History of Vaishali
During ancient period, Vaishali was the capital of Licchavi state, which covered most of the Himalayan Gangetic region of present-day Bihar state. From the history of the ancient Vaishali, 34 kings of this region have been recorded by the Vishnu Purana. Among the kings, the first king was Nabhaga who gave up his throne for the sake of the human rights. And the last king named Sumati was the contemporary of Dasaratha, father of Lord Rama. Vaishali is also known by the land of Amrapali the Indian courtesan, who has been mentioned in many folktales and Buddhist literature. She also became a disciple of Buddha.
Association of Vaishali with Buddha
Vaishali is predominantly popular for its close association with Gautama Buddha. Buddha first came to Vaishali for his renunciation after leaving Kapilavastu and became spiritually trained by Ramaputra Udraka and Alara Kalama. After his enlightenment he visited this place for many times and organized his Bhikshu Sangha based on the pattern of Vaishalian democracy. He also established his Bhikshuni Sangha introducing his aunt Maha Prajavati Gautami into that order.
Jainism in Vaishali
According to the Svetambaras Tirthankara Mahavira was born in Kshatriyakund district of Vaishali to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishila. Mahavira spent 12 rainy seasons of his life in Vaishali. This city was also the residence of Kandaramasuka and Patikaputta.
Buddhist Sites in Vaishali
The notable Buddhist sites of Vaishali are provided below:
Ashokan Pillar: Emperor Ashoka built The Lion Pillar at Kolhua. It is made of a highly polished single piece of red sandstone, surmounted by a bell shaped capital, 18.3 m high. A life-size figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. There is a small tank there known as Ramkund. This pillar beside a brick stupa at Kolhua commemorates Buddha's last sermon.
Bawan Pokhar Temple: An old temple built in the Pala period stands on the northern bank of Bawan Pokhar and enshrines beautiful images of several Hindu Gods.
Budha Stupa -I: The exterior of this stupa which is now in a dilapidated condition has a plain surface. One eighth of the sacred ashes of the lord Buddha were enshrined here in a stone casket.
Budha Stupa-II: Excavation at this site in 1958 led to the discovery of another casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
Abhiskek Pushkarn: It contains water that was believed to be sacred in the old days. All of Vaishali's elected representatives were anointed here before their swearing in. The Lichchavi stupa was located nearby.
Kundalpur: It is the birth place of Lord Mahavira.
Raja Vishal Ka Garh: A huge mound with a circumference about one Kilometer and walls nearly 2 meters high with a 43 meters wide moat around them; is said to be the ancient parliament house. Over seven thousand representatives of the federal assembly gathered here to legislate and discuss the problems of the day.
Shanti Stupa: Vishwa Santi Stupa is situated next to the coronation tank, which was built by Japanese Nichiren Buddhist sect Nipponzan-Myohoji. A small part of the Buddha's relics found in Vaishali have been enshrined in the foundation and in the chhatra of the Stupa.
Vaishali Museum: It was established in 1971 by Archaeological Survey of India to persevere and display the antiquities found during the excavation in Vaishali.
Visiting Information to Vaishali
Nearest airport to Vaishali is Patna, which is 70 km away from this place. Hajipur Junction is the nearest railway station to Vaishali. This city is also well connected to Patna (56 Km), Muzaffarpur (36 Km) and Hazipur (35 Km) by road.
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