Shravasti Sahet Mahet Uttar Pradesh

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Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by asoulwindow

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Information about Shravasti

Shravasti is one of the most important Buddhist places of world. Gautam Buddha spent significant time in Shravasti in preaching, doing vassa and performing the miracles of Shravasti. He started staying in Shravasti after his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya.

Most of the ruins here such as kachchi Kuti, Paki Kuti, Jetavana grove etc are located in Sahet Mahet area.

The two prominent monasteries in Shravasti are as below:

  • Purvarama or the Eastern monastery: It was donated by Visakha
  • Jetavana Monastery or South monastery: It was donated by Anathapindika

Shravasti can be visited easily on baby bottom smooth roads. I enjoyed a road trip here. It was a memorable weekend getaway from Lucknow.

This is a complete tourist guide to Shravasti for spiritual tour. It elucidates on all the major Shravasti tourist places in a comprehensive manner.

Why is Shravasti Famous?

What is Shravasti famous for? Why do Buddhists visit Shravasti? This is a frequently asked question.

Shravasti is famous because Gautam Buddha performed miracle here. Shravasti is also considered sacred because Buddha observed vassa here for a long time. This is also the place where he did major preaching.

Shravasti is also famous because some very important Hindu temples (from Mahabharat times) and Jain temples are located here.

Sharavasti, then Saravana was also the birthplace of Gosala Mankhaliputta, an ascetic teacher of ancient India.

Shravasti: Monsoon Retreat of Buddha

What did Buddha do in Shravasti? Buddha Bhagwan stayed in Shravasti for 24 monsoon months known as Vassa. It was his most favourite monsoon retreat. Shravasti was also where Buddha delivered many of his sermons while sitting under the sacred Pipal tree. During the rainy season, Buddhist monks must stay at one place and should not travel.

Soul Window Thoughts

Shravasti is the place where the Gautam Buddha had spent much more Vassa retreats than any other place. I had visited Vaishali in present day Bihar where Gautam Buddha had stayed many times at a place called as Kutagarashala. Interestingly, not many know that it was in Vaishali that Buddha Bhagwan had announced his upcoming Mahaparinirvana (which ultimately happened in Kushinagar).

Nomenclature of Shravasti

What is meant by Shravasti? Let us find out in this section. Evidences have proved that in ancient times the city of Shravasti was christened after Sravasta of the Suryavanshi lineage. In those days Shravasti was rich and prosperous as it was a commercial hub.

Shravasti is also known as Śrāvastī and Sāvatthī in Pali language. Some suggest that it was named so after sage Savattha who lived here. Saheth-Maheth or simply Sahet-Mahet are also other names of Shravasti.

The other ancient names of Shravasti, as mentioned in the Jain and Ajivika literature are Saravana, Chandrikapuri and Kunalnagari. It is also called as Sravasti.

Not many know that Shravasti finds mention in the great Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharat as well. As per these ancient Hindu scriptures, Shravasti was a part of the great Kosala empire. When Shri Ram split his Kosala Kingdom into two, he gave Shravasti to his son Lava and Kushavati to Kush.

Soul Window Facts

Did you know that Lahore in Pakistan was named after Luv or Lōh too? It was also he who had founded Lahore. In fact, there is still a vacant temple devoted to Lava inside Lahore Fort.

As per Mahabharat, Shravasti dates back to the era of the legendary King Shravasti, after whom the city was named.

Where is Shravasti located?

Shravasti is in which state? Shravasti is located in north east region of Uttar Pradesh near the banks of West Rapti River or Achiravati. Sharavasti is also located close to Lumbini in Nepal.

Nestled in the southern Himalayan foothills of the terai area of India, other places located near are Kushinagar, Piprahwa Stupa, Ganwaria, Gonda, Basti, Dhangadhi, Barhni, Maharajganj, Shohratgarh, Ayodhya, Maghar, Barabanki, Dudhwa National Park and Lucknow.

The best of places to see in Shravasti is located in the Sahet Mahet villages of Shravasti. Shravasti falls in Shravasti district. Its headquarters are in Bhinga.

History of Shravasti

What is the historical significance of Shravasti? Centuries ago, powerful Mauryan emperor, Ashoka the great has visited Shravasti. It was Ashoka who has commissioned the construction of 2 Ashokan pillars next to the stupa of Shravasti.

Later the Kushan Kings also patronised Buddhism. In fact, Chinese pilgrim travellers Hiuen Tsang and Fa-hien had also documented their visit to Shravasti. Then Shravasti was lost to time and fate. It was not until the year 1863 C.E. that British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham ordered excavation of Buddhist sites in Shravasti.

Shravasti was the capital of which ancient Mahajanapada. In ancient times, Shravast was the capital of Kosala kingdom. Later it became the place where Buddha Bhagwan spent most of his life afte enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Bihar.

Islamic Attacks: Who destroyed Shravasti?

Did you know that even the remote Shravasti was not spared from the wrath of barbaric Islamic invaders? All was well until medieval India when the ancient and peaceful land of Bharat was attacked by various Arab invaders.

Till the Islamists and later uneducated Europeans plundered across India, all of India, including Awadh and Shravasti, was rich and prosperous. This is how Shravasti mandir suffered a lot during invasions.

Islamic attacks on Shravasti in 11th century C.E.

The Jain King Suheldev, who also worshipped Jain Teerthankara Bhagwan Sambhavnath, was the last ruler of Shravasti before the mindless Islamic attacks began in 12-13th century C.E.   This was around also the time when the evil Mahmood Gaznavi from Gazni destroyed holy Hindu temples such as the beach side Somnath Mandir in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Mahmood Gaznavi from Gazni lived in 11th century C.E.

After plundering, Mahmood Gaznavi returned back to his country and gave the orders to his nephew Sayyed Salar Masood Gazi to capture the Awadha region by force. Islamic invader Sayyed, who was also a general and diplomat, besides being a plunderer attacked the peaceful Awadha with his huge army. Caught unawares, it disrupted the peace of the existing rulers of Awadh.

The evil man that he was, Sayyed succeeded in dividing Hindu kings and making them accept defeat by deceitful means such as keeping cows along-with the army. It reminds me of the Mutiny of 1857 against the illiterate British invaders who forced Hindus to use cartridge of the rifles greased with cow fat.

Cows are considered sacred and worshipped by Hindus. The people from Sanatan Dharm, the most ancient and purest of religions, did not see animals as commodities unlike the transactional Western world and Arab world. To kill a cow is a huge seen in Sanatan Dharm. This is why the Hindu and Jain kings failed to retaliate against the shrewd Muslim soldiers.

This is how the deceitful, prepared and aggressive Islamic army took advantage of the goodness of Hindu rulers and achieved victory over Hindus by unfair means.

However, their march stopped at Shravasti for pitted against them was the brave King Suheldev. By the time the cunning Sayyed Salar arrived at Kondiala near Bahraich, King Suheldev was fully prepared with an army of courageous Hindu soldiers.

The army of King Suheldev gave a tough fight to Sayyed Salar. This resulted in the death of the cowardly Sayyed Salar in the year 1034. His army was also destroyed. This was a decisive fight as it helped keep the prosperous Shravasti and Awadh region cocooned from invasions for 200 years.

Not many Hindus and Jains know about the great sacrifices their ancestors made to protect the land from Islamic and European invaders. This is why you should share my blog so that more people are aware of the valour of Hindu rulers and Jain Kings.

Islamic attacks on Shravasti in 13th century C.E.

Sadly, the sovereignty and prosperity of Awadh and Shravasti was not meant to last forever. Another Islamic thief Alauddin Khilzi, who was born as Ali Gurshasp, launched a vicious attack on Shravasti from which it could not recover.

The cruel Alauddin Khilzi turned the peaceful Shravasti into ruins.Thanks to the evil capture of the region, Shravasti could never spring back to its past glory.

Such was the ferocity of the violence of Alauddin Khilzi that much of the ancient viharas, stupas, temples, shrines, idols of deities etc was turned into mere rubble, debris and ruins. History must never forgive and forget its villains.

The bisexual (or perhaps homosexual) Alauddin Khilji was responsible for the destruction of many sacred Hindu temples, grand Buddhist monasteries and historical monuments such as Somnath temple, temples of Madurai and Chidambaram in South India etc.

Not to be confused, the Nalanda University of Bihar was damaged by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1202 C.E. Do read my blog on the destruction of Nalanda University as well.

It is only in India that we name railways stations, cities and forts in the name of its tormentors. It is high time we rename our cities to Hindu names such as how we renamed Mumbai, Chennai etc.  

Places to see in Shravasti

Despite its small size, I discovered that there are many places to visit in Shravasti. Very few people know that apart from the main attractions, Stupas erected over relics of the three previous Buddhas of this era, Kraccuchanda, Kanakamuni and Kasyapa are also situated near Shravasti.

There are many tourist places in Shravasti. Listed below are some of the most important Shravasti mandir and major attractions of Shravasti.

Saheth

Sprawling across 32 acres of land, Saheth is located near the historical site of Maheth in the south west direction. Jetvana Monastery was built in Saheth area. Several temples, Buddhist stupas and monasteries were constructed in Saheth.

Ruins of many edifices from as early as the Mauryan age which is 3rd century B.C.E. to 12th century C.E. have been unearthed from Saheth area during excavations.

The temples found here are built in Gupta style of architecture. Most of the stupas in Saheth are from the Kushana era. A huge Buddha statue was also discovered in Saheth. It is now exhibited in Indian Museum of Kolkata in West Bengal.

Maheth

Maheth is where most of the major attractions of Shravasti are located. Spread across a whooping 400 acres of land, this was where main Sharavasti city was located in those times. The famous Sobhanath Mandir, Pakki Kuti and Kachchi Kuti were built in Maheth area.

Colossal ancient city gates and ramparts have been found in Maheth. Such architectural gems constructed on a grand scale indicates that Shravasti was a powerful and prosperous city in ancient times.

Jetavana Vihara aka Jetavana Monastery           

The Jetavana grove is the most important top place to see in Shravasti. Here is all you wanted to know about the Jeta grove. The historians have identified the excavated ruins of Sahet as the world-famous Jetavana Vihar of the ancient Buddhist city of Shravasti.

World-famous Chinese travellers Fa Hien and Hiuen-tsang had paid a visit to Shravasti in early 5th and 7th century C.E. respectively during their tours around all the sacred Buddhist places in India.

Jetavana Vihara is significant because after Veluvana in Rajagaha or modern Rajgir in Bihar, Jetavana Vihara was the second Buddhist monastery which was gifted to Buddha Bhagwan. ‘The Great Miracle’ which Buddha Bhagwan performed at a nearby place, is also depicted in a huge number of sculptures here.

Jetavana Monastery is what is left of a hut where Gautam Buddha stayed for 20 monsoon months. Lord Buddha had spent 24 or 25 Varshavas or rainy seasons here.

Soul Window Facts

During my travel to Sanchi Stupa near Bhopal and Bhimbhetka in Madhya Pradesh in Central India, I noticed beautiful depiction of Jetavana on the medallion of railings of Sanchi Stupa and Bharahut Stupa.

It is interesting for me to observe that how all my travel experiences are linked to each other. The wonderful sculptural representation of Jetavana monastic complex as shown in Sanchi Stupa is worth admiring.

Do read my exhaustive blog on Sanchi Stupa. Through A Soul Window, I strive to give detailed information on unexplored places like these. A Soul Window has been mentioned as the most successful travel blog in India many times.

Several archaeological excavations at Shravasti have taken place at different periods since the year 1863 C.E. Foundation of so many stupas, temples, Buddhist monasteries and plinths have been uncovered at Jetavana.

The archaeologist and historians have found that several excavated remains unearthed in Jetavana precincts belong to the glorious Kushan period. Later, these structures were either renovated or reconstructed during the powerful Gupta era and other later periods. In fact, additions to Jetavana campus were made till as late as 11th and 12th century C.E.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihara and Kosamba Kuti have been identified as temple number 2 and temple number 3 respectively. New discoveries are still being made in Shravasti. A stupa-tank complex, which was recently excavated is also a significant find.

Who donated the Jetavana monastery to Buddha?

Who gifted Jeta Grove to Buddha?Who offered the first monastery to Buddha? These arecommonly asked questions, the answers to which I found in Shravasti.

Sudatta, also known as Anathapindika as per Chinese travellers Fa Hienand Xuanzang or Hiuen Tsang, was a well-known disciple of Buddha Bhagwan.

Sudatta was a chief disciple of Buddha Bhagwan and he had purchased and gifted a wooded garden or grove known as Jetavana for Lord Buddha.

Many historians have concluded that the literal meaning of the word Sahet is derived from ‘Shresthi Math’ which means ‘a monastery constructed by a rich merchant’.

As per ancient Buddhist text, we know that Anathapindika had bought this land from Prince Jeta for an exorbitant price which included ‘as many gold coins which can cover the Jetavana.

Soul Window Observations

Walking around the sprawling Jetavana complex, I couldn’t help but notice that it would have looked like a grand monastic place in its heydays.

Having travelled to all the places in Buddhist circuit of Uttar Pradesh such as Kapilvastu, Kushinagar, Piprahwa, Ganwaria, Sankisa and even the nearby Lumbini in Nepal, I can vouch for the fact that Jetavana and other sites of Sahet-Mahet were the most rich and grand structures I had seen.

I am sure lot of wealth was spent in the construction of these sprawling Buddhist structures.

Top Places to see in Jetavana

Here are some of the best places to see in Jetavana Vihara aka Jetavana Monastery:        

  • Mulagandha Kuti Vihara
  • Bodhi Tree
  • Kosamba Kuti
  • Temple No. 1
  • Temple No. 2
  • Temple No. 5
  • Temple No. 6
  • Temple No. 7
  • Temple No. 11
  • Temple No. 12
  • Temple No. 19
  • Stupa G
  • Stupa F
  • Stupa G
  • Stupa H
  • Stupa 17
  • Stupa 18
  • Stupa 8
  • 8 Stupas
  • Mahastupa and Tank

Other modern places in Jetavana complex include nursery, office, ticket counter, parking and toilet. Below is detailed article on each of the above-mentioned must-see places in Jetavana. This is after all, the most comprehensive travel guide on Shravasti.

Temple 1 and monastery of Jetavana

Located towards the northern end of the site of Saheth, I was impressed with the size of this large ancient building. This east oriented monastery from the times of Lord Buddha has a shrine and mandapa set in the middle of the courtyard.

Constructed in the latest building epoch of this place, the usual plan has been used to lay the monastery here. The historians noticed several rows of cells with a veranda in front here. These cells surround the central courtyard.

The largest of all the chambers here is the central chamber of the eastern row of rooms. This chamber also serves as the entrance cell and leads in to the courtyard. It has been ascertained by archeologists that the pillars here were made of word. Perhaps, this is why I was not able to see any pillars here at present. They are lost to time, plunder and decay.

The excavators noticed an interesting feature of the mandapa of monastery. At the front of Mandapa, it seems like a porch with a sloping floor existed once. The porch’s roof was carried on four piers or pillar.

The porch intervenes between the passage leading in to the sanctum and mandapa. 2 brick bases of the piers are extant. I could just stand there and visualize it. What must it would have looked in those days? I am sure it looked grand in its heydays. Visiting Temple 1 and monastery, which are located within the Jetavana complex in Saheth are one of the best things to do in Shravasti.

Temple 2 of Jetavana

The historians are of the view that Temple 2 of Jetavana is located on the same spot where the original edifice known as Gandhakuti once existed.

Did you know that Gandhakuti was as important Buddhist site as Kosambakuti? These are some of the most sacred edifices discovered in Jetavana complex, mainly because these immensely holy places were hallowed by the presence of Buddha himself.

The lowermost visible portions of Temple 2 of Jetavana belong to Gupta period. An assembly hall located in front of the ruins of a shrine was also found here. The entrance of this hall faces east, the most auspicious of all directions.

As I walked around Temple 2 of Jetavana, I observed that the overall structures here are the most ornamental and grand when compared to other edifices and ancient monuments of Jetavana grove.

Soul Window Thoughts

Not many know that these places were blessed by the personal use of Buddha Bhagwan. I consider myself privileged to be able to visit such pious places in my young years. It is a pity that not many, including the people of Lucknow visit the offbeat Shravasti.

It reminded me of similar places I saw Sarnath, Lumbini and in Rajgir and Bodhgaya in Bihar, also in North India.

Gandhakuti Parivena in Jetavana

Also known as Mula Gandhakuti or Buddha’s hut, even now I could see the remains of the hut of Buddha Bhagwan in the monastic complex of Jetavana Vihara. Buddhist pilgrims can be seen offering flower, prayers and chanting here. Gandhakuti was built by Anathapindika when he laid the Jetavana Monastery.

This was also the place where the monks used to assemble and Buddha Bhagwan used to address them. It is one of the top places to see in Jetavana, Saheth and Shravasti.

Some historian claim that in its original form, Gandhakuti used to be a wooden structure and comprised of 7 storeys. It is said that it enshrined a sandal wood image of Lord Buddha.

The shrine room here, which measure only 2.85 square meter is small. It contains a low brick platform along the rear wall which evidently is the pedestal of a large statue. I could only visualize it all through my imagination.

However, when Chinese Buddhist monk and translator, Faxian aka Fa-hsien or Sehi visited Jetavana, he noticed something else. During his Shravasti tour, Faxian (337 CE – c. 422 CE), discovered only a 2-storey building made of brick. He had recorded this in his written accounts.

Later when Hiuen Tsang visited Jetavana in 7th century, he noticed the brick structures in utter ruins.

Kosambakuti or Temple 3 of Jetavana

Temple 3 which is located towards the north of the sacred Bodhi tree, is a highly revered place in Jetavana grove. It is believed that the original Koshambakuti was built at this very spot.

Kosambakuti or Kosamba Kuti was an ancient residence in Jetavana where Buddha Bhagwan stayed. Kosamba Kuti, which is east oriented was built by his disciple Anathapindaka.

I found myself lucky to be able to visit an ancient place which was hallowed by the personal use of Gautama Buddha Bhagwan himself. Lord Buddha used to take walk on the 2 brick terraces erected on the original chankama or promenade.

From a huge Bodhisattva image which was excavated here, we know that it was set up at Kosambakutti by Bala in the reign of a powerful Kushana King. This image dates back to 1st century C.E. In fact, Hiuen-tsang had also seen this image in a small brick temple when he visited Shravasti in seventh century C.E.

It is quite possible that an earlier shrine on this spot was built. Indian Historians know this by studying the remains of a ruined wall which was discovered here. This wall can be seen on a lower level than the existing new edifice. The walls can be observed on the west and north side of Kosambakuti.

Anandabodhi tree double stupa in Jetavana monastery.

Who knew that the second holiest tree after Bodhi tree of Bodhgaya is located at the border of Nepal and Uttar Pradesh in India? Anandabodhi tree in Jetavana monastery is the top place to visit in Shravasti.

Anathapindika had planted a sapling of this Bodhi tree to worship it as a symbol of Buddha Bhagwan when he was away travelling. On one occasion, Gautam Buddha himself meditated under the Bodhi tree for a night.

The Bodhi tree of Shravasti was grafted from the original Bodhi tree of Gaya in Bihar. Incidentally the Sri Lankan Bodhi tree was a sapling from the sacred Bodhi tree of Gaya as well. The Sinhalese chronicle Pujavaliya mentions the story of this pious act.

Since Shravasti went through several barbaric Islamic attacks and neglect later, many historians doubt whether it is still the original 2500 years old Bodhi tree in Shravasti.

Double stupa in Jetavana monastery

As I silently strolled here, I noticed a double stupa built towards east of Bodhi tree platform. I found the rectangular shape of the 2 stupas to be unique and unusual.

Mostly, I have seen round stupas. These stupas are of usual cruciform and possesses relic-chamber. That makes it one of the most important places to see in Jetavana.

The stupas measure 1.20 meters. The square shaped relic-chambers measure 1.95 meters.

Goldsmith Workshop

An edifice which is located towards the east of double stupa, could be the workshop of the goldsmith. The historians came to this conclusion because a lump of pure gold in a clay crucible and ash heaps were found here.

These were discovered within the buildings, the extant walls of which are 1.50 meters high. These are built of finally-jointed bricks of a large size. 

Hall of Fragrance

Hall of Fragrance is located within the Jeta grove. This is where Buddha ji educated people about the Dharma.  Subsequently, his teachings spread far and wide for many centuries. Thus, it is an important centre of the Sarvastivadin school (early realist school of Buddhism).

Place (Stupa) of the Twin Miracle in Shravasti

It was in Shravasti that Buddha Bhagwan performed the best of his miracles which confused the Tirthika heretics. We have all seen the recurring image of multiple Buddha in Buddhist art. It is inspired from the miraculous event at Shravasti where Lord Buddha created several images of himself.

‘The Miracle of Shravasti’ is one of the most important turning points in the life of Buddha Bhagwan. Not many know that the greatest of miracles performed by Buddha were at Shravasti.

If Sarnath at Varanasi is famous site where he delivered his first sermon, or Bodhgaya in Bihar where Buddha attained enlightenment, it was in Shravasti where Buddha Bhagwan performed his most famous miracles.

It was a landmark event because it led to conversion of more than 90,000 people into the faith of Buddhism. This is why, of all the miracles performed by Bhagwan Buddha, the ‘Miracle of Shravasti’ is the most important one.

In the ancient Pali language, the twin miracles of Buddha are also known as ‘The Miracle of Savatthi’. In the ancient Sanskrit language, it is addressed as ‘The miracle of Shravasti’.  

As per other accounts, while performing the miracle of pairs, Gautam Buddha emitted water and fire on his nonplussed audience, while rising in the air at the same time. This is how he defeated the 6 philosopher magicians and converted them to the Dharma.

Kachchi Kuti aka Stupa of Anathapindika 

Kachchi Kuti is the most important excavated structure located in Maheth. It is identified as the stupa of Sudatta who was referred to as Anathapindika by well-known Chinese travellers Hiuen Tsang and Fa-Hein. No wonder, it is the top place to see in Shravasti.

One of the 2 main mounds excavated at Mahet, Kachchi Kuti is a must visit place in Shravasti. It is called as Kachchi Kuti because years ago, a Sadhu had constructed a temporary shrine of Kachcha (unbaked) bricks on the top of this historical monument of Shravasti.

Structural remains of various eras starting from as early as 2nd century C.E. to 12th century C.E. have been observed at Kachchi Kuti. Due to the different strata of the structure, it is complicated for historians and archaeologists to fully understand the identification of ruins at Kachchi Kuti.

Thanks to the nature of exposed structures which include a huge number of antiquities which were unearthed from the site of Kachchi Kuti, it is concluded by reputed historians that there seems to be a superimposition of a shrine belonging to Gupta period over a holy Buddhist Stupa of Kushana era.

Where is Kachchi Kuti located? Situated in the Maheth area, Kachchi Kuti is one of the top places to see in Shravasti. Located just a few meters away from Pakki Kuti, the present structure can be traced back to the glorious Kushan period. We know this from an ancient inscription. This inscription was discovered on the lower part of a Bodhisattva image which was unearthed at Kachchi Kuti.

Based on the several evidences found here, it is concluded that several additions were made at this site over a long period of time. While some historians claim that the site was once a Brahminical temple, other scholars have concluded that the site is the Stupa of Sudatta (Anathpindika).

The latter claims are made on the basis of records left by Chinese pilgrims like Hiuen Tsang and Fa-hien.  However, studies are still on and no final conclusion has been made.

Noticeable structural changes from different eras ranging from 2nd century C.E. to 12th century C.E. have been observed here. Historians and archaeologists have observed that remains of both, a shrine from the powerful Gupta dynasty and a Buddhist stupa, assignable to the Kushana period have been excavated here.

There is a pathway which connects Kachchi Kuti with Naushahra and Kandbhari gates, which were once the city gates.

Historians are still examining the discovered structures and antiquities excavated from the site. With more excavations and discoveries, I am sure more new findings will come up in the future.

Pakki Kuti of Shravasti aka Angulimala Stupa

Most Indians have grown up hearing tales of Angulimaal. He was a cruel dacoit who after killing his victims, used to wear the garland of their fingers as trophy. It was in Shravasti that Angulimaal met Buddha Bhagwan and was reformed as a civilised man. It is a symbol of how non-violence was chosen over violence. It is also known as Cave of Angulimal or Angulimal Gufa.

Pakki Kuti is top major attraction in Shravasti. Located in Maheth area, it is also referred to as the Stupa of Angulimal. We all know that Angulimal was a disciple of Lord Buddha. This has been supported by the records left behind by Chinese travellers Hiuen Tsang, Fa-Hien and more recently Alexander Cunningham.  

However, some historians beg to differ. As per the alternate view, Pakki Kuti is the remains of ‘Hall of Law’, which is thought to have been constructed by Prasenjit in reverence to Buddha Bhagwan.

It is likely that Pakki Kuti was a terrace style stupa. Some supports and drains have been observed in the Stupa. Built on a rectangular plan, it is one of the most unusual Buddhist Stupas I have seen yet.  Much like Kachchi Kuti, structural changes, alterations and new additions have also been observed by the archaeologists in Pakki Kuti.The earliest sign of construction at Pakki Kutibelongs to the Kushana period.

Stupa of Visakha

The ashes of Visakha after she was cremated were interred at Stupa of Visakha in Shravasti. This is a very offbeat place. Not many people visit here due to lack of promotion and information. Visakha was the female counterpart of another important disciple of Buddha called as Anathapindika.

Migāramātupāsāda or Purvaram Mahavihar

Migāramātupāsāda is a Pali name for a vihara or Buddhist monastery which was built towards the east of Shravasti in Pubbārāma. It is also known as Pubbarama Monastery. Constructed by Visakha, the idea to build Migāramātupāsāda was given by Gautama Buddha himself. Visakha Migāramāta had donated land for the vihara here.

Mother Visakha, also called as Migāramāta, was a chief female follower of Buddha. She was a rich and aristocratic woman. The literal meaning of Migāramātupāsāda is ‘palace of Migāramāta’. Visakha was a constant source of support for Gautam Buddha and his monastic community for a major part of his life.

Well-equipped 500 rooms were built on each floor across two storeys. In his final 20 years, Buddha Bhagwan stayed at both Migāramātupāsāda as well as residence (ārāma) donated by Anāthapiṇḍika in Shravasthi.

Buddha kept shifting between these two historical places. Migāramātupāsāda was also the place where Bhagwan Buddha allowed to recite Prātimokṣa when he was not present here. Several other suttas were also possibly preached here. This is what Buddha did in Shravasti!

Jetavana monastery of Shravasti along with Migāramātupāsāda were some of the most important temples of that period.

It is an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site. The signboard at present calls it Purvaram Mahavihar but in Pali language it was called as Pubbārāma. In Hindi, it is called Purva.  This is so because this place is located towards the east of Jetvana monastic complex. The word Purvaram Mahavihar also stands to a grand Vihara in the east.

This lesser-known historical place is not even known to many local people. Some Buddhist monks still live here and meditate in peace.

Thanks to the peace and tranquillity Pubbārāma offers, some people come here to sit in quiet and meditate. The chirping birds give them a company. Located away from the crowds, this unexplored place is a must-see. Pubbarama Monastery is located just 3.5 kilometres away from Jeta grove.

As per a signboard by P.M.M.D.P Trust here:

“It has been established and proved by archaeology and also by Buddhist Pali Canon, Divyawdam is Ashoka Pillar. This pillar was made by King Ashoka in 232 B.C.E. It got damaged by Huna King Mihirkula in the year 512 C.E. and by Muslim invaders between 9th to 12th century C.E., when they attacked on Shravasti. At present, its Shivalingam has been made by the local Hindus.”

Soul Window Facts

It is interesting to note here that the Huna Kings such as Mihirkula were cruel and barbaric. In ancient Buddhist text, the Hoon or Huna rulers have been described as the people who destroyed sacred Buddhist monasteries and other centres of learnings.

Not many know that ancient Hindu texts such as Purāṇas, Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata and even Raghuvaṃśa by Kalidasa’s mention the Hūṇas.

Later, a coalition of Hindu Kings was able to defeat Mihirakula and his Huna army in the year 528 C.E. The name of King Yashodharman, who participated in coalition has been inscribed on the victory pillar in Mandasaur of Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

I find it interesting to see a connection of Mandasor Pillar Inscriptions of Yashodharman with Shravasti.

It also reminded me of Aihole inscription and other medieval inscriptions which I saw in Badami, Pattadakal and Lepakshi Temple of Andhra Pradesh.

City walls of Shravasti & ancient city gate.

Massive walls which went as high as 60 feet surrounded the city of Shravasti once. These ancient walls of Shravasti were constructed in 3rd century B.C.E. The fort walls of Sahet and Maheth were constructed again and again between 3rd century B.C.E. and 1st century C.E.

The city gates of Shravasti are known as Kandbhari and Naushahra gates.

Orajhar

Orajhar is the place where Gautam Buddha performed the greatest of his twin miracles (Yamaka Patihariya). Located just 3 kilometres away from Shravasti bus stand, Orajhar is a must visit place in Shravasti. This hill top monastic complex is visited by both Buddhist pilgrims as well as tourists. It is still an unusual place to see in Shravasti.

Signs of different era can be easily seen in Orajhar. While a star like structure, located on the top of the Gupta era temple is medieval, the structures from Kushan period can also be seen here. The plinth of a now destroyed temple, enclosed within a wall marks the vestiges of the glorious Gupta period.

Aadajhar Pahad is located 3.5 kilometres away from Sahet Mahet. I saw this on the highway itself. It was the last place we visited because it fell on our route to Kapilvastu, Piprahwa and Ganwaria, our next destinations. To arrive at the mountain top, I had to climb up on an uneven path.

It was like a mini-hike. I was easily able to climb up but medically unfit or differently abled people will find it challenging to climb here. The views from here were breath-taking.

Penahiajhar

Small mounds were discovered in the historical site of Penahiajhar, which is located near Orajhar. From the intensive excavations done by the Archaeological Survey of India, we now know that the stupa of Penahiajhar measures 16.20 metres in diameter. I pause to think that this solid brick structure must have looked awe inspiring in its heydays.

A prized relic receptacle was found in the stupa of Penahiajhar which included precious things such as pieces of bones, punch marked ancient silver coins, gold leaves, circular laminae of silver, rock crystal and much more.

Kharahuwanjhar

The mound of Kharahuwanjhar measures a diameter of 31.50 metres. Curioisely, unlike many stupas, no relic casket was discovered in the core of this stupa. The circular mound of Kharahuwanjhar is built of 3 concentric brick walls. Interestingly, clay was used to fill the intervening gaps. It is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ancient Shobhnath Jain Temple

Shravasti is a holy place for not only the global Buddhists but also for the Jains. Located between the Jetavana Vihara and ancient Shravasti, the ruins of Ancient Shobhnath Temple or Temple of Sobhnath are sacred to Jains. This is one of the best places to see in Shravasti.

As per the Jain beliefs, Shravasti is also the birthplace of Bhagwan Shobhnath or Bhagwan Sambhavnath, who was the much-revered 3rd Jain Tirthankara. Another Jain Tirthankara Chandra Prabha was also born in Shravasti. Several old sculptures have been unearthed from here.

The interior face of the wall had series of niches which housed beautiful sculptures of prominent Jain deities. During excavation, ruins of 2 rectangular rooms were discovered here on the south-west and north-west corners of the enclosure. Interestingly, these rooms are also paved with similar concrete which was used in the courtyard.

The sprawling courtyard here is east oriented. I entered the courtyard through the east direction by taking a flight of steps, the lower landing of which rests on another platform forming the floor of another front courtyard.

The two grand courtyard and multiple steps make it one of the most unusual places to see in Shravasti. This Shravasti temple is a must-see place.

Soul Window Observations

Shobhnath Jain Temple was the tallest building I had seen in Shravasti. We are lucky that such multi storey building has survived the test of time. This is perhaps because it is located a little away from the monuments of Sahet Mahet in a remote location.

Maybe the Islamic plunderers didn’t find the Shobhnath Jain Temple useful for them. We will never know!

Built on a rectangular plan, consisting of various strata, I went agape mouthed to see its grandeur. Over the years, the Shobhnath Jain Temple of Shravasti underwent several additions, superimpositions and extensions.

For example, the domed structure which was constructed with lakhauri bricks is clearly is a later superimposition done in late medieval era. This domed roof, which crowns the western portion of the Jaina Mandir did feel odd to me at first glance as it looked very different from other structures here.

I climbed atop and was greeted with breath-taking views from the top most platform which houses the domed structure.

Needless to add, several ancient images of Jain Tirthankaras have been unearthed from the ruins of ancient Shobhnath Jain Temple. It was heartening for me to see the good state of preservation of these Jain sites.

After all, many Indians and Buddhist pilgrims from South East Asian nations visit the international destination of Shravasti every day.

Some more ancient ruins are located outside the gates of the Ancient Shobhnath Jain Temple.

Shri Digambar Jain Shravasti Teerth Kshetra

Since Shravasti is deeply associated with the garbha, janma, gyan kalyanakas and tapa of 3rd Jain Tirthankara Bhagwan Sambhavnath, it is one of the most important Jain pilgrimages of India and world. This Shravasti temple has great religious and spiritual significance.

Not only did Lord Sambhavnath deliver his first famous speech, also known as Divya Dhwani, in Shravasti, but the first Samavsharan of the much revered third Jain tirthankara was also established here.

Through his speech and teachings, Bhagwan Sambhavnath guided the Jain followers towards the goal of achieving self-welfare and Moksha. This is the reason why Shravasti is considered so holy to the Jain community.

Shravasti is also associated with Muni Keshi who met Gautam Swami and discussed spiritual topics, thereby improving each other’s knowledge on the same. Therefore, the visit of Muni Keshi, in succession to 23rd Tirthankara Bhagwan Parshvanath is an important one. Many people used to ardently listen to him for hours.

Muni Keshi, who practised penance of high order was a master of Manah-paryava-Gnan and Avadhignan. Muni Keshi travelled across India and spread his spiritual knowledge and preached the path to personal bliss. “It is the duty of a selfless saint”, he said.  

Gautam Swami, on the other hand, was the principle Ganadhara of Lord Mahavir.

Samavsharan of Bhagwan Mahavira is also associated with Shravasti. In fact, Bhagwan Mahaveer is said to have stayed in Shravasti as an ascetic saint or Muni during the 4 months of monsoon, also known as Vassa or Chaturmaas. The well-known King Prasenjit was the ruler of Shravasti in those days.

Soul Window Observation

Lord Mahavir’s stay in Shravasti during rainy months reminds me of the stay of Gautam Buddha in Rajgir and Vaishali. Both holy Buddhist sites are located in Bihar. Do read my detailed blog on Rajgir and Vaishali.

I have visited Vaishali in Bihar. It is the birth place of important Jain Teerthankara Lord Mahaveer. Do read my comprehensive guide on Vaishali.

The melting pot of various faiths, belief systems and religions that Shravasti is, it reminds me of my visit to the epic Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet.

Not only is a parikrama (circumambulation) around the holy Kailash Parbat, the abode of Bhagwan Shiva is holy to Hindus, but the divine mountain is also revered by Jains, Bon people and Buddhists as well. I have written many blogs on my trip to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. You must read about this divine place.

It is just sad that such a holy place fell into the hands of a largely faith less China.

Bhagwan Sambhavnath Chaubesee Mandir

This is a new Jain temple where you can see the idols of all the 24 Jain Tirthankaras. As the name suggests, the presiding deity of Bhagwan Sambhavnath Chaubesee Mandir is Bhagwan Sambhavnath.

Shwetambara Jain Temple

Shwetambara Jain Temple is a prominent Jain temple of Shravasti. This place is off the beaten track and therefore must be visited. There are 10 normal rooms & 10 semi-deluxe rooms here. This Shravasti temple is visited by many Jain Pilgrims and devotees.

Vibhuti Nath Mandir

Vibhuti Nath Temple is the most famous Shravasti temple. It is a lesser-known place in Shravasti. Lakhs of people visit Vibhuti Nath Mandir on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri and Hindu month of Savan. They come here to offer their prayers to Shiv Bhagwan. History of this temple goes back to the era of Mahabharat.

During their exile, the Pandava brothers, they stayed for some time in a forest area known as Sohalwa.  

It was during that time, that Bheema founded a village known as Bhimgaon. Later, the village was known as Bhinga. Pandavas had laid foundation of this Shiva temple. It is located 36 kilometers away from Bhimgaon.

Karn and Duryodhan had also visited Vibuti Nath temple when they visited this region in desperate search of the Pandavas. They had even meditated here. On seeing the scarcity of water here, they prayed for the same to Lord Shiva.

Pleased with their prayers, Shiv ji created twowater sources near the temple. Even today, the water continuously flows at the same spot. What makes it strange is the fact that though there are only two small pits near the two water sources, the water here never stops flowing.

There is also a Yaksha Sarovar here which is known as Rajia Taal now. This temple is situated in Merkiya village of Shravasti. It is a very popular Shivalaya of Sravasti which attracts Hindus from near and far!

Unfortunately, during the control of Mughal plunderer Aurangzeb, his army-men had wanted to vandalize Vibhuti Nath Mandir as well. It is said that when they tried to break the holy Shivlinga, a stream of blood started to ooze out of it. Scared, the plan to destroy the temple was abandoned by army of Aurangzeb.

Vipassana Meditation Centre, Shravasti

Also known as Vipassana Dhyan Kendra, it is located just 1 kilometer away from the points of attractions of Sahet-Mahet. People come here to stay for long term, learn meditation and detoxify themselves from stress and negative emotions.

This hidden gem of Shravasti is located away from the crowds. You can see its golden structure from the highway and many other picnic spots of Shravasti. I noticed that unusual structure here was different from the Vipassana Meditation Centres of Igatpuri and Mumbai which I visited earlier.

A board near the Korean temple said that Dhamma Suvatthi Vipassanna Centre is located just 200 meters away. Doing meditation here is the top things to do in Shravasti.

World Peace Bell of Shravasti

Also, known as great Dharma Bell of Shravasti, it is a must-visit sightseeing place in Shravasti. While I returned from Jetavana, I stopped at Burmese Temple. This is where huge World Peace Bell of Shravasti is located. I saw a similar bell in the campus of Parinirvana Temple in Kushinagar.

The Japanese Gong has been donated by Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International or LBDFI. This place is located right on the highway, approximately 1 kilometre away from the Jeta grove. This huge bell is visible from the highway.

Burmese Buddhist Temple Shravasti

Also known as Burmese Buddha temple,Burma Temple or Myanmar Temple of Shravasti, it is a major sightseeing attraction here. We stopped here while heading for a lunch at a dhaba, just 2-3 kilometres away from the Jeta grove. It is located right on the main highway which goes towards Kapilvastu and Lumbini. There is a huge garden here, where above mentioned bell is kept.

South Korean Temple

This temple has a peace bell. It was located on the highway, close to the Myanmar temple. I was delighted to see typical Korean style art and architecture here. There is a temple and a large garden here. This is a must-see place in Shravasti.

Sri Lankan Buddha temple

This temple is also located right on the highway. This is one of the best places of interest in Shravasti. The largest and official religion of Sri Lanka is Theravada Buddhism.

Mahamangaljay Temple of Shravasti

Also known as the Thai Buddha temple or The Daen Mahamongkol International Meditation Centre, it is a tourist attraction loved by many. More than us, our hired driver was excited to see it. Though a spiritual place, many local people treat it as a picnic spot.

Mahamangaljay Temple of Shravastiwas constructed by Maha Upasika Sitthipol Bongkot of Thailand. I was amazed to see how huge this place is. It is the largest and more famous of all the temples in Shravasti. Mahamangaljay Temple aims to cultivate kindness, wisdom & virtues in mankind.

Their objective, as with all Buddhist shrines is to spread peace & true happiness in the world. They also provide non-formal education and do charity work.

This popular meditation center in India is located 1 km from Shravasti Bus Station and Sahet Mahet. The other such center is located in Thailand.

The area around it is picturesque. In fact, I spent a lot of time getting my pictures clicked at a scenic water tank outside the gates of Mahamangaljay Temple. People also do picnic in the unique forest which is located here. The Daen Mahamongkol International Meditation Centre is not to be missed!

A huge Buddha’s statue and a golden pagoda are also located here. The pagoda of Thai Buddha templecan be seen from many places in Shravasti.

Timing: This modern structure is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry is free here.

Shravasti event ground

Functions, events and cultural programs take place from time to time in Shravasti event ground.

Village walks in Shravasti

You can take a village walk in Shravasti and observe the local lifestyle. It is a free thing to do here. As I embarked upon the free walking tour in the villages around Shravasti, I came across many interesting characters, such as a beggar on a wheelchair, a man who lived on a machan near his pond and few rural kids, who excitedly gave us directions in Bhojpuri.

I highly recommend this self-guided free walking tour around the villages of Shravasti. These small interactions with locals will stay with you. And you never know, you end up discovering a new stupa. This is a top thing to do with family and kids.

Meet the Tharu

If you are wondering what else is there to do in Shravasti, then I suggest that you learn about Tharu culture. I had a taste of Tharu lifestyle during my visit to Chitwan National Park in terai region of Nepal and Dudhwa National Park, also in terai belt of India.

In India, Tharu people are found in Deviapatan, Balrampur, Shravasti, Dudhwa, Bahraich and Gonda. These places are located in the North Eastern Terai belt of Uttar Pradesh. They live an eco-friendly lifestyle around dense forests, in complete harmony with nature.

They live off the land and use local plants for medicines. While watching their dance in Chitwan National Park, I had a close-up view of their unusual lifestyle and culture.

Do read my Dudhwa blog to know more about the connection of Tharu people with Muslim invaders. You will be surprised. I was!

Excursions from Shravasti

Some of the other Buddhist sites are Rahul Kuti, Anand Bodhi, Kaushambi Kuti, Shivli Stupa, Sabhamandap and Purvaram Vihar etc. Many large groups of Buddhist devotees from Asian nations such as Sri Lanka, Burma and Korea visit Shravasti and nearby places as Buddhist pilgrimages. These tourists mostly come on a tourist package.

  • Nepal
  • Maghar
  • Sankissa
  • Barhni
  • Lumbini
  • Lucknow
  • Barabanki
  • Dhangadhi
  • Kushinagar
  • Gorakhpur
  • Payagpur
  • Piprahwa
  • Kakrahwa
  • Piparhawa
  • Balrampur
  • Naugarh
  • Khargupur
  • Kapilvastu
  • Shohratgarh
  • Maharajganj
  • Siddharthnagar
  • Devi Patan Mandir
  • Dudhwa National Park
  • Suhaildev Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Festivals of Shravasti

Below are the prominent festivals celebrated in Shravasti.

Buddha Purnima

It is the most sacred festival of Buddhists across the world.

Bhagwan Sambhavnath Jayanti

This festival is celebrated in Kartik Shukla of the Hindu lunar calendar. Needless to say, it is one of the best seasons to be in Shravasti.

Bhagwan Sambhavnath Nirvanotsav

This festival is celebrated in Chitra Shukla of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Ratha Yatra

This annual chariot festival is celebrated with much fanfare in Shravasti. It is much like the world famous Rath Yatra of Puri in Odisha.

Shravasti Mahotsav

Shravasti Mahotsav is an annual event where best of Shravasti is celebrated with much enthusiasm.

Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Shravasti

There are some shops around the prime attractions of Shravasti from where you can buy some souvenirs and Buddhist pooja samagri. Buddhist artefacts, idols, crafts and other spiritual objects can also be bought from shops near all the sightseeing places of Saheth Maheth. But do not expect many shops. Shravasti is a very calm and silent place with less commercial activity.

Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Shravasti

We had one of the best foods on this entire trip in Shravasti. Just as you exit the main sites of Shravasti and enter the highway, take left. After going ahead for some time, we discovered a local dhaba. We had some of the best North India Food here. We ate on Charpai (traditional cot) in the open -air dining area.

There are some small snack shops outside Jetavana complex and other places.

Solo Trip Tips for Shravasti

Shravasti is a great destination for solo travellers, whether male or female.

Backpacking Budget Trip Tips for Shravasti

It is very easy to travel to Shravasti on a low budget. Once you arrive in Shravasti, all the sightseeing places and tourist attractions of Shravasti can be easily covered on foot. This saves a lot of cost. The only thing we spent on in Shravasti was the fuel and car cost, nominal entry tickets to historical monuments and very low-cost food.

Luxury travel tips to Shravasti

There are some luxury hotels in Shravasti you can stay. But do not expect much of a luxury in Shravasti. It is a spiritual destination and things are mostly austere here.

ATM in Shravasti

There are not many ATMs in Sharavasti and even if you are able to find some, chances are that they are not working. So, it is better to carry some cash from nearby big cities like Lucknow, Ayodhya and Gorakhpur which have more ATMs.

Photography Tips for Shravasti

There are many scenic spots in Sravasti where we got breathtaking shots. The pond and forest outside the Mahamangaljay Temple of Shravasti, for example is picture postcard perfect! I took several beautiful shots here.

The premises and structures of Mahamangaljay Temple of Shravasti itself are beautiful. I was happy to get lovely shots of the golden pagoda here from a far distance.

The ruins of the Jain Temple and Jeta grove also give great photography opportunities.

Hire local tourist guide in Shravasti

You should hire a local tourist guide in Shravasti so that he can take you to some offbeat places in and around Shravasti. There are many unheard-of places in Shravasti, which are waiting to be discovered. The local guide can also share lesser-known facts which the guidebooks do not suggest.

Languages spoken in Shravasti

Hindi and Bhojpuri languages are mainly spoken and understood in Shravasti. English is also used here by many. I saw a sizeable international population who reside in Shravasti. So, expect to find some one speaking South East Asian language apart from Sri Lankan, Japanese, Korean etc.

Foreigners in Shravasti

I observed many foreigners living in Shravasti. Many of them seemed to stay outside Mahamangaljay Temple of Shravasti since a long time.

People from Buddhist majority nations such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar visit and even stay for long term in Shravasti. They are friendly and you can also strike a conversation with them to understand Shravasti even better.

Books recommendation on Shravasti

A book called as Kushinagar Digdarshan was written by my relative Shri Bhagwat Singh. Though, the book is on nearby Kushinagar, it shares great insights and some rare facts about the Buddhist circuit of Uttar Pradesh.

UPSC Exam question on Shravasti

Shravasti being a very important Buddhist town, is still studied constantly. Since Shravasti is an important subject, questions on it are often asked in the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam for for IAS, IFS, PCS. I have explained everything in this detailed travel guide on Shravasti. This is the most information packed travelogue on Shravasti Uttar Pradesh. A lot of extensive research has gone in writing this article.

Toilet facility in Shravasti

Clean toilets are located in the campus of Jetavana grove. I was impressed with how clean the toilets were here. Spic and span toilets are also located in the campus of most of the new international temples.

Is it safe to visit Shravasti?

Yes, Shravasti is very safe to visit. Though, some places here can get lonely, but worry not as security guards are deployed at all the major points of attractions of Shravasti.

Where to stay in Shravasti

There are many places to stay in Shravasti. From stay in Buddhist monastery to low-budget lodges to luxury hotels, you will get many options to stay in Shravasti.

Digambar Jain Dharamshala

Expect 20 regular rooms and 20 semi deluxe rooms. Utensils, tents and beds are easily available here.

Shwetambar Jain Dharamshala

Expect 10 regular rooms and 10 semi deluxe rooms.

What to wear in Shravasti

Shravasti is a religious and spiritual place. Visitors are expected to dress appropriately while visiting highly sacred ruins of temples and monasteries. I was able to enjoy the Shravasti tour in only a shirt and jeans in October. You will need woolen clothes in winter because Shravasti is located in the terai belt in the Himalayan foothills.

Best Time to visit Shravasti?

Winter

Winter is the best time to visit Shravasti. I visited Shravasti in the first week of October. October is the onset of winter in Shravasti. The temperature of Sharavasti during my visit was very nice.

Though, I observed that it was a bit humid in afternoon but the Shravasthi weather kept altering between sunny, breezy and cloudy after every few minutes. Winter months in Shravasthi are October, November, December, January and February. March is also pleasant here.

Summer

Summer months of April, May and June are very hot in Shravasthi. The temperatures are high in summer here.

Monsoon

Since Shravasti was monsoon retreat of Gautam Buddha, it is a good idea to plan your Shravasti trip during rainy season. Not only is the weather of Shravasti pleasant in monsoon, but you will also get to visit here during an auspicious time.  

Duration of stay in Shravasti

How many days to spend in Shravasti? What can I do in 1 day in Shravasti? I was able to see all the places of interest in Shravasti within a span of few hours.

I did not even stay in Shravasti. I and my friend Jeetendra Sharma left at 8 a.m. from Lucknow in a hired car and arrived in Shravasti by 12 p.m. By the time it was 5 p.m., we were able to visit all the tourist places of Shravasti, even with a very slow pace.

We took a lot of time to study every nuance of Shravasti and its monuments. If you are not as deep as us in history, you can easily see all the must-visit places of Shravasti in 2-3 hours.

Itinerary for Shravasti

From Lucknow, I was able to visit the historical destinations such as following.

Route: Below was my route in the same order.

Lucknow-Shravasti -Barhni (Indo-Nepal border)-Shohratgarh-Kapilvastu-Piprahwa-Kakrahwa (Indo-Nepal border)-Lumbini (Nepal)-Kushinagar-Maghar-Ayodhya-Lucknow.

We were able to visit the above-mentioned places in Uttar Pradesh, India and Nepal within 3 days without rushing. Despite the fact that I had spent long time studying each Buddhist monument, I was able to pack in all of the above spiritual places and picnic spots easily.

That was possible because we had hired a car. You can read my blog on Kushinagar where I have explained the itinerary of this Buddhist Circuit in great detail.

How to reach Shravasti

I visited Shravasti as a quick weekend destination from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Here are all the possible ways to reach Shravasti.

Reach Shravasti by Rail

Nearest railway station from Shravasti is at Payagpur Railways Station. The railway station at Lucknow is the biggest nearest railway station which is connected to most big and small cities and towns of India.

Reach Shravasti by Air

You can take a direct flight to the Shravasti airport. Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in located in Lucknow

Reach Shravasti by Bus

Gonda is just 56 kilometers away from Shravasti. Many buses to Shravasti are available from mega terminus of Gonda. You can find many buses to Gonda from Lucknow, Mathura, Prayagraj, Agra, Bareilly, Barabanki etc. Private buses are also available but I prefer buses run by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation due to their low cost and punctuality.

Local Transport for sightseeing in Shravasti

Some autorickshaws can be seen parked outside the tourist places in Shravasti. You can hire them for sightseeing in Shravasti for a very low price.

Distances from Shravasti

There are many places near Shravasti which we had visited on the same trip. Most of these nearby places are located very close to each other.

I am mentioning the distance of Shravasti with these sightseeing attractions and tourist places so that you can easily plan a trip to the terai region of Indian and Nepal. The below distances are mentioned in ascending order so that you know which tourist attractions are located close to Shravasti and which are located slightly far.

Distance between Balrampur and Shravasti is 16.8 kilometres and it takes 23 minutes via NH 730

Distance between Gonda and Shravasti is 56.6 kilometres and it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes via NH330

Distance between Ayodhya and Shravasti is 106 kilometres and it takes 2 hours and 30 minutes via NH330

Distance between Shohratgarh and Shravasti is 107 kilometres and it takes 2 hours and 30 minutes via NH730

Distance between Trilokpur and Shravasti is only 120 kilometres.

Distance between Kapilvastu, Piprahwa and Ganwaria (together)and Shravasti is 130 kilometres and it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes via NH730

Distance between Basti and Shravasti is 130.7 kilometres and it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes via SH26

Distance between Kakrahwa (near Lumbini, Nepal) and Shravasti is 140 kilometres and it takes 3 hours and 25 minutes via NH730

Distance between Lucknow and Shravasti is 150 kilometres and it takes 3 hours and 40 minutes via NH 927

Distance between Maghar and Shravasti is 156 kilometres and it takes 3 hours and 30 minutes via SH26

Distance between Gorakhpur and Shravasti is 184 kilometres and it takes 4 hours and 10 minutes via NH27 and SH 26

Distance between Dudhwa National Park and Shravasti is 223 kilometres and it takes 5 hours and 10 minutes via NH730

Distance between Kushinagar and Shravasti is 239 kilometres and it takes 5 hours via SH26, NH 27 and NH28.

Distance between Dhangadhi (Nepal)and Shravasti is 251 kilometres and it takes 6 hours via NH730

Conclusion: Why visit Shravasti?

Is Shravasti worth a visit? It is a commonly asked question. In a nutshell, yes, a place as historical as Shravasti is worth visiting again and again. That is what most devout Buddhists from man South East Asian nations do. Many Buddhist pilgrims visit and even stay for a long time in Shravasti.

To summarize, a place of great religious significance, visiting monuments of Sahet-Mahet such as like Jetavana Monastery, Pakki Kuti, Kachchi Kuti, Sobhanath Jain Mandira transported me to a bygone era.

The nearby Orajhar where Buddha Bhagwan performed twin miracles of Shravasti adds to the mystery of this holy place. There are many secrets which Shravasti wants to reveal. Only if we are curious enough!

Do share this blog with your friends and family so that more and more people can learn about this historical place.

The view from my Soul Window is God-sent!

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