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Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Bodhgaya & Gaya Tour from Kolkata

Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Bodhgaya & Gaya Tour from Kolkata

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Published by Proloy Chakroborty
Here I've illustrated a tour plan for Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Bodhgaya & Gaya from Kolkata. I also documented what to see in each destinations. I included an approximate budget for my suggested route along with suggested trains. I hope this document will help many travelers like me.

Please write your comment about this document.
Here I've illustrated a tour plan for Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Bodhgaya & Gaya from Kolkata. I also documented what to see in each destinations. I included an approximate budget for my suggested route along with suggested trains. I hope this document will help many travelers like me.

Please write your comment about this document.

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Published by: Proloy Chakroborty on Oct 10, 2011
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01/08/2013

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Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Bodhgaya and Gaya
Tour Program:
DayItenary
1Departure from KOAA at 8:00 PM for PNBE on “PNBE Garib Rath” train2Arrive PNBE at 5:30 AM. Departure from PNBE at 9:15 AM for RDG on “Rajgriha Expres” tain. Arrive RDG at12:30 PM and transfer to Hotel3Sight Seeing Rajgir and night stay in Rajgir4Sight Seeing Nalanda & Pawapuri. Night stay in Rajgir5Departure from Rajgir in Bus/Car for Bodhgaya. Night Stay in Bodhgaya.6Sight Seeing Bodhgaya. Transfer to Gaya Station. Departure from GAYA at 10:20 PM for HWH on “NDLS HWHExpress” train.7Reach HWH at 6:00 AM. Tour Ends
Expenses per head (twin sharing):
IDParticularsAmount in
`
01PNBE Garib Rath (12359) A3
477.00
02Rajgriha Expres (13234) CC
209.00
03NDLS HWH Express (12324) A3 |
`244
SL
612.00
04Hotel Tathagat Vihar, Rajgir (3 days) @
`525
 
(ECO) &
`577.5
(ECOTV)
787.50
05Hotel Siddhartha Vihar, Bodhgaya (2 day) @
`577.5
(NAC)
577.50
06Local Transport
300.00
07Sight Seeing
700.00
08Fooding @ Rs.200 per day
1000.00
09Miscellaneous
500.00
Total
5163.00
Gaya – What to see?
Pretshila Hill:
This hill adds to the beauty of Gaya. It is about 10 kms from the Ramshila hill. Just below the hill is theBrahma Kund. After taking bath in this pond people go for the 'Pind Dan' which involves performance of religious rites andoffering donations and charity for the peace of souls of one's parents and ancestors. On top of the hill the Queen of Indore, Ahilya Bai, built a temple in 1787popularly known as Ahilya Bai Temple. This temple has always been an attractionfor the tourists due to its unique architecture and magnificent sculptures.
Vishnupad Temple:
In 1787 Queen Ahilya Bai built the Vishnu temple on the banks of river Falgu. The temple has somegreat architecture and design which attracts devotees and tourists alike. A 30-meter high octagonal tower overshadowsthis temple.
 
Rajgir – What to see?
Rajgir just 15 kms from Nalanda is located the complex of temples and monasteries. The place is called Rajgir. It is one of the most important tourist places in India. Being located in a valley, Rajgir is a very scenic place. The small hill grit town iscovered with lush green forest which add to the beauty of the place. 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 not only spent many years in Rajgir but alsodelivered sermons here and proselytized emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill. The Jivekarmavan monastery was thefavorite residence for Buddha. Even Bimbisar gave Venuvan Vihar to Buddha for his residence. It is said that it was at Rajgirthat physician treated Buddha, Jivak after he was injured by his cousin Devdatta.The teachings of Buddha was penneddown at Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council. Today Rajgir has come up as one of the mostimportant pilgrimage for the Buddhist.Rajgir also has some very beautiful Hindu and Jain temples which attracts Hindusand Jains also to the place. Not only as a place for worship, Rajgir has come up as health and winter resort with its warmwater ponds. These ponds are said to contain some medicinal properties which help in the cure of many skin diseases. Theadded attraction of Rajgir is the Ropeway which takes you uphill to the Shanti Stupa and Monasteries built by the JapaneseDevotees on top of the Ratnagiri hills.
Jarashand ka Akhara
This is the Ranbhumi where Bhima and Jarasandh fought one of the Mahabharat battles.
JivakameavanGardens
Seat of the Royal Physician's dispensary where Lord Buddha was once brought to have wounddressed by Jivaka, the royal physician during the reign of Ajatshatru and Bimbisara.
Ajatshatru Fort
Built by Ajatshatru (6th century B.C.), the king of Magadha during the Buddha's time. The 6.5sq.meter Ajatshatru's Stupa is also believed to have been built by him.
Cyclopean Wall
Once 40 Km long, it encircled ancient Rajgir. Built of massive undressed stone carefully fittedtogether, the wall is one of the few important Pre-Maurayan stone structures ever to have beenfound. Traces of wall still subsist, particularly at the exit of Rajgir to Gaya.
Shanti Stupa
The Vishwa Shanti Stup is located on a 400 meter high hill. The stupa is built in marble and onthe four corners of the stupa are four glimmering statues of Buddha. To reach the top of this hillone has to come through the “Ropeways”. This place is also called the GriddhKoot.
Venu Vana
Site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar built by king Bimbisara for Lord Buddha to reside. This wasthe king's first offering to Lord Buddha.
Karanda Tank
It is the tank in which Buddha used to bathe.
Sonbhandar Caves
Two rather strange cave chambers were hollowed out of a single massive rock. One of thechambers I believed to have been the guard room, the rear wall has two straight vertical linesand one horizontal line cut into the rock; the doorway is supposed to lead to king BimbisaraTreasury. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi or shell script, etched into wall and so far undeciphered,are believed to give the clue to open the doorway. The treasure, according to folklore, is stillintact. The second chambers bears a few traces of seated and standing etched into the outerwall.
Bimbisar jail
his impatient saon and heir, Ajatashatru, imprisoned King Bimbisara here. The captive king chosethis site for his incarceration, for, from this spot he could see Lord Buddha climbing up to hismountain retreat atop the Griddhakuta hill. There is a clear view of the Japanese Pagoda. Thestupa of peace was built on the top of the hill.
Veerayatan
A Jain Temple and Museum
Jain Temple
On hill crests around Rajgir, far in the distances one can see about 26 Jain Temples. They aredifficult to approach for the untrained, but make exciting trekking for those in form.
Chariot Route Marks
The Chariot Route and hell inscriptions are worth a visit for the strangeness of the phenomenon,two parallel furrows cut deep into rock for about thirty feet giving credence to the local belief that they were "burnt" into the rock by the speed and power of Lord Krishna's chariot when heentered the city of Rajgir during the epic Mahabharata times. Several shell inscriptions, theundeciphered characters current in central and eastern India from the 1st to 5th centuries AD,and engraved in the rock around the chariot marks.
Hot Springs
At the foot of Vaibhava Hill, a staircase leads up to the various temples. Separate bathing placeshave been organized for men and women and the water comes through spouts from Saptdhara,the seven streams, believed to find their source behind the "Saptarni Caves", up in the hills. Thehottest of the springs is the Brahmakund with a temperature of 45 degree Centigrade.
 
Pippala cave
Above the hot springs on the Vaibhava Hill, is a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used as a watch tower. Since it later became the resort of pious hermits, it is also called Pippala Cave and popularly known as "Jarasandh ki Baithak" afterthe name of the King Jarasandh, a contemporary of Lord Krishna described in the epicMahabharata
Swarn Bhandar
It is to be said that that it was a store of Gold of King Jarashandh. A unread story about the caveis that there is a lot of gold in this cave and a script is written on a stone is the code to unlock thedoor of this Swarn Bhandar.
Gridhakuta
This was the place where the lord Buddha set in a motion his second wheel of law an for threemonths even during the rainy season, preached many inspiring sermons to his disciples. TheBuddha Sangha of Japan have constructed a massive modern stupa, the Shanti Stupa (PeacePagoda), at the top of the hill in commemoration. A bridle path leads to up to the hill but it ismuch more fun to take the Aerial Chair lift which operates every day except Thursday. One wayride takes 7.5 minutes and the view is splendid over the hills of Rajgir.
Excursion:
Bihar Sharif:
25 km away, this little town on the top of a craggy rock, attracts thousand of pilgrims of allreligions who visit the tomb of Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din, a Muslim saint of 14th century.Bihar Sharif was once the capital of the Muslim Governors of Bihar between 13th and 16thcenturies when the city was an active cultural center and an important seat of Muslim thoughtand learning.
Nalanda – What to see?
Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world's most ancientuniversity lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda severaltimes during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries.Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system andpurity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this uniqueuniversity of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monksstudents from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. The Gupta kings patronized these monasteries, built inold Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Emperor Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of itsmost celebrated patrons who built temples, monasteries and viharas here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaboratestructures here. An International Center for Buddhist Studies was established here in 1951. Nearby is Biharsharif, where anannual urs is celebrated at the Dargah or tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya. Baragaon, 2 km away has a sun temple, famous forChhath puja. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to the great ruins.
Nalanda UniversityRuins ArchaeologicalComplex
The total area of the excavation is about 14 hectares. All the edifices are of the red brick and thegardens are beautiful. The buildings are divided by a central walk way that goes south to north.The monasteries or "Viharas" are east of this central alley and the temple or "Chaiyas" to thewest. The Vihara-1 is perhaps the most interesting with its cells on two floors built around acentral courtyard where steps lead up to what must have been a dais for the professors toaddress their students. A small chapel still retains a half broken statue of the Lord Buddha.The enormous pyramidal mass of the Temple no .3 is impressive and from its top commands asplendid view of the entire area. It is surrounded by smaller stupas, many of which studdedwith small and big statues of the Lord Buddha in Various poses or "Mudras"
Nalanda ArchaeologicalMuseum
Opposite the entrance to the ruins of the university and houses, there is a small but beautifulcollection of Buddhist and Hindu bronzes and a number of undamaged statues of the LordBuddha that were found in the area. Two enormous terra-cotta jars of the first century standintact behind the museum in a shaded enclosure. The collection includes copper plates andstone inscriptions, coins, pottery and samples of burnt rice (12th century AD) found among theruins here. Open during 10.00 to 17.00. Closed on Friday.
Nava NalandaMahavihara
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is devoted to study and research of Pali Literature and Buddhism.This is a new institute, where students from foreign countries also study.
Hieun Tsang MemorialHall
A new construction in memory of the great Chinese traveler, Hieun Tsang.
Silao
In between Nalanda and Rajgir, there is a village namely Silao where very a popular local sweet"KHAJA" is prepared.

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