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Lumbini

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Lumbini [1] is the sacred site of the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is located in southern Nepal, near the Indian border.

The temple over the spot where the Buddha was supposedly born

Understand

Get in

By air

The closest airport is at Sunauli (also known as Bhairawa) (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu.

By road

Buses ply the route between Sunauli (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.

Buses also run from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Varanasi to Sunauli.

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.

Bikes can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (80 NRs/day) and offer a good way to see the site. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles.

See

Ashokan Pillar in 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.
  • 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 displays artifacts from the Mauryan and Kushana periods, religious manuscripts and other items discovered at the site.
  • The Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI) is devoted to the study of Buddhism and other religions. It houses an extensive collection of books on religion, art and architecture.

Do

Soak up the peaceful atmosphere, conducive to meditation and reflection.

Buy

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.

Eat

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.

Drink

Two small shops will sell you local spirits totake out.

Sleep

Budget

  • Korean Monastery: eat and sleep for a donation; No smoking, no music.
  • Sri-Lankan Pilgrims' Rest House, about a 15 to 20 minute walk from main site.
  • Lumbini Village Lodge and Lumbini Garden Lodge (300-400 NRs) close to each other in the village.
  • Gautam Buddha Lodge (200-400 NRs, dormitory 100 NRs) is situated in Old Lumbini. Very peaceful.

Mid range

  • Pawan International Hotel, Main Road, Siddhartha Nagar, Tel:+977 71 523-680.
  • Hotel NirvanaPaklihawa rd, Siddhartha Nagar, tel: +977 71 520-837, 520-516, [2].

Splurge

  • Lumbini Hokke Hotel.
  • Buddha Maya Gardens Hotel, (near Lumbini gardens), tel:+977 71 580-220.

Respect

  • Wear clothing that expresses respect for the sacred nature of the site.
  • Circumambulate the stupas and other sacred objects in a clockwise direction.
  • Preserve the peace and tranquillity.
  • Do not climb onto statues or other sacred objects.






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