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Vaishali ~ Blissful Bihar, a set on Flickr.

Vaishali or Vesali (Pali) was the capital city of the Licchavi, one of world’s first democratic republics, in the Vajjian Confederacy (Vrijji) mahajanapada, around the 6th century BC. It was here in 599 BCE the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Bhagwan Mahavira was born and brought up in Kundalagrama in Vaishali republic, which make pious & auspicious pilgrimage to Jainist. Also Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in ca 483 BCE, then in 383 BCE the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka, making it an important place in both Jain & Buddhist religions.

At the time of the Buddha, Vaishali, which he visited on many occasions, was a very large city, rich and prosperous, crowded with people and with abundant food. There were 7,707 pleasure grounds and an equal number of lotus ponds. Its courtesan, Amrapali, was famous for her beauty, and helped in large measure in making the city prosperous[4]. The city had three walls, each one gávuta away from the other, and at three places in the walls were gates with watch towers. Outside the town, leading uninterruptedly up to the Himalaya, was the Mahavana,[5] a large, natural forest. Nearby were other forests, such as Gosingalasála.

The city finds mention in the travel accounts of Chinese explorers, Fa Hian (4th century CE) and Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) (7th century CE), which were later used in 1861 by British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham to first identify Vaishali with the present village of Basrah in Vaishali District, Bihar.


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