Nepal is known for its immense natural beauty, a number of highest peaks, cultural heritage, artistic architecture, temples and most of all for the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, a spiritual leader who introduced Buddhism. Among many heritage sites of Nepal, Lumbini is also one of the sites cited in the Unesco World Heritage list. There are so many places and history that make Lumbini famous among tourists.
The birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini is about 260 km far from Kathmandu city. Local buses are available from Kalanki. The air flight from Kathmandu to Lumbini is the fastest way to reach Lumbini. Lumbini lies in the Kapilvastu district, near Nepal-India border. Followers of Lord Buddha from all around the world come here to witness the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and visit various monasteries present here.
Maya Devi Temple
The most popular temple in Lumbini is Maya Devi temple. Maya Devi temple is the place where Gautam Buddha was born. Gautam Buddha was the son of King Suddhodhan and queen Maya Devi of Kapilvastu. Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam (who later became Gautam Buddha) on full moon day (Baishakh Purnima).
Right in front of the Maya Devi temple is the ‘Pushkarini pond’ where Maya Devi used to take bath and Siddhartha Gautam is also believed to have taken his first bath in that pond. The Maya Devi Garden is also one of the great attractions there.
Ashoka, an emperor from India visited Lumbini and built the Ashoka Pillar. The Ashoka Pillar has a great historical importance because the pillar is inscribed with the history of Gautam Budhha and Buddhism. The pillar is 22 feet tall and an inscription tells that it is erected in the place where Gautam Buddha was born. Though it was built in around 3rd century, it was rediscovered in 1896 by Khadga Shamsher Rana who was the governor of Palpa. The Ashoka Pillar is surrounded by a fence. Visitors offer butter lamps and prayer flag on the fence.
Myanmar Golden Temple
Myanmar Golden temple is an oldest but attractive temple in Lumbini. The temple is painted in gold and white. There are three prayer halls inside the Myanmar golden temple. The temple has an artistic architecture. The structure of the temple resembles the top of the ancient temples built in Pagoda style.
World Peace Pagoda
Another major attraction of Lumbini is the World Peace Pagoda which was built in the US $1 million by Japanese. The structure covers quite a huge area. It is painted in white and there’s a golden statue of Lord Buddha. The base of the beautiful World Peace Pagoda is said to be the grave of a Japanese monk who is believed to be killed by anti-Buddhist extremists while the monument was being built.
Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar
Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar is a beautifully constructed Gompa outside the main premise. The Vihar is built in a Tibetan style architecture. There’s a hall of a considerable size where 60 monks conduct Tara Puja every day. The walls of the Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar has painted artistically which depicts Buddhism art.
Lumbini is also famous for Lumbini Museum as it holds some major life events of Gautam Buddha in the form of paintings, photos and artifacts. Thousands of tourists visit the museum every year and Historians who have a keen interest in Buddhism also visit this museum.
Chinese Buddhist Monastery
One of the beautifully constructed monasteries in Lumbini is Chinese Buddhist monastery. Its impressive structure and arts attract a lot of tourists. The Chinese Buddhist Monastery was constructed in 2000 by the Buddhist Association of China. Inside the monastery, you can see halls to meditate and some humongous statues in a unique artistic position. The statues are an amazing art of work.