Vaishali or Vesali was a city in present-day Bihar, India, and is now an archaeological site. It is a part of the Tirhut Division. It was the capital city of the Vajjian Confederacy of (Vrijji mahajanapada), considered one of the first examples of a republic around the 6th century BCE. Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in c. 483 BCE, then in 383 BCE the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka, making it an important place in both Jain and Buddhist religions. It contains one of the best-preserved of the Pillars of Ashoka, topped by a single Asiatic lion (26.014162°N 85.109220°E).
The city finds mention in the travel accounts of Chinese explorers, Faxian (4th century CE) and Xuanzang (7th century CE), which were later used in 1861 by British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham to first identify Vai??l? with the present village of Basarh in Vaishali District, Bihar.