Information about the Nepal Lumbini Tour
Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a World Heritage Site. This pilgrimage site in southwest Nepal attracts devout Buddhists from around the world, who arrive to pay homage at the Sacred Garden where the ‘Enlightened One’ was born. A famous landmark is the Ashoka Pillar raised by the great Emperor who converted to Buddhism. Today Lumbini has been enlivened by the multitude of architecturally beautiful temples, stupas and monasteries built by various international Buddhist communities.
Major places to visit Lumbini
Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Lumbini is being developed with international support as the supreme Buddhist pilgrimage and a symbol of world peace. The Sacred Garden where the Buddha was born converges on the Ashoka pillar which carries an inscription identifying the spot as the birthplace. To one side of the pillar is the newly renovated Mayadevi Temple which houses a bas relief depicting the nativity. The Puskarni pond, where Queen Mayadevi – the Buddha’s mother – had taken a bath before giving birth to him, lies nearby.
Temples & Monasteries:
The Myanmar Temple (Lokamani Cula Pagoda) is a gleaming gold and white structure gracefully soaring into the sky in the style of the Shwe-dagon Pagoda in Yangon. There is a monastery complex behind the temple. Nearby, the International Gautami Nuns Temple is a fine replica of the Swayambhu stupa in Kathmandu. There is a pond here known as Paleswan Pukhu.
The China Temple is a complex of pagodas, prayer rooms and meditation cells. Built by the Buddhist Association of China, the centerpiece at the Zhong Hua Buddhist Monastery is a huge statue of the Buddha housed in its main pagoda. Across the road is the Dae Sung Suk Ga Sa Korean Temple (Tel: 071-580123) and its guest house has been completed. The Nepal Buddha Temple and the Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihara are located inside the Sacred Garden.
The Japan Peace Stupa is situated at the northern end of Lumbini. Built by the Nippon Jon Myohoji of Japan, the 41-m tall edifice is visible from a distance. Four different Buddha statues are set into the stupa’s dome to face the four cardinal directions. Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand and Mongolia are also building temples in Lumbini.
The Lumbini Museum contains Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stone and metal sculptures. It also possesses an extensive collection of stamps from various countries depicting Lumbini and the Buddha. Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), located opposite the Lumbini Museum, provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general. Run jointly by the Lumbini Development Trust and the Reiyukai of Japan, LIRI contains some 12,000 books on religion, philosophy, art and architecture.
Apilvastu Museum is situated 27 km west of Lumbini in Tilaurakot. The museum holds coins, pottery and toys dating between the seventh century B.C. and fourth century A.D. The museum also has a good collection of jewelry and other ornaments from that period. Open daily, except Tuesdays and holidays