(ancient Savatthi), the capital of Kosala Mahajanapada , was the
biggest town in the Gangetic plains during the Buddha's lifetime.
Sravasti was host to the Master for 25 years during the annual vassavasa
(rain retreat) when the Sangha congregated at one place.
Situated in Gonda district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, called Sahet-Mahet.
The most convenient way to reach Sravasti is via Lucknow, the capital
of Uttar Pradesh, which is well connected by air and rail to all
parts of India.
During the time of Sakyamuni, Sudatta, a rich and pious merchant,
lived in Sravasti. While on a visit to Rajgir, he heard the Buddha's
sermon and decided to become the Lord's disciple. But he was caught
in dilemma and asked the Lord whether he could become a follower
without forsaking worldly life. To his query, the Master replied
that it was enough that he followed his vocation in a righteous
Sravasti is one of the eight most important pilgrimages of Buddhists.
While lord Buddha walked from Kapilavastu in Nepal to Sarnath in
Uttar Pradesh, renounced the world and attained mahaparinirvana,
he left behind a trail of footsteps which are revered till today.
Sravasti is one such place. Legend has it that Buddha confounded
his critics here by making them witness a miraculous million-fold
self manifestation seated on a thousand - petalled lotus, as fire
and water emanated from his body. It is also said that the prophet
of peace spent 25 rainy seasons here, teaching people the essence
of his gentle creed.
The religious character of Sravasti is also derived from the fact
that Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, visited the town frequently.
Apart from this, the city also finds mention in the epics Ramayana
and Mahabharata as a prosperous city of the Kosala Kingdom. The
mythological king Sravasta, is said to have founded it.
Excavations at Sravasti have also revealed two pillars raised here
by Emperor Ashoka, the great Indian King who was largely responsible
for spreading the word of Buddhism. The pillars, which lie at the
eastern gate of Jetavana, mark Ashoka's pilgrimage to the city.
Sravasti promises to take visitors back in time. This temple town
will bring visitors closer to the soul of a civilization which is
over 5000 years old.
Sahet and Mahet
Sravasti has two villages, Sahet and Mahet. From the Balrampur-Sravasti
road one can enter Sahet, which is spread over an area of 400 acres
and has a number of ruins. A little north of Sahet, towards the
Rapti River, is the ancient fortified city of Mahet. The entrance
to the mud fortification of Mahet is constructed in a beautiful
crescent shape. Though an ancient structure, its five gates and
walls are still visible. Pakki Kuti, Kuchhi Kuti and many other
stupas tell the story of the great monasteries that once stood here.
Remnants of Jetavana, a splendid monastery with inscriptions dating
back to the 12th century, is thought to be one of the favourite
sites of the Buddha. Emperor Ashoka is also said to have visited
this site. There is a sacred pipal tree here, which is a sapling
from the original Maha Bodhi tree under which the Buddha had attained
nirvana. Today, Jetavana has two monasteries, six temples and five
stupas. One temple was built by the monk Ananthapindika and called
Gandhakuti. This is the most sacred temple in Jetavana since the
Buddha is believed to have lived at this spot. Sravasti was also
under the influence of Lord Mahavira the last Jain Tirthankar, and
the splendid Shwetambara temple here attracts thousands of Jain
pilgrims. The Sobhnath Temple is believed to the birthplace of the
Jain Tirthankar Sambhavnath.
Lucknow vis Bahraich, 151 kms
Kapilavastu via Naugarh, 147 kms
Varanasi via Lucknow, 401 kms
Balrampur, 19 kms
Lucknow, 151 kms
General Information & Accomdation info on Sravasti city of Uttar Pradesh - India