LUMBINI FACTS & FIGURES
- Location: southern Nepal, near the border with India.
- Best time to Visit: Throughout the year
- Significance: Birth Place of Shakyamuni Buddha.
One of the most important place of Buddhist pilgrimage is Lumbini, located near the Nepal-India border. This is where Gautam Buddha was born. Although largely destroyed now, these remain important marks of the Buddha’s birthplace.
Lumbini is the sacred site of the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Prominent Pilgrimage Attractions of 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.
• Lumbini Stupa 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
Ther 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)
The Lumbini International Resarch Institute is devoted to the study of Buddhism and other religions. It houses an extensive collection of books on religion, art and architecture.
How to Reach Lumbini
- Air: The closest airport is at Bhairawa (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu.
- Rail : The closest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) about 88 kms away from Darjeeling.
- Road: Buses ply the route between Bhairawa (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.