Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Lumbini Sightseeing Tour
Lumbini (306Km. -east); this World Heritage Site is not only a place of pilgrimage but also an international tourist attraction where Lord Buddha was born, who ultimately got enlightenment and preached his message to the world. This nativity site was identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka's commemorative pillar. The main attraction at the Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden that is spread over 8 sq. km, the Mayadevi Temple , Ashoka Pillar, sacred pond, China Temple etc. The sacred Garden possesses all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. Here we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha's mother giving birth to him. Standing west to the Mayadevi shrine is the oldest monument of Nepal ; the Ashoka's pillar. Emperor Ashoka built the pillar in 249 BC to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site. To the south of the pillar, we fine the sacred pond, Puskarni, where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha. Today the holy site is being developed as the supreme Buddhist pilgrimage and a symbol of world peace. The shrines and monasteries built by different countries and in different times reflect the architectural traditions of the respective countries, and thus giving Lumbini an international feel with a message of universal friendship and brotherhood. About 30km east of Lumbini is the village of Tilaurakot , which is believed to have been the location of the Kapilvastu royal palace where the Buddha grew up as the Shakya dynasty prince, until he renounced it at the age of 29 in search of enlightenment.
A tour to this destination will bring emancipation in one's life, which is so pure, peace and prosperous to those who seek salvation from the filthy activities practiced in the world. There are other places of interest too nearby as Kapilbastu. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to Bhairahwa. From Kathmandu it takes about eight hours by bus or car.
Place to see in Lumbini
About 10 kilometers morthwest of Taulihawa is a rectangular fortitied area popularly known as Arorakot, which is believed to be the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha . There are remains of ancient moat and the fortification made of bricks. A brick lined will is seen to the south and an elevated mound is toward the northwest.
About 5 kilometers southwest of Taulihawa, there is a village called Gotihawa where an Ashokan pillar is broke and lost. The lower portion is 3.5 meters high and still intact. A huge stupa is seen to the north east of the pillar.
About 2 kilometers northwest of Taulihawa on a roadside is the dilapidated village of Kudan .
About 8 kilometer northwest of Taulihawa is another site of archaeological importance. The place has a quadrangular pond surrounded by bushes locally known as Niglisagar. On the western bank of the pond there are two broken pieces of the Ashokan Pillar, the longer one lying flat on the ground while the shorter ones stand erect. The pillar bears two peacocks on the top.
About 12 kilometers north of Taulihawa is the forest of Sagarhawa . In the midst of the forest here is a huge rectangular pond, locally known as Lumbusagar or a long pond.
Situated at about 35 kilometers northeast of Lumbini, Devdaha is believed to be the maternal home of Prince Siddhartha. Siddhartha's wife Princess Yasodhara was also from Devdaha.
Museums are in Lumbini
The Lumbini Museum : located in the Cultural Zone, contains Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stone and metal sculptures. It also possesses an extensive collection of stamps from various countries depicting Lumbini and the Buddha.
Kapilvastu Museum : is situated 27 km west of Lumbini in the village of Tilaurakot . The museum holds coins, pottery and toys dating between the seventh century BC and fourth century AD. The museum also has good collection of jewelry and other ornaments of that period.
Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI): located opposite to the Lumbini Museum , provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general. Run jointly by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and the Reiyukai of Japan, LIRI contains some 12,000 books on religion, philosophy, art and architecture.