Vaishali is a place located in Bihar, India. The name of the place is derived from the King Vaishala, a popular ruler in the ancient times. It is the first place that was visited by Siddhartha Gautama in India, after leaving home. Also, the Lord Buddha preached his last sermons over there before attaining the enlightenment. The place is jeweled with stupas, monasteries, temples, etc. and is frequently visited by number of pilgrims of Buddhists and Mahavira.
Now-a-days, Vaishali is a small village which is surrounded by banana and mango trees. But, shoveling in the area gives rise to an impressive historical past behind it. The Lord Buddha visited this place intermittently and very close to this place. The sites available there were built by Lichchvis and popular emperor Ashoka. To commemorate this place, emperor Ashoka made iron pillar there. Two stupas were erected there by Lichchvi to remember this event.
Vaishali is also popular in terms of the Jainism pilgrimage site as it is the birthplace of Mahavira. So, Jainism also has its origins in Vaishali. Lord Mahavira lived in this place till 22 years old. It shows that Vaishali is a twin blessed place as it has the remains of both Buddhism and Jainism. Pilgrims related to both the religions go there in a large number throughout the year. Some of the major destinations or places to see in Vaishali are as follows:-
This museum encloses some of the archaeological remains of both the religions that discovered from this place. Near the museum, there is a shaded stupa which housed the casket relic with the ashes of Buddha.
The name of the pillar suggests itself that it was built by emperor Ashoka. This lion pillar is located at Kolhua. This pillar is highly polished and made of a single piece of red sandstone. It is surmounted by a bell shaped capital which is 18.3 m high. A unique figure of a lion is placed on top of the pillar. Besides the pillar, a brick stupa is located at Kolhua that commemorates the Buddha’s last sermon location.
Bawan Pokhar Temple
It is an old temple which built in the Pala period and enshrines the elegant images of several Hindu gods. It is visited by many tourists to get the blessings of lords.
Buddha Stupa- I
The exterior side of the stupa which is now in battered condition has a plain surface. 1/8th of the sacred ashes of the Lord Buddha enshrined there in a stone casket.
This site has been excavated in 1958 and led to the discovery of another casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
This is also known as coronation tank as it contains water which is believed to be sacred in the old days. All the Vaishali’s elected representative was bathed in this tank before taking the oath. The famous Lichchavi stupa is also located near this tank. Also, on the south bank of the coronation tank, shanty stupa is located which was built by Buddha Vihar Society.
So, the place is full of sacred places and Buddhist lovers winds there perfectly. Pilgrims from different states and countries go there to take the blessings of Buddha and Mahavira.