Lumbini 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 ruins and antiquities, dating back to pre-Christian era.
In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a beautiful garden full of green and shady Sal trees (Shorea). The garden and its tranquil environs were owned by both the Shakyas and Kolias clans. King Suddhodana, father of Gautama Buddha was of the Shakya dynasty belonging to the Kshatriya or the warrior caste. Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while taking rest in Lumbini under a sal tree in the month of May in the year 642 B.C. The beauty of Lumbini is described in Pali and Sanskrit literature. Maya Devi it is said was spellbound to see the natural grandeur of Lumbini. While she was standing, she felt labor pains and catching hold of a drooping branch of a Sal tree, the baby, the future Buddha, was born.
The bas relief above depicts Maya Devi with her right hand holding on to a branch of a sal tree with a newborn child standing upright on a lotus petal, shedding an oval halo, around his head, while two celestial figures pour water and lotuses from vessels of heaven as indicated by the delineation of clouds. This nativity scene was installed by Malla Kings of the Naga dynasty from about the 11th to 15th Century in the Karnali zone of Nepal.
In 249 BC, when the Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini it was a flourishing village. Ashoka constructed four stupas and a stone pillar with a figure of a horse on top. The stone pillar bears an inscription which, in English translation, runs as follows: "King Piyadasi (Ashoka), beloved of devas, in the 20 year of the coronation, himself made a royal visit, Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here, a stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected to the Bhagavan having been born here, Lumbini village was taxed reduced and entitled to the eight part (only)".
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.
Sacred Garden, Maya Devi Temple, Puskani Pond, Ashokan Pillar, Nepal Buddha Temple, Lumbini Museum
By Air: Kathmandu is situated about 300 km from the place and Varanasi (situated in India) is at a distance of 322 km are the nearest airports.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Gorakhpur about 122 away from the place in India.
By Road: Lumbini can easily be reached by road via Bhairahawa, which is well connected with Kathmandu and Pokhara by road. Regular and frequent bus services are also available up to the Indian border, from where the passengers have to take another bus to reach Lumbini.
The climate of Lumbini is mostly pleasant throughout the year. The best period to travel Lumbini is from September end to mid-March. The winters get chilly with the Mercury hovering close to freezing point
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