At a distance of 4 km from Rajgir Railway Station, Saptaparni Cave is a Buddhist cave situated on Vaibhavgiri Hill in Rajgir, Bihar. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Bihar and among the must-visit Rajgir Tourist Places.
Saptparni Cave, also referred to as Sapta Parni Guha, literally Seven-leaves-cave is an important Buddhist cave site as it is believed to be the place where Lord Buddha spent some time before his death. And, this is also the site where the first Buddhist council was held after Buddha's parinirvana. It is here that a council of 500 monks decided to appoint Ananda (Buddha's cousin) and Upali, to deliver Buddha's teachings for the future generations after Buddha's death. The Buddha never wrote down his teachings. After the Saptaparni Caves meeting, Ananda created an oral tradition of Buddha's teaching from his memory, prefacing it with 'Thus have I heard on one occasion'. Upali is credited with reciting the Vinaya (discipline), or 'rules for the Bhikshus'.
A Magadha ruler named Ajatshatru also built a Sabha Mandap in front of these caves, which was used for the first Buddhist council. Today, the cave is a popular site that attracts thousands of tourists every year from across the world. A 20-minute uphill hike from the back of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple takes you past Jain and Hindu temples to this atmospheric cave and natural rock platform, where Buddha is said to have meditated.
Timings: 6 AM - 4 PM