Hell. Descriptions of it are to be found in several places in the four Nikāyas MN.iii.183 AN.i.141–142 It is a quadrangular space, one hundred leagues each way, four-doored, walled all round and above with steel and with floor of incandescent molten steel.

It is noteworthy that the word Avīci occurs only once in the four Nikāyas—namely, in a passage in the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya, DN.iii.75 AN.i.159 but in this context there is no indication that the name refers to a purgatory. The word is not found in a list of purgatories given in the Sutta Nipāta Snp.126–131 and in the Saṃyutta. SN.i.152 It is, however, found in a poem in the Itivuttaka It89 which recurs in the Vinaya, Vin.ii.203 and there it is specifically called a niraya.

In the Dīgha passage mentioned above, the reference to Avīci is in connection with a tremendous growth of population which will occur in Jambudīpa in a future age. Houses will be so close that a cock could fly from any one to the next, and one would think it Avīci.