Lumbini is the ultimate pilgrimage for every Buddhist – The Star of Asia and symbol of peace.Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini while his mother was on her way to her parental home from Kapilvastu. He was born during the full moon day in the month of Baisakh in 623 B.C and is believed to have been born under a Saal tree (Shorea Robusta) when Maya Devi (his mother) was going to her maternal town to give birth. After his birth, Buddha took seven steps towards the north, which is now shown as seven lotus flowers and then looking in all directions, he declared that “I am the foremost of all creatures to cross the riddle of the ocean of the existence, this is my last birth and here after, I will not be born again”.
This newly born hindu prince named Siddhartha had supernatural birth signs, which indicated that the new born child will bring deliverance to the world. Ascetic (Rishis) warned the king that the boy might renounce the world anytime if he happens to come across, sick person, an elderly, dead body or the ascetic.
The king, alarmed to hear this, married Prince Siddhartha at an early age and almost imprisoned him in pleasure palaces, providing there in all kinds of enjoyments so he will be happy and stay there. However, the prophecy came true and he became The Buddha.
Lumbini should be visited and be seen by devotees, as it is the being of one of the four holy places of Buddhism.
The other sites are Boudhagaya, Kushinagar and Sarnath in India.
There are other places of interest too nearby. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to Bhairawa. From Kathmandu it takes about eight hours by bus or car.
Lumbini is situated in Nepal in the foot hills of the Himalayas about
22 kilometers from Bhairahawa.
230 kilometers from Kathmandu.
122 kilometers from Gorakhpur city in Uttar Pradesh, India.
181 kilometers from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.
240 kilometers from Sravasti of Uttar Pradesh in North India.
ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND LUMBINI
The birth place itself is interesting as a whole with its landscapes and the green forestry. Maya Devi temple, the stupas and the pillar built by great King Ashoka alone are worth a visit. Recently, several beautiful shrines have been constructed by devotees from all over the world. A visit to Lumbini is not only for spiritual enlightenment but also for solace and satisfaction that one gets in such a calm and peaceful place.
MAYA DEVI TEMPLE
In 1895, Fuehrer, a famous German archaeologist, discovered the great pillar and further explorations and excavations of the surrounding areas revealed the existence of a brick temple and a sandstone sculpture within the temple itself which represents the scenes of Buddha’s birth.On the south of the Maya Devi temple there is the famous sacred bathing pool known as Puskarni. It is believed that Maya Devi took a bath in this pool before the delivery.
The temple was built gradually and is composed of many Buddhist temples.
THE ASHOKAN PILLAR was inscribed and essentially erected by Ashoka in 249 BC.
- The inscription on the pillar (the oldest in Nepal) declares that Ashoka granted Lumbini tax-free status in honor of Buddha’s birth. It is 6 meters high and half of it is beneath the ground. It is behind the Maya Devi Temple, and to the west of the temple.
Various Monastries in and around Lumbini
- International Nunnery ( Gautami Temple)
- Sri Lanka Monastery
- Lokamani Cula Pagoda ( Myanmar Golden Monastery)
- Cambodian Monastery
- Maha Bodho Society
- Royal Thai Monastery
- Nepal Mahayan Temple
- Manag Sewa Samaj Stupa
- Swayambhu Stupa
- Karma Samten Ling Monastery
- Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu
- Chinese Monastery
- Korean Monastery
- Geden International Austria
- Thrangu Vijra Vidya Canadian Buddhist Assocation
- Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya
- LinhSon Monatery France
- Tara Foundation (Germany)
- Shenechen Stupa for Universal Peace
- Urgen Dorjee Choling Buddhist
- Nepal Traditional Buddhist Monastery