Ancient Remains at Vaishali
Vaishali mentioned in the Ramayana and in the Buddhist literature, is reputed as the birth place of Lord Mahavira and the capital of Lichchavis from early times. It was the scene of the Second Buddhist council held about a hundred years Lord Buddha’s death. A pillar erected by Asoka also exists in the neighbourhood. It is now identified with the modern Basarh ( Muzaffarpur Dt, Bihar).
The site was way back excavated in 1903-04 and 1913-14 and seals engraved with the name of the city were found. It was again subjected to systematic spadework by Archaeological Survey of India (1950) and by K.P Jayaswal Research Institute between 1957 -61. The extensive mound locally known as Raja Vishal ka Garh, revealed remains of ancient shrines, stupas and habitations including a fortified citadel. The city originally said to had three walls running around it.
According to literary tradition, the Lichchavis built a mud stupa over their share of the relics of Buddha to the north west of the city of unpretentious size, which were reopened by Asoka for redistribution of the relic contents. The stupa was enlarged four times, the first enlargement being executed in neat brick work during the Mauryan times. A relic casket believed to contain corporeal remains of Buddha was found within an ancient breach inside the core of the stupa.
The occupation at Vaishali is divided into four periods from c. 500BC to 500 AD while the defence showed three periods. The original rampart overlying the NBP ware was built with burnt brick in the Sunga Period. During the Kushan times, it was heightened with earth and encircled by a moat, while in the Gupta period barracks and other structures added to it.
The site is fairly rich in coins, seals and sealings, terracotta figurines, ornaments and other objects usually found in early historical sites.
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