Vaishali is a town that speaks volumes about the historical and religious heritage of ancient India especially the story of Mahatma Buddha. In olden days it was the capital city of the vibrant republican Licchavi state holding its own in a political arena dominated by monarchies. At the time of Buddha, it was a very large city, prosperous, abundant and heavily populated.
Buddha visited Vaishali on many occasions and it was here that he preached his last sermon before his death in 483 BCE. A century later, the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka, making it an important place in both Jain and Buddhist religions.
Today, the ancient tales are told by Stupa 1 or Relic Stupa. Here lie encased one of the portions of the Masters relics which the Licchavis received after his Mahaparinirvana. Nearby is the Coronation Tank or Abhishek Pushkarini, whose sacred waters anointed the elected representatives of Vaishali. Next to this tank stands the Japanese temple and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) built by Japanese. Enshrined in its foundations are a small portion of Buddhas relics.
Another pilgrimage site is the Kutagarasala Vihara which is a monastery where Buddha most frequently stayed while visiting Vaishali. King Asoka, we all know from our history lessons turned to Buddhism in search of solace after the Kalinga war. He built the Ananda Stupa in the grounds of this Vihara where we also find an Asoka Pillar in very good condition.
Best time to visit: October to March
Languages Spoken: Hindi
Climate: Hot summers and moderate winters
Pilgrimage sites: Stupa 1, Kutagarasala Vihara, World Peace Pagoda, Ananda Stupa
Places of Interest: Coronation Tank, Archaelogical Survey of India Museum