Places to visit at Rajgir

Rajgir is the most vivid Tourist Destination in Bihar. Here one can find numerous forts, palaces, temples, stupas, Ropeways, Waterfalls, Hills, Forests, Gardens and much more. One needs at least 3-4 days to explore Rajgir fully.

Ajatshatru Fort

Built by Ajatshatru (6th century B.C.), the king of Magadha during the Buddha’s time. The 6.5 sq.meter Ajatshatru’s Stupa is also believed to have been built by him.

Chariot Route Marks

The Chariot Route and hell inscriptions are worth a visit for the strangeness of the phenomenon, two parallel furrows cut deep into rock for about thirty feet giving credence to the local belief that they were “burnt” into the rock by the speed and power of Lord Krishna’s chariot when he entered the city of Rajgir during the epic Mahabharata times. Several shell inscriptions, the undeciphered characters current in central and eastern India from the 1st to 5th centuries AD, and engraved in the rock around the chariot marks.

Gridhkoota (Vulture’s Peak)

The place is atop a small hill (400m high) and believed to be a meeting place of Lord Buddha. This was the place where the lord Buddha set in a motion his second wheel of law for three months even during the rainy season, preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples.. On the top of the hill, there is a Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) build by the  Buddha Sangha of Japan. The stupa is built in marble and on the four corners of the stupa are four glimmering statues of Buddha.

One can reach the monument by using the ropeway or  600+ stone steps leading to the top of the hill. One way ride takes 7.5 minutes and the view is splendid over the hills of Rajgir.

Venuvana (Bamboo grove)

It is said to be a bamboo grove gifted to Lord Buddha to reside 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.

Jain Temples

On hill crests around Rajgir, far in the distances one can see about 26 Jain Temples. They are difficult to approach for the untrained, but make exciting trekking for those in form.

Cyclopean Wall

Once 40 Km long, it encircled ancient Rajgir. Built of massive undressed stone carefully fitted together, the wall is one of the few important Pre-Mauryan stone structures ever to have been found. Traces of wall still subsist, particularly at the exit of Rajgir to Gaya.

Saptaparni Caves

These caves are also  known as King 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.

Sonbhandar Caves

Also known as Swarna Bhandar Caves (Caves of Gold), two rather strange cave chambers are hollowed out of a single massive rock and  is supposed to lead to king Bimbisara  Gold Treasury. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi or shell script, etched into wall and so far undeciphered, are believed to give the clue to open the doorway. A unread story about the cave is that there is a lot of gold in this cave and a script is written on a stone is the code to unlock the door of this Swarn Bhandar.

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 mating 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 monastery of a cult which worshipped snakes. Several snake and cobra figurines have been found in the vicinity in excavations.

Pippala cave

Above the hot springs on the Vaibhava Hill, is a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used as a watch tower. Since it later became the resort of pious hermits, it is also called Pippala Cave and popularly known as “Jarasandh ki Baithak” after the name of the King Jarasandh, a contemporary of Lord Krishna described in the epic Mahabharata.

Hot Springs

At the foot of Vaibhava Hill, a staircase leads up to the various temples. Separate bathing places have been organized for men and women and the water comes through spouts from Saptdhara, the seven streams, believed to find their source behind the “Saptarni Caves”, up in the hills. The hottest of the springs is the Brahmakund with a temperature of 45 degree Centigrade.

Jarashandh ka Akhara

This is the battle place where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the Mahabharat battles.

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 meters wide fortification running around the city.

Karanda Tank: It is the tank in which Buddha used to bathe.

Jivakameavan Gardens: Seat of the Royal Physician’s dispensary where Lord Buddha was once brought to have wound dressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara.

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