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Tracing the imprints of the Buddha near the villages of Kolhua, Besarh and Bakhra in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali districts of Bihar
A click on the internet today guides one to the details about the ancient sites of Vaishali. But just about more than 150 years back, life was not so comfortable, and the site of the ancient city of Vaishali was even not known, with its importance almost forgotten. How the passage of time changes the facade and importance of a place can very well be witnessed at Vaishali. But as history has demonstrated, certain silent pages of the bygone era do remain, only to be read at some later date. The silent pages of Vaishali were read and identified with much effort in the nineteenth century by surveyors like Stephenson and Cunningham. While Stephenson in 1835 was one of the first persons to document the existing remains near the villages of Besarh and Bakhra, it was actually Cunningham in 1861-62, who properly correlated the existing remains with the descriptions left by the Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang about “FEI-SHE-LI (VAIśāLĪ)”, and thus identified the site of ancient Vaishali. Vaishali, the capital of the Licchavi family was also famous as the scene of the second Buddhist council.
To be continued.....