Vaishali is a part of Buddhist Circuit hence all the spots near Vaishali which are related with Buddhism form part of excursion of Vaishali. Many of the places included in Buddhist Circuit are located in vicinity of Vaishali. Lets have a look at some of the important places to see near Vaishali.
Nalanda was the center of higher learning during ancient times. Founded in the fifth century AD, it housed more than ten thousand students and one thousand faculty members. Students from abroad came to study here. One of such students was Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveler, who wrote his travelogue which gives important information about the place. There were many Buddhist monasteries too at Nalanda and many were built during Mauryan king Ashoka’s time. Now in ruins, Nalanda still attracts tourists for its historical relevance.
Pawapuri is located 90 kilometers away from Gaya. Jain followers believe that visiting the place one can get rid of their sins. The place is revered for being the place where Mahavir Jain took his last breath. A popular Jain tale says that when Mahavir died at Pawapuri, people took away not only the ashes but also scooped out earth which resulted into a big pond. Pawapuri has a Jain temple called Jalamandir. Jalmandir is made in marble and is a major tourist attraction at Pawapuri.
The place where Gautam Siddhartha earned enlightenment is Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is just 34 kilometers away from Rajgir. Bodh Gaya houses Bodhi Tree, Mahabodhi Temple, and other religious places relevant for Buddhists. The Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya is not the original tree but a sapling of old tree brought from Sri Lanka. The Mahabodhi Temple enshrines the same Bodhi Tree. Lord Buddha’s giant statue is a major attraction here at Bodh Gaya.
Gaya is an important Hindu pilgrim destination and it is believed that “Pinda Dan” at Gaya makes one’s ancestors’ soul rest in peace. Gaya is considered the most sacred spot for Hindus.