Jivakarama monastery, (near) Rajgir, Bihar, IN

Raw data

Located straight east of Patna in Bihar (and a current tourist site), archaeologists have located the the foundations of what was a very early mud and thatch monastery. It may have been built during the Buddha's lifetime or shortly his death, when monks only gathered in the monsoon season, otherwise wandering and begging. Both Pali and Sanskrit scripture attribute patronage of the monastery to Jivaka, a leading physician of Rajagaha (Rajgir) and follower of the Buddha. He donated a great mango orchard to the sangha, in which the monastery was built.

See Sukumar Dutt, Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: their history and contribution to Indian culture (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd. 1962), p. 61-63.
Src: India
Input by: Stewart Gordon, Aug 28, 2009

Rajgir, India Page
Other names: Rājagriha,Rajgriha,Rajagriha,Rājgīr
World:India:Bihar State of
Lat 25.0333 Long 85.4167

"At the time of the Buddha, among the lay physicians, the most renowned was Jivaka Kumarabhacca, who is described as providing free medical care to the Buddha and other monks and donating his mango grove at Rajagaha for use as a monastic community, named Jivakarama."

"Southwest of Vulture's Peak in a mango grove is the site of the first monastery, the Jivakarama. This was perhaps, the first of its kind: the first monastery with a common courtyard in the centre of a built complex as a focal point; the predecessor for the classical cloistered quadrangle since then used by religious orders in both eastern and western traditions.
This open space came about through the suggestion of the Buddha's physician, Jivaka Komara-bhakka."

input: tmciolek, 29 Aug 2009.

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 12 Jan 2010

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Jivakarama monastery, IN.

General location of the Jivakarama monastery, IN.
Lat 24.982 Long 85.4297
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Jivakarama monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India: State of Bihar

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 24.982 Long 85.4297 - an estimate from terrain map in maps.google.com - tmciolek, 12 Jan 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Prior to factional splits

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • Around 400 BCE
  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 29 Apr 2013
  • <=0200 dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • In the Buddha's lifetime, he spent time at the other monasteries in of the lower Ganges plain, of which only two others have been located by archaeology and inscription. They are Jetavana, near Savatthi, and Ghositarama, at Kosambi.

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Early scripture, archaeology.

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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