Tourism in Rajgir and Nalanda
Today, Rajgir is regarded as one of the top pilgrimages for Buddhists. There are many gorgeous Jain and Hindu temples that draw visitors from both the religions to the place. Rajgir is not only considered as a site for worship but it is also revered as a winter and health resort owing to its warm water pools. These pools are believed to possess curative attributes which can aid in curing many skins-related ailments.
Nalanda is famous for being the oldest seat of learning. This is where the foundation of the world's oldest university lies. Nalanda is located at a distance of 62 kilometres from Bodhgaya. Although Buddha had visited the place several times during his life, this popular hub of Buddhist learning rose to prominence much later. The famous Chinese Buddhist Monk, Hiuen Tsang lived here in the seventh century AD and left comprehensive account of the significance of education system and pureness of monastic life observed here. He also presented a powerful narrative of both the architecture and ambience of this exceptional university of the ancient age.
This is the first residential international university in the world where 10,000 monks students and 2,000 teachers from all across the world studies and lived. The Gupta kings used to frequently visit these monasteries, constructed in old Kushan architectural fashion, in an order of cells encompassing a courtyard. Emperor Harshavardhana and Ashoka were some of its most acclaimed builders who constructed monasteries, viharas and temples here.
The latest excavations have brought to light elaborate structures here. In 1951, an international centre for Buddhist classes was set up here. There is a place called Biharsharif located in the vicinity of Nalanda, where an yearly urs is observed at the tomb or Dargah of Malik Ibrahim Baya. The Sun Temple, which is famous of Chhat Puja, is located in Baragaon. Baragaon is only 2 kilometres away from Nalanda. Some other places worth visiting in Nalanda are Nava Mahavihar and Nalanda Museum.
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Explore More: Pilgrimage tours of India and Buddhist Sites in North India