Rajgir, a quaint city in the Nalanda region of the Indian state of Bihar, has a history that goes back by thousands of years. It has served as a prominent landmark in the Indian history as the capital of the great Mauryan Empire and is of prime importance in both Buddhism and Jainism.
It may not be a leading tourist destination but Rajgir has some historic locations that give off a sense of peace and tranquility. If you’re on a path to achieve inner peace, a visit to Rajgir is a must. Here are some of the beautiful places in Rajgir that you should discover.
Places to Visit in Rajgir
1. Venu Van: Peace in Nature
Venu Van – CC by 2.5 / BPG
Built on the site of the bamboo grove given by King Bimbisara to Buddha, this garden is of religious importance and is considered by many as the first Buddhist monastery in the world.
However, the only remaining ancient structure here is the Karandak Nivap tank. This garden is a peaceful haven away from the hustle-bustle of the city and even boasts of a lake which makes the environment even more serene. It is definitely one of the most beautiful sightseeing places in Rajgir!
2. Pandu Pokhar: Best Amusement Park in Rajgir
Pandu Pokhar is an amusement park located right in the arms of nature. Whether you like adventure activities, camping or are just looking for some fun time with your family, this is the perfect place for you. From jogging tracks to meditation area, you will be able to enhance both your mental and physical well-being here as well.
You could also indulge in adventure sports like zip-line and bungee jumping here. Besides, kids will love the maze, sandpit and mini zoo. Many water-based activities like aqua zorbing, boating and fishing are available as well.
3. Vishwa Shanti Stupa: The Pagoda of Peace
Vishwa Shanti Stupa – CC by 3.0 / Knverma
Built at an altitude of 1000 feet, this whitewashed stupa is a monument dedicated to world peace. The unique feature of this monument is that it was constructed by the Buddhist community of Japan! This domed structure has four Buddha statues on all sides and is built up of white marbles.
You could also get some great panoramic views of the valley from this hilltop. It is one of the 80 peace pagodas built throughout the world and was built back in 1969.
4. Cyclopean Wall: Standing Tall Since Ages
City Wall / CC by 2.0 / Photo Dharma
Built over 2500 years back, this is probably the only Cyclopean Wall built in India. Commonly found in Greece, these walls are built by stacking uneven stones and were built by kings of the Mauryan empire to fortify their city.
At a point, this wall was more than 40 kilometres long. Such is the strength of this wall that even after two millennia, parts of this wall are still very much intact and can be seen scattered around the city.
5. Japanese Temple: Rare Temple in Rajgir
CC by 4.0 / Princeabhishek
One of the oldest temples in Rajgir, the Japanese Temple has a unique structure and also features a huge Buddha statue in the premises. Located right next to Venu Van, this Buddhist temple has a huge prayer hall that is decorated with many Japanese artefacts. The temple is tucked away in a garden and has a very tranquil atmosphere.
6. Bimbisara Jail: Ancient Jail in Rajgir
Bimbisara Jail / CC by 2.5 /BPG
The jail of King Bimbisara can be found near the eastern gate of the ancient city of Rajgir. This is a massive ruin of a square structure made of stone. It is believed that this is the very place where Bimbisara was imprisoned by his own son, Ajatshatru.
You can spot Gridhkut hilltop, which was Buddha’s favourite meditation spot, clearly from here and it was Bimbisara’s only wish to be able to watch this hill during his last days; this only strengthens the belief that it was indeed his prison.
7. Bimbisara’s Treasury: The Best Caves in Rajgir
CC by 2.0 / Photo Dharma
Two caves in the mountain here are believed to be the place where King Bimbisara hid his unnamed treasures when his son Ajatshatru imprisoned him. These caves have only one outlet, and one is said to be a cave for guards while the other holds the treasure. It is said that to open the second cave, one needs to know a password for it. Many inscriptions can be found on the walls of the cave in the Shakhs script but all attempts to decipher them have failed till date.
Rajgir has an abundance of ancient sites, and this is what draws thousands of history lovers here. There are many things to do in Rajgir, and you simply cannot get enough of it!