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Lumbini : Exploring The Birthplace of Gautam Buddha

Quick Facts of Lumbini

  •            Location: Lumbini, 32900
  •           Altitude: 150 m
  •            Length:4.8 km (3 mi)
              Width:1.6 km (1.0 mi)
  •            Best time to visit: April – May

Lumbini, located in Nepal’s Terai plains, is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists worldwide as it is the birthplace of  “Siddhartha Gautama Buddha”. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is under the care of the Lumbini Development Trust, and the Nepalese Department of Archaeology protects it. The site has a temple that covers the actual place where Lord Buddha was born, and it symbolizes ultimate peace and harmony. Lumbini is a peerless landmark of the Buddhist world and promotes universal peace, goodwill, and understanding as an international Buddhist University.

lUMBINI

History:

  • Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini which soon became a place of pilgrimage.
  • Lumbini is a landmark of the Buddhist world and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
  • The Nepalese Department of Archaeology preserves the rich history of Lumbini under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act of 1956 CE.

The major attraction of Lumbini:

The major attraction of Lumbini is its religious significance as the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from around the world. Visitors can see the Maya Devi Temple, which is built at the site where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Buddha. The temple complex also includes the Ashoka Pillar, which was erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka to commemorate Buddha’s birth, and the Sacred Pond, where it is believed that Queen Mayadevi bathed before giving birth. Lumbini is also home to several monasteries, including the Chinese Monastery, the Japanese Monastery, and the Korean Monastery, which offer visitors a glimpse into Buddhist culture and traditions. The Lumbini Museum, which displays artifacts and exhibits related to Buddhism and Lumbini’s history, is another popular attraction. Additionally, visitors can explore the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary, which is home to several species of cranes and other migratory birds.

Things you can do in Lumbini:

Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is a must-visit destination for those seeking peace, enlightenment, and cultural experiences. Here are some activities to consider when visiting Lumbini:

Explore the Monasteries

Experience a living, thriving community of Buddhist devotees from around the world by visiting the international feast of monasteries in Lumbini. Don’t miss the Myanmar Golden Temple, the Mahabodhi Society Temple India, Chinese Monastery, Great Lotus Stupa in the German Monastery, and the Nepal Monastery.

Rent a Bicycle and Explore Rural Terrain:

Rent a bicycle and explore the rural parts of Lumbini. The roads are flat and easy to ride, and the traffic is minimal. You’ll pass by local huts, rice paddies, mustard fields with yellow flowers, and ancient agriculture methods still in use.

Sign Up for a Meditation Class:

Meditation is a major component of Buddhism, and there are several meditation centers run by Buddhist Monks in Lumbini. You can room and board there, become a part of the community, and immerse yourself in meditation practice.

 Visit Maya Devi Temple and Meditate under the Bodhi Tree:

Here you can experience history and enlightenment by visiting Maya Devi Temple, where Lord Buddha was born. The temple is housed with the remains of Buddha’s birthplace, and there are ruins of the stupa, village buildings, and a pond where Buddha’s mother took a bath after giving birth to him. Meditate under the Bodhi Tree next to the pond, and who knows, you may find enlightenment.

Try Local Street Foods:

 Satisfy your craving for local food by visiting the street vendors selling delicious homemade food, mostly with Indian flavor. Momo, noodles, curries, pakora, samosa, tikki chaat, and pani puri are the most common dishes to try.

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How to get there?

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Lumbini is the Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Lumbini, which is about 22 km away.
  2. By Road: Lumbini is well-connected by road to major cities in Nepal and India. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, or other nearby cities.
  3. By Train: If you are traveling from India, The nearest railway station to Lumbini is Nautanwa, which is about 20 km away in India from Bhairahawa. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Lumbini.
  • Entry fees:
  • For foreigners: NPR 500
  • For SAARC Countries: NPR 200
  • For Nepali citizens: NPR 20.
  • For Indian nationals: NPR 40.

Opening Time

It is open all day from 5 am to 7 pm. However, the other temples within the premises have different opening hours, from 7 am to 1 pm, and then reopening after lunch at around 2 or 3 pm until 5 pm.

Image source: Google Images

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