Welcome to the land of serenity and spirituality – Nepal, where every nook and corner is embellished with peace and tranquility. And if you wish to explore the roots of Buddhism, then there’s no better place than Lumbini – the birthplace of Lord Buddha himself.
With its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty; Lumbini in Nepal awaits you with open arms for an unforgettable spiritual journey that will leave you enlightened like never before. So pack your bags, put on your traveler hats, and let’s dive into this wonderful world of ancient tales and modern marvels at Lumbini!
Location of Lumbini
Lumbini is situated in the southern Terai plains of Nepal, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the city of Bhairahawa and 280 miles (450 kilometers) from Kathmandu. It is accessible by air, road, and rail.
The best time to visit Lumbini is between October and March when the weather is cool and pleasant.
The history of Lumbini
Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi District of Nepal. It is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, who was born in c. 563 BCE. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The history of Lumbini dates back to the 6th century BCE, when Gautama Buddha was born in Lumbini Garden. Since then, Lumbini has been a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. In 249 BCE, Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and erected a pillar with an inscription about the Buddha's birth.
In 1996, UNESCO recognized Lumbini as a World Heritage Site.
Lumbini continues to be an important Buddhist pilgrimage site today. Every year, thousands of Buddhists from all over the world visit Lumbini to pay homage to the Buddha and to experience the
peace and serenity of this sacred place.
What to see in Lumbini
Lumbini is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists all over the world. It is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became the Buddha. Lumbini is located in Nepal, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main attraction in Lumbini is the Sacred Garden, which contains the remains of the ancient city of Lumbini. The Sacred Garden includes the Mayadevi Temple, where the Buddha was born, and various other temples and monasteries. Visitors can also see the Ashoka Pillar, erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE.
Other attractions in Lumbini include the Puskarini Pond, where the Buddha had his first bath, and the Shanti Dewa Peace Pagoda. There are also many museums and educational centers in Lumbini.
Must Visit Attractions In Lumbini
Maya Devi Temple
One of the most ancient Buddhist temples in Lumbini, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Maya Devi Temple is one of the most well-known temples and is renowned as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
Maya Devi Pond
Located in front of the Maya Devi Temple, Maya Devi Pond is a square structure with steps leading up to the water's edge. Also referred to as Puskarini, it is renowned for being where Gautama Buddha's mother - Maya Devi - would bathe and where young Lord Buddha experienced his inaugural bath. A large temple now inhabits the exact spot where Siddhartha was born, and the Maya Devi pond sits directly in front of it.
There is a Bodhi Tree located just on the bank of the Maya Devi Pond on the premises of the Maya Devi Temple complex. Buddhist monks usually chant holy writings and meditate under the tree. The tree is an age-old Peepal tree covered in colourful prayer flags.
The Ashoka Pillar in the Maya Devi Temple complex is an impressive symbol of the 3rd Century reign of Emperor Ashoka. It was erected to honor his visit to Lord Buddha's birthplace and conversion to Buddhism. Even more remarkable is its antiquity – this stone column, measuring 6 meters in height, holds the oldest inscription among the Ashoka Pillars and was rediscovered by Nepalese archaeologists in 1896.
World Peace Pagoda
The Japanese Peace Stupa, also known as World Peace Pagoda, was constructed in the early 21st century as a monument of peace and is a major tourist attraction in Lumbini. It is a beautiful stupa with a pagoda-style design. The monument is tinted white with a golden Buddha statue.
Museum of Lumbini
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sacred Garden Area, the Lumbini Museum proudly displays an array of 12000 objects, such as religious manuscripts, metal sculptures, Terra cottas, coins from Maurya and Khusana empires and stamps featuring Lumbini from around the globe. Right next to the museum is situated the Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), which supplies research facilities for delving into Buddhism and religion more broadly. Constructed during the 1970s, this museum has been recently renovated by Taiwanese architect Kris Yao and his team.
The Royal Thai Monastery
The Royal Thai Monastery in Lumbini is an imposing and gorgeous wat-style (Thai Monastery style) monastery that practices Buddhist rituals. Stunning decorations and exquisite craftsmanship on the temple wall make this a must-visit place. The edifice is constructed from white marble and the blue-roofed meditation center close by is an example of a great architectural style.
Vihar of Maharaja Buddha Swami
As a Buddhist Gompa affiliated with the Sakyapa tradition, Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar was established by His Eminence Chogya Trichen Rinpoche. The site is a perfect place to meditate and contemplate in silence. The 600 monks who live in the monastery perform Tara Pooja every day.
In Lumbini, the Cambodian Monastery combines vivid fantasy with spiritual power, making it one of the most fascinating temples in the region. This lovely monastery has an architectural design similar to that of Angkor Wat, surrounded by railings containing four 50m-long green snakes. It has an outside wall decorated with stunning and elaborate decorations.
Golden Temple of Myanmar
The oldest structure in Lumbini is the Myanmar Golden Temple. Built-in the Burmese style of architecture, the temple is dedicated to Lord Buddha. The impressive corncob-shaped shikhara, modeled after the temples of Bagan, provides a regal appearance to the overall edifice. Inside the building is a Lokamani Pula Pagoda and three prayer halls.
The Great Drigung Lotus Stupa
The Great Drigung Lotus Stupa, built by the German Tara Foundation, is regarded as one of Lumbini's most important religious shrines. The structure has a hollow crown partially covered in glass that displays a Buddha statue inside. There is a history behind this building, which was constructed under the direction and guidance of the Rinpoches centuries ago. If you are in Lumbini, it is definitely worth a visit.
How to get to Lumbini
Lumbini is a small town in Nepal situated about 250 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. It is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, who is believed to have been born in 623 BC. Lumbini is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular Buddhist pilgrimage destination.
There are several ways to get to Lumbini from Kathmandu. The most common way is by bus, which takes about 6 hours. You can also take a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lumbini, which takes about 1 hour. Or, you can take a train from Kathmandu to Gorakhpur in India (about 12 hours), and then take a local bus or taxi from Gorakhpur to Lumbini (about 5 hours).
Where to stay in Lumbini
When visiting Lumbini, there are a few different accommodation options to choose from. For those looking for a more luxurious stay, there are a few 5-star hotels in the area. One of the most popular choices is the Sofitel Lumbini Palace & Spa, which offers guests stunning views of the holy site as well as an on-site spa.
For those looking for something more budget-friendly, there are a number of 3-star hotels and guesthouses in Lumbini. The Hotel Lotus Sonnenhof is a popular choice among travelers and offers comfortable rooms and easy access to all of the main attractions.
Whatever your budget may be, there is sure to be an accommodation option that will suit your needs when visiting Lumbini.
Tips for visiting Lumbini
When you visit Lumbini, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your trip. First, remember that Lumbini is a religious site for Buddhists all over the world. As such, be respectful of the religious significance of the area.
Second, take time to explore all of the different temples and ruins in Lumbini. Each one has its own unique history and architecture, and you’ll get a better sense of the overall story of Lumbini by seeing them all. Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the natural beauty of Lumbini – it’s truly a special place.
To summarize, visiting Lumbini is a unique and enlightening experience. It is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who dedicated his life to helping others reach enlightenment. The gardens are beautiful and there are many ancient structures that provide insight into Buddhist history and culture.
With its peaceful atmosphere and stunning scenery, it’s easy to see why so many people make the pilgrimage to Lumbini each year – for spiritual reasons or just for an enjoyable day trip!