Friday, December 28, 2007

A Pilgrimage Special: To Kapilavastu

Kapilavastu is the name of an ancient Indian city. In a school textbook which I used ages ago, I remember it was stated that Kapilavastu was the birthplace of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The search for Buddha's birthplace following the accounts left by Xuanzang and Faxian has now, of course, decided that it is Lumbini that is the birthplace and it happens too that there are two Kapilavastu and Lumbini is near to both these places. The first Kapilavastu was of course Piprahwa in India. Nepalese guidebooks and historians however consider Tilaurakot in Nepal to be the real Kapilavastu. Our Indian guide said it is Piprahwa as evident from the relics excavated there but some people prefer to think that Tilaurakot was the old Kapilavastu and after the attack by the Kosalan army near the end of Buddha's life, Kapilavastu was rebuilt in Piprahwa and thus, it was the new Kapilavastu. There is another view that Kapilavastu is a large area which is mainly in Nepal but partly in India. On our way from Sravasti to Lumbini, we had stopped briefly in the Kapilavastu of India. Kapilavastu in Nepal side, according to our Indian guide was infested with Maoist terrorists and not safe for tourists.

On the way to Lumbini...



We stopped at Piprahwa aka Kapilavastu ...


Say a prayer at the stupa...




Information on the old city of Kapilavastu...


Road leading to Nepal...


It was dusty, dusty all the way...

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