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The 2,000-year-old Buddhist university of Nalanda lies near the ancient Indian city of Rajgir, one of the first places Gautama Buddha taught after his enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Getty Images.

Rajgir (India)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Rajgir, the ancient capital city of the Magadha kingdom, was among the first spots visited by Gautama Buddha as he began to spread the teachings of his new religion. It is only some 20 miles from Bodhgaya, where he attained enlightenment. Among the converts during the Buddha’s 12-year stay was King Bimbisara, who attended his talks on Gridhakuta Hill (Vulture Peak). Here Buddha would deliver what are termed the Wisdom Sutras (some of his first words recorded in writing). Buddha also frequently spent periods of meditation at the Jivkamaravana monastery, which was then located in a beautiful orchard. The nearby Saptaparni Caves is the site of the first Buddhist council that was called by his leading followers after the Buddha’s death. Ajatsatni, one of the Buddha’s leading disciples, received some of his ashes and built a STUPA to hold them and an adjacent monastery. That site is now a mound used as a graveyard.

Like most Buddhist centers, Rajgir suffered from the changing political and religious forces in China. The once flourishing city is today just a small town. However, as part of the global Buddhist effort to revive Buddhism in the land of its birth, Japanese Buddhists have constructed a contemporary stupa on top of Gridhakuta Hill that is known as the Shanti Stupa or Peace Pagoda.

Only ruins remain of Venuvana Vihar, the monastery constructed by King Bimbisara as a residence for Buddha.


Majupuria, Trilok Chandra. Holy Places of Buddhism in Nepal and India: A Guide to Sacred Places in Buddha’s Lands. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books, 1987.
Panabokke, Gunaratne. History of the Buddhist Sangha in India and Sri Lanka. Dalugama, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka: Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, 1993.
Tulku, Tarthang, ed. Holy Places of the Buddha. Vol. 9. Crystal Mirror. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1994.
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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation installed temporary sheds, mobile toilets and six medical stalls at Shivaji Park, Dadar Station, Rajgriha (Ambedkar residence) and Kurla railway terminus in view of the huge rush of the Dalit icon's followers.
After the death of Gautama Buddha, he constructed Dhatuchaityas round Rajgriha. He repaired 18 mahaviharas.He helped the Buddhist monks to hold their first Buddhist Council at Rajagriha under his patronage.
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