The chief shrine at Āḷavī (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.172 f).
The group of six monks (Chabbaggiyā) are censured here for a offence of forfeiture (nissaggiya) (Vin.iii.224). The Vaṅgīsa Sutta was taught there to Vaṅgīsa Thera, on the occasion of the death of his preceptor, Nigrodhakappa (Sn.59 f). In the early years of Vaṅgīsa’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 (paṭibhāna) (S.i.187). Here, again, the Buddha utters the praises of Hatthaka Āḷavaka, who visits him with a large following, whose fealty has been won (according to Hatthaka) by observing the four characteristics of sympathy (saṅgahavatthūni) learnt from the Buddha (A.iv.216‑20).