Lumbini - Lumbinī literally means the lovely. It is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal and it is said that this is place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama. He was popularly known as Gautama Buddha who founded the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 B C.
Lumbini is one of four major pilgrim centers for Buddhist. The other is Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath. Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha. It is situated about 22 kilometers from Bhairahawa or Siddharthanagar. It is below the Churia range and 24 kilometers south from the foothills of the Himalayas. It is situated on the western bank of Telar River in Rupandehi district of Lumbini zone in Nepal. It is about 300 kilometers west of capital city Kathmandu. Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi Terai districts of Lumbini Zone are close to Lumbini. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple. Places to visit also include Puskarini or Holy Pond where Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath. Another tourist spot if significance is Kudan where King Suddhodhana met Lord Buddha. It is about 4 ½ kilometers south of Tilaurakot. Niglihawa is situated about 32 kilometers northwest of Lumbini where Emperor Ashoka visited Niglisagar during his pilgrimage, built a stupa and set up a pillar. Nearly 31 kilometers west of Lumbini is Gotihawa and is considered a very important religious site for Buddhists. This spot where the Krakuchanda Buddha, who came before Sakyamuni Buddha, was born and attained nirvana.
This pilgrimage site in southwest Nepal attracts devout Buddhists from around the world, to pay homage at the Sacred Garden where the Enlightened One was born. The landmark Ashoka Pillar raised by the great Emperor who converted himself to Buddhism is worth visiting. Presently Lumbini has been enlivened by the multitude of architecturally beautiful temples, stupas and monasteries built by various international Buddhist communities. The temples and monastary includes Linhson Monastery (France), Sokyao Temple (Japan), Geden International (Austria), Sri Lankan Monastery (Sri-Lanka), Korean Mahabodhi Society (South Korea), Dharmodhaya Sabha (Nepal), Drigung Kagyud Meditation Center (India), Monastery of Royal Thai (Thailand), Chinese Monastery (China), Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu (Vietnam), Mahabodhi Society of Kolkotta (India),International Nun's Society (Nepal), The Great Lotus Stupa (Tara Foundation, Germany), Myanmar Monastery (Myanmar), Manang Sewa Samaj (Nepal), Cambodian Monastery (Cambodia) Panditarama Meditation Center (Myanmar), Vipasana Mediation Center (Nepal), are some of the important one worth visiting. Nepal is beautiful beside its tourism destination; it is also home to some of the exotic wildlife parks and sanctuaries that include Chitwan National Park, Rara National, Sagarmatha National Park, Makalu National Park, etc. This beautiful country is must visit once in a lifetime as the country is globally acclaimed for its not only scenic beauty, heritage attractions, adventure tourism, Leisure holiday, temple tour, but also for its friendly environment, world class accommodation facilities and warm hospitality of the people.
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Places of Interest
- Bodhi tree and pond at Lumbini
- Ashokan Pillar
- Lumbini Garden
- Eternal Peace Flame
- Burmese Lokamani Cula Pagoda
- Chinese Maitreya Temple
- The Sacred Pool at Puskarni
- Mayadevi temple
- Lumbini Museum
- Lumbini International Research Institute
- Kapilvastu Museum
Communication / Connectivity
Airways – The closest airport is at Siddharthanagar, where flights to and from Kathmandu are served. It is a 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa. There is also an airport in Gorakhpur, which serves flights to Indian cities. But lately Lumbini itself is planning to operate an airport besides it for the convenience of tourists and sightseeing persons.
Railways – The closest station is at Gorakhpur / Nautanwa, India on the Indian border but passenger trains are infrequent. It is about 34 kilometers from Naugarh Railway Station on the North-Eastern Railway of India. The alternative of taxi travel from the border crossing at Sunauli to Gorakhpur takes about two hours. From Sunauli, Siddharthanagar is only 4 kilometers. Total travel time is 12 – 18 hours from New Delhi and 10 – 12 hours from Kolkata. The Mahaparinirvan Express tourist train stops in Gorakhpur where tourists continue to Lumbini by road.
Roadways – It's a 10 hour drive from the capital city Kathmandu. Gorakhpur is the nearest Indian town from where tourists can drive to Lumbini by road. Buses leave from the Gongabu Bus Park. Bhairahawa can also be reached by bus from other parts of the country. Buses to Lumbiini leave every hour or so from 6 am to 5 pm from Bhairahawa.