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Ancient name of a geographical region to the north-east of Bombay. It was a major state in ancient India.situated on the western borders of Magadha with its capital located at Ujjayinī on the Sipra river, where three important trade routes converged. In the Buddha's day it was one of the four principal kingdoms, along with Magadha, Kosala.and Vaṃsa (or Vatsa), and eventually became incorporated into the first of these. Though the Buddha himself did not visit this kingdom, the Dharma was promulgated there by Mahākatyāyana but it did not flourish in this region until it was incorporated into the Magadhan empire by Śiśunāga some time after the Buddha's passing. Subsequently, there was a notable Buddhist presence at places such as Bhārhut.Sāñcī.and Vidiśā and many great stūpas were built in this region, some of which survived or have been excavated in modern times. It would seem from the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan-tsang that Buddhism had declined considerably in much of this area by the mid-7th century ce, although this may have simply been a case of monks relocating to new monasteries as political capitals changed. In Avanti there was political fragmentation, but there were large numbers of monks in Mālava and Valabhī.while the new capitals of Harṣa's dynasty at Kanauj and Oudh had very large numbers indeed.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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