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Arts and Culture of Rajgir

The ‘Abode of Kings’, Rajgir is known for lush green forests and rocky hillocks. It is a prominent religious spot known for its association with Lord Buddha as well as Lord Mahavira. It has a mystic divine aura surrounding it that makes this place an important pilgrim centre. This place is dotted with temples, monasteries and religious and historic relics, and thus attracts huge number of pilgrims, history lovers, and visitors from far and wide. The people of Rajgir are simple, traditional and welcome the visitors with open arms. Rajgir is an ideal getaway for those who wish to experience a spiritual awakening and take a glimpse of India’s rich cultural heritage.

Religion in RajgirReligions in Rajgir

It is believed that Lord Buddha spent some time meditating and preaching sermons at Griddhakuta hills in Rajgir. The first Buddhist Council is also said to have taken place in Rajgir. Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life in Rajgir and Nalanda. It is in Rajgir where  Bhima is said to have killed Jarasantha in a wrestling match. Thus Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism have flourished in Rajgir since the olden times. Presently, along with Hindus, Rajgir has considerable followers of Islam. Thus, people belonging to various religions live in peace and harmony with each other, manifesting ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Festivals in Rajgir

Festivals in Rajgir

The people in Rajgir celebrate various festivals with pomp and zeal. The Rajgir Dance Festival is one of the important festivals organised by the Bihar Tourism Department in Rajgir during the last week of October. Showcasing various traditional dances and songs, this festival provides an excellent opportunity for the tourists to witness the rich Indian culture and traditions. Makar Sankranti Mela is another important festival celebrated in Rajgir in the middle of January, in which people bathe in the holy waters of the hot springs and offer flowers to the deities in the temple.  Malamasa Mela is celebrated every three years, when according to the Indian solar calendar, the year has thirteen months instead of twelve. A large fair is held and the atmosphere is joyous and vibrant.

Costumes in Rajgir

The people in Rajgir are simple and this simplicity is reflected in their costumes. The traditional costumes of the ladies include sarees and salwar kameez. They like to adorn themselves with attractive jewellery during various festivals. The traditional attire of the men include dhoti, kurta and wooden sandals. However, due to the increasing influence of Western culture, jeans, trousers, shirts, shorts etc are gaining popularity, especially among the younger generations. The most common languages spoken languages by majority of the people in Rajgir are Hindi and Bihari. The educated masses use English for communication purposes. English language is increasingly being used for official purposes as well.

Handicrafts in Rajgir

Rajgir is popular for its handicrafts that can serve as excellent souvenirs and memorabilia. Popular handicrafts include wooden statues, keychains, pen stands, tables, lamps and other decorative items. Khatwa applique, paper mache, printed handlooms, items made of Sikki, Madhubani paintings, sea shell items etc can be purchased from road side shops at attractive prices.  These handiworks exhibit the creativity and talent of the local artisans. Stone sculptures and decorative bowls are found in the Kund area in Rajgir. Shri Brahmi Kala Mandiram is a beautiful art gallery, in Veerayatan that has over 50 panels, depicting the life of Lord Mahavira and conveying the significance of ahimsa or non - violence.

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