Lumbini is the Buddha's birthplace, one of the world's most important spiritual sites and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from around the world.
Buddhist literature cited that Lumbini is the place where the newly born Prince Siddhartha took his first seven steps and uttered an epoch-making message to the suffering humanity. This happened exactly in the beautiful Sal grove, the garden renowned for the beauty of its shady grove of lush green trees and colorful flowers. Maya Devi, the queen of Sakya King Suddhodan of Kapilvastu, while was passing through the Lumbini Garden, on the way to her maternal home Devadaha, in the day of Vaisakha Poornima(the full moon-day of My 623 BC), took bath in the Pushkarni (the Sacred Pond) and proceeded towards the north. Suddenly, she felt lever pain, took decent support of a tree branch and holding it, she gave birth to the Crown Prince Siddhartha.
It is located in the western Tarai of Nepal holds a historic event in the Buddhist world. The classical texts of Suttanipata, Mahaparinibana Sotta, and Divyavadana Lumbini mentioned that the Buddha advised his followers to visit Lumbini at once- the area crossed by three rivers, the Harahawa, Ghoraha, and Tela. The area has a subtropical monsoon climate with a warm wet season. The Lumbini Garden covers an area of 1x3 sq miles (2.56 sq km) and encompasses three zones each covering one square mile, united by a walkway and a canal.
It is the Sacred Garden, the heart of Prof. Tange’s design, the ultimate objective of the plan, to create an atmosphere of spiritual peace, universal brotherhood and non-violence consisting of the time and Buddha’s message to the world. The zone shelters the ancient monuments at the center in a freshly restored atmosphere of serene and lush forestation and pond all around the complex, spreading 2.56 sq. Km possesses all the treasures of history.
Strolling around the garden, one comes to conclude the reason for the global initiative to promote Lumbini ‘The Foundation of World Peace’.
It is the heart of all monuments at this holy site. The temple complex bears the testimony of several layers of constructions over the centuries. It is fully restored and graced by the then HM King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, on the 2547th auspicious birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. Inside the temple one can see the foundation remains of the early Mayadevi Temple that dates back to the 3rd century B.C. the upper floor remains open for meditation platform.
This is the Eastern Lane of the Theravada Monastic Zone, crossing the Thai Monastery and Stupas, built by the Government of Thailand. The architecture design is typical to Thai environs. Thereafter one will pass to Mahamaya Bishwa-Shanti Buddha Bihar constructed by the Maha Bodhi Society of India, Kolkotta; neighboring is the Buddha Dharmakar Sabha, built by the Buddhist Society of West Bengal, India, giving a South Asian Locality. One will
pass the Burmese Temple called Lomkani Cula Pagoda and the Monastery build by the Government of Myanmar, correspond to different Buddhist Worlds. One will cross the Lankan Monastery constructed by the Government of Ceylon represent different architecture, culture, surrounding including the system of the Monks. The next is the Bhikshuni Sangha, built by the International Gautami Nun Society, Nepal – typical monastery in replication of
Swayambhu Chaitya, with the Buddhist philosophy of thirteen cosmetic steps to Nirvana and three pinnacle-stages. One can enter Nepal Vipassana Centre and easily learn the meditation practice and methods. No doubt, all the monasteries also provide meditation practice. However, the center is particularly located for the purpose. Further information can be sought from the temporary Tourist Information Center, near about. After immersed deeply in the serenity of the spiritual atmosphere, one will enter the Sacred Garden crossing the Shanti Deep, the symbol of peace and prosperity of human existence-the Eternal Peace Flame.
On the walkway to the Lumbini Cultural site, the several interesting sites crossing from the Reiyukai International (Japan), one can visit Lumbini Museum, containing Mauryan and Kushan coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stones and metal sculptures and many other archaeological values. On the other side, one can view the Lumbini International Research Institute, a peculiar architectural design, that provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and other religions. It contains over 12,000 religion, philosophy, art and architecture books. Besides, there is Peace Hall(Auditorium), Archaeological offices, High School Complex, Boat Station, Lumbini Square, Symbolic Pavilion and Camping Ground, which are yet to be completed. The Crane Sanctuary, Peace Stupa, Harahawa River, Boating Station, gives worthy experienced in the ambiance of the Buddhist World. Passing through the Friendship Bridge, the symbol of coexistence, one will enter the Monastic Enclaves, bisects by a Central Link, have 42 plots allotted for new monasteries- Theravada and Mahayana sects of Buddhism. Some of them, east with 9 out of 13, and west with 19 out of 29 so far been constructed.
Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the follower of peace and compassion. Lumbini is 21 km west of Bhairahawa and 282 km south-west of Kathmandu. Lumbini is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists as well as a place of reverence for peace lovers of any religious faith throughout the world. In Lumbini the central attraction is the sacred garden with Maya Devi temple depicting the birth of Lord Buddha, Ashoka Pillar pinpoints the birthplace of Buddha and Shakya Tank where Maya Devi, the mother of Lord Buddha, is supposed to have taken a dip before bringing forth the baby - Lord Buddha. Around this holy site, there were remnants of Monasteries and Chaityas built over the centuries following Buddha's birth in 632 BC.
Lumbini garden covers an area of 2.56 sq.Km. The area has a subtropical monsoon climate with a warm wet season. The history of Lumbini was re-established with the visit of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, who made a pilgrimage in 294 B.C. and erected a stone pillar bearing an inscription stating " Hida Budhe Gate Shkyamuniti" which means that Shakyamuni Buddha was born here. Later on, three famous Chinese Pilgrims - Tseng Tsai (4th Century), Fa-Hsien (5th Century), and Hiuen Tsang (7th Century) visited Lumbini. Hiuen Tsang's travel account gives a detailed description of the area, includes Ashokan Pillar with a horse carved on top of it. After the 14th century A.D, the sites were forgotten, neglected and shrouded in the bushes.
In the process of an archaeological survey in 1896. General Khadga Shamsher Rana and Dr. Alois Fuhrer discovered the Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini. In the 1930s, general Caesar SJB Rana Camied out of large scale excavation at Lumbini. In 1956, on the occasion of the fourth world Buddist conference, late King Mahendra visited Lumbini and wanted to improve it. In 1970 Prof. Kenzo Tange of Japan was assigned to create the Lumbini Master plan, which was approved by the government in 1978. In 1985 the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) was established to take over the responsibility of the overall management and development of Lumbini.