Bihar: Vaishali

 

Vaishali, one of world's first republics, had got its name from Vishal, the son of Lichabiraz Ikhabaku. It is believed that Goutam Buddha had visited Vaishali thrice. Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon at Kaluhat (near to Vaishali), situated at the banks of Gandhaki River and announced his Parinirvana there. The second Buddha council was established in Vaishali after 100 years of his Parinirvana. 6 out of 13 Buddha Stupa are still carrying the reminiscences of the ancient Buddhist culture of Vaishali. Amrapali, the dancer, had gifted Amrakanan to Goutam Buddha. She became Buddhist here in Vaishali. Arguably, the last Jain saint, Bardhaman Mahavir was born in the nearby village Kumbhagram.

Ashoka pillar, about 4 km away from Vaishali, was built by the king Ashoka in remembrance of the last sermon of Goutama Buddha. The 18.3 meters high pillar has an idol of a lion over lotus atop the pillar. A Buddha stupa is there at the front side of the pillar. An idol of Mahadeb with four faces is also there. You can also see the Buddha stupa (2) on the way to museum. But the stupa of the Lichhavi Empire is now almost destroyed.

Sculptures, Bronze coins, wooden materials, and Gold were discovered after excavation at Vaishali. You should not miss out the museum which displays various excavated items. Buddha temple, coronation tank, Ramkunda, and lotus tanks are the other coveted places of Vaishali.

The big custody of the king was situated at the rear side of the bus stand. Don’t forget to see the Parliament house and the idol with four faces in the adjoining temple. Mirnaji Ki Darga, the graveyard of Sheikh Md. Kajin, is situated at a distance of half km from Vaishali. The nearby temple was almost destroyed in 1934 due to the earthquake but the charm of the idols of the temple still exists.

52 kunda which literally became a pond later is another nice place of Vaishali. You can also visit the nearby Jain temple.

Hire a rickshaw for a comfortable tour of Vaishali. It will cost you 50-60 rupees.

How to reach: You have to avail a train from Kolkata to Muzzafarpur or Hajipur. A lot of express trains are going to Muzzafharpur from Kolkata. Then you have to take a bus from Muzzafharpur to Vaishali.

Where to stay: Hotel Elite, Chandralok Hotel, and Lichavi Vihar.

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