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East Champaran

East Champaran

East Champaran
Commissionary: Tirhut
Headquarters: Motihari
Sub-divisions: Motihari Sadar, Sikharna, Raxaul, Areraj, Chakia
Population: 30,43,061 (31 lakh)
Area: 3,968 square kilometre
Height above sea level: 113 metre
Summer: Maximum: 48 °C minimum: 20°C
Winter: Maximum: 28°C minimum: 2°C
Rainfall: 186 cm
Best season: November to February
Road distance: 160 km away from Bihar's capital Patna
Rail route: Nearest railway station: Chakia
Main railway stations: Patna, Hajipur
Air route: Nearest airport at Patna

Main Spots of tourist Interest

Historical Importance

East Champaran, the land of Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, has of late made its coveted position in the international tourist map for the highest Buddhist stupa.
Legend says that when Gautam Buddha left his home in quest of knowledge, he reached Lauria Areraj via Shakya, Malya kingdom. He met a saint called Alar Kalam, in whose ashram he stayed for a few days.
Mahatma Gandhi also started his first Independence movement against the British rule in 1917 from this place.

Places of Tourist Interests

Buddhist Stupa, Kesaria
Location: Kesaria Stupa is situated 160 kms away from Bihar's capital, Patna. The place is on Chakia-Sahebganj road, at a distance of 35 km southwest from district headquarters Motihari.
Importance: Kesaria Stupa has catapulted East Champaran in the international tourist map. In 1998, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had declared that the Stupa with 104 feet height and diameter of 1,400 feet was the highest in the world. It is one feet higher than the world renowned Borobudur Stupa in Indonesia.
At least 10-12 crore bricks were used to construct the Stupa which has seven storeys. On the peak of the Stupa statue of Lord Buddha and below them his beloved disciple's image has been established, which represents Buddha's last meeting with his disciples. Several small mud statues have been established on the Stupa in small puja houses.
Experts believe that the Stupa was constructed by people of Lichchavi dynasty of Vaishali. Lime and “Surkhi” (brickBuddhist Stupa, Kesaria dust) have been used to construct the Stupa. Legend says when Lord Buddha reached Kesaria via Rajgir and Vaishali people started following him as they wished to go along with him. However, Buddha, through his Yogic power, cut a deep river on the land and stopped people from following him. As a departing gift he presented them his begging bowl (Bhiksha patra) and asked them to return. In remembrance of this episode, people of Lichchavi dynasty constructed the Kesaria Stupa. The incident was engraved on a pillar, which was seen by Chinese scholar Fa Hien in the fifth century BC.
According to Hieun Tsang, in pre-birth Lord Buddha was born here as Emperor Marvadev. After successfully ruling his vast empire, he renounced the worldly comfort and proceeded for Aamr forest and became an ascetic and later he left for his heavenly abode.The Archaeological Survey of India has marked Kesaria Stupa as a protected monument.1 km away from this place a huge mound of mud has also been found, which is spread in 200 square feet.

Ashokan Pillar, Lauriya, Areraj
Location: Ashokan pillar is situated 16 km west on Motihari-Pratapur main road.
Importance: It is believed that during Buddhist era this place was ashram of Aalar Kalam and Gautam Buddha had gone to meet him. Ashokan pillar is 37 feet 9 inch high. At the base its diameter is 11 feet 2 inch and at the top its diameter is 8 feet. On the pillar Ashokan scriptures are written from 1 to 6 number. Ashokan Pillar, Lauriya, Areraj
According to Jagdishwar Pandey, former director, K P Jaiswal Research Institute, Patna, after leaving Kapilavastu and crossing Shakya, Koliya satraps; Gautam Buddha changed his attire as a Bhikshu on the banks of Anoma river (at present the river is known as Harboda river at Rampurva in East Champaran). To quench is thirst of knowledge Buddha reached the ashram of Aalar Kalam (presently at Lauria-Areraj). After stay putting in the ashram for a few days, he decided to quit the place, as he found the teachings of ashram unfit to fight the bouts worldly sorrows. To depict this episode in the life of Gautam Buddha, Emperor Ashoka got constructed Ashokan pillar and a stupa.
The Archaeological Survey of India has classified the Ashokan pillar as a protected monument.


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