(Last Updated on : 07-04-2009)
Hajipur is a small town located near Patna. This place is important for the Buddhists, as Buddha has delivered an important discourse here. Some ashes belonging to one of Buddha's disciples (Ananda) is also placed here. In ancient India the first village that one came across immediately after crossing Ganga River was Hajipur or Ukkacala.
The discourse of Cula Goplalaka Sutta was taught here by Buddha. It is a part of the Middle Length Discourses of Buddhist principles. But mainly this place is well known for the ashes of Ananda. He was one of the closest disciples that Buddha had. He was then traveling towards the north of Rajgir when he realized that his life was coming to an end. When King Ajatsatru came to know about Ananda's departure he followed him and started to pursue him to stay. On the other side of the river bank the people from Vaishali had already gathered to welcome the sage.
Ananda was already in the middle of Ganga River when Ajatsatru reached him. The people on both the banks of the river requested him to come over to their end. He deemed a possible conflict and disappointed. To avoid such circumstances he rose into the air and disappeared as a fireball. On both the sides of the river his ashes fell. As a result stupas were erected on both the riverbanks. The Stupa on the south bank, however, got washed away by river water long ago. On the northern bank the Stupa is now a grassy hill on which a Hindu temple was built. The present temple is known as Ramchaura Mandir.
Hajipur is accessible from Patna. The nearest airport is at Patna. The nearest railway station is at Hajipur. Bus and taxi services are also available for Hajipur, the Buddhist pilgrimage centre.