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RAJGIR (originally known as GIRIVRAJ) is a city and a notified area in Nalanda district in the Indian state of Bihar
Bihar
. The city of Rajgir (ancient Rājagṛha; Pali
Pali
: Rājagaha; Hindi : राजगृह) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha
Magadha
, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city. This area is also notable in Jainism and Buddhism
Buddhism
as one of the favorite places for Lord Mahavira
Mahavira
and Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
and the well known "Atanatiya" conference was held at Vulture\'s Peak mountain.

Rajgir
Rajgir
is connected to Patna via Bakhtiarpur by rail and road. Bakhtiarpur lies midway between Patna and Mokameh . Road access is by NH 30A to Bakhtiarpur and NH 31 towards south to reach Bihar
Bihar
Sharif . From Mokameh NH 31 to Bihar
Bihar
Sharif. From there, NH 82 will leads to Rajgir. Rajgir
Rajgir
is around 100 KM from both Patna and Mokameh. It is located in a green valley surrounded by rocky hills, Rajgir hills . A daily Indian Railways
Indian Railways
train Shramjeevi Express connects Rajgir
Rajgir
with the Indian capital New Delhi
New Delhi
.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Geography and climate * 3 Notable places * 4 Demographics * 5 Transportation * 6 Sports * 7 Picture gallery * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

HISTORY

The name Rajgir
Rajgir
came from Rājagṛiha 'house of the king' or "royal house", or the word rajgir might have its origin in its plain literal meaning, "royal mountain". It was the ancient capital city of the Magadha
Magadha
kings until the 5th century BC when Udayin (460-440 BC), son of Ajatshatru, moved the capital to Pataliputra
Pataliputra
. In those days, it was called Rajgrih, which translates as 'the home of Royalty'. Shishunaga founded Shishunaga dynasty in 413 BCE with Rajgir
Rajgir
as its initial capital before it was moved to Pataliputra.

Rajgir
Rajgir
is also famous for its association with Mauryan
Mauryan
dynasty Kings Bimbisara and Ajatashatru . Ajatashatru kept his father Bimbsara in captivity here. The sources do not agree which of the Buddha
Buddha
's royal contemporaries, Bimbisara and Ajatashatru , was responsible for its construction. Ajatashatru is also credited with moving the capital to Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(modern Patna ). Buddha's cave, Griddhakuta Hill, Rajgir. Bimbisara with his royal cortege issuing from the city of Rajagriha to visit the empty throne of the Buddha
Buddha
(top left). Sanchi .

The epic Mahabharata
Mahabharata
calls it Girivraja and recount the story of its king, Jarasandha, and his battle with the Pandava brothers and their allies Krishna
Krishna
. Jarasandha who hailed from this place, had been defeated by Krishna
Krishna
17 times. The 18th time Krishna
Krishna
left the battlefield without fighting. Because of this Krishna
Krishna
is also called 'ranachorh' (one who has left the battlefield). Mahabharata
Mahabharata
recounts a wrestling match between Bhima (one of the Pandavas) and Jarasandha, the then king of Magadha. Jarasandha was invincible as his body could rejoin any dismembered limbs. According to the legend, Bhim split Jarasandha into two and threw the two halves facing opposite to each other so that they could not join. There is a famous Jarasandha's Akhara (place where martial arts are practiced). It is also mentioned in Jain
Jain
and Buddhist
Buddhist
scriptures, which give a series of place-names, but without geographical context. The attempt to locate these places is based largely on reference to them and to other locations in the works of Chinese Buddhist
Buddhist
pilgrims, particularly Faxian and Xuanzang
Xuanzang
. It is on the basis of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
in particular that the site is divided into Old and New Rajgir. The former lies within a valley and is surrounded by low-lying hills, Rajgir hills . It is defined by an earthen embankment (the Inner Fortification), with which is associated the Outer Fortification, a complex of cyclopean walls that runs (with large breaks) along the crest of the hills. New Rajgir
Rajgir
is defined by another, larger, embankment outside the northern entrance of the valley and next to the modern town. It was here that Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhra-kuta, (\'Hill of the Vultures\') . He also delivered some of his famous sermons and initiated king Bimbisara of Magadha
Magadha
and countless others to Buddhism. On one of the hills is the Saptparni cave where the First Buddhist
Buddhist
Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa . Son Bhandar Jain
Jain
cave, Rajgir
Rajgir

It is sacred to the memory of the founders of both the religions: Jainism and Buddhism
Buddhism
and associated with both the historical Mahavira and Buddha
Buddha
.

Lord Mahavira
Mahavira
, 24th Tirthankara
Tirthankara
spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir
Rajgir
and Nalanda, spending Chaturmas (i.e. 4 months of the rainy season) at a single place in Rajgir
Rajgir
(Rajgruhi) and the rest in the places in the vicinity. It was the capital of one of his Shravaks(follower) King Shrenik. Thus Rajgir
Rajgir
is a very important religious place for Jains .The twentieth Jain
Jain
tirthankara, Munisuvrata is supposed to have been born here.An ancient temple(about 1200 years old) dedicated to Munisuvrat bhagwan is also present here along with many other jain temples.This temple is also a place for four Kalyanakas of Bhagwan Munisuvratnath.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

View of Rajgir hills from Jarasandha 's Akhara

The city was in a valley surrounded by seven hills: Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula.

Rajgir
Rajgir
has also developed as a health and winter resort due to its warm water ponds. These baths are said to contain some medicinal properties that help in the cure of many skin diseases. .Another attraction of the region is the ropeway that leads uphill to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), Makhdoom Kund and monasteries built by Japanese devotees of the Buddha
Buddha
on top of the Ratnagiri Hills.

Temperature: maximum 44 °C, minimum 20 °C. Winter: maximum 28 °C, minimum 6 °C Rainfall: 1,860 mm (mid-June to mid-September) Dry/warm season: October to March

NOTABLE PLACES

Pilgrimage to

Buddha's Holy Sites

THE FOUR MAIN SITES

* Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya
* Kushinagar
Kushinagar
* Lumbini
Lumbini
* Sarnath
Sarnath

FOUR ADDITIONAL SITES

* Rajgir * Sankassa * Shravasti * Vaishali

OTHER SITES

* Amaravathi * Chandavaram * Devadaha

* Gaya * Kapilavastu * Kesaria

* Kosambi * Nalanda
Nalanda
* Pataliputra
Pataliputra

* Pava * Varanasi
Varanasi

LATER SITES

* Ajanta Caves * Barabar Caves
Barabar Caves
* Bharhut
Bharhut

* Ellora Caves * Lalitgiri * Mathura
Mathura

* Pandavleni Caves * Piprahwa * Ratnagiri

* Sanchi * Udayagiri * Vikramashila

* v * t * e

Son Bhandar cave with 3-4 century AD Jain
Jain
images and inscriptions

The renowned Son Bhandar Caves is situated at Rajgir, Nalanda district in Bihar
Bihar
state. Son Bhandar group of caves has two caves known as eastern and western cave. Son bhandar caves are concerned with Jainism and considered to belong to 3-4 century AD.

These caves were first inspected by Cunninghum and he concluded to have analogy with Saptaparni Cave of Buddhism
Buddhism
creed. After Cunninghum several scholars visited this place and some had opinion to concern with Buddhism. After some time all Buddhism
Buddhism
connections were refused because of an inscription found on the southern wall of a cave.

According to this inscription these caves were built by inspiration of a Jain
Jain
Muni Vair for Jain
Jain
ascetics. Sculptures of Teerthankaras were also carved in these caves. From architectural aspect; these caves are analogous to Nagarjuni cave and Barabar Caves
Barabar Caves
caves of Mauryan
Mauryan
era. Therefore, it can be concluded that construction time should not be much differ from above mentioned caves.

These caves should be related to Digambar sect of Jainism as Xuanzang wrote in his book about Vaibhar Hill of Rajgir
Rajgir
that the place was occupied by Digambar Jain
Jain
monks for meditation purpose. After some centuries these caves were converted by Hindus
Hindus
as Lord Vishnu sculpture was also found from mound of a cave.

Historically, Rajgir
Rajgir
has been a very important place in Jainism , as capital to many empires. The main tourist attractions include the ancient city walls from Ajatshatru 's period, the Bimbisar 's Jail, Jarasandh 's Akhara, Gridhra-kuta, (\'Hill of the Vultures\') , Sonabhandara cave and the Jain
Jain
temples on the five peaks.

Rajgir
Rajgir
is famous for its hot water springs, locally known as Brahmakund, a sacred place for Hindus
Hindus
. Another major attraction is the peace pagoda , Vishwa Shanti Stupa , built in 1969, one of the 80 peace pagodas in the world, to spread the message of peace and non-violence. The rope-way that leads to it is another attraction.

The Japanese temple is beside the Venu Vana . Venu Vana is an artificial forest, where one can enjoy Eternal peace, and meditate.And famous Makhdoom Kund . Sri Ramakrishna Math is a non-political spiritual organization which have been engaged in various forms of humanitarians, social service activities. Bamboo Grove in Venu Vana.

Rajgir
Rajgir
Heritage Museum is another place of Interest, recently inaugurated by CM Nitish Kumar .

DEMOGRAPHICS

As of the 2011 India
India
census , Rajgir
Rajgir
had a population of 41,587 . Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Rajgir
Rajgir
has an average literacy rate of 52%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 61%, and female literacy is 41%. In Rajgir, 19% of the population is under 6 years of age.But now the literacy average of Rajgir
Rajgir
is (increasing from 2007) about 70%.

TRANSPORTATION

Bihar
Bihar
State Tourism Development Corporation provides travel facility from state capital Patna to visit Bodh circuit ( Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya
, Rajgir, Nalanda
Nalanda
, Vaishali , Kesaria , Lumbini
Lumbini
, Kushinagar
Kushinagar
, Sarnath
Sarnath
), Jain Circuit (Rajgir, Pawapuri
Pawapuri
) and Sikh Circuit in Bihar.

* AIR: The nearest is Gaya International Airport , Gaya which is 78 km which is connected to International Destinations like Bangkok
Bangkok
, Columbo , etc. Another airport is at Patna 101 km. Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways and Go Air connect Patna to Kolkata
Kolkata
, Bengaluru , Mumbai
Mumbai
, Delhi
Delhi
, Ranchi and Lucknow
Lucknow
. * RAIL: Rajgir railway station connects the city to other parts of country yet the nearest convenient railhead is at Gaya Junction railway station 78 km. The Bakhtiyarpur-Gaya line provides improved rail connectivity to many places. * ROAD: Rajgir
Rajgir
is connected by road to Patna - 110 km, Nalanda
Nalanda
- 12 km, Gaya - 78 km, Pawapuri
Pawapuri
- 38 km, Bihar
Bihar
Sharif - 25 km, etc. * BUS: Regular buses are available from all the above said points to Rajgir. * LOCAL TRANSPORT: Taxis and Buses and Tongas are available.

SPORTS

Nalanda
Nalanda
International Cricket Stadium is a proposed cricket stadium in the city. In 2013, it was announced by the Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar that an international cricket stadium will be constructed at Rajgir
Rajgir
in Bihar
Bihar
's Nalanda district . After completion the stadium will home of Bihar
Bihar
cricket team .

PICTURE GALLERY

*

Buddhist
Buddhist
monks meditating on Vulture's Peak *

Boar's Cave, Rajgir. *

Pipphali Cave *

Jain
Jain
Temple *

Shri Mahavir Swami Shwetamber Temple *

Shri Digambar Jain
Jain
Mandir *

Venuvana Monastery *

Rope way, Rajgir hills *

Vulture's Peak, view from a nearby hill. The place where was the "Atanatiya" conference held. *

Remains of the monastery called Jivakambavana *

Bimbisara's jail *

Jarasandha's Akhara *

Jarasandha's Akhara *

Rajgir
Rajgir
Vishwa Shanti Stupa

SEE ALSO

* Nalanda
Nalanda
University at Rajgir * Rajgir hills * Atanatiya Sutta * Rajgir Mahotsav * Legendary kings of Magadha
Magadha
* Bhadda Kundalakesa * Nalanda
Nalanda

REFERENCES

* ^ "पत्रांक-213 : राजगीर क्षेत्रीय आयोजना क्षेत्र एवं बोधगया आयोजना क्षेत्र के सीमांकन एवं घोषणा" (PDF). Urban Development Housing Dept., Government of Bihar, Patna. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015. * ^ " Census
Census
of India
India
Search details". censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 10 May 2015. * ^ Jain
Jain
Dharma
Dharma
ka Maulik Itihas Part-1, Ed. Acharyashri Hastimalji Maharaj, 1971 p. 739-742 * ^ W. Vivian De Thabrew (2013). Monuments and Temples of Orthodox Buddhism
Buddhism
in India
India
and Sri Lanka. AuthorHouse. p. 35. Retrieved 29 November 2016. * ^ See Bhagavata Purana, 10.70.30 * ^ * ^ Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-violence, Kurt Titze, Klaus Bruhn, Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 1998, p. 203 * ^ A B History behind Son Bhandar cave of Rajgir. – JainGlory.com * ^ Middle Land, Middle Way: A Pilgrim's Guide to the Buddha
Buddha
's India
India
, Shravasti Dhammika , Buddhist
Buddhist
Publication Society, 1992 p. 98 * ^ " Rajgir
Rajgir
Heritage Museum inaugurated by CM Nitish Kumar". Retrieved 8 September 2013. * ^ " Census
Census
of India
India
2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census
Census
Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. * ^ Land in Rajgir
Rajgir
for cricket stadium on Ranchi model * ^ Bihar