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Rajgir North India

Buddhist pilgrimage center

The name 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 kings until the 5th century BC when Udayin(460-440 BC),son of Ajatshatru,moved the capital to Pataliputra. In those days, it was called Rajgrih, which translates as 'the home of Royalty'. Shishunaga founded Shishunaga dynasty in 413 BCE with Rajgir as its initial capital before it was moved to Patliputra.

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

Visiting Place

The renowned Son Bhandar Caves is situated at Rajgir, Nalanda in 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 Saptparni caves of Buddhism creed. After Cunninghum several scholars visited this place and some had opinion to concern with Buddhism. After some time all 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 Muni Vair for Jain ascetics. Sculptures of Teerthankaras were also carved in these caves. From architectural aspect; these caves are analogous to Nagarjuni cave and Barbar caves of 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 that the place was occupied by Digambar Jaina monks for meditation purpose. After some centuries these caves were converted by Hindus as Lord Vishnu sculpture was also found from mound of a cave. Historically, Rajgir has been a very important place in Jainism, as capital to many empires. Main tourist attractions include the ancient city walls from Ajatshatru's period, the Bimbisar's Jail, Jarasandh's Akhara, Gridakuta hill, Sonabhandara cave[6] and the Jain temples on the five peaks. 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. Son Bhandar cave with 4-5th century Jain images and inscriptions Rajgir Heritage Museum is another place of Interest, recently inaugurated by CM Nitish Kumar.

Rajgir

Boar's Cave, Rajgir.
Shwetamber Temple
Venuvana Monastery

Other Treasures of 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.

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