The nearest town to reach Lumbini is Bhairahawa, which is connected
with Kathmandu & Pokhara by air and road. Bhairahawa and Lumbini are
connected with an all weather road and regular bus service is available
The birthplace of Lord Buddha
Lumbini-a place in the South-Western Terai of Nepal, evokes a kind of
holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world-as do
the Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. Lumbini is the
place Lord Buddha -the apostle of peace and the light of Asia was born
in 623 B. C., Located in the flat plains of south-Western Nepal and
the foothills of Churia range , Lumbini and its surrounding area is
endowed with a rich natural setting of domesticable fauna and
favourable agricultural environ. Historically, the region is an
exquisite treasure-trove of ancient ruisn and antiquities, dating
back to pre-Christian era. The site, described as a beautiful garden
in the Buddha’s time still retain its legendary charm and beauty. To
the mere 12 miles north of Lumbini lies the dense and picturesque sal-grove.
For centuries, Buddhists- all over the world, knew that Lumbini where the
Lord was born is somewhere around. The descriptions of famous Chinese
pilgrims (of ancient times) Huian Tsang and Faeihan indicated to this
area-saying ‘Lumbini-where the lord was born is a piece of heaven on
earth and one could see the snowy mountains amidst a splendid
garden-embedded with stupas and monasteries!
However, the exact location remained uncertain and obscure till December the
1st 1886 when a wandering German archaeologist Dr. Alois A. Fuhrer came
across a stone pillar and ascertained beyond doubt it is indeed the
birthplace of Lord Buddha.
The Ashokan Pillar
Discovered by the now famous German archaeolgist Dr. Fuhrer, the pillar
is the first epigraphic evidence relating to the life history of Lord Buddha
and is also the most visible landmark of the garden. The historic importance
of the pillar is evidenced by the inscription engraved in the pillar
(in Brahmi script). It is said that the great Indian Emperor Ashok visited
the site in the twentieth year of is ascendancy to the throne and as a homage
to the birthplace,erected the pillar. The inscriptions in the pillar roughly
translates as: Kin Piyadesi beloved of th Gods, having been anointed 20 yeas,
came himself and worshipped saying Here Buddha Shakyamuni was born: And he
caused to make a stone (capital) representing a horse; and he caused (this)
stone pillar to be erected. Because the worshipful one was born in the
village of Lumbini has been made free of taxes and recipient of wealth"
Puskarni-the sacred pool
South of the Ashokan Pillar, there is the famous sacred pool- ‘Puskarni’
believed to be the same sacred pool in which Maya Devi took a holy dip just
before giving birth to the Lord and also where infant Buddha was given his
first purification bath. Architecturally the pool has the projecting terraces
in descending order and is reverted with a fine brick masonry.
Sanctum-Sanctorum of the Birthplace
The single most important place of the Lumbini (and to the entire Buddhist
world for that matter) is the stoneslab-located deep in the Sanctum sanctorum.
Places around LumbiniKapilvastu
Revealed after a hard and meticulous excavations under the three layers of
ruins over the site of a famous Maya Devi temple, the stone slab foundation
pinpoints the location of the original place-marking the exact spot of the
birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Image of Maya Devi
In adition to Ashokan Pillar, the other Shrine of importance is the
bas-relief image of Maya Devi, Enshrined in a small pagoda-like structure,
the image shows MayaDevi , mother of the Lord. Supporting herself by holding
on with her right hand to a branch of Sal tree, with newly born infant Buddha
standing upright on a lotus pedestal on an oval halo. Two other celestial
figures are depicted in an act of pouring water and lotuses bestowed from
Earlier the image was placed in the famous white temple of MayaDevi
beside the pillar-now totally dismantled to make way for the excavations,
which revealed the Sanctum Sanctorum the exact spot where the Lord was born.
The monastery-of the Buddhist temple is built inside the surrounding
complex of Lumbini in the manner of modern Buddhist shrines in Nepal.
The prayer hall contains a large image of Buddha. medieval style murals
decorate the walls.
Located some 27 km. west of Lumbini lies the ruins of historic
town of ‘Kapilvastu’. Believed to be the capital of Shakya republic
where the Lord lived and enjoyed his life until his thirteeth year,
Kapilvastu has been identified with. Tilaurakot by the archaelolotists.
Also, the place is believed to have been associated with different
important episodes: there are ruins and mounds of old stupas and monasteries made of kiln-burnt bricks and clay-mortar. The remains
are surrounded by a moat and the wall of the city are made of bricks.
In fact, the city of Kapilvastu are in such a grand scale that
it could be easily be visualised as a seat of high culture.
About 10 km northwest of Taulihawa there is a rectangular fortified
area which is popularly known as Arourakot. The fortified area is
identified by the famous Indian archaeologist P.C. Mukharji as the
natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. Remains of ancient moat and brick
fortification around the Kot can still be clearly located. A brick
lined well is seen to the south and elevated mound towards the
About 5 km. southwest of Taulihawa, there is a village called Gotihawa.
In the village there is an Ashokan Pillar standing in a slab.
The upper portion of the pillar is broken and lost and only the lower
portion of the pillar 3.5m. high is still intact. Adjoining the
pillar towards its northeast there is a huge stupa with successive
ring of wedge shaped Mauryan bricks.
About 2 km. southwest of Taulihawa, on the left side of the Shoratgarh
Taulihawa road stands the village Kudan having a huge structural ruin
with a cluster of four mounds and a tank. The mounds were excavated
About 8 km, northwest of Taulihawa, there is another site of
archaelogical importance. The site has quadrangular tank surrounded
by bushes, locally known as Niglisagar. On the western Bank of the
tank there are two broken pieces of the Ashokan pillar, the longer
one laying flat and the shorter ones stack into the ground. The pillar
bears 2 peacocks on the top part and a Devanagari script inscription
reading Om mani Padme Hun Ripu mallasya Chiran Jayut 1234.’
The shorter portion of the pillar which is partly buried in the
ground measures 1.52m in length bears four lines of Ashokan inscription
in the Brahmi script which roughly translates as: "King Piyadasi Beloved
of the gods, after 14 years of his coronation enlarged for the second
time the stupa of Buddha kanaka Muni, and after 20 years of his coronat
ion he came himself and worshipped (and ) he caused (this) stone pillar
to be erected:"
About 12 km. north of Taulihawa, there is a forest area called
Sagarhawa. In the midst of the forest there is a huge rectangular
tank which is popularly known as Lumbusagar, or a long tank. The
ancient tanks ruins which were excavated and indentified by Dr.
Aslois A Fuhrer as the ‘Palace of massacre of the Shakyas’ in 1895
can still be located on the west south banks of the Sagar.
Lumbini Development Project
To develop "Lumbini" as a center of International Buddhist Culture and
Learning a master plan development is underway. As suggested by Mr.
U-Thant. The UN secretary a master plan was prepared by Mr. Kenzo T
ange, the reputed Japanese architect. The salient features of the
i Lumbini fillage
ii Monastic enclave and
iii The Sacred Garden
National Parks and