Vaishali

Buddha preached his last sermon here and announced his coming parinirvana. Buddha visited xe “Vaishali” Vaishali, 55km north of Patna, three times during his life. Vaishali is also the birthplace of Mahavira (599 BC), one of the Jain tirthankars. A century after the Buddha passed away, in 383 BC, the Second Buddhist Council was held here. Vaishali is in the ancient land of Mithila.

At the main site is the Coronation Tank (Kharauna Pokhar), the water from which was used to anoint the ruler of Vaishali at his coronation. Next to the tank is the small Vaishali Archaeological Museum (open daily except Fri 10 am to 5 pm), which has sculptures, terra-cottas, pottery, and coins. Close by is an ancient Buddhist stupa, said to contain Buddha’s ashes.

Ashoka erected one of his famous pillars at Kolhua, 2km away. The 18.3m high pillar is made of highly polished red sandstone and has a life-sized lion carved on top. It is one of only two of the Ashoka pillars that still remain in their original place.

Nearby, Ram Kund (also called Monkey Tank) is said to have been dug by monkeys who offered Buddha a bowl of honey. There is also the ruin of a large stupa here.

There is a temple at Basarh by Bavan Pokhar tank.

A wall about 1km long surrounds the ruins of Raja Vishala ka Garh. The Parliament House was large enough to hold over 7,000 representatives. The 4th century Chaumukhi Mahadeva Temple at Kamman Chapra, has a four-faced Siva.

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