Believed to be the site of the ancient city of Kapilavastu, Piprahwa is the location one of the eight stupas or domed structures over the Buddha's relics. It is 9 km north of Birdpur on the India-Nepal border. Piprahwa belongs to the state of Uttar Pradesh, and a long metalled road connects it to Lucknow. The site at Piprahwa yielded one of the earliest relic caskets, complete with a pre-Mauryan Brahmi inscription describing the construction of this stupa over the remains of the Lord Buddha. There are several ancient red brick structures like ancillary stupas and a few monasteries at this site at Piprahwa. Nearby, there are two more localities named Ganwaria and Salagarh, which are supposed to be Buddhist settlements in the present day.
The stupa at Kapilavastu was a buried stupa that was discovered upon excavation by William Caxton Peppe, a British engineer and owner of an estate in colonial India. It is suggested, in modern history, that Piprahwa might have been the site of the capital of the Sakya civilisation and kingdom, Kapilavastu. Today, the sites at Piprahwa and Ganwaria house the Kapilavastu Museum under the authority of the Archaeological Survey of India.
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Modern day scholars suggest that Piprahwa was the location of Kapilavastu, an ancient city – the capital of Shakya. This city remained the abode of Gautam Buddha for his first 29 years. Other savants advocate that the original location of Kapilavastu is 16 km away, at Tilaurakot, toward the northwest. As Kapilavastu remained the capital of the kingdom of Shakya, this debatable question holds much significance to scholars preaching Buddhist history.