Rajgir: Sacred land with treasures of glorious legacy of Magadha

A paradise of nature where several Indic faiths reside


February 3, 2023

/ By / New Delhi

Rajgir: Sacred land with treasures of glorious legacy of Magadha

Rajgir is a reservoir of spiritual monuments, natural springs and towering hills

Brimming with mesmerising natural beauty and historical significance, Rajgir, previously known as Rajgriha, has emerged as one of the most popular tourism destinations in Bihar. Located in the Nalanda district, Rajgir is a reservoir of religious monuments, natural springs, towering hills, and numerous appealing landscapes which can enslave the hearts of the visitors.

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Set in the hilly and densely-forested north-eastern part of Bihar, Rajgir, which translates as “the palace of the king”, traces its significance in most of the Indic religions including Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism.

“Rajgir is one of the most pious and purest pilgrimage destinations for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. But it is more than that. On the one hand, you can visit religious sites, but at the same time, you can also enjoy the serenity of nature and mountains. You can take a bath at the holy Brahma Kunda and shed your sins. You can also take a trip to numerous tourist spots such as Venu Van, Nature Safari, and Pandu Pokhar, or even sit and meditate on the hills. The number of tourists from other states, as well as from abroad, is rapidly increasing. We are also very welcoming by nature, especially during Malmas Mela and Rajgir Mahotsava, when the whole place gets crowded. You must visit us if you want to get a glimpse of the richness of our culture and diversity,” Dhananjay Singh a resident of Rajgir tells Media India Group.  

Rajgir finds its reference in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The legend says that it was the capital city of the Kingdom of Jaransadha who was considered as the arch rival of the Yadava clan and their leader Lord Krishna.

Gautam Buddha is also said to have spent many years practicing meditation and preaching to people on the Gridhkhut, which translates as ‘Hill of Vultures’.

The 24th Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is also said to have spent more than 14 years in and around Rajgir practicing and propagating the lessons of Jainism. He is also said to have attained salvation in its neighbouring town, Pawapuri, a place of great importance to Jain devotees.

Rajgir was made the capital of the historic Magadha Kingdom by King Bimbisara, who belonged to the Harnayak Dynasty. It remained the capital of the Magadha Empire until the 5th century BC, when Bimbisara’s son Ajatshatru moved the capital of his kingdom to Pataliputra (modern-day Patna).


A pleasant and welcoming weather that prevails in Rajgir attracts the tourists throughout the year. However, there two unique occasion during which one can make the trip to Rajgir more profound.

Malmaas Mela: Although the festive month is not fixed as it changes every period, it is a month-long festival organised every three years at Rajgir. The legend has it that all the entire pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses visit Rajgir during this period. Numerous religious rituals are performed. Besides the spiritual activities, a number of social and cultural activities are also organised during this period. People from across the country and other parts of the world come to witness the richness of the culture of Magadha Empire.

Rajgir Mahotsva: It is usually organised at the end of the year. National as well as international tourists visit here to witness the representation of art, culture, craft, and history of the vast heritage of Nalanda and Rajgir. Rajgir Mahotsva began in 1986 and has been held every year since.

Places to Visit

Although Rajgir has more treasures to offer to visitors than what their eyes can behold, here are a few of the most popular and unique destinations that have been attracting tourists for long.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa

One of the seven Peace Pagodas of Buddhism

Located at a height of 400m on the Griddhkuta Hills, about 5 km from the Rajgir railway station, the Vishwa Shanti Stupa is one of the seven Peace Pagodas and also one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. It was made with the help of the Japanese government in 1969 as a sign of world peace. There are four statues of Lord Buddha there, representing the pivotal events in his life: his life, birth, enlightenment, preaching, and Nirvana. Adjacent to the Shanti Stupa, there is a temple where prayers for world peace are held by the followers of Lord Buddha. Devotees from across the globe visit here.

There is a ropeway to take visitors to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. A ride on the ropeway offers breathtaking views of the town filled with greenery and nature as well as spectacular sights of the Shanti Stupa.

Brahma Kunda and Saptdhara


Hot springs of Brahma Kunda are popular with devotees

Brahma Kunda is a geothermal spring, located about 1.5 km from Rajgir railway station. Along with Saptdhara, it is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. The legend has it that 12 enlightened sages meditated for years for the well-being of mankind. Water reaches this place from 12 streams that are dedicated to the sages. While five streams are linked to the Brahma Kunda, the remaining seven are called Saptdhara.

People bathe in the hot water of Kunda and Saptdhara in the belief that it washes their sins away and to cleanse their karma.

Rajgir Zoo Safari

The safari offers unique experiences to visitors

Since it began in 2017, this unique safari has become immensely popular  among tourists, nature lovers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Spread nearly 500 acres of forests, the Rajgir Zoo Safari offers an enriching and joyful experience to its visitors.

Located amidst the mountain ranges of Vaibhigiri and Songiri and evergreen forests, it is the reservoir of a plethora of wildlife, soothing waterfalls, and diverse plants that provide a breath-taking experience to nature lovers.

The fun does not end here, as there is also a glass skywalk bridge constructed near the entrance of Zoo Safari that is completely transparent. Built at a height of about 76 meters, the bridge is extended by 40 metres and has a width of about 2 metres. At any given time, only 10-15 visitors are allowed to walk on this bridge and have an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Nevertheless, the fun extends beyond sight-seeing as there are numerous other adventure activities that can be enjoyed there, which include trekking, ziplining, flying fox, spy biking, rifle shooting, and archery.

Jarasandh Ka Akhada

The place where the epic wrestling match between King Jaransadha and Bhima is said to have taken pace

This is one of the most unique places in Rajgir, attracting a large number of tourists due to its mention in the Mahabharata. The arch rival of Lord Krishna and his clan of the Yadavas, King Jaransadha is believed to have been slain by Bhima in an epic wrestling match. The legend has it that there are the prints of Jarasandha’s knees, which were carved during the wrestling match.

Besides these there are numerous other places to visit in Rajgir which includes, Venuvana, Pandu Pokhar, Tal Katora, Surya Kunda, Swarn Bhandar, Ghoora Katora lake and Veerayatan Museum. One can also include a trip to the glorious Nalanda University, that dates back to the 5th century and was one of the most renowned universities in the world for 800 years. The Pawapuri Jalmandir, where Lord Mahavira attained salvation. Both the locations are about 15 km from Rajgir town.

How to get there

Rajgir is easily accessible by rail, road, and air. Rajgir is the closest railway station, while Bihar’s capital, Patna, is about 90 km away. Besides the Patna airport, Gaya is another airport within 100 km of Rajgir. Direct flights to Rajgir may become accessible soon as an airport is under construction in the city. In addition, bus and taxi services are also available from the major cities of Bihar to Rajgir.

Where to stay

There are several places to stay, including religious shrines, ashrams, and hotels. Hotel Siddharth, Hotel Rajgir Residency, Mahavihar International Restaurant, Hotel Nalanda Regency, and Indo Hokke Hotels are some of the popular places to find an abode during a sojourn here.



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