SRAVASTI :- Situated in Gonda district, Sravasti was one of the six great cities of India in the days of the Buddha. An important centre for trade and commerce, it was the junction of two important trade routes.
Sravasti, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala, has the honour for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. The Kosalan rulers extended the boundaries of the kingdom in all directions at the expense of their neighbours. The Sakyas (the clan to which the Buddha belonged) in the Nepalese foothills and the kingdom of Kasi (Varanasi) were also absorbed into the Kosalan kingdom. The most powerful Kosalan king was Prasenjit. However, the imperialist tendencies of Kosala were checked by the rise of the powerful kingdom of Magadha in South Bihar.
It has the distinction of being a place where the Buddha preached most of his sermons. Here he is said to have performed many miracles, and levitated. During the monsoon, he used to stay at the Jetavana monastery on the outskirts of this town. The monastery was donated to him by Sudatta, the richest merchant at the time. Ashoka visited the place in the 3rd century a.d. and issued an inscription to commemorate the event.
The extensive ruins of this great city now cover the villages of Saheth and Maheth. The architectural ruins of the stupas, or Buddhist temples and the Jetavana monastery are found at Sahet. The earliest of these dates back to the 3rd century b.c. Mahet is on the right bank of the Achiravati River. The village contains the remains of two stupas, some temples, the city gate and ramparts.