(Last Updated on : 07/04/2009)
The Koliya clan belonged to the days of Gautama Buddha. The Koliya tribe had two chief settlements. One was at Ramagaam and the other was at Devadaha. There is an interesting account associated with the origin of the Koliya tribe. Rama, a king from Benaras was afflicted with leprosy. As a result he was disliked by the women of the court. He handed over his kingdom to his eldest son and headed towards a forest. His disease was cured when he was living in the forest. There he met Piya, daughter of Okkaha. She, too, was suffering from leprosy. Rama cured her and they married.
With the help from his son in Varanasi they built a new town in the wood. They had 32 sons. The city was thereon named as Kolangara. The descendants of this king are known as Koliyas. The Koliyas` nearest neighbor were the Sakyans. The kshatriyas of both the tribes intermarried and both were related to Budddha. Young men from this tribe also took up Buddhism.
Several places belonging to the Koliya tribe are mentioned in literature. Places like Uttara, Kakkarapatta, Sajjanela, Haliddavasana and Sapuga. These regions were either visited by Buddha or his disciples. Buddha`s mother, Mayadevi belonged to the Koliya clan. As a result they claimed Buddha to be their descendant. The Koliyans were frequently engaged in war with Sakyas over the issue of irrigation water for their farms. Buddha intervened and stopped them from waging war against each other.
After the death of Gautama Buddha Koliyans of Ramagama obtained almost one tenth of Buddha`s relics and they constructed a Stupa over the relics. At a later stage the Koliyans shifted to the Kumaon region. Till date they are primarily known because of their association with Buddha.