in Rajgir the wealthy businessman Anathapindika first met
the Buddha and invited him to come to Savatthi. The Buddha
said he would be happy to come but asked that suitable accommodation
be provided. When Anathapindika returned to Savatthi he
purchased a park near the town and built a large monastery
on in. Called Jetavana, this park became the Buddha's favourite
resort and he spent every rainy season of the last 20 years
of his life except one there.
in Nava Jetavana Vihara, Savatthi.
the ruins of Jetavana's many monasteries are set in attractive
and peaceful gardens. The Buddha delivered more discourses
here than in any other place so if you wish to read some
while you are you have plenty to choose from. I recommend
the Kakacupama Sutta, the Vimamsaka Sutta
and or the Angulimala Sutta, all of them from
The Middle Length Discourses. There are plenty of Buddhist
temples near the ruins that offer accommodation. Perhaps
the best is the Sri Lankan temple right next to the main
gate. Don't miss the paintings in the main shrine
(see above). If you do not intend
to go on to Sankassya you can take a bus or vehicle from
Savatthi to Lucknow and from there get the train to Delhi.
If you have the time visit the State Museum in Lucknow which
is in the grounds of the zoo. It has an excellent collection
of Buddhist sculpture and is open from 10:30 am to 4:30
pm and closed on Monday.