Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites: India

Udayagir

Seated Buddha, Udayagir. © John Huntington

Seated Buddha, Udayagir. © John Huntington

Five years after his enlightenment, the Buddha was invited to Vaisali by its ruler, a Licchavi (Nepalese) prince. The city was affected by drought and plague, but as soon as the Buddha arrived there was a thunderstorm with torrential rain which cleansed the city and its people. The Buddha stayed and preached for seven days, according to legend, converting 84,000 people to Buddhism.

Records indicate that the Buddha made several visits to Vaisali for the purpose of preaching to the monastic community (sangha) and setting down many instructions and rules. The Licchavi rulers constructed monastic buildings (vihara) for the Buddha's use and it was here that a monkey took the Buddha's alms bowl, filled it with honey and then offered it to the Buddha.

Detail of column, Udayagir. © John Huntington
Detail of column, Udayagir. © John Huntington
Detail of column, Udayagir. © John Huntington
Detail of column, Udayagir. © John Huntington
Seated Buddha, Udayagir. ©John Huntington
Seated Buddha, Udayagir. ©John Huntington

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