Kesaria

Kesaria is located about 114 km from Patna and is an important centre for Buddhist heritage, located on the Buddhist Circuit, in the Champaran district (east). It lies 40 km from Vaishali, while Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is a further 150 km away. It is home to one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, with a height of 104 ft and a base circumference of 1,400 ft.

Kesaria is also revered because it was the place where Lord Buddha spent one night before he attained Nirvana (enlightenment). It is believed that the Lichhivis, who were asked to return to Vaishali after his death, built this stupa to commemorate the end-life of Lord Buddha. It is estimated to have been built between 200 AD and 750 AD.

Earlier just a large mound, it was excavated in 1998 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The ASI has pegged the original height at 150 ft, which got eroded over the years to 123 ft. Built over six floors, the stupa is home to several statues of Lord Buddha in various postures, including the Bhoomi Sparsha Mudra. These are built using soil and pebbles. Several coins, arrow heads, items of terracotta and copper, earthen lamps, decorative bricks have been unearthed here.

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