A village in the Vajji country, on the
banks of the Ganges, on the road from Rājagaha to
Vesāli and near the latter
Once while Sāriputta was staying there, the Paribbājaka
visited him and talked to him about Nibbāna (S.iv.261-2). Some time later, after
the death of Sāriputta and Moggallāna within a fortnight of each other, the
Buddha came to Ukkacelā on his way to Vesāli and at a gathering of the monks
uttered high praise of the two chief disciples and spoke of the loss the Order
had sustained by their death (S.v.163f).
The Cūlagopālaka Sutta was also preached
at Ukkacelā (M.i.225).
Buddhaghosa says (MA.i.447) that when the city was being
built, on the day its site was marked out, fish came ashore at night from the
river, and men, noticing them, made torches (ukkā) out of rags (celā), dipped
them in oil, and by their light caught the fish. On account of this incident the
city was called Ukkācelā (v.l. Ukkacelā, Ukkāvelā).