Sightseeing of Rajgir
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.
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.
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.
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.
Besides being a Buddhist pilgrimage, Rajgir is also known as being a pilgri mage 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.
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.
Venu Vana Kalandakanivapa
The Venu Vana Kalandakanivapa used to be the green house of King Bimbisara. The name of this park suggests a bamboo park. The specialty of this park is that it comprises a Buddhist Monastery, which Bimbisara built here in honour of Lord Buddha. The place also comprises a pond called Kalandakanivapa, which means feeding ground of squirrels or jays.
Maniyar Math (Religious Place)
The Maniyar Math is situated in the middle of the valley of Rajgir, near the main road. This structure has been created in the shape of a stupa and has been provided shelter through a conical corrugated iron shade. It has been named after a small shrine that was discovered here in an excavation held at the site. The structure is a hollow stupa having stucco Buddha photos on its outer walls.
The place is also considered to have remained a Hindu temple dedicated to snakes, as several statues of snake goddess are also seen here. Rajgir has also been referred to as the abode of Mani Naga, in the epic of Mahabharata.
Rajgir Hotspring (Saptdhara Kund)
Way back in 1994, when I was a kid we visited the holy city of Rajgir along with my parents and few other relatives. Rajgir, popularly known as Rājagṛha is notable for Buddhism - the abode for Gautama Buddha.
Though primarily a Buddhist pilgrimage, Rajgir is also famous for its hot water springs. It has developed as a health and winter resort due to its warm water ponds. The Saptparni cave is the source of the Rajgir Hot Water Springs that have curative properties (likely due to the sulfur) and are sacred to the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Here, hot water from seven different springs (together called Saptarshi, or seven sages) merge.
Pant Wildlife Sanctuary
Rajgir wildlife Sanctuary is situated at Rajbir, around 102kms from the capital city of Patna in Bihar. The sanctuary covers an area of around 36sq.kms and is surrounded by various hills. These hills are related to Buddhist & Jain religion and have a very rich historical past. The place has a very beautiful classical monsoon climate.
The place abounds in natural vegetation cover and mainly comprises of tropical deciduous forests. There are various rare species of plants & trees that are hard to find somewhere else. The sanctuary shelters various species of animals like hyenas, leopards, nilgai, barkind deer etc. The time period between the months of October-June is the ideal period for visiting the sanctuary.
Chariot Wheel Marks
Chariot Route Marks are also known as Chariot wheel marks as it is believed to be made by the chariot’s wheels of Lord Krishna during Mahabharata times. According to the legend, when he arrived in rajgir, these 30 feet long deep marks were formed over rocks on his way due to the high speed and power of the Chariot.
Adding to the mystery, an engraved and still to be decrypted script around the Chariot route marks make this spot in rajgir a must visit for tourists. This engraved script is estimated to be written between 1AD and 5AD. This make this place one of the mysterious places in india and important tourist attraction in bihar.
Veerayatan Jain Museum
Veerayatan Museum is a fascinating Jain museum showcasing history of each of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras. It features ornate dollhouse like 3-D panel depictions made from wood and metal.
One will also see a lot of amazing arts on display here by an artist Arharya Shri who resides here and are a must watch.