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Rajgir
Rajgir
(originally known as Girivraj) is a city and a notified area in Nalanda district
Nalanda district
in the Indian state of Bihar. The city of Rajgir (ancient Rājagṛha; Pali: Rājagaha was the first capital of the kingdom of 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
Jainism
and Buddhism[3] 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
Patna
via Bakhtiarpur
Bakhtiarpur
by rail and road. Bakhtiarpur
Bakhtiarpur
lies midway between Patna
Patna
and Mokameh. Road access is by NH 30A to Bakhtiarpur
Bakhtiarpur
and NH 31 towards south to reach Bihar
Bihar
Sharif. From Mokameh
Mokameh
NH 31 to Bihar
Bihar
Sharif. From there, NH 82 will leads to Rajgir. Rajgir
Rajgir
is around 100 KM from both Patna
Patna
and Mokameh. It is located in a green valley surrounded by rocky hills, Rajgir
Rajgir
hills. A daily Indian Railways
Indian Railways
train Shramjeevi Express
Shramjeevi Express
connects Rajgir
Rajgir
with the Indian capital 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[edit] 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.[4] 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.

King Bimbisara
Bimbisara
visits the Bamboo Garden (Venuvana) in Rajagriha; artwork from Sanchi

Rajgir
Rajgir
is also famous for its association with Haryanka dynasty
Haryanka dynasty
Kings Bimbisara
Bimbisara
and Ajatashatru. Ajatashatru
Ajatashatru
kept his father Bimbsara in captivity here. The sources do not agree which of the Buddha's royal contemporaries, Bimbisara
Bimbisara
and Ajatashatru, was responsible for its construction. Ajatashatru
Ajatashatru
is also credited with moving the capital to Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(modern Patna).

Buddha's cave, Griddhakuta Hill, Rajgir.

The epic Mahabharata
Mahabharata
calls it Girivraja and recount the story of its king, Jarasandha, and his battle with the Pandava
Pandava
brothers and their allies Krishna. Jarasandha
Jarasandha
who hailed from this place, had been defeated by Krishna
Krishna
17 times. The 18th time Krishna
Krishna
left the battlefield without fighting.[5] Because of this Krishna
Krishna
is also called 'ranachorh' (one who has left the battlefield).[6] Mahabharata recounts a wrestling match between Bhima
Bhima
(one of the Pandavas) and Jarasandha, the then king of Magadha. Jarasandha
Jarasandha
was invincible as his body could rejoin any dismembered limbs. According to the legend, Bhim split Jarasandha
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
Faxian
and 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
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
Bimbisara
of Magadha
Magadha
and countless others to Buddhism. On one of the hills is the Saptparni cave
Saptparni cave
where the First Buddhist Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa.

Son Bhandar Jain
Jain
cave, Rajgir

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

View of Rajgir hills
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
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 (111.2°F), minimum 20°C (68°F). Winter temperature: maximum 28°C (82.4°F), minimum 6°C (42.8°F). Rainfall: 1,860 mm (mid-June to mid-September) Dry/warm season: October to March Notable places[edit]

Pilgrimage to

Buddha's Holy Sites

The Four Main Sites

Bodh Gaya Kushinagar Lumbini Sarnath

Four Additional Sites

Rajgir Sankassa Shravasti Vaishali

Other Sites

Amaravathi Chandavaram Devadaha

Gaya Kapilavastu Kesaria

Kosambi Nalanda Pataliputra

Pava Varanasi

Later Sites

Ajanta Caves Barabar Caves Bharhut

Ellora Caves Lalitgiri Mathura

Pandavleni Caves Piprahwa Ratnagiri

Sanchi Udayagiri Vikramashila

v t e

Son Bhandar cave with 3-4 century AD Jain
Jain
images and inscriptions[7]

The renowned Son Bhandar Caves is situated at Rajgir, Nalanda
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
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
Digambar
sect of Jainism
Jainism
as Xuanzang wrote in his book about Vaibhar Hill of Rajgir
Rajgir
that the place was occupied by Digambar
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.[8] 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[9] and the Jain
Jain
temples on the five peaks.[8] Rajgir
Rajgir
is famous for its hot water springs, locally known as Brahmakund, a sacred place for 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.[10] Demographics[edit] As of the 2011 India
India
census,[11] 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[edit] Bihar
Bihar
State Tourism Development Corporation provides travel facility from state capital Patna
Patna
to visit Bodh circuit (Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali, Kesaria, Lumbini, Kushinagar, Sarnath), Jain Circuit (Rajgir, 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, Columbo, etc. Another airport is at Patna
Patna
101 km. Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways and Go Air connect Patna
Patna
to Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi
Ranchi
and Lucknow. Rail: Rajgir railway station
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
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[edit] 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
Nitish Kumar
that an international cricket stadium will be constructed at Rajgir
Rajgir
in Bihar's Nalanda
Nalanda
district.[12][13] After completion the stadium will home of Bihar
Bihar
cricket team.[14][15][16] Picture gallery[edit]

Buddhist
Buddhist
monks meditating on Vulture's Peak

Boar's Cave, Rajgir.

Pipphali Cave

Jain
Jain
Temple

Shri Mahavir Swami Shwetamber Temple

Shri Digambar
Digambar
Jain
Jain
Mandir

Venuvana Monastery

Rope way, Rajgir
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

Serpent Hood from Rajgir
Rajgir
(Chunar Sandstone, circa 3rd century BCE)

See also[edit]

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

References[edit]

^ "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 ^ [1] ^ 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's India, Shravasti
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
Ranchi
model ^ Bihar
Bihar
to construct world class cricket stadium ^ Bihar
Bihar
government plans world-class stadium ^ Bihar
Bihar
to construct world class cricket stadium ^ This time, NDA plans big fight in Bihar's 'Rae Bareli'

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