The Enlightening Land of Lumbini, Nepal
By Holiday Dragons
“After I am no more, O Ananda! Men of belief will visit the place with faith, Curiosity and devotion Lumbini, the place where I was born. The path to ultimate peace is spiritual discipline” -The Buddha
Lumbini (meaning ‘the lovely’ in Sanskrit) is one of the world’s most spiritual sites and is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, has a very special position in the hearts of Buddhists all over the world. Lumbini lies in the Rupendehi district of Province number 5 of Nepal.
Lumbini is located 25 kilometers east of the municipality of Kapilvastu. It is 4.8 km in length and 1.6 km in width. Lumbini is a place of pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.
Places to Visit
Maya Devi Temple: The Maya Devi Temple is the most visited and major attraction of Lumbini. The white colour temple protects the exact birthplace of the Gautam Buddha. The Bodhi tree nearby is where Maya Devi rested while in her labor. The Maya Devi Temple records the story of Maya Devi, the mother of Gautam Buddha. She gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam under a banyan tree, and the temple stands in the site of the tree. The pond next to the temple is where Maya Devi took a dip before giving birth to Siddhartha Gautam. It is also believed that the pond is the first place where Siddhartha Gautam took his first bath after birth.
World Peace Pagoda: The lovely white World Peace Pagoda is located outside the main compound but is easily accessible by bike. It is one of the world’s greatest stupas. The stupa was constructed by Japanese Buddhists at the cost of one million US dollars. The stupa illustrates the golden statue of the Gautam Buddha in a posture that is believed to be when Buddha was born.
Pagodas of various countries: Various countries has built monasteries, temples and pagodas to promote the pilgrimage location of Lumbini. Some of the international monuments are Myanmar Golden Temple, Korean Buddhist Temple, The Great Lotus Stupa, Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery and The China Temple.
Ashoka Pillar: Emperor Ashoka built the Ashoka pillar in 249 BC, during his visit to the village in Lumbini. It is 12.97 meters high. He built four stupas, the pillar and an inscription that describes his visit and the importance of the Lumbini as a birthplace of Gautam Buddha. The pillar is surrounded by a small fence, decorated by colourful flags and has bowled to light the Incense stick by the prayers.
Lumbini Crane Sanctuary: The ancient Lumbini Garden that spreads over the 6 km2 area has been developed into a sanctuary for cranes in Nepal. The ruins of the palace of Tilaurakot (ancient capital of the Sakya kingdom of Kapilavastu), where Siddhartha lived his first 29 years, are located 27 km west of Lumbini.