Tourism in Bihar

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Vaishali holds an important place in the tourism industry of Bihar. It is part of the Buddhist circuit attracting tourists from all over India and world.Vaishali was the capital of a republic as early as 6th century BC. Once an important centre of learning and holy place where Mahavira the religious guru of Jains was born and Lord Buddha gave his sermons. Vaishali has an impressive historical past with many excavations in the area.

The epic Ramayana mentions the story of the heroic King Vishal who ruled here. According to historians Vaishali was one of the world's first democratic republics with an elected assembly of representatives which flourished here in the 6th century B.C.

In the time of the Vajjis and the Lichchavis. Vaishali was also a rich center for trade and industry.The Vishnu Puran records 34 kings of Vaishali, the first being Nabhaga, who is believed to have abdicted his throne over a matter of human rights and believed to have declared: "I am now a free tiller of the soil, king over my acre." The last among the 34 was Sumati, who is considered a contemporary of Dasaratha father of theLord Rama..

Vaishali, on the left bank of the Gandak River, is spiritually very important pilgrimage centre right from the early period as it has witnessed frequent visits from Lord Buddha who preached his last sermon at Kolhua. Emperor Ashoka, in the third century B.C. erected one of his famous lion pillars here. Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. Two stupas were erected to commemorate this event. Lord Mahavir was born on the outskirts of the city, and lived in Vaishali till he was 22. Vaishali is twice blessed and remains an important pilgrim center for both Buddhists and Jains.

The grand double storied Buddhist monastery stood on the outskirts of Vaishali. Lord Buddha extended spiritual quest to women by admitting them to the Holy Order which was opposed here. A life size-pillar beside a brick stupa at Kolhua commemorates Buddha's last sermon and announcement of his approaching nirvana. The lion faces north, the direction Buddha took on his last voyage. Adjacent to this is the tank associated with the monkeys offering honey. Nearby are the skeletal remains of a monastery where Buddha resided and a votive stupas dot the region.

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.

Archaeologists have excavated a huge mound associated with the ancient Parliament referred to Raja Vaihala Ka Garh. Bawan Pokhar temple has a rich collection of black basalt images of Gupta and Pala period. Four headed black basalt, Shivling (Choumukhi Mahadeva) was discovered when a reservoir was being dug. Behind the Bawan pokhar temple is a Jain temple famous for its image of the Trithankar. A little distance from these temples lays the Lotus Tank which was a picnic spot of the Lichchhavis.

Tourist Attractions in Vaishali

Tourist Attractions in Vaishali