Keshria is a small city located in the east of Bihar. It lies in the district of East Champaran, which is 50 km from Vaishali, 40 km from Motihari and 10 km from Rampur Khajuria. It is surrounded by Nepal in its north, U.P. in its west, Jharkhand in the south and West Bengal in the east.
The main river of the place is Ganga and others include rivers like Saryu, Gandak and Sone. During the time of Lord Buddha, the city was known as Kesaputta and was the township of the Kosalans and residence of the Kalamas. The most popular feature of the place is the Keshria Stupa, which is the biggest stupa of India.
The preaching and visit of the Buddha to this town is a significant part of the history of this town. During this time, Buddha offered his most popular discourse to the Kalama people during his stay in town.
According to legend, when Buddha left Vaishali, on his way to Kusinagara in his last year, a large group of Vijjians followed him and refused to go back. After reaching Keshria, they agreed to return and Buddha handed them a begging bowl. To mark and celebrate the moment, a Stupa was built in the place.
The most popular feature of the place is the Keshria Stupa. This stupa is the oldest Stupa of India and dates back to 200 A.D. to 750 A.D. The Archaeological Survey of India found it during an excavation in 1998. It has a height of 104 feet that goes up to five stories. The Stupa is present here as the reminder of Lord Buddha’s visit to the town.
According to the National Informatics Centre of East Champaran, the original height of the stupa was 123 feet before the earthquake of 1934. The area around the Stupa is home to items like Islamic coins, copper and terracotta items, earthen lamps, arrowheads and decorated bricks.
Some images and postures of Lord Buddha in the form of ‘Bhumi Sparsh Mudra’ are also present in this town. Other attractions in the place include Janpul Chowk, Mahatma Gandhi Smarak, Vishnudham Mandir and Malang Baba.
Keshria is also a gateway to many other cities like Vaishali, Hajipur, Patna and Muzaffarpur. Vaishali is located on the banks of the Gandak River and is known for the Vishwa Shanti Stupa and various other Buddhist stupas. Hajipur is popular for the Ramchaura Temple. Patna is the capital of Bihar and has many museums and ashrams. Muzaffarpur is known for its lychees.