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Location : Bihar
Languages : Magadhi
Climate : Tropical
Major Attractions : Shanti Stupa
Best Visiting Time : All through the year
Magadha, is a city of antiquity that was known for its grandeur and was ruled upon by many powerful dynasties from time to time. It was where the religions of Jainism and Buddhism came into being. In ancient period, this city of Bihar was an important hub of culture and education. Among the major dynasties that made the city a part of their mighty empires included Nanda, Maurya, Shunga, and Kanva. It was considered as one of the 16 mahajanapadas that existed in India. Its original capital Rajgriha was also an important historical town. The city was ideally located near river Ganges that traversed in its north direction.
Down the Lane :
The history of Magadha is quiet rich. The place has found its mention in old Hindu texts like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The importance of the city can be estimated from the fact that the two mighty empires, namely Gupta and Maurya originated from here. In addition, it was a center of excellence as far as fields like astronomy, philosophy, science, and mathematics are concerned. The city was attacked by Greek warrior Alexander. Successively being ruled by many dynasties, the city came under the annexation of Sunga, Kanva, and finally Gupta dynasty.
Magadha University : Situated at Bodh Gaya, this university was established in the year 1962. It comprises of many buildings, a well equipped computer center, a spacious library and a health center. In addition to these, the university is also laced with a sports complex, and bank facilities. Reputed professors from various fields work in the premises of the university. Students can enroll themselves in different disciplines like Social Science, Commerce, Humanities, and Engineering etc. The other fields that one can enroll himself into are Journalism, Mass Communication, Tourism, and Medical Engineering. Apart from students, a number of research workers also enroll every year here.
Shanti Stupa : With an elevation of about 400 meters, Shanti Stupa is an epitome of eternal world peace. The structure is built in marble and there are 4 Buddha statues that are erected at its four corners. In order to reach at the top, you can take the help of a ropeway.
Ajatshatru Fort : Once the ruler of Magadha, Ajatshatru constructed this fort. A stupa built by him is also located nearby.
Sonbhandar Caves : There are number of mysteries that are associated with these caves. As you enter the premises, you will see two halls, one of which acted as a treasure room while the other one was meant for guarding purposes. If the local inhabitants are to be believed, valuable treasure belonging to Bimbisar are hidden inside the caves. An inscription written in some undecipherable language can also be seen in the interiors. This historical place is of considerable importance to the city and attracts a number of tourists.
Bimbisar Jail : It is the place of Magadha where Bimbisar was held in captivity by his son Ajatshatru. The spot was chosen by Bimbisar himself; he chose it was from here that king could have the glimpse of Lord Buddha.
Chariot Route Marks : Another place of interest that you may be pleased to visit are rock cut parallel furrows. It is believed that the cut is Lord Krishna's chariot. If the legends are to be believed, Rajgir was once visited by Lord Krishna and it was the speed of his chariot that created such a cut in the rock.
Pippala Cave : It is the place of hot springs; a cave named Pippala is present nearby; the caves have been formed by the natural processes over thousands of years and are not man made. It is believed that the caves served as watch towers and were also inhabited by monks at one point of time.
Amaravana : The place is associated with the dispensary of Jivaka who was a renowned physician of his time. If the local inhabitants are to be believed, it was the place where Lord Buddha was brought in a wounded state and was dressed. Venuvana Vihara was the famous retreat of Lord Buddha. The site was gifted by Bimbisara to Buddha and today, it attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country.
Jain Temples : There are, in total, 26 Jain temples at Magadha that lie scattered all over the hilltops. Though trekking to reach the site is quiet difficult, the journey is worth it. From the top, you can have the commanding view of the entire area.
Cyclopean Wall : This 40 kilometers long wall acts as a guardian to the city of Rajgir. Huge pieces of stones are used for this structure. The wall belongs to the period before Mauryan rule.
Griddhakuta : Resting atop Ratnagiri Hill, the place is associated with the visit of Lord Buddha who preached his sermons. A Peace Pagoda was built at the place.
There are a few hotels that are present at places around Rajgir. Indo Hokke and Rajgir Residency provide nice services to the tourists.