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Rajgir

Rajgir is located in a verdant valley surrounded by rocky hills. An aerial ropeway provides the link with a hill top stupa " Peace Pagoda " built by the Japanese . On one of the hills is the caves of Saptaparni where first Buddhist Council was held. Hot water springs here have curative properties and are sacred here have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus . Rajgir is 10 kms south of Nalanda, sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism as the Buddha lived here in the sixth century BC. He used to meditate and preach on the "Hill of the Vultures". Mahavira was born here in 567 BC and spent fourteen years .It was in Rajgriha that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and had converted king Bimbisara of the Magadha empire and countless other to his creed. Once a great city , Rajgir is just a village today but vestiges of a legendary and historical past remain, like the cyclopean wall that encircles the town and the marks engraved in rock that local folklore ascribes to lord krishna,s chariot . This legend like may other, associated Rajgir to that distinct time when the stirring events recorded in the epic Mahabharata were being enacted.

PLACES OF INTEREST
*GRIDDAKUTA OR VULTURE'S PEAK: This was the place where Lord Buddha had put in motion his second wheel of law and for three months every year during the rainy season had preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples. The Buddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration.

*HOT SPRINGS: At the top of the Vaibhava hill, a staircase leads up to the various temples. Separated bathing places have been organised for men and women and the water comes through spouts from Saptdhara, the seven streams believed to find their sources behind the "Saptaparni Caves", up in the hills. The hottest of the spring is the Brahmakund with a temperature of approx 49 Degree Celsius.

*PIPPALA CAVE: Above the hot springs on the Vaibhava hill, is a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used as a watch tower. Since it later became the resort of pious hermits, it is also called Pippala cave and is popularly known as "Jarasandh Ki Baithak"after the name of the king Jarasandh, a contemporary of lord Krishna described in the epic Mahabharata.

Other archaeological sites include the Karanada Tank where Lord Buddha used to bathe; the Maniyar Math that dates from 1st century AD; the Rannbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh had fought a duel to the finish described in the Mahabharata.

*JAIN TEMPLES: On the hill crests around Rajgir, far in the distances one can see about 26 jain temple .

EXCURSIONS
KUNDALPUR: 18 kms from Rajgir. The Digambar sect of the Jains believe that lord Mahavira was born at this place. A jain temple and two lotus Lakes - Dirga Pushkarni and Pandava Pushkarni mark the spot.

PAWANPURI: 35 Kms from Rajgir. It is a great pilgrimage center of the Jains Lord Mahavira the 24th Teerthankara, had delivered his last sermon here prior to his 'Mahaparinirvana'(Death) and was cremated here.




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