Rajgir (meaning house of the king) was earlier the capital of Magadh, until 5th centaury BC. After the formation of Patliputra the capital was shifted from Rajgrih (then) to Patliputra.
Historically, the king of this place Jarasandha, was defeated by Lord Krishna 17 times. When it came to the 18th time, Krishna had left the place without a war. Also according to Mahabharata one of the Pandavas Bhima had split Jarasandha into two halves and threw both in opposite directions. Jarasandha was invincible as his body could rejoin any dismembered limbs. There is a famous Jarasandha s Akhara(place where you practice martial arts).
The place has a feel and aura of Buddhism as it is closely associated with Lord Buddha.
Buddha had not only spent many years here, but also delivered sermons and proselytized emperor Bimbisar at the Griddhakoota hill.It is believed that the Jivekarmavan monastery was one of favourite places to reside for Buddha. Many teachings of Lord Buddha was penned down here in Rajgir and the place is proudly the host of First ever Buddhist council.
The place also traces its history to the captivity of Bimbisara. It is believed that Ajatashatru had captivated his father Bimbisara here ages ago. Although it is not properly sourced that who out of Bimbisara or ajatshatru was responsible for the establishment of the town, but it was Ajatshatru who was responsible for moving the capital to Patliputra.
Based on some ancient Buddhist and Jain scriptures the place has been divided into new and old Rajgir.