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For the zone of Nepal, see Lumbini Zone.
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lumbini 4.jpg
State Party  Nepal
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, vi
Reference 666
Region** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1997  (21st Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Lumbinī (Sanskrit: लुम्बिनी, "the lovely") is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who 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 Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath.

Lumbini is in the foothills of the Himalaya,[1] 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, where the Buddha is said to have lived till the age of 29. Kapilvastu is the name of the place in question as well as of the neighbouring district. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple, and others under construction. Also 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 Kapilvastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form.

Location of Lumbini, Nepal.

Contents

In Buddha's time

Pilgrimage to
Buddha's
Holy Sites
Dharma Wheel.svg
The Four Main Sites
Lumbini · Bodh Gaya
Sarnath · Kushinagar
Four Additional Sites
Sravasti · Rajgir
Sankissa · Vaishali
Other Sites
Patna · Gaya · Kosambi
Kapilavastu · Devadaha
Kesariya · Pava
Nalanda · Varanasi
Later Sites
Sanchi · Mathura
Ellora · Ajanta · Vikramshila
Ratnagiri · Udayagiri
Bharhut · Barabar Caves

In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a park situated between Kapilavastu and Devadaha in India. It was there that the Buddha was born[2]. A pillar now marks the spot of Asoka's visit to Lumbiní. According to an inscription on the pillar, it was placed there by the people then in charge of the park to commemorate Asoka's visit and gifts[3]. The park was previously known as Rummindei, two miles north of Bhagavanpura.

In the Sutta Nipáta (vs. 683) it is stated that the Buddha was born in a village of the Sákyans, in the Lumbineyya Janapada. The Buddha stayed in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha and there preached the Devadaha Sutta[4].

Re-discovery

In 1896, Nepalese archaeologists (effort by Khadga Samsher Rana) discovered a great stone pillar at the site, attributed to Emperor Ashoka. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.

Present-day

Lumbini, as of 1997, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site specifically nominated for the international World Heritage program.

The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone, in which only monasteries can be built, no shops or 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 Asokan 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.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Buddhist Temples India,Buddhist Temple Tour,Buddhist Temples in India,Indian Buddhist Temple Tour
  2. ^ J.i.52, 54; Kvu.97, 559; AA.i.10; MA.ii.924; BuA.227; Cv.li.10, etc.
  3. ^ See Mukerji: Asoka, p.27; see p.201f for details
  4. ^ MA.ii.810

External links

Coordinates: 27°28′02″N 83°16′30″E / 27.467155°N 83.274908°E / 27.467155; 83.274908


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lumbini [1] is the sacred site of the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is located in southern Nepal, near the Indian border.

The temple over the spot where the Buddha was supposedly born
The temple over the spot where the Buddha was supposedly born

Get in

By air

The closest airport is at Sunauli (also known as Bhairawa) (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu.

By road

Buses ply the route between Sunauli (from stop across from Hotel Yeti) and Lumbini (you will need to walk 1km from the nearest stop). The last return bus departs at 5 PM.

Buses also run from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Varanasi to Sunauli.

Taxis are probably the best option for reaching Lumbini from Sunauli, though you will need to know the going rate to avoid paying well over the odds. As everywhere else in the sub-continent, ensure that the fare has been agreed before heading out. This will save trouble at the destination.

Bikes can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (80 NRs/day) and offer a good way to see the site. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles.

Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini
Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini
  • Ashokan Pillar - an inscribed pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka (249 BC) on the spot of Buddha's birth. The inscription, which is the oldest in Nepal, grants Lumbini a tax-free status in honor of Buddha’s birth.
  • Buddhist Temples - there are foundations of temples dating from the 2nd century BC to the 9th century AD, and two modern temples: one in Tibetan style, the Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Temple, which was built by the king of Mustang, and one Nepalese Theravada style building, the Lumbini Buddha Vihar, which was built by the Nepalese government and contains Tibetan-style frescoes and Newari-style Buddhist images. Outside the main complex, there are other temples built in the styles of countries where Buddhism is the predominant religion, such as Chinese, Japanese and Burmese.
  • The Japan Peace Stupa - the 41m imposing structure is situated at the northern end of the gardens.
  • The Lumbini Museum displays artifacts from the Mauryan and Kushana periods, religious manuscripts and other items discovered at the site.
  • The Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI) is devoted to the study of Buddhism and other religions. It houses an extensive collection of books on religion, art and architecture.

Do

Soak up the peaceful atmosphere, conducive to meditation and reflection.

Buy

Lots of trinkets and religious paraphernalia are for sale near the entrance to the complex, including Buddha snowglobes and stickers. A couple of shops in the village near the bus stop stock more of the same plus a bit more.

Eat

There are a couple of dhabas near the bus stop in the village. They all serve the same fare: puri in the morning, "curry" during the day, at 20 NRs a portion. Right at the beginning of the of the one street that is Lumbini village there is a rooftop restaurant 3 Foxes.

Drink

Two small shops will sell you local spirits totake out.

  • Korean Monastery: eat and sleep for a donation; No smoking, no music.
  • Sri-Lankan Pilgrims' Rest House, about a 15 to 20 minute walk from main site.
  • Lumbini Village Lodge and Lumbini Garden Lodge (300-400 NRs) close to each other in the village.
  • Pawan International Hotel, Main Road, Siddhartha Nagar, Tel:+977 71 523-680.
  • Hotel NirvanaPaklihawa rd, Siddhartha Nagar, tel: +977 71 520-837, 520-516, [2].
  • Lumbini Hokke Hotel.
  • Buddha Maya Gardens Hotel, (near Lumbini gardens), tel:+977 71 580-220.
  • Wear clothing that expresses respect for the sacred nature of the site.
  • Circumambulate the stupas and other sacred objects in a clockwise direction.
  • Preserve the peace and tranquillity.
  • Do not climb onto statues or other sacred objects.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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