the Buddha's cremation a dispute arose as to how his ashes
should be divided. Eventually a brahmin named Dona was given
the task and he did it to the satisfaction of all the eight
claimants. As a reward for his services he was given the
vessel in which the ashes had been collected and from which
he had divided and he announced that he would enshrine this
vessel in a stupa. This stupa later became a popular destination
with pilgrims. When Hiuen Tsiang went there it was already
in ruins but it still sometimes emitted a brilliant light.
Today Dona's stupa is a large grassy mound with a Hindu
temple on it just outside the village of Don. Nearby is
an exceptionally beautiful statue of Tara now being worshipped
as a Hindu goddess. This statue dates from the 9th century.
To get to Don go from Patna to Siwan via Chhapra . Alternatively
you can visit Don as a day trip from Kusinara via Gopalganj.
Beyond Siwan the road is very bad. The story about Dona's
division of the Buddha's ashes is in the last part of the
Mahaparinibbana Sutta which can be found in Walshe's The
Long Discourses. When you have finished in Patna cross the
Ganges by the new Mahatma Gandhi Bridge and head north to
Vesali via Hajipur.