According to Mahaparinirvana Sutra (one of the most influential Buddhist Scriptures), Gautam Buddha advised his followers that they can find inner peace by visiting the places where he was born, gained enlightenment, taught and attained Nirvana. Lumbini (Buddha birthplace) is one of the locations where the journey of Lord Buddha started. Go through the blog and find why this place is famous as a Buddhist Pilgrimage site.

History

Old brick site of Lumbini
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Lumbini

Among the eight most important pilgrimage sites of Buddhism, counts Lumbini as well. It is the place where Lord Buddha was born in 563 B.C. The holiest spot is situated in the Rupandehi District of Nepal (close to the border of India) that became one of the prime sites of Buddhist Pilgrimage. It plays a key role in the life of Siddhartha Gautam (Gautam Buddha). The meaning of the word Lumbini is “the lovely”. Living up to its literal meaning, the place is a beautiful pilgrimage site for Buddhists; visitors can experience the serenity and spiritual growth here. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in the year 1997.

Places to visit in Lumbini

Without a doubt, Lumbini is an important site for Buddhism and history lovers but what makes the spot ‘the most visited site’? Well, the answer is its old temples, various monuments, monasteries, etc., which attract pilgrims from all corners of the world. Here, you can witness 64 archaeological sites of which the important ones are:

Bodhi Tree

Bodhi Tree is the tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Though the original descendant of the tree is in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, its saplings were taken to other important Buddhist sites. One such Bodhi Tree lies in Lumbini too. Pilgrims visit the holy tree and make wishes by tying flags around it.

Ashokan Pillar

Buddhism became quite popular during the rule of King Ashoka. He adopted Buddhism as a symbol of peace and harmony. He built the Ashoka Pillar to mark his respect for Gautam Buddha and Buddhism. This pillar is the oldest structure compared to the rest of the Ashoka Pillars and is located inside the Maya Devi temple.

Mayadevi Temple

It is an ancient temple which is located next to a sacred garden. It is also a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.

Ancient Bathing Pond

Mayadevi pond or Puskarini is a place where Mayadevi (Buddha’s mother) used to bathe. Also, according to some sources, the first bathing of Gautam was done in this pond only.

How to reach Lumbini?

Being the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Pilgrims visit the sacred Buddhist site all through the year, especially during the Vesak day. People flock the place to witness the Vesak celebrations. The place is easily accessible through various modes of travel.

Air: The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the nearest international airport to the site. From here you can take a bus or hire a taxi to Lumbini. Otherwise, you can even fly from here to Bhairawa Airport which is 26 km from the place. You can also fly to Gorakhpur Airport which is 100 km from the place.

Rail: To reach Buddha’s birthplace, you can take a train to Gorakhpur station from where you can take a bus or hire a taxi.

Road: The pilgrimage site is well connected to the major cities of India as well as Nepal. Buses ply between Kathmandu, Bhairawaha, Gorakhpur, Varanasi as well as Sanauli.  As such you can take a bus ride or even drive yourself to the place.

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