Home | Bodhgaya Excursions | Rajgir
Rajgir is situated at a distance of 34 km from from the city of Gaya in Bihar. Rajgir was the capital of Magadh Mahajanpad when Pataliputra (currently known as Patna) was not established & it was then called as Rajgrih which means the dwelling of Royalty. The place is surrounded by five holy hills. This destination is noteworthy because Buddha spent many years in Rajgir and also disseminated some important discourses here. Rajgir was the place where Lord Buddha spent twelve long years in meditation. As per the historical facts, it is believed that Emperor Bimbisar converted himself in to Buddhism at the Griddhakoota Hill in Rajgir by Lord Buddha. The teachings of Buddha were written down at Rajgir during the First Buddhist Council held at this place. This First Buddhist Council was held at Saptparni caves.
As it is important for Buddhist, in same manner it is equally significant for Jainas and Hindus. Mahavira (24th Jain tirthankar) had spent some time at this spot before getting Kevalya (Enlightenment). Mahavira, the twenty fourth tirthankar of Jain sect, had spent more or less fourteen long years meditating at this place. Hence, Rajgir became a popular pilgrimage centre for Jainas too. It is said that there was a prominent monastery at Jivkamaravana which Lord Buddha often visited out of love and affection. The growth and fame of Buddhism among neighboring population, mainly among trading class was enormous and they helped Rajgir become the center of Buddhist activities. Prominent surgeon and Buddhist follower Jivaka lived here and contributed towards the expansion of Buddhism.
The major tourist attractions which you can visit during your travel to Rajgir are such as- Griddhakuta hill, the place which saw the conversion of Magadha king Bimbisara to Buddhism, Jail of Bimbisara, Gym of Jarasandha, Venuvana, Karand tank, Maniyar math, Swamabhandar cave, Pippala cave, newly constructed Viswa Shanti Stupa and many more. It is significant for Jains that Rajgir houses some twenty six temples of Jain sect in its hill area. Pawapuri is another major tourist attraction, which is very close to Rajgir. This place is situated at a distance of 38 kilometers away from Rajgir. While Rajgir and Nalanda are foremost Buddhist pilgrim destinations, Pawapuri is equally a holy place for Jains. Lord Mahavira, the twenty fourth tirthankar, attained salvation here and was cremated at Pawapuri