Lumbini Nepal: from Where the Buddhism Bloomed

Nepal is multicultural, multilingual and multi ethnicity nation where people are religious tolerance and peace-loving. In such a tranquil and beautiful country there lies Lumbini, where Siddhartha Gautam, the founder of Buddhism was born. Lumbini is in the plains of Terai, near to Indian border where Siddhartha Gautam (Gautam Buddha) was born. Lumbini is the pilgrimage site for devotees all around the world. If you are looking forward to a spiritual place to visit, Lumbini will be the best option for Lumbini provides an opportunity to witness the Birthplace of Gautam Buddha and the different stages of his life.

Lumbini means ‘the lovely’ in Sanskrit. Located in Kapilvastu district in Province no. 5, Lumbini is 25 kilometers away from  Kapilvastu municipality. Lumbini nestled in the Terai belt of Nepal so it is only 20 kilometers away from India. Lumbini in total covers the area of 4.8 km long and 1.6 km width and divided into the two monastic zones with full of the monasteries where nothing like shops can be opened. A long canal filled with the water separates these two zones. The western monastic zone of the area consists of the Mahayana and Vajravana monasteries and the eastern zone of the area consists of the Thervadin monasteries. The water filled canal served with motorboats that offer tours for the visitors.

The Lumbini encompasses many temples and monasteries. There are more than 25 international monasteries built by the Buddhist countries from all around the world.  Lumbini is famous worldwide for these monasteries as well as Mayadevi Temple, the Ashoka pillar, the ancient bathing pond and Bodhi tree. UNESCO listed Lumbini in a World Heritage Site due to the historical, cultural and religious importance it carries.

History of Lumbini

According to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi was traveling to her parent’s home from her home in Kapilvastu in 642 BC. But suddenly, she went through labor and grabbed the branches of a tree and gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam. It is believed that the baby uttered: “it’s my final rebirth” and took seven steps as soon as he was born. For every step, he took immediately after his birth a lotus bloomed. Later, Siddhartha Gautam received enlightenment, became Buddha and founded Buddhism.

In 246 BC, Emperor Ashoka built four stupas and stone pillar during his visit to Lumbini. Many monasteries were built until the 9th century. However, Buddhism declined after Islam and Hinduism arose and the sacred garden was lost for many years. A German archaeologist rediscovered the site in 1985.

Many Buddhists, as well as Hindus, visit the place every year to explore Buddhism as well as feel the peace in Nepal. Not only for Buddhist, Lumbini is also a holy place for the followers of Hinduism because they believe Gautam Buddha as another form of Lord Vishnu.

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How to reach the Lumbini

If you are traveling to Lumbini from the capital, Kathmandu, you can choose either by air or land. Nepal Sanctuary Treks arrange and prepare tailor-made Lumbini Circuit Tour as per your requirement.

By flight: The flight departs from Kathmandu Domestic airport and take about 40 minutes to reach Bhairahawa airport which is the nearest airport to Lumbini. Further it will take about 30 more minutes to reach Lumbini by vehicle.

By Driving: If you prefer to travel by road then Nepal Sanctuary Treks arrange private vehicle or bus to Lumbini. It is a long journey of about 8 hours. But, if you enjoy having a look at the rural life of Nepal, this will be a good choice.

Best time to visit Lumbini

Located in the south of Nepal, Lumbini experiences a subtropical monsoon climate. May and June are the hottest months. There occurs frequent rainfall during June to August and occasionally up to the end of the September. Climate during December to January is warm with the average temperature of 20°C which can sometimes fall to 8-10°C. It is a good time to visit Lumbini during October and November. The climate is favorable during this time of the year. Also, you can see many flowers around the temples that create serene and beautiful environment.Likewise, April and May is also an ideal time to visit Lumbini. The Buddha Jayanti, falls during these months where devotes celebrate grandly. Many pilgrims come to celebrate this festival during this time.

Major Attractions in Lumbini

There is no place perfect than Lumbini if you are looking for a place of cultural, archeological and religious importance. A tour to Lumbini is a walk with Gautam Buddha, one of the greatest men in the religious world, in a peaceful environment is what makes your soul happy. Here are the places to visit in the Lumbini trip:

Maya Devi Temple

The Maya Devi temple is one of the major attractions of Lumbini. The temple built in honor of Maya Devi, the mother of Gautam Buddha. The white colored temple is in a simple design, and the surrounding of the temple is perfect for morning meditation. The Maya Devi temple preserves the history of the mother of Gautam Buddha. According to Buddhism, Maya Devi gave birth to Gautam Buddha under a Banyan tree, and this temple stands exactly at the site of the tree. Thus being the exact spot where Buddha was born. There is a Bodhi tree nearby the temple where Maya Devi rested during her labor. Some pilgrims make their prayers sitting under the Bodhi tree.


Ashoka Pillar

Ashoka pillar is an inscribed pillar made with stones. Emperor Ashoka (the greatest king of India) built the Ashoka pillar in 246 BC along with four other stupas. The inscription on the surface of the pillar says that Lumbini is a tax-free-zone. Till date, there are 19 Indian pillars with inscription. Most of them are found in India, but the Ashoka Pillar in Lumbini the oldest one.


Puskarni Pond

Towards the south of the Ashoka pillar is a pond called Puskarni pond. Buddhist believes that Maya Devi took a bath in the pond before giving birth to Siddhartha Gautam. The baby Gautam Buddha was also had his purification bath in the very pond as soon as his birth. Nowadays, the devotees take a holy dip in the pond. In the surrounding of the pond, there are the remains of the brick pagodas and monasteries that present a view of the 2nd century BC and 9th century AD.


Sacred Garden

The Sacred Garden of Lumbini is popular as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. It is the family home of the mother of Gautam Buddha. A visit to this site will help you explore how Buddha’s mother returned home, how Buddha was born and grew up.

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World Peace Pagoda

The world peace pagoda is one of the world’s greatest stupa situated outside the major compound of Lumbini and is easily accessible by bikes. The beautiful pagoda is white and demonstrates the golden statue of Gautam Buddha in a posture during the time of his birth. The Japanese Buddhist built the Peace Pagoda at the cost of one million US dollars. At the bottom of the stupa, there is a grave of a Japanese monk murdered by an anti-Buddhist during the pagoda construction.


Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery

The Royal Thai Monastery is a huge and marvelous piece of architecture in Lumbini. The large monastery lies in the north end of the pond made up of white marvels. The large white monastery standing against the blue sky is something one cannot take their eyes off. The blue-roofed meditation center is another masterpiece of art.


Myanmar Golden Temple

The Myanmar Golden Temple is one of the oldest structures in Lumbini. There are three prayer halls inside the temple. The Myanmar Pagoda Temple also consists of the Lukmani Pula Pagoda temple and another Burmese style pagoda similar to the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon.


Lumbini Museum

The beautiful Lumbini Museum lies in the northern end of the Lumbini area. The museum preserves the pictures and artifacts of Buddhist sites not only from Nepal but also from the place all around the globe.

The Great Lotus Stupa

The German Tara Foundation built The Great Lotus Stupa. Along with the fantastic structure, it is mainly important because of the religious values it carries within itself. The measurements for the construction of the stupa is according to the year’s old rules at the time of Gautam Buddha. In the center of the stupa, there lies a meditation hall of diameter 20 meters.


Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Bihar

The beautiful Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Bihar is in Tibetan style. It lies outside the main Lumbini area. Every day 60 monks who live there do a Tara Puja in the Bihar. The art and color in the walls of the Bihar depict the Buddhist art.

Zong Hua Chinese Buddhist Monastery or the China Temple

The China Temple is a beautiful and eye-catching pagoda style temple. The calm environment around the temple gives every visitor with the sense of an ancient, peaceful city.

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Kudan is a beautiful place to visit in Lumbini. It has huge mound of the structural ruins situated 4.5 km south of Tilaurakot. This was the place where King Suddhodhana met Lord Buddha for the first time after he returned from cosmic enlightenment. There are even a small pond close to Kudan Stupa where you can acquire a great deal about Lord Buddha.


Gotihawa is believed to be the birthplace of the past Buddha Krakucchanda, who came before Shakyamuni Buddha. It is situated about 5 km. southwest of Taulihawa which has Asoka pillar standing on a slab. Adjoining the pillar towards its northeast is a huge stupa made by wedge-shaped Mauryan bricks.


Tilaurakot, is well-known for the archaeological remains of ancient Shakya Kingdom and the childhood home of Prince Siddhartha Gautama. It is located 27 km west of Lumbini where there are ruins and mounds of ancient stupas and monasteries made of kiln burnt bricks and clay mortar.  A moat surrounded the remains and the wall of the city is made up of bricks.



Niglihawa is a significant archaeological site situated about 8 km northwest of Taulihawa. The site consists quadrangular pond locally known as Niglisagar On the western bank of the pond there are two broken pieces of the Asoka pillar built by Emperor Ashoka during his pilgrimage. The pillar is 15 meter tall that bears two peacocks.


Located about 12 km north of Taulihawa, Sagarhawa is the forest site where there is a large rectangular pond locally known as Lumbusagar or long pong in Niglihawa village. The ruins of an ancient tank were excavated and identified by Dr. Alois A. Fuhere as the “Palace of the Massacre of the Shakyas”.


Devdaha is the ancient capital of Koliya kingdom located 38 km east of Lumbini near the village of Khairhani. Devdaha is a maternal home of Mayadevi, mother of Gautama Siddhartha and the place where Siddhartha spent his early childhood. It is a place where Lord Buddha visited Devdaha after seven years of his enlightenment.

There are several place of interests around Devdaha for instance Kumarbarti, Khayardanda, Bairimai/Kanyamai, Bhabanipur/Devidamar, Mathagadi (ancient weapons).

The Ramgram Kingdom

Ramagram kingdom was one of eight Kings who obtained Buddha’s relics and built a pagoda named Ramgram Pagoda situated 60 kilometers to the east of the sacred sites of the Buddha’s birthplace.  Ramagram is a brick mound on the bank of the Jharahi River which is 7 meters high brick stupa comprising one of the eight Astha Dhatu (relics) of Lord Buddha.

Meditation Class

Everyone on 21st century have hectic schedule and seek for inner peace during their weekends or holidays. Lumbini is an ideal place for meditation that helps to unwind at least a while from every day’s life. While you are in Lumbini, you can join meditation class organized during full moon day inside the premises.


World Heritage Sites in Nepal

Nepal is a small country with an area 1, 47,181 km2 and yet manages to be a home for marvelous and unique sites. The uniqueness of Nepal in culture and traditions has always made Nepal a country with something special and charming. The country was never colonized by any powers of the world and the unity in diversity has reflected the greatness of the country all around the world. The diverse ethnic groups have their own languages, cultures and traditions, art and architectures. This varied culture, tradition has lead to the different architectural monuments all over the world.

World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on 18th April. This day is also called the International Day for Monuments and Sites. The celebration of the World Heritage Day has a primary motive to raise awareness about the importance of the historical or cultural heritages within our surrounding. Realizing how much important role these sites play in human history, UNESCO adopted a convention that discusses the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, on November 16, 1972. Till date, UNESCO has identified more than 100 of heritage sites and listed these places in the list of World Heritage Site list.

Nepal contributes 10 sites in the list of World Heritage Site. Here are the sites of Nepal included in the list of World Heritage Site:

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for the devotees of Shiva. The temple was built in the fifth century and is the largest temple complex in Nepal spread across 246 hectors. The temple stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River. Apart from being a religious site, the Pashupatinath Temple is a perfect combination of art and culture. The temple was listed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The temple allows only the Hindus to enter the main temple. That does not mean that foreigners are not allowed to enter the whole premises. The other buildings are available for the foreigners to visit. The main temple of the Pashupatinath has a Shiva Lingam in its interior and outside is the large statue of Nandi, the bull which is the transport of Lord Shiva. The temple is a cubical construction with a bunk roof and a golden spire at the top. There are a total of four main doors to the temple, which is all built with the silver sheets.

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There are numerous temples in the periphery of the temple that includes the temple of Bhuwaneshori, the Dakshinamurti, Tamreshwor, Panchdewal, Bishwarupa, and many others. All these temples have their own set of rituals to be performed. There is a forest named Shleshmantak, on the other side of the river which is home to monkeys and deer. For the maintenance of the Pashupati area, Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) was established by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1996. This administrative body looks after all the activities related to the Pashupatinath area.


Swayambhunath: the Monkey Temple

Swayambhunath is one of the most ancient religious architectures nestled at the top of the hill in Kathmandu valley. The temple is also known as the monkey temple because of the abundant number of monkeys roaming around the temple.

According to the ancient legend, the valley was filled with a large lake. A lotus grew out of the lake and thus the valley was named Swayambhu, which meant, ‘self-created.’ The stupa has a large dome at the base with two eyes above it, and the thirteen pinnacles on the top. The dome indicates the entire world, the two eyes represent the wisdom and compassion that drives one away from the bonds of the world leading to enlightenment and the pinnacles are the representation of the saints who have to go through thirteen stages of spiritual realization to gain enlightenment.

There are a lot of Chaityas, temples, and images of the deities in the surrounding area. There are prayer wheels all around the stupa. Also, Shiva lingams are present in the area which is now disguised as Buddhist Chaityas. Swayambhunath is a holy place not only for the Buddhists but also for the Hindus because the Hindus regard Gautam Buddha as a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. There are lots of devotees visiting the place particularly during Buddha Jayanti: the birthday of Gautam Buddha.


Bouddhanath Stupa

Bouddhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. Located in the northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa is the reflection of the Tibetan culture in Kathmandu. UNESCO listed the Bouddhanath stupa as a World Heritage Site in 1979. The stupa was supposed to be built in the 14th century.

The aerial view of the stupa looks like a big Mandala. At the bottom of the stupa, there is a boundary of the 16-sided wall. There are numerous prayer wheels which are engraved with the mantra- ‘Om Mani Padme Hum.’ There are also three large platforms at the base, which are decreasing in size which represents earth. One can listen to the chanting of the devotees while walking around the stupa. The thirteen rings at the base are the representation of the path to the enlightenment.

Above the base, is the square shaped tower that has the Buddha eyes in all the directions. A question mark instead of the nose is the symbolization of the number 1 inNepali that reflects the unity. There is another eye, the third eye, which is a symbol of the wisdom of Buddha. A 13 steps pyramid stands above the square tower, which indicates the path to enlightenment. The colorful flags are tagged at the top which holds the prayers and the mantras.


Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square known as Hanuman Dhoka Palace is one of the major attraction of Kathmandu valley. The palace is named after the Hindu god ‘Hanuman’ which is believed to be the protector of the whole palace.

The palace is filled with many temples most of which date back to the 15th to 18th century. The Durbar Square has two sub-areas; the inner complex comprises of the temples like Nasal Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Basantapur Durbar and the outer complex contains Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap, Shiva-Parvati temple, Big bell,and Jagannath. The festivals like Indra Jatra, Dashain, Gaijatra and the Machchhindra-NathJatras are the major attractions of the place.


Patan Durbar Square

The Patan Durbar Square is located at the center of the Lalitpur. The major attraction of the Patan Durbar Square is the Krishna Mandir which was built in 1637 with 21 gold pinnacles in the temple. Also, the Durbar square has an Ancient Royal Palace, where the kings of the Lalitpur resided in the past. Patan is a historical Buddhist city and now is a center of both the Hindus and the Buddhists with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples.

The Patan Durbar Square is filled with a huge crowd of the devotees during the time of Krishna Ashtami. The Bhimsen temple built in 1627 and the Taleju temple built in 1667 are also the major attractions of the Patan Durbar Square.


Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located at the front of the royal palace of old Bhaktapur kingdom and known as Bhadgaon. It is 13 km east of the Kathmandu. The area consists of the four squares namely; Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square,and Pottery Square. However, they are together called Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The major attractions of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the 55 windows palace (55 Jhyale Durbar), Nayatapola temple, a statue of the BhupatindraMalla, BhairabNath temple, Golden Gate, Lion’s gate, Mini Pashupati temple and many more.


Changu Narayan Temple

The Changu Narayan Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples which are still in use in Kathmandu valley.  The temple lies on the hilltop called Changu and Dolagiri which is about 7 miles or 12 km east of Kathmandu. There is a statue of Lord Vishnu inside the temple and is most probably the oldest temple in Nepal. The temple has many pieces of the 5th and 12th-century art and surrounded by the beautiful green forest. The Historical Pillar, a statue of BhupatindraMalla, a sculpture of Shreedar Vishnu, Vaikuntha Vishnu, Vishworup and Kaileshwor are the attractions of the Temple.


Lumbini: the Birthplace of Gautam Buddha

Lumbini is the biggest Buddhist pilgrimage site where Gautam Buddha was born in 623 BC. Lumbini was listed in the World Heritage Site on 1997. The Lumbini is a place from where the Buddhism all started. The Mayadevi Temple reserves the exact spot of the birth of Lord Buddha. There are many monasteries built by the different Buddhist countries from all around the world. The ever-glowingflames, the Ashoka Pillar, the Puskarni pond, sacred garden are the major attractions of the Lumbini. The Lumbini also preserves the seven steps the baby Gautam Buddha took as soon as he was born.


Chitwan National Park

The first National Park of Nepal; Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and included in World Heritage Site in1984. The Chitwan National Park has an area of 932 km2 and is home to many endangered species. The National Park is particularly famous for its conservation of one-horned rhinoceros. Four different species of deer including the spotted deer, leopard, sloth bears, wild boar, Langur and rhesus monkey, wild cats and many more species are found in the park. Along with the numerous animals,it is home to, the National Park is also a preferred destination for the ornithologists since the National Park harbors more than 450 species of bird species. Some of the species include woodpeckers, hornbills, Bengal florican, Red-headed trogons and many more. The swampy lakes areas and the lakes are home to the marsh crocodiles.

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Sagarmatha National Park

Sagarmatha National Park situated at the Solukhumbu district is home to the world’s largest peak, Mount Everest. The name is derived from two Nepali words, Sagar means sky and Matha means head. The park was established in 1976 and was later recognized as an Important Bird Area by the BirdLife International. The National Park consists of 118 species of birds which includes Himalayan monal, Tibetan Snow cock,blood pheasant, red-billed chough and yellow-billed chough. The Park has also been home to numerous rare mammal species like musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, etc.


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