The chief shrine at ālavī (SnA.i.344; SA.i.207) (hence probably the name), originally a pagan place of worship, but later converted into a Buddhist vihāra. The Buddha stopped here on many occasions during his wanderings, and this was the scene of several Vinaya rules, e.g. against monks digging the ground (Vin.iv.32) and cutting trees (Vin.iv.34), using unfiltered water for building purposes (Vin.iv.48), sleeping in the company of novices (Vin.iv.16), giving new buildings in hand (Vin.ii.172f).
The Chabbaggiyā are censured here for a nissaggiya offence (Vin.iii.224). The Vangīsa Sutta was preached there to Vangīsa, on the occasion of the death of his preceptor, Nigrodhakappa (Sn.59f). In the early years of Vangīsa's novitiate he stayed at the shrine with his preceptor, and disaffection arose within him twice, once because of women, the second time because of his tutor's solitary habits (S.i.185-6), and later, again, through pride in his own powers of improvisation (patibhāna) (S.i.187). Here, again, the Buddha utters the praises of Hatthaka Alavaka, who visits him with a large following, whose fealty has been won (according to Hatthaka) by observing the four characteristics of sympathy (sangahavatthūni) learnt from the Buddha (A.iv.216-20).
Many lay-women and nuns flocked there by day to hear the Buddha preach, but none were there when he preached in the evenings (J.i.160). It was here that the Manikantha Jātaka was related (J.ii.282), also the Brahmadatta Jātaka (J.iii.78), and the Atthisena Jātaka (J.iii.351), all in connection with the rules for building cells. See also ālavī.