One Day Trip to Nalanda
Want to spend some quiet time with your friends and loved ones, away from the fast-paced city life? Pack your bags and head off to Nalanda. A tiny hamlet, located in the state of Bihar, Nalanda is a rare treasure trove that offers its visitors a variety of historical and religious places. A day in spent amidst the peaceful calm environment and the splendid scenery of Nalanda could do you much good, helping you relax and rejuvenate, instilling within you positive vibrations and would fill your mind with indescribable joy and a sense of fulfillment.
One day trips are exciting and fun-filled, especially with family and friends. You must meticulously plan everything including the time for the journey, mode of transport, restaurants, places to be visited, money to be spent, things to be taken, time of return etc well in advance to avoid last-minute delays and confusion. One must get acquainted with the place to be visited, in advance, so as to make the ardous task of planning easier and hassle-free. Here is a tentative itinerary for one day that may help you plan your trip.
Start Your Day By Visiting Ruins of Nalanda University
One can begin the day by taking the blessings of Goddess Parvathi, the presiding deity in the Surya Temple, near the ruins of Nalanda University . The divine combination of the beautiful statues in the temple and the mesmerizing lake nearby, charges you with spiritual energy, filling your mind with pure joy and bliss. There are restaurants and eateries near Nalanda University ruins, where you can have your breakfast and other refreshments. From there you can head to the explore the ruins of Nalanda University. A walk in the ruins of the university takes you to an era that saw India leading in imparting knowledge to the world - the era when India was a coveted place for studies.
You can hire an authorized guide to visit the various sections of the universities, the hostels, the classrooms, the temples, and understand many interesting facts about the architecture of the erstwhile university or printed guide books are also available. Allow an hour or two to wander round the extensive university ruins. They are peaceful, well-maintained, with a garden, perfumed with the scent of roses and shrubs. After exploring the ruins you can visit the Archaeological Museum and take a look at the exhibits which were excavated from the lands of Nalanda. Statues of the Buddha, various day-to-day used objects, images of Hindu gods and goddesses, and many more such things are displayed in the nicely furnished museum.There are a few other places near Nalanda University, like the Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara and a few shrines nearby, that can be covered within an hour or so. Then, you can head to Rajgir.
Plan Your Afternoon in Rajgir
Rajgir hardly an half an hour drive from Nalanda is yet another place that can be covered in a day. On reaching Rajgir you can first have a lunch before venturing out in the city. There are a number of moderately priced restaurants in Rajgir. You can have your lunch there and then head off for sight-seeing. Rajgir is a beautiful place, full of scenic splendour, surrounded by hills on all sides. Do not forget to take your camera, to capture the scenic beauty of this place.
You could visit the Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the Buddhist Temple on the hill top. The Buddhist temple, nearby, built by the Japanese is looked after by Fuji Baba, a Japanese monk. If you are lucky, you may even have the good fortune of being invited by the Baba for Japanese tea at his place. From the top of the hill, you can look down to Vulture Peak and see Buddha’s meditation spot.
Enjoy Riding Aerial Ropeway in Rajgir
Vishwa Shanti Stupa and the Buddhist Temple on the hill top can be reached via the aerial ropeway, on a single seated chair mounted on a cable, spanning two hills. It costs Rs.40 for a round trip. On reaching the hill- top, you will be greeted with the wonderful sight of the spotless white marble Shanti Stupa, Vishwa Shanti Stupa is the tallest peace Pagoda in the world standing tall at 400 meters and houses four statues of Lord Buddha on the four side-corners of the stupa, made of gold, depicting the various stages of his life.
The Vulture Peak or the Griddhakuta is a 20-minute walk downhill along a newly constructed path. On the way, there are six meditation caves, ideal for photography. Try to reserve half an hour each, for the Sonebhandar caves and the Maniyar Math, that are remarkable spots and ideal for exploring. Depending upon the amount of time with you, you could visit other nearby attractions that include the Venu vana, Veerayatan and the Brahmakund. The hot water springs of Brahmakund are known to have curative powers.
Spend Your Evening While Shopping in Rajgir
You can reserve evening for shopping in Rajgir. There are a number of shops in and around Rajgir that sell a variety of handicrafts and other remarkable items. There are a couple of shops near the Brahmakund, selling incense sticks and souvenirs. Also the area near the aerial ropeway is quite popular with the tourists for shopping. There are exclusive shops selling glass bowls and sculptures. Other items include Madhubani paintings, wooden wall hangings , hand-painted wall hangings, miniatures in paper and leaves,fancy key chains, stone pottery, pen stands, bamboo, leather goods and applique work etc.
Pulpar in Rajgir is famous for cloth market, food plaza, hotels and restaurants, cycle store, showroom, delicious sweet shops and many small and big markets and shops, while Garhpar is famous for furniture, steel trunk, electronic goods shop, cloth market, and many small general stores. Sabji Bajar and Khandakpar are the other famous town markets.
Conclude Your Day Dining At Famous Restaurants of Rajgir
One cannot simply leave Rajgir without tasting its special delicacy-the khaja. There are many roadside eateries, and small eating joints, that are popular among the tourists for serving tasty traditional Bihari snacks. Rajgir Residency is a good restaurant in Rajgir to try various cuisines. The restaurant satisfies all tastes serving Indian delicacies, Thai and Korean dishes, Japanese sushi and various other Chinese dishes. Another good place to ear in Rajgir is the Centaur Hokke Hotel is the place where the guests can indulge in both Japanese and Indian cuisine. There are also a number of BSTDC run hotels.Once done one can get back to the hotel to relax after a long day of journey in and around Nalanda.