Lumbini the birthplace of Lord Buddha is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site situated in South West Nepal It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama who as the as the Buddha Gautama founded the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 BCE. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at Kushinaga, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath. Buddha lived at Lumbini until the age of 29. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple and others under construction. Also located here is the Pushkarini or Holy Pond where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he too had his first bath, as well as the remains of Kapilvastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini earlier Buddha’s were according to tradition born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form.
In 1896 Nepalese archaeologists (Khadga Samsher Rana) discovered a great stone pillar at the site attributed to Ashoka. It is believed that the pillar was established by the great King Ashoka in about 345 BC. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Faxian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.
Present day Lumbini:
Lumbini was made a World Heritage Site in 1997 it was specifically nominated for the international World Heritage program. The present Lumbini is divided into a ratio of 1:3 which means it is 3 km long for every 1 km wide. In total its 2 km by 6 km.
The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built there are no shops, hotels or restaurants. It is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone. The eastern having the Theravadin monasteries, the western having Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries.
The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the precise place of birth of Buddha is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site.
The site in recent years has grown and become more significant as a site for holy pilgrimage, perhaps due to people of the developed world seeking another other way to fulfill what for many have become rather meaningless lives. Each year Mongolian Treks and Expedition make our own pilgrimage to Lumbini if you would you like to know more please make contact.