Explore the Birthplace of Gautam Buddha on Kathmandu Lumbini Tour
Situated in southern Nepal close to the Indian border, Lumbini is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by more than 100 ancient monuments, temples, international monasteries, and the likes, Lumbini is an open museum. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, Lumbini became one of many core pilgrimage sites after the teachings of Buddha spread all over the globe.
You can visit over 30 Buddhist monasteries built by countries from around the world like China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Germany, France etc. Each monasteries have their own unique architecture to showcase and this gives you the chance to admire the diverse international heritage at one single place. These establishments organise religious and spiritual programs throughout the year so you have a greater chance of immersing yourself in any of the Buddhist traditions.
Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and above all visit the Maya Devi Temple which dates back to more than 2,200 years. This temple marks the exact spot where Queen Maya Devi, feeling the onset of labor pains, grabbed hold of the branches of a shade tree and gave birth to Siddharta Gautama in around 563 BC.
Standing adjacent to the temple lies a sacred pool and a garden, both of which are significant to the life of Gautam Buddha. The Sacred garden is said to have been known as a beautiful garden in the Buddha’s time and still retains its legendary charm and beauty.
The gardens are just a short walk or rickshaw ride away from the main road. Stepping into the garden you’ll find the Ashoka Pillars that commemorate Ashoka’s visit around the year 249 BC, the year he converted to Buddhism. The inscriptions on these pillars are said to be the oldest inscription found in Nepal. The interesting saga behind the monument and its spiritual significance make the Ashokan Pillar a must-visit site for history, religious and architectural enthusiasts.
The inscriptions on these pillars are said to be the oldest inscription found in Nepal. The interesting saga behind the monument and its spiritual significance make the Ashokan Pillar a must-visit site for history, religious and architectural enthusiasts.
The sacred pond, on the other hand is known to have existed before Siddhartha Gautam. This pond is where the infant prince is said to have been given his purification bath. The pond also used to be the royal bath spot of Queen Maya Devi.
Located outside the main temple compound yet easily accessible by rickshaw, lies the gleaming-white World Peace Pagoda constructed by Japanese Buddhists. This pagoda is the counterpart to the Flame of Peace monument in Okinawa, Japan, and is a symbol of tranquility.
Spreading over an area of 6 km square around the World Peace Pagoda are the wetlands which has now become a popular crane sanctuary. You could stand a good chance of seeing rare cranes stalking through the fields, as well as the large blue bulls.
Following the path of the tower and making your way on top will give you some excellent views over the wetlands. Now a laid-back town in western Nepal, Lumbini was once part of the ancient Koliya Kingdom, founded by Shakya dynasty during the late Vedic period.
It’s closed culture guides you into quiet, reflective moments you rarely get when you travel. Walk shoulder to shoulder with locals and tourists, and what you will hear, smell, taste will be nothing less than simple devotion lingering from ancient times.