Lumbini is a city situated in south Nepal. It is a place of buddhist cult believed to be a birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama. Lumbini was made a World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1997.
Gautama was a son of Queen Mayadevi, born in 563 BCE. When he achieved Enlightenment some time around 528 BCE, became the Buddha and founded Buddhism.
In Lumbini there are many temples, monasteries and monuments. The main attraction of the place is Mayadevi temple. Beside it there is a place known as Tialurakot or Kapilvastu, located 28 km from the temple. And located 40 km from Lumbini, is the place called Kudan.
Mayadevi temple – birthplace of of Buddha
It is the main temple at Lumbini, a site traditionally considered the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. The temple stands adjacent to a sacred pool (known as Puskarni) and a sacred garden.
In November 2013, an international team of archaeologists digging under the temple discovered the remains of an ancient tree shrine dated before 550 BCE. The researchers speculated that the site is the earliest evidence of Buddhist structures and the first archaeological evidence of Gautama Buddha’s life.
According to Robin Coningham of Durham University, UK, and Kosh Prasad Acharya of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, Nepal, the shrine is ‘the earliest Buddhist shrine in the world.’
The place is intensely visited by tourists. According to Lumbini Development Trust, over 1.5 million foreign and domestic tourists visit Lumbini every year.
Tilalurakot / Kapilvastu – the great kingdom of Sakya
There was once a great palace of King Suddhodhan, the ruler of the ancient Kingdom of Sakya, father of Gautama Buddha. It is here that the young Siddhartha Gautam spent his first 29 years before leaving the royal curtains. The place where Prince Siddhartha lived before leaving as an ascetic, looks today like a small forest, with a silent temple and alleys behind a closed fence. It is an important place of research and great significance.
It is visited by few although it was an important place in life of Buddha.
Kudan / Nyigrodharama – where Buddha met his father after many years
Located 40 km from Lumbini, the place called Kudan is a place that Gautam Buddha, returning to the kingdom as the Enlightened One, met his father Suddhodhana for the first time after many years. Kudan, also known as Nyigrodharama, is also the place where Buddha’s son Rahul was ordained by Sariputra, the Buddha’s principal disciple.
The place now is an archaeological site with many historical scripts. It is a place visited by pilgrimates.
The place is worth to see for everyone interested in history.
The Mayadevi temple is a place with big promotion visited by many. But the other places of great historical significance seems to be forgotten. According to data collected by tourism entrepreneurs, only 15% percent of all tourists in Lumbini visit these places.
There are many more important places of Buddha’s life and of the history of his teachings but most tourists are not aware of them.