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Lumbini Nepal

Lumbini Nepal

Lumbini Nepal (150 m) is 300 km southwest of Kathmandu, 18 km west of Bhairahawa Airport and 24 km north of the India Border (Sunauli). At the foothill of the Siwalik range in the Rupandehi district, Prince Siddhartha Gautama (later Buddha) was born on the full moon day of May 623 BCE. The birthplace of Lord Buddha is a Buddhist pilgrimage site of peace and compassion lovers in the world. Lumbini (birthplace) is 525 km from Bodhgaya (enlightenment), 337 km from Sarnath (taught the first sermon), and 181 km away from Kushinagar (Mahaparinirvana). 

While Queen Maya Devi (wife of King Suddhodana) was passing the Lumbini garden to Devdaha (father's home), seated a bath in Puskarini, felt labour pain, supported Sal tree (debatable) born Siddhartha. It believes the infant walked seven steps, where the lotus bloomed. Lumbini Development Trust was established in 1985 for management and development. It enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. 

Field Marshal Keshar SJB Rana (1892 - 1964) excavated Lumbini in 1930 and found a Marker Stone, a Buddha nativity, a gold casket, a Bodhisattva terracotta sculpture and charred human bones. The UN Secretary-General U. Thant visited in April 1967 and suggested developing an international pilgrimage centre. Prof. Kenzo Tange of Japan was assigned a Master Plan in 1970, approved in 1978 by the Nepal government. 

Prof. Kenzo Tange (4 September 1913 - 22 March 2005) designed (1155 Bigha) a Master Plan at 1x3 sq miles (2.56 sq km) of land. It includes the Sacred Garden, Monastic Zone, New Lumbini Village, library, museum, and canals linking an area with the central link, a 1.6 km long corridor canal flanked by two brick pedestrian walkways. This land spreads from north to south, such as Lumbini village in the north, Monastic zones in the middle and Mayadevi temple in the south.  

The Indian Maurya Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini Garden in 249 BC and erected a stone pillar bearing an inscription (Hida Budhe Jate Sakyamuniti), which translates to Prince Siddhartha's birthplace. 

The Chinese Tseng Tsai (4th century), Fa-Hsien (5th century) and Hiuen-Tsang (7th century) paid homage to Lumbini Garden. The King of Karnali Ripu Malla visited in 1312 with the mark of Ashokan Pillar engraving Om Mani Padme Hum Ripu Malla Chiranjayatu. General Khadga Shamsher Rana and Dr. Alois Fuhrer rediscovered the Ashokan Pillar, an archaeological survey in 1896.

Lumbini Nepal covers 750.75 hectares of land. Annually, on the full moon day of Baisakh, Lumbini Development Trust celebrates Lord Buddha's birthday. Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, Nepal. An ethnic group, Nepali and Bhojpuri speaking, Yadav, Muslim, Tharu, Harijan, Lodh, Chamar, Gupta, Mallah, Bahun, Chhetri, Shreevastav, Kohar, Muray, and Goswami live there. 

Travellers can stay overnight in budget hotels to star hotels in Bhairahawa (22 km), Lumbini, and every monastery provides shelter to their citizens. Electric Rickshaw is available for sightseeing. Daily flight (30 minutes) and bus (8 hours) connect Kathmandu and Bhairahawa. Private cars from Kathmandu (8 hours) and Pokhara (6 hours) can hire to visit there. The temperature remains 40 degrees Celsius in summer and 7 degrees Celsius in winter. Places to visit and entrance fees.

Entrance - 500 Rupee (Foreigners) and 200 Rupee (SAARC Nationals). Museum 50 Rupees for foreigners and SAARC nationals and 10 for Nepali people.


After the bus park, walk 5 minutes to the Lumbini Museum, housed in ancient coins, religious manuscripts, and terracotta fragments with stone and metal sculptures. 

International Research Institute

International Research Institute has a peculiar architectural building. It exhibits 30,000 books on Buddhism and other religions, philosophy, art, and architecture. There are Peace Hall (Auditorium), Archaeological Office, High School Complex, Boat Station, Lumbini Square, Symbolic Pavilion, and Camping Ground. 

The Holy Pond 

The pond scales 25 ft in breadth, 23 ft in length, and 18 ft deep between Ashokan Pillar and Pipal tree. Queen Maya Devi took a bath before the birth of Prince the first purification bath to Siddhartha Gautama. Kesher Shamsher Rana was renovated from 1933 to 1939 AD. Pilgrims can take beautiful photos of the Ashokan Pillar, Puskarini, and Maya Devi Temple together. 

Ashokan Pillar 

Ashokan Pillar was carved with cylinder-shaped stone in Chunar (Mirzapur District of Utter Pradesh) by Indian Emperor Ashoka during his visit to Lumbini in 249 BC. The 50-60 ton weight Pillar is 9.41 meters high with an 8.2-inch circle at ground level and a 6.2-inch circle on its top part. Commanding General Khadga Shamsher Rana and Dr Alois Fuhrer (German archaeological surveyor in British India) rediscovered the Ashokan Pillar on 1 December 1896.  

Ashokan Pillar inscription noted 90 characters in Brahmin script, Pali language as the evidence of Buddha's birthplace. The lightning struck the Pillar in the 7th century. English translation of the Pali language is below.

An inscription engraved by Ashoka in the Pali language with Brahmin script (90 letters) translated twenty years after his coronation King Priyadarsi, Beloved of the Gods, visited this spot in person and offered worship at this place because the Buddha, the sage of the Sakyas was born here. He built a stone wall around it and erected this stone pillar to commemorate his visit because the Lord Buddha was born here. He made the village of Lumbini free from taxes and subject to pay only one-eighth of the produce as land revenue instead of the usual rate (DC Sircar, Inscription Ashoka 1967.p.69). 

Maya Devi Temple 

The entrance of Gate Number 5 to Maya Devi Temple was restored and reopened on 16 May 2003, on the 2547th birth anniversary of Buddha. Ancient temple structures date from the 3rd century BC to the 7th AD. The Marker Stone (conglomerate-calcium and sandstone) has been preserved in bulletproof glass and pinpoints the exact birthplace of Prince Siddhartha inside the temple. The stone size is 70cm x 40cm x 10cm, found in a 1996 Excavation.

There was a dried tree till the 7th-century Chinese pilgrims cut it down and built the temple. The Nativity sculpture depicted the birth scene of Siddhartha. Queen Maya Devi is catching the Sal tree branch (debatable) with her right hand for support next to her sister Prajapati's supporting posture at the delivery time at the standing sculpture. The newly born Prince is standing upright on a Lotus Pedestal with two celestial figures receiving him. Rajkiya Buddha Vihara and Dharmaswami Maharaja Buddha Vihara Nepal are in the Sacred Garden.

Monastic Zone (42 plots)

Monastic Zone has Theravada and Mahayana monasteries with excellent architecture north of the Lumbini Garden. Theravada Monasteries occupied 13 plots of land in the East Monastic Zone, including Thailand, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Mahayana Monasteries (Vajrayana and Lamaism Buddhist sects) occupied 29 plots of land in the West Monastic Zone, including Nepal, Korea, China, Vietnam, France, Austria, Japan, India, Germany, Mongolia, Malaysia, and Bhutan. 

East Monastic Zone

1. International Gautami Nuns Temple, Nepal

2. Dhamma Janani Vipassana Center, Nepal

3. The Royal Thai Monastery, Thailand

4. Mahabodhi Society Temple of India

5. Myanmar Golden Temple, Myanmar

6. Sri Lankan Monastery, Sri Lanka

7. Nepal Theravada Buddha Vihar (under construction)

8. Canadian Engaged Buddhism Association (Bodhi Institute Monastery and Dharma Center) (under construction)

9. Cambodian Temple, Cambodia (under construction) 

West Monastic Zone

1. Karma Samtenling Monastery, Nepal

2. Manang Samaj Stupa, Nepal

3. United Tungaram Buddhist Foundation, Nepal

4. Drubgyud Chhoeling Monastery (Nepal Mahayana Temple)

5. Dharmodhaya Sabha Nepal (Swayambhu Mahavihara)

6. French Buddhist Association, France

7. The Great Lotus Stupa (Tara Foundation), Germany

8. The World Linh Son Buddhist Congregation, France

9. Thrangu Vajra Vidhya Buddhist Association, Canada

10. Urgen Dorjee Chholing Buddhist Center, Singapore

11. Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu, Vietnam

12. Geden International Monastery, Austria

13. Chinese Monastery, China

14. Drigung Kagyud Meditation Center, Laddakh

15. Dae Sung Shakya Temple, South Korea

16. Pandirarama Lumbini International Meditation Center, Myanmar

17. Ka-Nying Shedrup Monastery (Seto Gumba), Nepal (under construction)

18. Zarong Tgupten Mendol Dogna Chholing, Nepal (under construction)

19. Nepal Vajrayana Maha Vihara, Nepal (under construction)

20. Japanese Monastery, Japan (under construction) 

Lumbini Village has established the northern part with a guesthouse, restaurant, and camping ground. King Gyanendra had fixed the Eternal Peace Lamp on 1 November 1986, brought by the UN. Travellers can visit from Gate Number 3 to the World Peace Pagoda (Japan), Crane Sanctuary and Wetland Garden (US), Lumbini Hokke Hotel (Japan), and Hotel Mikasa (Japan and Sri Lanka). They preserved 200 Blue Bulls, 300 species of birds (including the world's tallest flying bird, the Sarus Crane), lizards, snakes, pythons and 150 plant types (12 types of Buddha's time). 


Tilaurakot is 27 km west of Lumbini (3 km from Taulihawa town), the capital of Kapilvastu, the Palace of King Suddhodhana, Prince Siddhartha, and Queen Maya Devi. Visitors can observe ancient ruins, moats, walls, museums, traditional ponds, and Bihar. Prince Siddhartha had spent his first 29 years in this palace. Historically, Kapilvastu became after Saint Kapil.

Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien (403 AD) and Hiuen-Tsang (636 AD) visited Tilaurakot, saw Kapilvastu in complete ruins, and counted ten deserted cities within Kapilvastu. King Virudhaka (the son of the King's servant) massacred Shakyas, the last days of the Buddha, to destroy the cities. The UNESCO excavated Tilaurakot in 2001 and found only the west and east gates. Kapilvastu Museum exhibits coins, pottery, and toys dating from the 7th century BC to the 4th century AD. The walk continues for 15 minutes to visit the crematorium of King Suddodhan and Queen Maya Devi.

According to the Buddhist texts, the origin of Kapilvastu is interesting. King Wokak of Koshala divorced his wife with five sons and six daughters. King Wokak married his next wife and lived together with a son. The divorced wife and children shifted north and met the Vedic Sage Kapil. There was a dense forest of Sal. Sage Kapil advised them to cut down the Sal forest for their shelter. The Gifted Land by Sage Kapil became Kapilvastu. The Sal Cutter (divorced wife and children of the King) became the Sakya family. 


Gotihawa is 5 km southwest of Taulihawa and 7.32 km far from Tilaurakot. The birthplace of Krakuchanda Buddha was born before the Shakyamuni Buddha. There are broken Ashokan pillars and brick structures to stupas and monasteries. The villagers are still using an ancient well. The development of the site started in the 6th century BC. Rectangular and wedge-shaped bricks and a large amount of rice husk, vegetation, and straw dated the 3rd century BC. 


It is 3 km southwest of Taulihawa and 4.5 km south of Tilaurakot (or 29.42 from Mayadevi Temple). The ancient Nyagrodharama is famous because King Syddhodhana met Buddha for the first time after his renunciation. 


It lies 7 km north of Taulihawa and 8.85 km away from Tilaurakot. Niglihawa believes that Kanakmuni Buddha was born and enlightened. The archaeologist Dr. Alois Fuhrer, in 1895 AD, found the large pond and a broken Ashokan pillar (15 ft tall). Fa Hien and Hiuen Tsang describe the Kanakmuni Stupa and Ashokan Pillar in the travel accounts. 


Sagarhawa is 12 km north of Taulihawa. This forest site with ruins of an ancient pond, Palace of the Massacre of the Shakyas and Lumbu Sagar, was excavated in 1895. 


Aurorakot is 10 km northeast of Taulihawa and remains an ancient moat and brick fortification believed to be the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. 


Devdaha lies 54 km east of Lumbini, the ancient capital of Koliya Kingdom and the maternal hometown of Queen Maya Devi, Prajapati (stepmother of Siddhartha) and Princess Yasodhara. Siddhartha Gautama spent his childhood there. Seven years after enlightenment, Buddha visited Devdaha. The other sites are Bairimai, Kanyamai, Bhabanipur, Devidamar, and Mathagadi. 


Ramgrama is 25.19 km southeast of Devdaha (28.56 km from Bhairahawa). The bank of the Jharahi River with the brick mound enshrines 7m high brick Stupa, including one of the eight relics of the Sakyamuni Buddha. History mentions Emperor Ashok wanted to open the relics of Buddha divided into 84000 parts for the Stupas, though the Dragon King and the People of Ramgrama did not allow it.