one of the Buddha's favourite resorts and he visited it on several
occasions It was here that he had his famous encounter with the
prostitute Ambapali, the incident is recounted in the Mahaparinibbana
Sutta in The Long Discourses. Another discourse he delivered here is
the long but interesting Mahasihanada Sutta from The Middle Length
Discourses. According to the Mahayana tradition the famous
Vimalakirtinedesa Sutra was preached here too.
About a hundred years after the Buddha's Parinirvana the city was the
venue for the Second Council where hundreds of monks from all over
northern India met together to sell settle a dispute about Vinaya
rules and to chant the suttas together. The main things to see today
are the famous lion pillar, the museum, the large Kharauna Lake, the
Japanese temple and the stupa built over the Vijjians' one eighth
share of the Buddha's ashes.
Vaishali is situated in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, around 55
km off Patna, the capital of the state. Vaishali extends from latitude
25° in the North to longitude 85° in the East. The town, an important
place for both the Buddhists and Jains, is well connected to other
important cities in Bihar by road.
Believed to be the first republic in the world, Vaishali has taken its
name from King Vishal of the Mahabharat age. He is said to have
constructed a great fort here, which is now in ruins. Vaishali is a
great Buddhist pilgrimage and also the birthplace of Lord Mahavira. It
is said that the Buddha visited this place thrice and spent quite a
long time here. The Buddha also delivered his last sermon at Vaishali
and announced his Nirvana here. After his death, Vaishali also held
the second Buddhist Council.
The great Lichchavi clan ruled Vaishali in the sixth century BC, and
the empire extended up to the hills of Nepal. The Lichchavi state is
considered to be the first republican state of Asia. According to the
Jataka stories, (Buddhist story books giving the account of different
births of the Buddha), Vaishali was ruled by some 7707 kings of the
Lichchavi clan. Ajatshatru, the great Magadh King, annexed Vaishali in
the fifth century BC and after that Vaishali gradually lost its glory
Pilgriamge Attractions of Vaishali
The Lion Pillar at Kolhua, was built by Emperor Ashoka. 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 here known as Ramkund.
Bawan Pokhar Temple
An old temple built in the Pala period stands on the northern bank
of a tank known as Bawan Pokhar and enshrines beautiful images of
several Hindu gods.
Buddha Stupa - 1
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.
Buddha Stupa - II
Excavation at this site in 1958 led to the discovery of another
casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
On the south bank of the Coronation Tank built by Buddh Vihar
Kundupur ( Birth Place of Lord Mahavira )
4 kms. It is believed that the Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavira was
born over 2550 years ago. Mahavir is said to have spent the first 22
years of his life here.
Coronation Tank or Abhishekh Pushkarni, its water were believed to
be sacred in the old days and all of Vaishali's elected
representatives were anointed here before their swearing in.
Other Places of Pilgrimage
Chaumukhi Mahadeva, Harikatora Temple, Lotus Tank and
Miranji-Ki-Dargah,Jain Temple etc.
Patna 55 kms. Turning over the pages of early Indian history one
come across the name of the pre-eminent city of Patliputra. Located at
the site where Patna is today, this city saw the rise and fall of
India's first major Kingdoms. Third Buddhist Council was held here.
Vaishali Mahotsava : Vaishali Mahotsava is held to celebrate the
birth anniversary of the Jain Thirankar, Lord Mahavir on the full moon
day of the month of "Vaishakh" (mid-April).
Arts and Crafts
Several villages around Vaishali make delightful home made clay
Sikki Work The humble blade of grass is hand-woven into
delightful baskets and mats. Lac Bangles. These hand made Lac Bangles
from nearby city Muzaffarpur.
How to reach there
Air The nearest Airport is Patna (56 kms.)
Rail Hazipur on the north eastern railway is the nearest railway
station 35 kms.
Road Vaishali is well connected by road to Patna (56 kms.),
Muzaffarpur (36 kms.) and Hazipur (35 kms.)