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Today the remains of Vaishali are found spread over a large area, and include several identified ancient sites, including the site of the stupa in which the relics of the Buddha had been consecrated by the Licchavis, and the site where the Buddha took rest before his final departure to Kushinagar, where he obtained nirvana.
The story of Vaishali and of its recent discovery after having been fully erased from contemporary local memory, is very interesting.
I visited the ancient remains of Vaishali at Kolhua in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar on two occasions in January, 2005 and in August, 2008. No other tourists were seen during the first visit in 2005, when it was about 4 pm already, and the site lay deserted. The next visit in 2008 happened during the afternoon, and some tourists including a Japanese national were seen visiting the ruins. The months from October to March are the best time to visit the ancient remains.
The law and order in the district has improved over the years, but there has been no corresponding significant increase in the tourist amenities. The site at Kolhua remains a desolate one, visited by some visitors during the day. A larger number of tourists visit the World Peace Pagoda or the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, near the Museum, which is a recent construction.
To be continued....