A village in the Vajji country, on the banks of the Ganges, on the road from Rájagaha to Vesáli and near the latter (UdA.322).
Once while Sáriputta was staying there, the Paribbájaka Sámandaka visited him and talked to him about Nibbána (S.iv.261-2). Some time later, after the death of Sáriputta and Moggallána within a fortnight of each other, the Buddha came to Ukkacelá on his way to Vesáli 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 Cúlagopálaka Sutta was also preached at Ukkacelá (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 (ukká) out of rags (celá), dipped them in oil, and by their light caught the fish. On account of this incident the city was called Ukkácelá (v.l. Ukkacelá, Ukkávelá).