Like Rajgir, Vaishali too is relevant and important for Jainism and Buddhism. While Lord Mahavira was born at Vaishali, Lord Buddha spent significant time at Vaishali delivering sermons to people. Not only in Buddhist and Jain literature, Vaishali is mentioned in Ramayana too. The name of place is believed tobe derived from the name of king Vishala. Historically speaking, Vaishali was the first democratic republic, even before Greeks.
Vaishali was once a well established and full fledged center of trade and commerce in the Ganges plains. Being the birth place of Lord Mahavira, Vaishali is a holy place for Jains. Lord Buddha visited Vaishali several times and preached at Kolhua which is near Vaishali. Vaishali had a double storey Buddhist monastery and was a seat of higher learning.
Historical evidences reveal that Lord Buddha allowed the entry of women into Buddhist sangha at Vaishali monastery only. The Mauryan king Ashoka erected one of his lion pillars at Kolhua to commemorate the visit and sermon delivery by Lord Buddha at the place. Also, Vaishali was the place where second Buddhist council was held to organize Buddhism order after hundred years of enlightenment of Lord Buddha. To commemorate the Second Buddhist Summit, two stupas of remarkable size were erected here.
The archaeological museum at Vaishali has huge collection of items unearthed during excavation of ancient site of Vaishali. Near to the museum is a World Peace Pagoda built by the Japanese Buddhists.
Vaishali was an important center of activities even after the Mauryan period. Post- excavation findings show that during the rule of the Guptas and the Palas the city was a trade and commerce center. There is evidence that Vaishali was linked with Pataliputra by royal highway. Lauria Nandangarh, at the distance of 23 kilometers is another major tourist attraction for it houses stone pillar of the Maurya king Ashok.
Vaishali is known for its rich heritage. The excavation of various sites in and around Vaishali has yielded many relics and artifacts. To keep safe these artifacts, Archeological Survey of India has established a museum here called Vaishali Museum.
World Peace Pagoda
World Peace Pagoda at Vaishali, the symbol of world peace, was constructed by Japanese Buddhists. The famous Fujii Guruji who dedicated his life for world peace wished for world peace pagodas world over, and the peace pagoda at Vaishali was his last wish.
Vaishali Tourist Attractions
Vaishali was an important center of trade and commerce in ancient times. There are two stupas in Vaishali, which, according to Buddhist literature, enshrined Lord Buddha’s ashes. Like Rajgir, Vaishali too is important for Buddhism and Jainism.
Places to see near Vaishali
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.
How to Reach Vaishali
Vaishali, the birth place of Lord Mahavira, was the epicenter of political and religious activities in ancient times. Vaishali, deriving its name from the mythological king Vishal of Ramayana period was the center of trade and commerce for some thousand years from the time of Gautam Buddha to Gupta period.