Now a small town, Rajgir was once the capital of the kingdom of the mighty Magadh empire and was known by various names such as Vasumati, Barhdrathpura, Girivraja, Kusagrapura, and Rajgriha. The great Hindu epic Ramayana says that the mythical king Vasu, a son of Lord Brahma, founded this town and named it Vasumati.
Rajgir, though small area wise, is an important pilgrimage center for three of the great religions of India, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. There are pilgrimage sites of each of these religions in the town.
On the Vaibhava hill are the Saptkarni caves where the first Buddhist Council was held. The Saptkarni cave is also the source of the Rajgir hot Sulphur springs that have curative properties and are scared to the Hindu's.
From the foot of the Vaibhava Hill, a staircase leads up to the various temples. Separate bathing places have been organized for men and women and the water comes out from spouts through the Saptadhara or seven streams believed to find their source behind the Saptkarni Caves up in the hills.
On the Griddhakuta or Vultures Peak, the Buddha set in motion his second Wheel of Law and for three months every year during the rainy season preached his disciples about it. The Buddha Sangh of Japan has constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti (peace) stupa at the top of the hill.
Ajatshatru's Fort, built in sixth century BC, is situated around six km from the Rajgir railway station. The fort was. Bimbisara's jail is also situated here where, according to the legends, he was imprisoned by Ajatshatru.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...