Though I have visited Shanti Stupa years ago at Rajgir (Bihar) but was not aware about Gridhakuta nearby. Shanti Stupa is made by Japanese. You may visit via ropeway (Rs. 60 to and fro) or via a well made little steep path. The path also goes to Gridhakuta. Walking towards Gridhakuta is approx. 20-30 minutes journey depending upon ones physical fitness.
During recent visit we visited Gridhakuta also known as Vulture’s peak because of rocks present there shaped as Vulture. It is also believed during Lord Buddha meditation Vulture’s tried to disturb and by Buddha’s blessings they turned into rocks.
Arjun Malakar – caretaker of the location since 44 years was present and narrated brief history of Gridhakuta as follows:
Siddhartha (Lord Buddha)Â after leaving his home in search of peace first visited Rajgrih now known as Rajgir surrounded by five hills but was stop at the city entrance by Magadh Kingdom soldiers. When the news was heard about a saint arrival at the gate King Bimbisar himself visited and inquire about saint purpose of visit to the city. Siddhartha narrated his wish to do meditation to attain peace and in search of location for the same.
King Bimbisar was having his empire in 36 km. He requested Siddhartha to select any place within 36 km.
Siddhartha after roaming 36 km selected this very location which was a burning place for dead bodies known as Gridhakuta.
Siddhartha was here for six years doing meditation and after attaining enlightenment he spent another eight years at this very location. Total fourteen years he spent at Gridhakuta.
There are four caves at Gridhakuta. Lord Buddha disciples – Ananda,Â Sariputra, Maudgalyayana and Mahakasyapa meditated within these caves. Ananda cave is the nearest to the location where Buddha meditate and deliver sermons.
The path towards Lord Buddha meditation location was made first by King Bimbisar. One has to pass via two huge rocks to visit top of Gridhakuta. The current path was made after the visit of Jawaharlal Nehru – Prime Minister of India.
Devadatta – cousin of Lord Buddha hurled rock at Lord Buddha to kill. Jeevak Vaidh cured Buddha by ayurvedic medicines. Devadatta also tried his best to kill Buddha by making Nalagiri elephant drunk liquor so that he might kill Lord Buddha but failed as Nalagiri calmed down and bow its head to Lord Buddha.
King Bimbisar’s second wife grave is also at nearby hill known as Ratnagiri but we were advised not to visit alone as it is an out area. Udaygiri is the mountain from where Sun rise. Devotees visit Gridhakuta to watch Sun rising from Udaygiri.
Great – said I. Thanks for narrating beautiful history and thanks for taking care of historical location for years. Donations.