There are a number of sacred places around the world, and for followers of Buddhism, one of the most sacred of places is Lumbini in Nepal which is regarded as the birthplace as Siddartha Gautama, who grew up to be known as Lord Buddha.
According to Buddhist history, Buddha was born in Lumbini during the full moon day in the month of Baisakh in 623 BC. He was born under a sal tree as his mother Mayadevi was going to her maternal town for the occasion of delivery.
Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Maya Devi Temple, and others under construction. Also located here is the Puskarini 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 Kapilavastu Palace.
The holy site of Lumbini truly is revered and it is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, and therefore within this zone no shops, hotels or restaurants are allowed to trade.
Lumbini hasn’t always been a place of pilgrimage. In fact, it remained neglected for centuries. Until 1895 when Feuhrer, a famous German archaeologist, discovered the great pillar of Ashoka, upon which inscriptions of the story identifying Lumbini as the place of the birth of Buddha had been carved. Further exploration and excavation of the surrounding area revealed the existence of a brick temple and sandstone sculpture within the temple itself, which depicts the scenes of the Buddha’s birth.
The main attraction at Lumbini is the large sacred garden that is spread over 8 sq kms and which possesses many of the treasures of this historic area.
The Mayadevi temple, which is dedicated to Buudha’s mother, is also a popular. To the south of the temple, we find the sacred pond – Puskarni – where Queen Maya Devi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha.
There are more than fifty monasteries around the area which have been established by adherents of Buddhism from all over Asia.
Lumbini is a place for reflection and for admiring the significant religious influence that was created by the humble birth of the child who grew up to become one of history’s holiest and most revered persons.