Lauriya Nandangarh lies 22 kilometres from the district of Bettiah in the Indian state of Bihar. One of the significant Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India, it houses one of the biggest stupas in India and the Ashokan pillar, inclusive of the six Ashokan Edicts. Historians and archaeologists believe Emperor Ashoka to have built around 40 pillars at this site.
But today only one pillar stands tall in its complete form at the original location in Lauriya Nandangarh. With a height of more than twelve meters, the pillar highlights the radiant polish by the Mauryans, today also in spite of witnessing all sorts of exposure. Inscribed on the pillar, are 6 of Ashoka’s Edicts issued in the year 244 BC. The pillar is crowned by a squatting lion, the face of which is missing after it was shot a canon in 1660 AD. The gigantic stupa is 24 meters tall with a circumference of nearly 457 meters. It is one of the biggest stupas ever built in India, displaying how Buddhism in India was once at its peak.
Other Tourist Spots :
Gaya : Gaya is of great significance for Hindus and Buddhists, being the place where Gautama Buddha preached His famous Fire sermon. A museum displays an excellent collection of Buddhist sculptures and artifacts here.
Bodh Gaya : Bodh Gaya is among the four prime Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Bihar. Gautam Buddha attained Enlightenment and became the Buddha. Other attractions include:
- The Mahabodhi temple and Tree
- Lotus Tank
- Shaivite monastery
- Bodh Gaya Museum
- Thai, Japanese, Bhutanese and Tibetan Monasteries
Barabar Caves : It is one of the earliest rock cut caves in India. Built by Emperor Ashoka, caves include Nagarjuna, Pandava and Hut caves.
How to reach Lauriya Nandangarh :
Air : Nearest airport is that of Patna, well connected to major Indian cities.
Rail : Bettiah is the closest railhead to Lauriya Nandangarh.
Road : Regular buses and taxis ply between Bettiah and Nadangarh