Vaishali is an ancient city of Bihar that has a mighty historical importance due to which it is now an archaeological site. Vaishali, now a tiny village, is located 32 km from the capital city, Patna.
Raja Vishal, a king from the era of Ramayan times is how the city got its name. It is believed to be one of the first ever republic states; it was practised back in the 6th century BC. This means that the town practised a republic form of government even before Lord Buddha's time.
History Of Vaishali
The historical significance that this city bears is that, Lord Buddha spent most of his life at this city. Due to which, the city is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Apart from that, Vaishali is also the place of Lord Mahavira's birth. Therefore, the two main religions of our country, Buddhism and Jainism, are both strongly prevalent in the city.
But before the presence of Lord Buddha or Lord Mahavira at Vaishali, it used to be the republican capital of a city named Licchavi. Vaishali also happens to be the birthplace of Amrapali, a well-known courtesan of the state, who later became Buddha's disciple.
During the reign of King Ashoka at Vaishali, he adopted Buddhism due to which he erected the Ashoka Pillar right here at Vaishali. Read all about the pillar and other places to visit in Vaishali.
Like the many pillars erected by King Ashoka in different parts of the country, Vaishali also has an Ashoka Pillar. It was built in order to commemorate Lord Buddha's last sermon, that took place right here. The Ashoka Pillar in Vaishali has no inscriptions on it.
It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and mainly attracts archaeology or history enthusiasts.
Vishwa Shanti Stupa
Several Shanti Stupas were built across the country, as a harbinger of peace and harmony and to keep Buddhism prevailing. One such Vishwa Shanti Stupa, or Peace Pagoda, was built in Vaishali and excavated in 1969.
Shanti Stupas are beautiful structures made completely of white marble. The Vishwa Shanti Stupa at Vaishali is surrounded by peace, tranquil greenery and a pond which allows boating for visitors.
Other Places Of Interest
Since Vaishali has a significant influence of Buddhism, two stupas of Lord Buddha are found in the town. Both the stupas have the ashes of Lord Buddha. A coronation tank by the name Abhishek Pushkarini is found in the city. Since the sacred water of the tank was used for the coronation of previous kings of Vaishali, it is a popular place.
Kundalpur is a place of significance for Jain devotees, where a statue of the 1st tirthankar, Lord Adinatha, is erected. Bawan Pokhar Temple and Ramchaura Mandir are the two Hindu temples that you can visit at Vaishali.
How To Reach Vaishali
By Air: Patna Airport, located about 65 km from Vaishali, is the closest airbase. The airport is well connected to different cities of India like Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, etc. An hour's drive from the airport will take you to Vaishali.
By Rail: Hajipur railway station is the closest railhead, which is a small station that has trains coming from Kolkata, Gorakhpur, Chandigarh, etc. It is located about 40 km from the town.
By Road: Vaishali is well connected to the rest of the state via roads and state government buses connect the town to the capital, Patna, and other places.