Kolhua - The Ashokan Pillar


Kolhua is a famous Buddhist excavation site situated approximately 65 km North-West of Patna, not far away from the other excavations at Vaishali. The excavations has revealed the famous Ashoka pillar containing life size statue of lion on the top, besides many other things. Kolhua was under the rule of Licchavis during the time of Buddha whose capital was at Vaishali. Buddha is said to have delivered his last sermon at Kolhua.
Kolhua's history is closely associated with Buddha. It is said in the ancient texts that it was the place where a local chief of monkeys had offered a bowl of honey to Buddha. This event has been marked among one of the eight significant events in the life of Buddha. He spent many years at Kolhua. A brick stupa was erected to commemorate the event of honey offering to Buddha by the monkey chief during the Mauryan time, subsequently enlarged during the Kushana period and later additions during Gupta periods. The recent excavations conducted by ASI have revealed remains of Kutagarshala, Swastika shaped monastery, a tank, number of votive stupas and miniature shrines in addition to main stupa and the Ashoka pillar which were partly exposed earlier. The 12-cell monastery is believed to be Ladies Monastery. The tank is believed to be made by monkeys for Buddha, hence named as Markata-Hrid.

The Asokan Pillar locally known as Bhim Sen Ki Lathi is about 12 meters high. It is built of monolithic sandstone column surmounted with a lion capital. It is one of the earliest six monolithic pillars erected by Ashoka. There are about 330 votive stupas around the main stupa with variant shapes and designs. Kutagarshala represents the spot where Buddha used to stay during his visit.

In a recent development, ASI has identified Kolhua among 25 ancient monuments across the country to be included under Adarsh Monuments, only one to be included in the list from Bihar. The inclusion will help in the creation and up gradation of the basic facilities available at Kolhua.

How to reach :
  • Airport : The nearest airport is Jai Prakash Narayan Airport at Patna
  • Railway : The nearest major railway station is at Muzaffarpur and Hajipur.
  • Roads : It is well connected by roads

Where to stay :

Vaishali is the nearest place where moderate accommodation is available.