Kapilvastu is a prime Buddhist pilgrimage site for Buddhists all over the world because Siddharth Gautam spent the initial 29 years of his life, here. While strolling through the lanes of the city, the devotees feel they are taken back to the time when young Siddharth played with his cousins and lived a normal life. It was here that while growing up Siddhartha Gautam chose the path of suffering and discover the truth of life.

History

Legend says that the philosopher Kapila granted permission to the sons of Ikshvaku, the ruler of a Northern state, to build the city of Kapilvastu. They built the city in the memory of Rishi Kapila. The Rishi is estimated to have lived in the sixth century and is considered to be one of the early masters of the Samkhya School of Hindu philosophy. Hence, his philosophy deeply influenced Lord Buddha who grew on the same land.

 

Kapilvastu was the capital of the Shakya state which was located at the foothills of Himalayas. It is now a district in Uttar Pradesh, situated near Aligarhwa on the Indo-Nepal border. Owing to its rich Buddhist history, the place is a Buddhist pilgrimage center of international significance.

Places to visit in Kapilvastu

Kapilvastu is a land of stories, filled with history, faith, and culture. A heritage site, Kapilvastu holds over two hundred archaeological sites. The must-visit places in and around the sacred site are:

Piprahwa Stupa

Several archaeological expeditions suggest that Piprahwa is the burial site of a portion of the Buddha’s ashes. The place has a stupa with inscriptions on it. Along with it, you will also find some ruins of Buddhist monasteries here.

Tilaurakot Fort

The excavations at Tilaurkot, the city of three pillars, reveal a fortress. Several studies state that it is the site where Lord Buddha spent twenty-nine years of his life. Pilgrims from around the world visit the site to pay homage to Buddha and begin on a new spiritual journey.

Tilaurakot Museum

A small museum in Kapilvastu displays the artifacts (objects) uncovered during archaeological excavations. It houses items like coins and utensils and attracts tourists from around the globe.

Samay Mai Temple, Tilaurakot

The Samay Mai Temple complex houses the statue of the Goddess of Time: Samay Mai. Devotees visit the temple and offer elephant statues to the goddess when their wishes are granted.

Salargarh Archaeological Site

This site is located to the east of Piprahwa. It is the place where a monastery of the Kushan period was discovered. A small stupa marks the site, to reach it you will have to take a descending flight of steps.

How to reach Kapilvastu?

Kapilvastu is situated at a distance of 20 km from Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. You can reach Siddharth Nagar district easily via rail or road from major cities like Delhi, Gorakhpur, Basti, and Lucknow.

 

By Air: The nearest airport to Kapilvastu is Mahayogi Gorakhnath Airport at Gorakhpur. Siddharth Nagar is around 95 km from the airport. Taxis, as well as buses, are available from the airport to the site.

 

By Train: The nearest railway station to Kapilvastu is the Naugarh station which is at a distance of 22 km from the city. Rails from all the major cities like Gorakhpur, Delhi, Lucknow, and Mumbai connect to the station.

 

By Road: Uttar Pradesh has a great network of roads as well. You can reach Kapilvastu via road either by taking a can or bus. The city is at a distance of 74 km from Lumbini in Nepal, 104 km from Gorakhpur, and 157 km from Kushinagar in India.

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