Vaishali - The first Republic

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Situated at near distance of 56 km from Patna, Vaishali is an archaeological site which has great importance in the Indian history. It is the place where, according to Historian, world's first Republic kingdom flourished way back in 6th century BC under the rule of Licchavi's. It is the land which is associated with the flourishing of religions like Buddhism & Jainism. While the Pataliputra was the political nerve center of India, Vaishali held the trade and industry.

Vaishali was the capital of Licchavis and it flourished under the rule of 34 Licchavi kings, though not much is known about the kings. However, Vaishali was described as a Republic with an elected assembly of representatives during the 6th cent BC, before the birth of Lord Mahavir (599 BC). The place is associated with both Jainism and Buddhism, hence frequently visited by the Jains and Buddhists. Lord Mahavir was born in a place called Kundalagrama in Vaishali district to king Siddharth and queen Trishala. He stayed in this place for 30 years before he renounced the title and the kingdom and went on to become the last and the 24th Tirthankara of the Jainism after many years.

Buddha preached his last sermon at Kolhua in Vaishali. He was a frequent visitor to the Vaishali. Ashoka built one of his Lion pillars at the place to commemorate the sermon in the 3rd cent BC. One hundred year after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, Vaishali hosted the 2nd Buddhist council. Two stupas were erected to mark the event. Buddha sacred relics have been found in one of stupas in Vaishali.

Vaishali is dotted with historical and religious sites. It is one of the treasure ground for the historian looking foe Buddhism and Jainism religion growth and development.

Lion's Pillar : It is one of the famous landmark, built by the Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd cent BC to commemorate the last sermon of Lord Buddha at Kolhua. It is 18.3 m high and made up of highly polished single piece of red sandstone. A figure of lion is placed on the top of pillar. There is a brick stupa and a small tank around it.

Vaishali Museum : It houses the various items found during the various excavations. It has good archaeological value. It houses beads of semi precious stones, terracotta figurine, seals and sealing, inscribed potsherd etc. Beside the museum is Abhishek Pushkarani , a pond sacred to the Licchavis. Close to the museum is the stupa where the relics of Lord Buddha was found. Also nearby is the Raja Vishal ka Garh, an excavated place believed to be the assembly building of the Licchavis Kingdom where the important decisions regarding the Republic used to be taken.

Bawan Pokhar Temple : It is an old temple belonging to Pala period. It houses various beautiful idols and images of Hindu god and goddess. It is situated beside a pond called Bawan Pokhar.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa : It is another attraction, build by foreign assistance in recent times. It is situated beside the Abhishek Pushkarani and looks quite impressive with its dome rising high in the sky.

How to reach

  • Airport : The nearest airport is Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport at Patna, some 60 km far.
  • Railway : The nearest railway station is Hazipur, some 35 km away. It is well connected station. Muzaffarpur railway station is situated some 40 km away. Patna Junction, the biggest and easily accessible station from rest of the country, is 56 km away.
  • Roads: Vaishali is well connected by roads from all the major cities of Bihar.

Where to stay
Vaishali provides moderate accommodation for the night. However its best to stay in Patna and take an early morning ride to Vaishali and return back by night.

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