Tourism in Bihar

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The capital of the mighty Magadhan empire in the fourth century BC (also construed as the first recorded capital in Indian history) is closely associated with the life and teachings of Buddha.Imagine Buddha on his first alms begging while staying in a cave on one of the hills.Bypass your imagination to the picturesque hill of vultures –Gridhakuta,the site where Buddha returned after his enlightenment to deliver his sermon and converted the powerful Magadhan king,Bimbisara into the Buddhist order.Conjure an intoxicated elephant let loose by Devadutta to kill Buddha.And finally it was from Rajgir that Buddha set out on his last journey. Let your imagination attend the first Buddhist Council held here in the Saptaparni cave,the oldest in Rajgir where in the teachings of Buddha hitherto unwritten was penned down after his death.

The concept of monastic institutions was laid at Rajgir which later developed into magnificent academic and religious centres,producing learned and well disciplined monks.It was at Rajgir that Buddha had commended his monks neither to sing nor hear any songs besides other do’s and don’ts.

Among the various spots around Rajgir the most sacred are the Venuvana and the Gridhakuta as devout Buddhists can be seen prostrating at these places in particular.Venuvana or the Bamboo grove was the royal park gifted to Buddha in order to make it easier for his devotees to visit him.It started with King Bimbisara who was first attracted by the dignified and high born demeanor of Buddha.

A little further up the Vaibhara hill is the Pipali cave,which was used by Buddha and later by his disciples.After negotiating the hill one is rewarded with a view of multicolor crops and variegated patches of the fields.

Amravana or Jivaka’s mango garden marks the site of the dispensary of the royal physician Jivaka who happened to dress the wounds of Buddha when he was injured by his unfriendly cousin