Located: An old temple built in the Pala period stands on the northern bank of Bawan Pokhar and enshrines beautiful images of several Hindu gods.
Main Tourist Attractions: Ashokan Pillar, Buddha Stupa-I, Buddha Stupa-II, Shanti Stupa, Coronation Tank.
Best Buys: Paintings
Best Time To visit: October to March
Nearest Tourist Destination: Bodhgaya
Vaishali today is a small village surrounded by banana, mango groves and rice fields. Historians maintain that one of the world's first democratic republics with an elected assembly of representatives flourished here in the 6th century B.C. in the time of the Vajjis and the Lichchavis. And while Pataliputra, capital of the Mauryas and the Guptas, held political sway over the Gangetic plain, Vaishali was a rich center for trade and industry.
Lord Buddha visited this place frequently and at Kolhua, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor Ashoka, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha - Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. Two stupas were erected to commemorate this event.
Jainism, too, has its origins in Vaishali, for in 527 B.C., Lord Mahavir was born on the outskirts of the city, and lived in Vaishali till he was 22. Vaishali is then twice blessed and remains an important pilgrim center for both Buddhists and Jains, attracting also historians foraging for the past.
On the outskirts of Vaishali stood the grand double storied Buddhist monastery. Legend has it that on one of Bhuddas visits, several monkeys dug up a tank for his comfortable stay and offered him a bowl of honey. This is regarded as one of the great incidents in the legends of Buddha, who announced his approaching Nirvana and preached his last sermon here.
Vaishali museum houses some of the archaeological remains discovered here. Facing the museum is the Abhishek Pushkarni which was holy to Lichchhavis. On one side of the lake is newly built Vishwa Shanti Stupa, a sixth in the series to be erected in India. Close to the museum is the shaded stupa which is supposed to have housed the casket relic with the ashes of Buddha.
Bawan Pokhar Temple
An old temple built in the Pala period stands on the northern bank of Bawan Pokhar and enshrines Kundalpur Idol beautiful images of several Hindu gods.
The exterior of this stupa which is now in a dilapidated condition has a plain surface. One eighth of the sacred ashes of the lord Buddha were enshrined here in a stone casket.
Excavation at this site in 1958 led to the discovery of another casket containing the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
Abhiskek Pushkarn (Coronation Tank):
It contains water that was believed to be sacred in the old days. All of Vaishali's elected representative were anointed here before their swearing in. The Lichchavi stupa was located near here.
Birth place of Lord Mahavira. 4Km.It is believed that the Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir was born over 2550 years ago. Mahavir is said to have spent the first 22 years of his life here.
Raja Vishal Ka Garh
A huge mound with a circumference about one Kilometer and walls nearly 2 m high with a 43m wide moat around them, is said to be the ancient parliament house. Over seven thousand representatives of the federal assembly gathered here to legislate and discuss the problems of the day..
On the south bank of the coronation tank, 3 built by Buddha Vihar Society
Air: The nearest airport is Patna (70 Kms)
Train: Hajipur on the north eastern railway station (35 Kms) from Muzaffarpur Railway station (40 Kms)
Road: Vaishali is well connected by road to Patna (56 Kms), Muzaffarpur (36 Kms) and Hazipur (35 Kms)