The fascinating surrounds of Rajgir are bounded by five semiarid rocky hills, each lined with ancient stone walls – vestiges of the ancient capital of Magadha. Thanks to both Buddha and Mahavira spending some serious time here, Rajgir is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Jains. A mention in the Mahabharata also ensures that Rajgir has a good supply of Hindu pilgrims who come to bathe in the hot springs at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. However, foreign travellers are relatively rare.
If you're visiting, it's best to schedule a couple of days for exploring the many historic Buddhist and Jain sites around town and the ancient university site of Nalanda (12km south) which provides the perfect complement to Bodhgaya, 80km away. The centre of town is 500m east of the main road, on which you’ll find the train station, bus stand and a number of hotels.
Rajgir Mahotsava, in October, is the town’s three-day cultural festival featuring classical Indian music, folk music and dance.