Rajgir Mahotsav, jointly organized by the Bihar tourism department and the Nalanda district administration, is a three –day festival of classical dances and music held annually at Quila Maidan against the spectacular backdrop of the Ratnagiri hills in Rajgir.
Since its inception in 1986, this unmissable annual event has grown into a major attraction for cultural cognoscenti. Spectators from different parts of the world attend the demonstration of art in the dance and music form.
Apart from dance and music, the list of attractions to treat the tourists during the three-day extravaganza also include Tonga race, mehndi contest, martial arts competitions, mahila utsav, food plaza and gramshree mela.
Rajgir Mahotsav, a compelling attraction for the cultural cognoscenti, will take place from December 27 to 29, 2017.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
With over 5,000 years of history encompassing the most wonderful ancient history in the world, few countries boast as much as India for historical sites, peerless treasures, and mystical intrigue.
Arrival at the International airport in Delhi where you will be received by our representative with traditional Namaste and garland. You will be transferred to the pre-booked hotel. Rest of time will be spent in leisure, overnight stay at hotel.
Morning drive to Delhi airport to board flight for Varanasi where we will reach at 1020 hrs. After reaching Varanasi you will be transferred to the pre-booked hotel.
In the afternoon we will proceed towards Sarnath, located 10km north of Varanasi, It was at Sarnath, a Buddhist attraction not to be missed, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon after the attainment of enlightenment in Bodh Gaya from where he journeyed to Sarnath to preach his first sermon to those five ascetics who were his disciples but had left him in disgust when they found that the Buddha became convinced that rigorous self mortification is not the way to obtain final bliss.
Dhamekh Stupa and Ashokan Pillar are the main attractions in Sarnath.
In the evening we will proceed towards the Dasaswamedh Ghat, the most famous of the several ghats (steps at the water’s edge) on the banks of Ganges River in Varanasi. It is fascinating to see the aarti (prayer ceremony). An evening stroll through the local market will be a unique experience.
Overnight stay in hotel in Varanasi
Begin your day by enjoying a wonderful sunrise boat ride along bathing Ghats of the Ganges to have a glimpse of temples and the age-old rituals performed by thousands of devotees who throng here to take holy dip in the waters to cleanse themselves of the sins.
After the boat ride we will return to the hotel for breakfast.
After having breakfast we will go for city tour of Varanasi that include visit to the Sankat Mochan temple and the Bharat Mata temple.
Later you will drive to Bodh Gaya which is 250 km away from Varanasi. After arriving at Bodh Gaya in six hours you will be transferred to the hotel. Later you will visit the Mahabodhi Temple which is one of the oldest shrines in India. The art and architecture of this spiritually important 170 feet UNESCO listed temple has been described in glowing terms by the 7th century Chinese traveler Huien Tsang. In all probability the main tower of the temple was built in the sixth century AD.
The entire complex of the Mahabodhi Temple is dotted with several stupas and monasteries including Thai Temple and the Gelugpa Tibetan Monastery, all of which built in different periods in the last 2500 years ago.
After breakfast, leave for Sujata village named after the young woman Sujata who offered milk to Siddhartha Gautama as the Buddha was known before he got enlightenment. After visiting the place we will head towards the Niranjan River (modern Phalgu) on the banks of which one morning of Vaisakha Purnima at the age of 35, Siddhartha Gautama attained Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree (Tree of Wisdom) and came to be called the Buddha.
Later, we will proceed to Gaya, 13 km. from Bodhgaya. The temple of Vishnupad on the bank of the Falgu river at Gaya is a very sacred destination for the Hindus who visit the shrine to offer oblation for salvation of their ancestors. Mangala Gauri temple is another shrine in Gaya.
You will spend the night in the hotel at Bodhgaya
After having morning breakfast we will drive to Nalanda which is 85 kms away. Nalanda is known for the ruins of the world famous Buddhist monastery which served as a great centre of learning in the ancient India.
Established in 5th century AD during the Gupta period the University of Nalanda was the Buddhism’s most famous teaching centre which attracted students and pilgrims from far-off countries including China and south-East Asia. The renowned Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsang who visited India in the 7th century AD and studied at the University describes Nalanda as full of intellectual activity.
After exploring Nalanda University Complex we will proceed to Rajgir which is 15 km from Nalanda.
Attractions of Rajgir
The well-known Buddhist site of Griddhakuta Hill is deservedly an attraction in Rajgir not to be missed. During the rainy season the Buddha used to climb up to his mountain retreat atop the Griddhakuta Hill and deliver sermons to his disciples. The brilliant shine of the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), built on the top of the hill by the Buddha Sangha of Japan in 1965, is a feast for the eyes. Though you can reach the hill by following a bridle path, it would be an experience of a lifetime to use the aerial single-person chairlift. A ride on the chairlift commands a panoramic view of the hills of Rajgir and some Jain temples dotting the landscape.
The spot marks the site where King Bimbisara, the founder of Haryanka Dynasty of Magadha, was imprisoned by his son Ajatashatru who later murdered his father.
One of the famous attractions of Rajgir, Venuvana is the site of the monastery Venuvana Vihar where Gautama Buddha used to reside while he was in Rajgir. Venuvana Vihar was built by Bimbisara for use by Buddha. Bimbisara was the founder of Haryanka Dynasty of Magadha.
Saptaparni Cave is the place where Buddha used to meditate. It is said to be the venue for the First Buddhist Council, held six months after Buddha’s death. The Saptparni cave is also the source of the various hot water springs the waters of which are known to provide cure for the chronic ailments. The therapeutic baths at these springs have been famous for their medicinal powers for centuries and have continued to have a following among the Buddhists, Hindus and Jains to this day.
After lunch you will visit the Quila Maidan to be a witness to the vibrant festival of dance and music. Exponents of classical dance forms from across the country perform against the magnificent backdrop of the Ratnagiri hills. Wrestling, exhibitions of handicrafts at the stalls, tonga race and folk art enhance the festive spirit.
Overnight in hotel at Rajgir
You will have a morning drive to the Patna airport which is 120 km away. After traversing the journey in 2 ½ hrs you will reach the airport to board flight for Delhi from where you will board the connecting flight for your onward departure.