The ancient city of Vaishali is of great significance to Buddhists on their pilgrimage because it is not merely the place where one of the four major miracles was performed by Buddha. Here Buddha also gave his last sermon before his parinibbana.
Major Attractions in Vaishali:
Relic Stupa: The relic stupa of Lichhavis is situated in Vaishali right in front of Abhishek Puskarni built over the share of Buddha’s relics which Lichhavis received in Kusinagar after the last rites of Buddha. The original stupa built by Lichhavis was a mud structure and became renovated and enlarged at least four times. The remains of the relic stupa can be seen under an open shelter with a dome shaped roof.
Raj Vishal ka Garh: Raj Vishal ka Garh is situated in the village of Basarh of Vaishali. The house is believed to be the citadel of Vaishali and the site of the ancient city. The 7707 representatives of the ancient confederation of Vaishali met and discussed the day-to-day affairs of the state in this very house. The ruins consist of a large brick mound and are more than 1500 meters in circumference.
Asoka PillarTo commemorate Buddha’s last sermon and his announcement of approaching Parinibbana, Emperor Asoka had this pillar erected in Vaishali. The pillar is made out of single sandstone surmounted by a lion capital. The face of the lion is directed toward north as a symbol of direction taken by Buddha on his last journey. The pillar is probably the only one built by Asoka which has not been damaged and is still in its original condition.
Asoka StupaThe Asoka Stupa is just adjacent to the Asoka pillar. This dome-shaped brick structure is 4.6 meters in height and 20 meters in diameter. Next to this stupa are the ruins of the large monastery including the premises where Buddha used to stay and preach. The swastika shaped monastery of the nuns can also be found right next to it.
Monkeys TankNear the Asoka pillar is a tank called Rama Kund. It has been identified as the tank which was originally dug by a troop of monkeys. However, it was later enlarged significantly.
Abhishek Pushkarini (Coronation tank): Abhishek pushkarini is sited near the relic stupa. It was considered sacred by the Lichhavis and all elected representatives of the republic were anointed by the sacred water of the tank.
Kesaria Stupa: The Kesaria Stupa is the highest stupa in the world and stands in the East Champaran district around 56 kilometer from Vaishali. The height of the Kesaria Stupa is 32 meters (30 cm taller than the Borobodaur Stupa in Java) and spans 427 meters. The original height of the stupa was 38 meters, but the 1934 earthquake of Bihar resulted in considerable destruction of the upper part of the stupa.