Vaishali (also known as Vesali) was a city in present-day Bihar – an East Indian state. The city had been destroyed and is now an archaeological site.
Vaishali also contains one of the best-preserved of the Pillars of Ashoka (one of the pillars built across India by Emperor Ashoka who reigned between 268 to 232 BCE – and who had given up everything and converted to Buddhism).
Vaishali derives its name from King Vishal, who ruled this land. It was the capital city of the Vajjian Confederacy of Vrijji mahajanapada that existed around the 6th century BCE.
It was an important place in Jain and Buddhist religions. Gautama Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) is known to have preached his last sermon before his death in c. 483 BCE. The Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka in 383 BCE.
The Ashoka pillar that exists here has a lion figure on top. It has since been preserved carefully and exists in Vaishali to this day.
Vaishali is an ancient site full of ruins. Following are some of the significant elements it encompasses:
The entry to the site costs INR 10 per head. For children below the age of15 years, entry is free.
The nearest airport to Vaishali is in the capital of Bihar, Patna - the Jay Prakash Narayan Airport, which is well connected to various cities across India and the world, and can be easily reached. From within India, Patna can also be reached by train or bus. From Patna, Vaishali can be reached by road in just around 2 hours.