The world famous Kesaria Buddha stupa in east Champaran district of Bihar is waterlogged following floods after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of river Gandak in Nepal. East and West Champaran districts share their borders with Nepal at many places.
The Stupa, located about 110 km from the State capital Patna, has a circumference of almost 400 feet and stands at a height of about 104 feet. The first construction of the nationally protected stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE. It is regarded as the largest Buddhist stupa in the world.
The stupa’s exploration had started in the early 19th century after its discovery led by Colonel Mackenzie in 1814. Later, it was excavated by General Cunningham in 1861-62 and in 1998 an ASI team had excavated this site, it got the distinction of being the tallest Buddhist Stupa in the world.
It is believed that Buddha gave his Alms bowl to the Lichchhavis at this place while leaving from Vaishali to Kushinagar. Chinese travellers Fa-Hien and Hiuen Tsang also mention this stupa and the legend of Buddha and the Licchavis in their records.
The original Kesaria stupa is said to date back to the time of emperor Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) as the remains of an Ashokan pillar was discovered there. The local call the stupa ‘devalaya’. The ASI has declared it a protected monument of national importance.