This was the capital of the Magadha Empire until Ajathasatru moved to Pataliputra (Patna) in the 5th century BC. In winter visitors are drawn by the hot springs and the healthy climate of this hilly region, 19 Kms south of Nalanda.
Rajgir is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site since the Buddha spent 12 years here, and the first Buddhist council after the Buddha attained nirvana was held here. It’s also an inportant place for Jains, as Mahavira spent some time in Rajgir and the hills are topped with Digambara shrines. Rajgir also has mention in the Hindu epic ‘The Mahabharata’.