Fujiyama, Japan

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Rajgir

Google Maps: Rajgir, Bihar, India

  • Rajgir has two major tourist spots apart from ruins of the great Magadh capital that Rajgir once was. One is the Peace Pagoda atop a hill and other is the famous hot water sulphur spring.
  • Rajgir is a one day trip from Patna. Gaya is even closer and with an early start one may cover Rajgir, Pavapuri and Bodh Gaya on the same day.
  • Take or rent your own vehicle. Go on a Monday if possible. Don't miss the ropeway. Don't miss to take a holy dip in the hot water spring.


Early morning drives in the fad end of November under the warmth of rising sun is a luxury that Bihar didn't know of until Nitish Kumar happened. So now the road between Gaya and Rajgir is wide & smooth and only an hour affair. We were in Gaya for a cousin's wedding and decided to take advantage of our location.

Four corners of Shanti Stupa@Rajgir


We started early in our car and reached Rajgir Stupa at 11 and quickly settled for a light brunch. The numerous dhabas were empty as was expected on a Monday. On weekend the place throngs with an almost unmanageable crowd. Queues of sometimes half a mile to take the famous ropeway create scene of mayhem. We were lucky it was a Monday.

Ropeway@Rajgir

Ropeway to the Shanti Stupa is some experience here. Hung freely on an iron rod, the chairs offer a hanging feeling to anyone who dares. We climbed one by one on the moving chairs and soon were air borne. Trickier is to carry a child and then climb a moving chair. Bhaiya did just that and with ease. The landscape and changing view as we escalated was captivating.

Face of Shanti Stupa@Rajgir

At top the Shanti Stupa stands by its name. So peaceful and serene are the surroundings that one just walks and observes. The huge white structure in the middle of hilltop has four beautiful statues looking in four directions and plated with gold.

View from Viswa Shanti Stupa hill@Rajgir

We walked on the edge and then to other smaller constructions on this hill. It was now time to take the ropeway back. The return was equally thrilling and in no time we were back to our car. The next stop was hot water Kund which is considered by many as a holy place to have a bath. The sulfur spring which is source of natural hot water is rarely found near the plains. We took a dip.

Chaired Ropeway@Rajgir

We moved quickly to Silao which is famous for Khaza - a Bihari sweet dish. We bought 4 Kg of these to distribute to our relatives. Next was Pavapuri, the famous Jain temple which I was going to visit for the first time.