Visit Rajgir, Bihar: Top 10 Sight Seeing Places in Rajgir for a Great Vacation (2021)
Among all the tourist places in Bihar, Rajgir is undoubtedly one of the most popular ones. As the site is quite close to Nalanda, many people make Rajgir the center of their vacation trip. The town of Rajgir also known as Rajagriha is popular among tourists from all over India because it is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is religiously significant as well.
Throughout Rajgir, you will see many caves and sites that are quite important to the Buddhist and Jain religion. The town got famous when it was first published in different travelogues by Fa Hien and Huen Tsang. Both of them visited the city during the Gupta’s and the Maurya’s reign, respectively. Moreover, the name Rajgir came up in the different scriptures belonging to the Jain and Buddhist religion. Apart from the said religions, Rajgir is quite intriguing to the Hindu community as well. Especially the local people of Rajgir are the utmost devotees of Lord Shiva.
Apart from the spiritual and religious aspects, Rajgir has a prominent presence in India’s history as well. King Jarasandha of the Magadhan empire once ruled the town. Even though this fact has no scientific evidence, local people believe it. If you have ever read the epic Mahabharata, you must have seen the name “Rajgir” and its connection to King Jarasandha. The entire Rajgir town is so ancient that there is no proof on its inception. Archaeologists and historians believe the city must have existed before 3000 years. We have mentioned earlier that Rajgir is surrounded by hill but did you know it is covered by seven different ranges? That is why the scenic view of the Rajgir city in Bihar is so breathtakingly beautiful. Most people prefer to spend their vacation here as it offers them a package of everything.
Reaching Rajgir is easy. As it has a railway station, you can go there directly from Bihar and India’s significant towns. Or else, the nearest airport is Gaya or Patna. If you are thinking about visiting Rajgir, then this blog will come in handy for you. Here, you will get the complete list of the top places located over there in great detail.
Visit Rajgir, Bihar: Top 10 Sight Seeing Places in Rajgir for a Great Vacation
The sites mentioned in the following list of this blog are quite popular. While exploring Rajgir, try not to skip any of them.
1. Japanese Stupa
Commonly known as Vishwa Shanti Stupa, the Japanese Stupa in Rajgir is located on top of the Gridhakuta hills. As the altitude of the Stupa is around 400 m, you will be able to see it from a long distance. A Japanese Buddhist Monk built the Pagoda in 1969. His name was Nipponzan Myohoji. You will be surprised to know that this Stupa is the tallest Peace Pagoda in the world.
Throughout the Stupa, you will get to see the different phases of Lord Buddha’s life. It was constructed to promote harmony and peace between Japan and India. Inside the Pagoda, you will notice four various statues of Lord Buddha. These statues are pretty unique as they depict the passage of his life. The different idols are placed to showcase his birth, enlightenment, teaching, and preaching, and finally, his death.
Usually, tourists have to take a ropeway ride to reach the Stupa.
Location: Shanti Stupa Road, Rajgir, Bihar 803121.
Timings: 9 am to 7.15 pm.
The distance between Vishwa Shanti Stupa and Rajgir: 5 km.
2. Venu Vana
Venu Vana is one of the best places to visit in Rajgir, as it is outstanding and historically significant. You will be surprised to know that Venu Vana is over 2500 years old. This location is basically an artificial garden that is built around a bamboo forest. The then King of Magadh, Bimbisara, donated the bamboo forest to Lord Buddha as he used to enjoy his stay over there. Later the entire area was decorated to promote it as a booming tourist spot.
One of the most exciting things about the Venu Vana garden is the pond located at the heart of it. You will be fascinated to know that Lord Buddha used to bathe in the pond during his stay in the forest. When you explore Venu Vana in Rajgir, your mind will genuinely become calm as it is relatively peaceful. This site is both visually and historically quite appealing to every category of tourists.
Location: Nimal, Rajgir, Bihar 803121.
The distance between Venuvan and Rajgir: 500 m.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm.
3. Ropeway of Rajgir
It is believed that Rajgir has the oldest ropeways in India. Whether it is true or not, but Rajgir ropeways are an integral part of the tourism over there. As the ropeways are designed so that only one person can sit in a seat, you will not only get to view the gorgeous surroundings but also you will get a great sense of adventure. Some might argue that these ropeways are dangerous, but if you are an adventure junkie, you will find this single rope line ropeway seats quite fun.
The ropeway will take you directly to the peak of the breathtakingly beautiful Ratnagiri Hill, and there you will get to see the Japanese Peace Pagoda. As the seats will take you 1000 feet above ground level, you will get an instant adrenaline rush while enjoying the ride. Throughout the journey, you will get to see the lush greenery of think forests. These forests are under the Plant wildlife sanctuary of Bihar. When you take part in the trip, you will understand how beautiful the entire panoramic view is. It is one of the foremost things which you should participate in after entering Rajgir.
Location: Bihar Sharif – Rajgir Road, Dhanawa, Nalanda, Bihar 803111.
The distance between Rajgir and the ropeways: 5 km.
Timings: 6 am to 5 pm.
4. Vulture’s Peak
Locally known as Gridhakuta, Vulture’s Peak is one of the most visited places in Rajgir. As the height of this peak is around 400 m, you will see the panoramic view of the entire town from there. While the whole site is mesmerizingly beautiful, but it has substantial historical importance as well. The Vulture’s Peak is quite sacred to the Buddhist people because it is the spot where Lord Buddha preached for several years. In fact, it is among the top three sites where he did most of his preaching.
Some even believe that in the Gridhakuta peak, Lord Buddha resided for many years. That is why tourists flock this site throughout the year. If you are visiting there with your family, you can spend the entire day over there by packing some lunch and having a nice picnic on the hilltop.
Location: Rajgir Hills, Bihar 803116.
5. Ajatshatru Fort
When you visit Ajatshatru Fort, you might find it underwhelming as it is mostly in ruins, but it is one of the world’s oldest forts. This fort was constructed by King Ajashatru, who was one of the most famous rulers of the Magadha empire. As the fort was built in the 6th century BC, it has been mostly destroyed now, but you can still see its vastness. The Stupa of the fort is spread across an area of around 6.5 square meters.
While exploring the fort’s inner part, you will see spectacular carvings of different incidents quite vividly. More importantly, it is believed that Lord Buddha resided inside the fort during its construction. If you are a lover of history and archaeology, you will find this location worth your time.
Location: NH 82, Rajgir, Bihar 803116.
The distance between Ajatshatru Fort and Rajgir: 2.5 km.
6. Bimbisar Jail
While exploring Ajatshatru fort, you should also visit Bimbisar jail, which is located inside the fort. There is a harrowing tale behind this jail. It is believed that King Ajatshatru imprisoned his father inside this jail. He did this right after becoming the King of the Magadha empire. You will see that the prison is located near Maniyar Math. As the entire area is surrounded by stone pillars and walls, the condition of King Bimbisar’s life can be well understood.
The saddest part about the said incident is that King Bimbisar spend the last few days of his life in a tiny room of the prison. He shifted to the room because he wanted to see Lord Buddha, who, at that time, used to reside in the Gridhakuta hills. When you visit the jail, you will get to see the 360-degree view of the mountains and the Peace Pagoda.
Location: NH 82, Rajgir, Bihar 803116.
The distance between Bimbisar Jail and Rajgir: 2.5 km.
7. Cyclopean Walls
Cyclopean walls or Cyclopean Masonry is one of the unique parts of Rajgir. The wall was constructed to fortify the city from outside attack. Right now, you will see that most of the wall is in a ruinous state, but the features which are still intact are quite magnificent. The walls were created by using boulders made of limestones. If you notice closely, the architecture of the wall is quite similar to that of Mycenaeans.
As the structure was built during the period, even before the Maurya’s, most of it has been destroyed. According to archaeologists, the Cyclopean walls were created more than 2500 years ago. The walls were 40 km long and over 4 meters tall. If you visit Rajgir, do not forget to visit this location as it is one of the old pieces of evidence of the city’s existence.
Location: NH 82, Rajgir, Bihar 803116.
8. Sonbhandar Caves
Sonbhandar Cave is one of the best places to see in Rajgir because it has an integral part of India’s ancient history. These caves are located in the southern part of the Vaibhava hills, and they witnessed a lot of different historical events in the past. As there is two domiciliation of the cave, you will notice that one of them served as the guard room, whereas the other as the treasure room.
According to folklore, there is a secret passageway inside the caves, which will lead you to the hidden treasures of King Bimbisar. There are many inscriptions carved throughout the walls of the caves, which still have not been deciphered. Many people believe that cracking the descriptions and finding the key to the treasure room of the cave. Sonbhandar Caves will be one of the most exciting places you have ever seen. Many historians are still working hard to decipher the said motifs.
Location: Rajgir, Bihar 803116.
The distance between Swarn Bhandar and Rajgir: 2.5 km.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm.
9. Lakshmi Narayan Mandir
The Lakshmi Narayan Mandir is one of the most beautiful temples located in Rajgir. This temple is so unique that earlier, a Buddhist monastery used to lie on the grounds of the temple. Later the temple was built. The area is locally known as Tapodharma and is mostly known for the presence of Brahmakund.
The temple is more famous for the said Kund as it is the hottest hot springs in the entire area. You will be surprised to know that people bathe in the water to seek blessings. The temperature of the water will shock you. At 45-degree Celsius, people quite quickly pour the scalding hot water on their heads.
Location: National Highway 82, Nimal, Rajgir, Bihar 803116.
Timings: 3.30 am to 11 pm.
11. Ghora Katora Lake
Ghora Katora Lake is one of Rajgir’s best places to have a nice picnic with your friends and family. As the lake is located a bit far from Rajgir’s hustle and bustle, you will be able to enjoy the serene ambiance of the surrounding area more easily. The name of the lake roughly translates to the “Horse Bowl.” The lake is named Ghora Katora due to the shape of the lake, which looks a lot like a horse bowl.
The entire area surrounding the lake is exceptionally clean and surrounded by the beautiful Rajgir hills. You will have a great time spending some fun times with your close ones by the lake.
Location: Ghora Katora, Bihar 803121.
The distance between Ghora Katora Lake and Rajgir: 12 km.
Rajgir in Bihar is a beautiful place to spend a great vacation. By reading this blog, you can understand that Rajgir has a wide variety of things to offer. From natural beauty to historical monuments, from sacred temples to serene monasteries, the city has almost everything. Even though we have tried to include the most popular tourist spots in Rajgir, there are still some places located over there that are equally significant. Before planning your trip to Rajgir, do not forget to do thorough research on the internet.