Bimbisar Jail – Excavated by Sir Alexander Cunningham in the Year 1861

Bimbisar Jail, Rajgir, Bihar, India

Bimbisar Jail is nearby Chariot Wheel Mark and Shell Characters situated at Udayagiri Hills few km away from Rajgir.

The one that you see far on top of the mountain is known as Gridhkuta mountain. Lord Buddha delivers sermons from there. Gridhkuta Mountain is also known as Vulture Peak.

Let me introduce you to this location – Bimbisar Jail and myself:

My name is Nand Lal Verma, and I am a private guide. This location is in the 5th Century and was only for one person ‘Bimbisar’ – The King of Magadh. We are currently standing at Old Magadh.

King Bimbisar was a follower of Buddha which was not liked by his son Ajatshatru. Ajatshatru prisoned his father within his fort which is nearby the bus stand of Rajgir Town at present. Later he prepared a jail for his father. When Bimbisar knew his son’s intentions, he requested to prepare jail at a location from where can he can watch Lord Buddha daily. Thus, this location was selected.

The boundaries you are watching are the original boundary wall of the that time jail. It is 2 meters broad and 8 feet deep.

Ajatshatru makes sure no food is provided to his father nor does anybody visit the jail to meet his father except his mother. Only his mother Kaushalya was allowed to meet her husband. It is said Kaushalya used to rub honey all over her body before meeting Bimbisar so that during the meeting Bimbisar may lick to have something in the form of food to survive.

Soon Ajatshatru becomes a father. Son was born. His name was Udyain. During the birthday celebration Ajatshatru realized during his birth his father Bimbisar also had celebrations. He realized his mistake. He ordered to release his father immediately and walked towards the prison. This was known to his father. He thought he might be killed by his son. He was wearing a diamond ring which he licked to die by poison. When Ajatshatru reached it was too late by then.

Ajatshatru was also named a ‘Pitrahanta’ i.e., one who is the killer of his father.

Sir Alexander Cunningham excavated this site in the year 1861. A room made with stone was first discovered. Handcuffs and Legcuffs were recovered from the room and were first shifted to the museum at Nalanda and then shifted to Nation Museum, New Delhi.

The old name of Rajgir was Grih Braj. Rajgir is surrounded by five mountains. People during those days used to stay in between these five mountains. All these five mountains are connected with each other. Historians name these mountains as follows:

1. Vipulgiri (Jain temples can be seen) 2. Ratnagiri 3. Udaygiri 4. Sonagiri 5. Vyavhargiri

Hot water springs are at Vipulgiri and Vyavhargiri because both mountains are having a good amount of sulphur.

Thank you very much – said I to the private guide. Fantastically said – Brief History of Bimbisar Jail. Donations.