Tourist Places in Rajgir
Rajgir has one very special place in history; the name "Rajgir" means "The City of Kings" itself.The town is located in the district of Nalanda in Bihar, India. It was also the first capital of Magadha (now south Bihar) which was one of the strongest states in India during the rule of Mauryan Emperors and also had a part in the Mahabharata (believed to be one of the biggest battles in history), due to its king Jarasandha.
This town is popular among tourists, due to its mesmerizing natural and historical beauty and different tourist places. The place also has its part in both Buddhism and Jainism, which makes it a perfect place for the learners of both religions as Mahaveera and Buddha taught their beliefs to the people. It has a forest monastery of Buddha which makes it one of the most important Buddhist preaching locations. You can also find the 2,500-year-old cyclopean wall in the Rajgir. The city consists of natural springs, towering hills, and also amazing landscapes which can win nature lovers' hearts. For lovers of history, you can also find Nalanda University on the Vicinity of the town (currently a contemporary university).
To the people who are planning a trip to Bihar, Rajgir has everything which can make you fall in love with Bihar and its natural beauty. If you are wondering about a few main areas not to miss while visiting the Rajgir, here is the list.
1. Vishwa Shanti Stupa
Vishwa Shanti Stupa or also known as Japanese Stupa, is 8 km away from the Railway station of Rajgir. It is created on the hill of Ratnagiri (much more popular than Griddhakuta) and is one of the seven Peace Pagodas (Shanti Stupas in Hindi) and also one of the most popular tourist places in Rajgir.
Due to being situated at an altitude of 400 meters, it is also the highest pagoda in the world and is popular as the symbol of cooperation and peace. The stupa was planned by the Nipponzan Myohoji first, and in 1969, a Japanese monk Fujii Guruji created it. It is really beautiful by the look and is created with white marble and four statues of Buddha (created by pure gold showing four stages of his life, birth, enlightenment, preaching, and death). There is also a temple named "Nipponzan Myohoji" nearby the stupa.
Another interesting fact about visiting this Stupa is that you can also visit the Griddhakuta and Ashoka Stupa, which have their place in history and beauty to have a look. Also, to reach the Vishwashanti stupa, you have to take a Ropeway which can only take one person at a time and is nearly 2200 feet long. This ropeway was created by the Fujii Guruji to represent the friendship between Japan and India and is being maintained by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation. And by this ropeway, you can enjoy the beauty of the Rajgir Town full of greenery and nature but to those who don't want to go through them can use the Serpentine Staircase (which is not an easy way either)
Timing: 9 AM to 5.30 PM
2. Rajgir Glass bridge
A stunning glass bridge is increasing the beauty of Rajgir and it is a must visit place if you are in the city. It is just 10 km away from the Rajgir Railway Station and 6 Km away from the Rajgir Wildlife Safari. The main purpose behind the construction of the bridge is to give a viweing platform to the place. The Bridge is located inside the Nature Safari Park, and no one should ever miss it during the tour to Rajgir.
This beautiful glass bridge has a distinct contribution to the beauty of Bihar and has the same look as the Glass Bridge created in the Hangzhou Province in China. This glass bridge is made up of 3, 15 mm glasses which is an 85 feet long and 6 feet wide bridge and can handle nearby 40 visitors at a time with complete security, but as security is the first priority, only 15 to 20 people can visit the glass bridge at one time.This bridge is the center of attraction for all national and international tourists and a must-visit part of the Rajgir Trip.
Timing: 9 AM - 5 PM (not open on Monday)
3. Rajgir Wildlife Safari
Just 4 km Away from the Railway station, the Rajgiri Zoo Safariis one of the most beautiful places there. It is located near the Maniyar Math (a tourist place itself) in Rajgir, Bihar. Someone who loves to visit wildlife and safaris should include in the trip. Covered by the mountains of Vaibhgiri and Songiri, it is adjacent to the popular Pant Wildlife Sanctuary in the last of the Jethian Hills. It was created in the year 2017 by order of Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar and, in 2022, got permission to let nearby 1000 visitors come in daily.The Foundation of Zoo Safari wasn't easy at all. Still, with the contribution of the various departments (such as Environment, Forest, and climate change) of the Bihar state government, it was completed at the cost of 177 Crore Indian Rupees. Now it has various animals, tigers, lions, leopards, elephants, and many other animals, and is divided into five different and massive zones. There is also a butterfly park, an interpretation center, a gallery for orientation, and an amphitheater in the park. It also offers a management section for proper care at the park.
One very important factor about the park is there is no cage for any animal. They all can roam freely in the forest area in the entire park. Tourists only have permission to visit in a safe and environmentally friendly vehicle, or they can use the Enclosed Glass bus with a capacity of 22 tourists at a time.
Timing: 7 am to 4 pm and 6 am to 9 pm (on saturday)
A magic monument of history, Venuvana was created by Bimbisar, who was one of the strongest emperors of the Magadha Emperor.He built it after coming under the influence of the Lord Buddha. It consists of artificial forests and a space to meditate and get inner peace, and this is also the place where Buddha used to meditate and teach his people with the premises.
When you visit this location, you get to see beautiful groves, plants, beautiful flowers, and a big pond with a big statue in the middle, and this is why there are various hotels nearby. Also, there is a very attractive Japanese Buddha temple on the backside to represent unity and increase the beauty of the location.
So someone who is a nature lover and wants to see nature and enjoy the delightful look of the place should visit and spend time also meditating nearby it in the morning and evening under the tree shades.
Timings to visit: 6 AM to 6 PM
5. Pandu Pokhara
Another beautiful monument of history from the time of Mahabharata, Pandu Pokhara, is spread across 22 acres in the town. According to the Historical stories, King Pandu (father of Pandavas) attacked the Rajgriha (currently known as Rajgir). After winning, he created a more stable pond which was later filled up with rainwater and converted into the Pandu Pokhara. Later the area was turned into a very beautiful entertainment park to take part in various outdoor activities such as bull riding, horse riding, bungee jumping, and ziplines. Trampoline, boating, for both kids and adults. You also get a huge space to play games like cricket, volleyball, badminton and even basketball. People who love selfies and want to take pictures of these beautiful natural places can take pictures at the selfie point. People who don't prefer outdoor games also get a chance to play indoor games like table tennis, Pool Table, Air Hockey, Table Soccer, and Carro. So people who don't want to miss the sporty atmosphere should pay a visit to Pandu Pokhara sometime to play games here.
Timing: 7.35 AM to 10.50 PM
6. Ajatshatru fort
This historical tourist place is just 2 km away from the Railway Station of Rajgir, and it is situated in the Bangali Para area of Rajgir town in Bihar. And also is one of the most precious and ancient places in the entire Bihar. It was built in the 6th century when king Ajatshatru was the ruler of the Magadha (modern-day part of Bihar), and it has completed more than 2500 years.This fort is also believed to be one of the most excellent forts ever created in the country.
This beautiful fort is created in a rectangular shape with stone towers at every corner and also has a stupa popular as the Ajatshatru Stupa, which is spread in 6.5 sq meters. Unfortunately, the fort is not in any good condition anymore. It can't be recognized as the fort at the first glimpse, but still, it can attract more people and give them a feel of how well-preserved history looks. You can also click the pictures and explore history at the fort, which makes it a must-visit place for Rajgir tourists.
Timing: 8 AM - 6 PM
7. Pant Wildlife Sanctuary
Rajgir is full of nature, and this is why another beautiful wildlife sanctuary known as Pant Wildlife Sanctuary is also a tourist attraction in the town. It is inside the Nalanda Forest and nearby the heart-melting Rajgiri hills (located in the Gangetic plain) with a variety of various flowers and greenery of nature which gives you a chance to enjoy a beautiful landscape ecosystem.
It is located near the Bimbisara Jail, and you get a chance to visit five mountains which, Ratnagiri, Vaibhavgiri, Vipulgiri, Udaygiri, and Songiri, in the Pant Wildlife Sanctuary. It also gives you a chance to experience the lifestyle of the Jain and Buddha Era with a glimpse of the hammocks.Many wild animals such as Tigers, Elephants, Barking Deer, Nilgai, and Sloth bears are part of the wildlife sanctuary. You can also visit this place to enjoy hiking and other sporty activities in the beautiful surroundings of the sanctuary.
Timing: 7 AM to 4 PM
8. Saptaparni Caves
A very beautiful Saptaparni Caves, also popular as the Saptaparni Guha or the Sattapanni Guha, which means the seven leave the cave and is a place which is known as the place where Buddha used to live before he died. It is also believed to be the area where the first Buddha Council was held after his death.
It takes more than 40 minutes up the hill through the back of Lakshmi Narayan temple. This is why a person who visits Hindu and Jain temples can also visit the temple and enjoy the amazing area nearby the temple and relax in the peaceful environment of the area.
Timing: 6 AM to 4 PM
9. Bimbisara Jail
When the Ajatshatru became the emperor after his dad, he built a jail for his father and kept him there inside the Ajatshatru fort. This jail is a very important part of history as the king was imprisoned just because Ajatshatru wanted to usurp the throne, and he was also moved to the small room nearby Lord Buddha (who was living in the fort at that time) in his last days to listen to his values and see him. This jail is created with stone pillars and huge walls near the Maniyar Math. You can also admire the beauty of Indian History and see the panoramic view of the Japanese Peace Pagoda at the peak of the hill.
Timing: 6 AM to 4 PM
10. Brahma Kund (Rajgir Hot spring)
Hot springs are not easily available in the country. But only 3 km away from the Railway Station of Rajgir, there is Rajgir Hot Springs which are full of the natural Holi water in Rajgir, Bihar. This kund is located nearby Pandu Pokhara and is also known as the pilgrimage place in Rajgir with hot water. These beautiful water springs are situated at the end of Vaibhava Hills and can win your heart in seconds with their beauty.
It is considered the Holi place not only for Hindus but also for Buddhists and Jains, along with the 6 other Hot springs in Rajgir.The temperature of the Brahmakund stays near 45 degrees Celsius, and people believe that it originated from the Saptadhara ( seven streams), which flow down from the Saptaparni Caves located at the peak of the hill.
The water of this hot spring is also believed to be helpful in curing skin issues, and a beautiful staircase is also created nearby the spring to access the water. The arrangements for the bathings are also there as separate areas for both males and females are created for giving a comfortable place to both of them. The only hard factor about the place is that you need to be Hindu to enter this place. The staircase of Brahmakund leads you to Pippala Cave which is a massive stone structure known as Pippala Stone House. This Stone place is associated with Buddha and his disciples as it is believed to be one of the most visited places by Buddha for performing meditation. Also, this place is called 'Jarasandh ki Baithak', linked to King Jarasandha (from Mahabharat). And also, you can visit Lakshmi Narayan Temple, located nearby the hot spring.
Timing: 6 AM - 6 PM
11. Cyclopean wall
A huge wall in Bihar, The Cyclopean Wall, is 40 kilometers long, completely created by stone and covering the whole Rajgir. It is a beautiful and antique example of beautiful cyclopean masonry, which was spread all over the world.This wall was created by Jarasandh, who was the second ruler of the Brihadratha or Rawani dynasty, to secure the city from enemies and imposters.
This wall is more than 2500 years old and was created between 1 st to 5th century BC, which is why even after great protection from National Monuments, it is mostly deteriorating with time. An important fact about the wall is that it has a limestone border, surprisingly standing without any help from Mortar, and in 1987, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. There are also Chariot Wheel Marks which are traces of history and the tourist place itself with so much historical feel. This place is really interesting for people who love history and will enjoy this place so much.
Timing: 6 AM to 6PM
12. Veerayatan Museum
One of the best tourist places in the Rajgir is the Veerayatan Museum which was started in 1982. People also call this Museum as Kala Mandir. This Museum is devoted to Jainism and displays many handmade artifacts that illustrate the teachings and lifestyles of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras. The museum is situated in the Vaibhav Giri, which gives it a very tranquil and calm ambiance.
In the Museum, you can find more than 50 wooden and three-dimensional metal replicas of the Tirthankaras' teachings and lives on display. Acharya Shri Chandanaji created every handmade artistic representation on display here by himself. You can also go to the museum's regularly scheduled display events of Acharya Shri Ji's artwork at the museum. The exhibitions can also teach you how Jain dharma created or started living their lifestyle, importance, teachings, and following.
Timing: 9 AM to 7 PM
13. Ghora Katora Lake
In the vicinity of Rajgir, there is a beautiful lake called Ghora Katora Lake. According to legend, the Rajgir kings' horses drank water from this lake, giving the lake a horse-like shape. It is close to the World Peace Pagoda and has mountains on three sides. Since private vehicles are not permitted, you must use the conventional "tonga." The trek to this location, which is 6 km from the main road, is incredibly captivating. The name "Horse Bowl" refers to the shape of the Ghora Katora Lake, which is an off-road body of water in Rajgir. This area is well-known for being one of the cleanest tourist attractions, making it a great place for picnics at the Rajgir. Locals also believe that During the time of Mahabharata, king Jarasandha also had his horse stable at this beautiful lake. This beautiful lake has the power to steal your heart at the very first glance of it. The lake is perfect for wandering over and capturing beautiful shots because it appears peaceful. Visitors can spend quality time with their families and find some peace away from the bustle of everyday life by boating here. Winter's first few months are the best time to visit this location.
Timing: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
14. Makhdum Kund
Another example of love and unity, the Makhdum or Makhdoom Kund, is a dargah and hot spring created in honor of the Sufi saint Makhdum Shah. People from both Muslim and Hindu religions love to go to this kund because of its sacredness. The saint spent his entire 12-year residence in Rajgir's woodland and frequently went to the kund. The water in the Kund is said never to dry up.
People come here in search of the blessing of the Sufi Saint since it is also claimed that some divine forces bless the water in the pond. This well-liked tourist destination in Rajgir is particularly crowded during holidays like Eid-Ul-Fitr, Diwali, and Holi as well. The season of Winter is the ideal time to travel to Makhdum Kund since you can swim in the pond's warm water and enjoy your trip most.
Timing: 8 AM to 7 PM
15. Vulture's Peak or Griddhakuta
One more really amazing tourist place in Rajgir, Bihar is known as Vulture Peak or well known as the Griddhakuta, is a beautiful pilgrimage place of the Buddha religion.People believe it is one of those three places where Gautama Buddha stayed for several years. The Vulture Peak is located on a minor hill standing outside the Rajgir town and is known as the best sightseeing place with an altitude of 400 m. The reason behind the name "Vulture Peak" is that it has a shape that seems like Vulture, and you can also find so many views of the birds. Due to its beauty and peace, people have believed it to be Buddha's residence for years, and from the peak, you can get a view of 360 degrees of all beautiful places and nature which makes people stay for hours here.
16. Maniyar Math
The Maniyar Math, which is located near Swarna Bhandar, is nothing more than a deep well with a small Jain temple placed on top of it. This monument is located near Rajgir's Hot Water Spring. It was recognized as the Nirman Koop of Queen Chalanna and Sheel Bhadra in the history of Jains. In the time of the Buddhist period, it was also used as a Yagna site.
Maniyar Math is an absolutely incredible Gupta-period workpiece made of cylindrical bricks. This is a very well-known tourist attraction in Rajgir and was constructed in memory of Naga Salibadra, who is said to have hidden his wealth in the well. During the archaeological digs in 1861-62, many statues were discovered. There are also multiple high-plastered images of Lord Shiva and Ganesha from the Gupta empire, as well as multiple trivial structures built for religious and traditional uses.
Timing: 9 AM to 5 PM
17. Contemporary Nalanda University
Nalanda, the most popular Mahavihara of ancient times, a significant Buddhist seat of academic excellence, and a modest pilgrim center, all rolled up in a small piece of spirituality, remains an equally rewarding and fulfilling location today. It has a thriving spirituality, history, culture, architecture, and tourism. It was historically located near the city of Rajagriha (now Rajgir) and about 90 kilometers (56 mi) southeast of Pataliputra (now Patna), operating from 427 to 1197 CE, also recognized in the era of scholars as the "Golden Age of India." It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The love and significance in the history of Nalanda University are so much that the Government of India enacted an agreement in 2010 to resurrect the iconic university, and a modern institute, Nalanda University, was established in Rajgir. The Government of India has designated it as an "Institute of National Importance." and now, many scholars are learning at the university.