Rajgir is a place of historic importance situated in the state of Bihar. It is in the district of Nalanda. Besides being a historical location, Rajgir stands as a religious place for both Buddhism and Jainism, as this region is said to be related to both Gautama Buddha and Mahavir. Rajgir was known for its royal importance during the earlier times. So, most of the sites attracting the tourists are either religious or historical places. Visiting Rajgir and not visiting any one of them would be a great loss. Listed below are 7 such popular tourist destinations of Rajgir.
1. Ajatshatru Fort
Ajatshatru Fort was built by the Magadha King, Ajatshatru during 6th century i.e. during Gautama Buddha’s time. The fort has a stupa which is also known as the Ajatshatru stupa spreading across 6.5 sq. meters. The fort is an architectural beauty. Especially the high walls and the stone tower attracts tourists by its gigantic size. It is said that Lord Buddha resided here during its construction.
2. Vishwa Shanti Stupa
Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) is a popular Buddhist pilgrim site. It is situated on the Ratnagiri hill. It is a white beauty, showing the four phases of Buddha’s life through four golden statues of Lord Buddha. The Peace Pagoda is said to be built by a Japanese Buddhist monk, Nipponzan Myohoji in 1969. This stupa is world’s tallest Peace Pagoda and considered as the symbol of peace and harmony.
3. Bimbisara Jail
Inside the Ajatshatru Fort is the Bimbisara Jail. It is said that Ajatshatru kept his father, Bimbisara in the prison after he became king. It is situated in the southern side of Maniyar Math. It is surrounded by high walls and stone pillars. It is said that King Bimbisara decided to stay in this small room of the prison during his last days as he could see Lord Buddha, who was residing in the fort at that time going to Girdhkut Parvat for meditation. Hence, the jail provides a amazing view of the World Peace Pagoda.
4. Jain Temples
Besides being a Buddhist pilgrimage, Rajgir is also known as being a pilgrimage for Jainism. There are many Jain temples in and around Rajgir. Digambar Jain Siddha Kshetra Temples are the most prominent ones. Rajgir is surrounded by four hills and these hills have 8 temples. Besides these 8 temples, two temples are situated in the valley. Lal Mandir, one of the most popular temple is located in the Udaigiri hills. It is a magnificent structure of red and white stones.
5. Cyclopean Walls
Cyclopean walls are 40 km long walls encircling old Rajgir. It is made of raw stones and was built during the Mauryan period for marking the capital of Rajgir. Even though the wall is no more in its glorious form, yet it still attracts tourists.
6. Venu Vana
Venu Vana is the Bamboo Forest, gifted by the Magadha King Bimbisara to Lord Buddha about 2500 years ago and it is said to be one of Buddha’s favorite place during his stay there. There is a big pond in the midst of the Venu Vana. It is said that Lord Buddha used to take bath in this pond before starting his day in Rajgir. The pond escalates the beauty of the forest. The peace and serenity of the place is the main attraction for the tourists.
7. Hot Springs
Hot springs are in abundance in Rajgir. All of them are considered to be sacred places for Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Hot Springs are also known for its medicinal values. The Saptarni cave source of Hot Spring is regarded as the most sacred one. The hottest Hot Spring in Rajgir is Brahmakund with 45 degree Centigrade.
Being a sacred site for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, Rajgir is certainly a major tourist destination in India. Its links to the ancient India along with Lord Buddha and Mahavira, certainly make Rajgir a must visit location in Bihar.
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