Rajgir

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.

Buddha in Venuvana
Mulagandhakuti on Vulture Peak, where Buddha used to stay

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

Sukarakata Cave

By plane

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

By train

Rajgir is on the secondary line linking Patna and Gaya. There are two local train from Patna and one from Gaya. As well as Express trains from Kolkata and Delhi.

By bus

Rajgir is connected to Patna by road and one can reach there form Patna by using NH 31-82. There are some direct buses from Patna to this town but more frequent with the connection at Bihar Sharif.

Tourist buses 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 located in suburb of Manipur on the east side of the river. There are shared rickshaws from the train station, and also direct from Bodhgaya for ₹20.

By car

One can also take a rented car to reach the place.

Get around

Tanga (horse drawn carriage) is the main mean of the transportation. Ongoing rate to the base of Ratnagiri or Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak) is ₹150 return including waiting but can be negotiated down to ₹50 one-way. Shared ride in town (between Makhdum Kund and bus stand) is also available for ₹10.

There is a chairlift to the top of Ratnagiri where Shanti Stupa is located. The rate is ₹60 return ticket only. You can also walk up 600+ steps to the top. Gridhakuta, the meditating place for the Buddha, is however located on the half way and not on the path of the chairlift.

See

Shanti Stupa

Do

Wat Thaisirirajgir - a Thai Buddhist temple in Rajgir

Eat

Ras malai and Pani Puri are popular in Rajgir

Sleep

Bamboo trees at the site of the Venuvana Monastery

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 ₹300), as well as Bihar tourist run hotels (Double ₹1200). 9am checkouts are common, but can often be negotiated before money is exchanged.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.