The name Nalanda resonates as an inspiration to anybody who heard about this place as the nurturing ground of the first residential international university of the world for great learning during the era when most of the other countries of the world were at the very nascent stage of development. Today, even as the ruins of that glorious past continue to mesmerise the present.
The district, well -connected by network of roads and railways, had been a cradle of multiple religious evolutions. Apart from Buddhism, the Jainism, Sufism and Hinduism have also flourished in this region with the patronage from the generations of benevolent rulers. The district situated at the south of Patna .
The tourist Places are as follows
In Sanskrit ‘Rajagriha’ and in Pali ‘Rajagaha’ was the capital of Magadha kingdom around 600 BCE. In Ramayana it is mentioned that this capital was founded by King Vasu and thus was known as Vasumati. Rajagriha was capital of Magadh king Bimbisara around Buddha’s time. It was famous for its wealth and grandeur and had many palaces so the name meaning ‘House of the King’ was apt for the place. Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosha has mentioned that the city had 32 main gates and 64 minor gates. When the capital of the Magadha kingdom was shifted to Pataliputra the present Patna, the political importance of Rajgir declined. Presently it is a major sacred region for the Hindus, Jains, Muslims and Buddhists.
Rajgir is very special to Buddhists as this was one of the very favourite places of the Buddha. The Magadha king Bimbisara was a great follower of the Buddha and Rajgriha was his capital. The Gridhkuta hill top is said to be the Buddha’s favourite meditation place. Also the Venuvan dedicated to Buddha by Bimbisara as his resting place is popular to Buddhist pilgrims.
It is said that Mahavira spent 14 rainy seasons in Rajgir and Nalanda around 527 – 497 BCE. He gave his first sermon on the Vipula hill. Each hill of Rajgir is associated with various Tirthankars. Numerous Jain temples dot Rajgir’s surrounding hills.