subsequently visited Vaisali and had raised a pillar, which is still in existence.
Exploratory excavations at Vaisali have revealed coins, terracottas, seals and other
ancient relics. According to tradition, it is at Vaisali that the beautiful courtesan
Ambapali had made the gift of a mango-grove to Buddha. Vaisali is also the place where a
century after Buddha's death the second Buddhist council was held.
The existence of a
chain of Asokan pillars at Kolhua (two miles from Vaisali) in Muzaffarpur district and
Nandagarh, Areraj, Lauria and Rampurwa in Champaran district iii Bihar suggest that Asoka
had set up these pillars to facilitate the spread of Buddhism.
The important places in Bihar, associated with the later phase of Buddhism in the
post-Buddha age, include Nalanda and Kurkihar in Bihar. Among the rock-cut sanctuaries
associated with Buddhism, mention has also to be made of some of the specimens in Bihar.
The rock-cut eaves in Barabar, Nagarjuni and Umga in Bihar stand out prominent.
A particular mention ha-, to be made here of King Asoka's
edicts and pillars established after his victory in Kalinga. Beingconvinced of the
futility of conquests and bloodshed, Asoka had set them up, many of which have been
discovered and some may be, found later.