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Rajgir is one of the oldest inhabited lands in India, and though it looks obscure today, it has such a great place in the ancient history of India that it raises eyebrows. It has Cyclopean walls that date back 2500 years. In the Mahabharata, it is mentioned as the place from where King Jarasandha hailed, and it takes place more than 2500 years ago. It was the capital city of four dynasties, and Buddha as well as Mahavira visited this place. Historical facts keep tumbling out when we talk about Rajgir. It is a holy place where the shrines of three ancient Indic religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism—all amalgamate. The excavations have revealed a lot, and future excavations will reveal a lot more. It was such a great place of fame in bygone days that a university like Nalanda was built around Rajgir. From August to March is the best time to visit Rajgir. It is about 15 kilometres away from Nalanda, the district headquarters, and about 95 kilometres from Patna. Rajgir has a railway station, and the nearest airport is at Gaya, approximately 70 kilometres away.
Nearby Places to See
It is estimated by archaeologists that the length of this wall was 40 kilometres. It was crucial in establishing Rajgir’s ancient importance.
The prison where Bimbisara was held is called Bimbisara’s Jail, and it is situated within the Cyclopean Wall. To be more specific, he ruled over the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha, of which Rajgir was the capital. His son, Ajatashatru, who wanted the throne for himself, had him locked up. Ajatashatru’s fortifications, which were encased in cyclopean walls, can also be seen inside.
The site where Jarasandha, who had imprisoned 99 kings, was killed in a fierce duel fight with Bhima, is known as the Jarasandh Ka Akhada (Battleground of Jarasandha).
This is an impressive Buddhist temple that features a beautiful statue of the Buddha. It was originally constructed in 1969 and underwent renovations in 1993, earning it the names White Stupa and Japanese Stupa despite being well over a hundred feet in height.
Close to Rajgir, on the Vaibhar range of hills, are two man-made caves known as Swarna Bhandar Cave. Inscriptions on the cave walls place their creation in the late 4th century BCE. The Saptaparni caves, where the traditional site of the First Buddhist Council is thought to have taken place, are located a little ways away from these ones.
Gridhakuta, also known as Vulture Hill, was once used as a gathering spot by Buddha and his disciples. Its shape resembles that of a vulture, hence the name Vulture Peak. Beautiful vistas of Rajgir and the surrounding forests can be seen from the summit’s altitude of 1,200 feet.
Veerayatan, a museum depicting the lives of all 24 tirthankaras, opened in 1982.
Things to Buy
Things to buy include Handicrafts, Metal statue, Paintings, Buddha statues.
Foods to Relish
Samosa, Parota, Kachori, Dahi Chura.