="Bamboo grove" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Is said to be a bamboo grove gifted to Lord Buddha by Bimbisara, the then king of Magadh.</see>
  
====Jivakarama====
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* <see name="Tapodharma/Lakshmi Narayan Mandir" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Tapodharma was the site of an ancient Buddhist monastery over which a Hindu temple is built today. The place has hot water springs which are rich in sulfur and said to have a curative effects.</see>
Jivaka, the greatest physician of Buddha's time, was from Rajgir. Jivakarma is the garden where he used to grow herbs for his medicines.
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====Tapodarama====
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The Tapodarama Monastery was located on the site of the hot springs. Now a Hindu temple is constructed there, called the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. In ancient times, hot springs used to be the site of the Tapodarama, a Buddhist monastery at the time of Gautama Buddha. Also King Bimbisara used to take bath there sometimes.
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====Saptaparni Cave====
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* <see name="Saptaparni Caves" alt="also known as Jarasandh's sitting room" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">These caves hosted the First Buddhist Council and were used by early Buddhist monks as resting places as well as centers of debates.</see>
The cave of Saptparni is where the First Buddhist Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa. Also Buddha sometimes stayed there, and it was used as an accommodation for visiting monks.
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====Jarasandha Ka Akhara====
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* <see name="Bimbisara's jail" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This archeological site is believed to be the jail in which King Ajatshatru has imprisoned his father Bimbisara. From his prison cell, Bimbisara could see Buddha meditating on the [[Gridhakuta]].</see>
The great albeit evil warrior whose relentless attacks on [[Mathura]] prompted Lord Krishna to migrate the populace of Mathura to Dwarika, used to practice martial arts here every day.
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====Ancient Chariot tracks====
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* <see name="Chariot Tracks" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The Chariot Route and shell inscriptions consist of two parallel furrows cut deep into the rock ground for about thirty feet and are believed to have been made by Lord Krishna's Chariot. Several undeciphered shell inscriptions are engraved in the rock around the chariot marks.</see>
  
The Chariot Route and shell inscriptions are worth a visit for the strangeness of the phenomenon. The chariot tracks consist of two parallel furrows cut deep into the rock for about thirty feet, possibly by the large quantity of chariots that came to deliver goods to Rajgir.
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* <see name="Maniar Matth" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Dating 1 century CE, the Maniar Matth is said to be a monestary of a cult which worshipped snakes. Several snake and cobra figurins have been found in the vicinity in excavations.</see>
  
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* <see name="Sonabhandar" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This ancient structure is said to be the treasury of Magadh.</see>
  
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* <see name="Makhdum Kund" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This is the shrine of a Muslim Sufi Saint Makhdum Shah and has warm springs similar to Tapodharma.</see>
  
====Other archeological sites :====
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* <see name="Cyclopean walls" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Believed to be 2500 years old, these Cyclopean walls are a 40 km long and 4 meteres wide fortification running around the city.</see>
 
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1. The Karnada Tank where Lord Buddha used to bathe
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2. The Maniyar Math that dates from the 1st century CE
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3. The Maraka Kukshi where the still unborn Ajatashatru was cursed as a patricide
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4. The Rannbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the Mahabharat battles
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5. Swarnabhandar Cave
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6. Viswa Shanti Stupa
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7. Ruins of an Old Fort
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8. 40 km long and 12 ft (3.7 m) wide 2500 year old cyclopean walls
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==Do==
 
==Do==
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* <do name="Ropeway" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Enjoy the ride on the ropeway.</do>
  
Take a deep bath is hot spring (Kund).
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* <do name="Hot springs" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Take a deep bath in a hot spring (Kund).</do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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*<eat undefined="" alt="" address="Near Rajgir railway station" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Very cheap, delicious food served by family members of restaurant.</eat>
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
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There are a few places to stay near both the railway station and the bus station, and on the 2km road in between. The town has many budget hotels (Double rs 300), as well as Bihar tourist run hotels (Double Rs 1200). 9am checkouts are common, but can often be negotiated before money is exchanged.
  
* <sleep name="Sarada Group of Hotels" alt="" address="Near Rajgir police station" directions="opposite Ramakrishna Math" phone="(06112) 255005" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rs.600-1000" url="http://www.sensonmedia.net/hotelsarada.htm"></sleep>
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* <sleep name="Sarada Group of Hotels" alt="" address="" directions="Near Rajgir police station, opposite Ramakrishna Math" phone="(06112) 255005" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rs 600-1000" url="http://www.sensonmedia.net/hotelsarada.htm"></sleep>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 
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* [[Bodhgaya]] &mdash; often requires a change of bus in Bihar Sharif or Gaya
* [[Bodhgaya]] - often requires a change of bus in Bihar Sharif
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* Kakolat &mdash; a good waterfall
 
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* Nalanda; Buses leave about every 30 minutes from the main bus stand. (rs 8)
*Kakolat is a good waterfall.
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* Bihar Sharif; Buses leave about every 30 minutes from the main bus stand. (about Rs20 in 2012)
 
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* Patna; a direct bus from Rajgir to Patna only leaves once a day. Often the better option is to take a regular bus to Bihar Sharif (about Rs20 in 2012), then change for a bus to Patna (Rs 60 in 2012)
  
 
[[WikiPedia:Rajgir]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Rajgir]]
  
{{IsIn|Bihar}}
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{{IsPartOf|Magadha}}
 
{{cityguide}}
 
{{cityguide}}
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}

Revision as of 10:18, 17 June 2012

Rajgir (or Rajagriha) is a city in Bihar in India. It is 15 km from the ruins of Nalanda University, and 100 km from Patna, the capital of the state.

Contents

Understand

Rajgir, meaning the abode of Kings, has been mentioned fist in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata as the capital of Magadh, ruled by the mighty King Jarasandha. Although the exact time of the origin of this city has not been established, it is estimated by scholars that it must be around 3,000 years old.

Rajgir has been mentioned in ancient Buddhist and Jain scriptures and also in the travelogues of Buddhist travellers Huen Tsang and Fa Hian who visited India during the Mauryan and Gupta times. The city is divided in two parts, the old fortified city which lies in the valley surrounded by seven hills (Chhatha, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Vaibhara and Vipula) and the new city established by Ajatshatru, the son of Bimbisara and a contemporary of Lord Buddha.

Rajgir has been closely related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and has played host to Lord Buddha and Mahavira, thus has many archeolgical sites related to Buddhism and Jainism.

Get in

By air

Patna and Gaya are the nearest airports which are connected to the major cities of India.

By train

Rajgir is connected to Patna, Kolkata and Delhi by train.

By road

Rajgir is connected to Patna by road and one can reach there form Patna by using NH 31-82. There are regular buses from Patna to this town. Busses from Bodh Gaya operate twice a day (7am and 2pm) during peak season. Buses from Gaya leave every half hour during the day, even in off season. The bus station is about two kilometers south (down the road) from the train station, and all buses in and out of the town will stop here. One can also take a rented car to reach the place.

Get around

See

  • Japanese stupa, (Atop Gridhakuta).
  • Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak). The place is atop a small hill and believed to be a meditating place of Lord Buddha. On the top of the hill, there is a Viswa Shanti Stupa (Peace Stupa) build by the Government of Japan. One can reach the monument by using the ropeway or the flight of 600+ stone steps leading to the top of the hill.
  • Venuvana (Bamboo grove). Is said to be a bamboo grove gifted to Lord Buddha by Bimbisara, the then king of Magadh.
  • Tapodharma/Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. Tapodharma was the site of an ancient Buddhist monastery over which a Hindu temple is built today. The place has hot water springs which are rich in sulfur and said to have a curative effects.
  • Saptaparni Caves (also known as Jarasandh's sitting room). These caves hosted the First Buddhist Council and were used by early Buddhist monks as resting places as well as centers of debates.
  • Bimbisara's jail. This archeological site is believed to be the jail in which King Ajatshatru has imprisoned his father Bimbisara. From his prison cell, Bimbisara could see Buddha meditating on the Gridhakuta.
  • Chariot Tracks. The Chariot Route and shell inscriptions consist of two parallel furrows cut deep into the rock ground for about thirty feet and are believed to have been made by Lord Krishna's Chariot. Several undeciphered shell inscriptions are engraved in the rock around the chariot marks.
  • Maniar Matth. Dating 1 century CE, the Maniar Matth is said to be a monestary of a cult which worshipped snakes. Several snake and cobra figurins have been found in the vicinity in excavations.
  • Sonabhandar. This ancient structure is said to be the treasury of Magadh.
  • Makhdum Kund. This is the shrine of a Muslim Sufi Saint Makhdum Shah and has warm springs similar to Tapodharma.
  • Cyclopean walls. Believed to be 2500 years old, these Cyclopean walls are a 40 km long and 4 meteres wide fortification running around the city.

Do

  • Ropeway. Enjoy the ride on the ropeway.
  • Hot springs. Take a deep bath in a hot spring (Kund).

Buy

Eat

  • Near Rajgir railway station. Very cheap, delicious food served by family members of restaurant.

Sleep

There are a few places to stay near both the railway station and the bus station, and on the 2km road in between. The town has many budget hotels (Double rs 300), as well as Bihar tourist run hotels (Double Rs 1200). 9am checkouts are common, but can often be negotiated before money is exchanged.

  • Sarada Group of Hotels, (Near Rajgir police station, opposite Ramakrishna Math), (06112) 255005, [1]. Rs 600-1000.

Get out

  • Bodhgaya — often requires a change of bus in Bihar Sharif or Gaya
  • Kakolat — a good waterfall
  • Nalanda; Buses leave about every 30 minutes from the main bus stand. (rs 8)
  • Bihar Sharif; Buses leave about every 30 minutes from the main bus stand. (about Rs20 in 2012)
  • Patna; a direct bus from Rajgir to Patna only leaves once a day. Often the better option is to take a regular bus to Bihar Sharif (about Rs20 in 2012), then change for a bus to Patna (Rs 60 in 2012)




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