One of Buddha's favourite resorts, Vaishali, is named after King Vishal, a ruler during the times of Ramayana. There exists a huge, but a ruined fort, believed to be built by King Vishal. The city was a major industrial center ruled by the Lichchavis till 6th century BC. The Lichchavi state is said to be among world's first republics. Ajatshatru, the great Magadh King, annexed Vaishali in the fifth century BC and thereafter Vaishali gradually lost its glory and power.
Major Tourist Attractions in Vaishali
Ashok Pillar :
The Lion Pillar at Kolhua, was built by Emperor Ashoka, in tribute to Buddha. Made of single piece of red sandstone, the lion pillar is capped by a 18 m high bell shaped capital. On the top is kept a life-size figure of lion.
The Bawan Pokhar temple is situated on the banks of a lake called Bawan Pokhar. This old Hindu temple, built during Pala period, enshrines beautiful images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Buddha Stupa 1 and 2 :
The Buddha Stupas were constructed in the name of the second Buddhist council. The outer stupa has a stone box, which has one-eighth of Lord Buddha's ashes. The inner stupa was created in 1958 and it also held a stone box containing in some part the ashes of the Lord Buddha.
Raja Vishal ka Garh :
The fort of King Vishal is in ruins today. An enormous platform here, which has a circumference of about one Kilometer and walls nearly 2m high with a 43m wide moat, is said to be the parliament house of King Vishal. More than seven thousands representatives could stand here to discuss the issues.
Coronation Tank :
An excavated site, this place is said to be the ancient parliament house of the Lichchavi government. The water of the tank was used to anoint the selected representatives. It is situated near the Raja Vishal ka Garh.
How to Reach :
Air - The nearest airport from Vaishali is the Loknayak Jai Prakash International Airport, Patna, situated 55 km away.
Rail - The nearest railhead is Hajipur, situated 35 km away, and is well connected to the major cities of India.
Road - Roads are the most suitable means to reach Vaishali. There are regular buses for Vaishali from Patna and other major cities of Bihar.
Vaishali do not offer excellent stay options, so majority of tourists stay in Patna. Accommodations are available in the Tourist Bunglows and Tourist Youth Hostels of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.