Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Hajipur was known as Ukkacala in ancient times. According to Buddhist scriptures, Lord Buddha gave one of his many discourses at Ukkacala. Some Buddhist sources also say that ashes of Lord Buddha's disciple Ananda were kept in a Stupa at Ukkacala. He erected this mosque at Patna to commemorate his victory over the Mughal emperor Humanyun. The mosque, built in Afghan architectural style, has a tomb inside the compound which is topped by an octagonal stone slab. The Sher Shah Masjid is considered among best looking mosques in India.

According to Buddhist literature, Ananda was the closest disciple and personnel attendant of Buddha. The same sources tell an interesting incident about Ananda- when Ananda realized that his life was drawing to its close, he decided to head towards north from Rajgir. Later on when King Ajatashatru came to know about it he went to meet Ananda and asked him to stay in his capital. Similarly, people from near by Vaishali came and asked him to stay at their place, which made the situation quite tricky for Ananda.

As Ananda was in conflict where to go and whom to visit, he reached in the middle of river and in order to avoid disappointment and possible conflict, Ananda rose into the air and disappeared into a ball of flames. As the legends have it, people gathered on both sides of the river and collected the ash which was poured from above. Later on many Stupas were erected enshrining the same ash.

Though the whereabouts of these stupas is not known, one mound on the bank of river Ganges is evidence of one such stupa's existence at the spot. Historians are of the opinion that stupas might have been erased by Ganges flood overtime and some Hindu temple has come into existence now. From historical evidence and Buddhist literature, archeologists have concluded that the modern Hajipur is ancient Ukkacala............

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