Difference between revisions of "Lumbini"
Revision as of 20:05, 14 December 2012
In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a park situated in Kapilavastu Nepal. It was in Lumbini that the Buddha was born. 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. 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.
The closest airport is at Bhairahawa (also known as Sidhhartha Nagar) (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu. Other airports serving more destinations include Gorakhpur and Faizabad in India.
Bhairahawa - is the nearest airport to get Lumbini if you want to fly from Kathmandu.
The closest station is at Nautanwa, India on the Indian Railway network, but passenger trains are infrequent on this line. The alternative of taxi travel from the border crossing at Sunauli to Gorakhpur takes about two hours. From Sunauli, Siddharthanagar is only 3.5 kilometers. Total travel time is 12 – 18 hours from Dehli and 10 – 12 hours from Kolkata (Calcutta). The Mahaparinirvan Express tourist train stops in Gorakhpur where tourists continue to Lumbini by road.
Buses ply the route between Sunauli (from stop across from Hotel Yeti) and Lumbini. At Lumbini alight at the main gate. Alternatively, from the Nepal side of the border one can take a shared jeep to Bhairahawa (4 kilometers) followed by a bus to Lumbini. Bhairahawa-Lumbini buses depart every 15 minutes. The last return bus departs at 5 PM.
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.
Given that the sights in Lumbini are far across, bicycles and cycle rickshaws offer a good way to get around. Bicycles can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (100 NRs/day), as well as the Korean monastery (provided you are staying there). Bicycles are also available near the main gate next to the cycle rickshaw stand. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles. Also check the condition of the seat and the lock.
Soak up the peaceful atmosphere, conducive to meditation and reflection.
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.
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.
Two small shops will sell you local spirits to take out.