The town of Rajgir is situated about 15 km from Nalanda in the state of Bihar. The town gained prominence as a tourist spot owing to the number of temples and monasteries it houses. Geographically, Rajgir is located within a valley and is surrounded by lush green forests.
Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh Mahajanpad (State) when Patliputra was not formed. In those days it was called Rajgrih. Rajgir or Rajgrih means the home of Royalty. This place has been associated with Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Buddha spent many years in Rajgir. The Jivekarmavan monastery was the preferred residence of the Buddha. Even Bimbisar gave Venuvan Vihar to Buddha for his residence.
It is said that it was at Rajgir that physicians treated Buddha after his injury at the hands of his cousin Devdatta. The teachings of Buddha were penned in Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council. This is why Rajgir is a place of tremendous importance among Buddhists.
There are also some beautiful Hindu and Jain temples in the town of Rajgir. Owing to the warm water ponds prevalent in this area, numerous people come here for health reasons as well. These ponds are said to contain some medicinal properties which help in curing many skin diseases.
The Saptparni cave is the source of the Rajgir Hot Water Springs that are known to have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus and Buddhists. Another attraction of the region is the ropeway that leads uphill to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (one of the 80 Peace Pagodas in the world) and the monasteries built by Japanese devotees of the Buddha on top of the Ratnagiri Hills.
The Venu Vana is an artificial forest, where one can enjoy eternal peace and meditate. Other tourist attractions are Bimbisar's Jail, Ajatshatru's Fort and Jarasandh's Akhara.
The city of Patna, capital of Bihar, is the access point for travelling to Rajgir. The Patna Airport is the nearest airport from where one can connect by train to Rajgir. There are buses and taxis also available from Patna to Rajgir.
The temperature in the summer season, from April to June, ranges from a maximum of 40° Celsius to a minimum of 20° Celsius. In winters, it ranges from 28° Celsius to 6° Celsius. The rainy season is from mid-June to September. October and March are relatively pleasant and dry months and are the best times to visit Rajgir.