Vaishali has a past that pre-dates recorded history. It is held that the town derives its name from king Vishal, whose heroic deeds are narrated in the Hindu epic Ramayana. However, history records that around the time Pataliputra was the centre of political activity in the Gangetic plains, Vaishali came into existence as centre of industry and trade. Lying on the north bank of the Ganga, it was the seat of the Republic of Vajji. Vaishali is credited with being the World’s First republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient administration.
The Lord Buddha visited Vaishali more than once during his life time and announced his approaching Mahapariniravana to the great followers he had here.
Hundred year after he attained Mahapariniravana, it was the venue of the second Buddhist council. According to one belief, the Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir was born at Vaishali. The Chinese traveller Fa-Hien and hieun Tsang also visited this place in early 5th and 7th centuries respectively and wrote about Vaishali.
While talking of the famous men and women associated with Vaishali, Ampravali was the cynosure not only of Vaishali but of the neighbouring kingdoms as well.
Therefore, to avert bloodshed, the parliament of Vaishali declared her to be Court Dancer besides consigning her to lifelong spinsterhood. Later she became devout Buddhist and served the Lord Buddha.