(Last Updated on : 01/12/2008)
Kapilavastu is 110 km from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient city in Terai of Nepal, located close to Lumbini. It was the capital city of Sakya clan. It is at Kapilavastu that Lord Buddha was born. He spent his childhood here. It is at Kapilavastu that he renounced all the worldly pleasures and went in search of truth and salvation. The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien described Kapilavastu as a "great scene of empty desolation". The place is an holy pilgrimage for the Buddhists. The UNESCO declared `Nepalese` Kapilavastu, along with Lumbini, as a World Heritage site.
The location of ancient Kapilavastu is still not unanimously accepted. Indian guidebooks and historians consider Piprahwa to be the real Kapilavastu, while Nepalese guidebooks and historians consider Tilaurakot to be the real Kapilavastu. A compromise is to regard Tilaurakot as the `old` Kapilavastu and Piprahwa as the `new` Kapilavastu. Another view is that Kapilavastu is a large area which is mainly in Nepal but partly in India.
The Archaeological Survey of India carried out an excavation between 1971 and 1977, at Kapilavastu. Of the stupas and inscription of Kushana period excavated from the site, one stupa was referred to as the Eastern Stupa by the archaeologists.