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Tourist Places To Visit In Lumbini
Lumbini is a town situated in the Rupandehi district of Nepal, and is believed to be the holy city of Gautam Buddha’s birth. It is visited by thousands of devotees each year who come to pay homage to this sacred city and attain spiritual atonement; additionally, the religious landmarks of the city make it a haven for archaeology lovers all over the world.
The exact location of Buddha’s birth, the Maya Devi Temple, is located in what is locally known as the Sacred Garden. This Garden is also home to other religiously significant landmarks that pay homage to Buddha’s life. The heritage site of Lumbini with numerous monasteries from around the world, along with the Sacred Garden is a priceless collection of Buddhist treasure that exhibits its history and legacy for the world to witness.
Here is a compilation of some of the most remarkable places in Lumbini definitely worth paying a visit.
Maya Devi Temple
The absolute center of all spirituality in Lumbini can be said to resonate around the birth spot of Buddha, which is enshrined in the location that holds the Maya Devi Temple. The exact spot of his birth is denoted by a marker stone encased in a glass case, and above it lays a sandstone carving of Maya Devi giving birth to Buddha as the gods Indra and Brahma look on. The marker stone of Buddha’s birth is always surrounded by crowds of devotees offering their prayers; it is common practice for worshippers to throw coins into the ruins of the area hoping it will bring them good luck.
The grounds of the Maya Devi Temple also hold the Bodhi Tree, which is believed to be the tree that gave respite to Maya Devi after her travels. It is supposed to be the place where she went into labor; the Pushkarni Pond situated next to it is believed to be the waters in which she took a ritual dip while in labor, and also where Buddha took his first Bath.
Another important part of Lumbini’s history is the Ashoka Pillar that was built in 3rd century BC by Emperor Ashoka, when he visited the prosperous village of Lumbini and accepted the religion of Buddhism. The pillar is surrounded by four stupas, and was once topped by a horse idol that is barely discernable today after being broken down into ruins over the years. It is now topped by a circular disc that protects the remnants of the ruin.
The inscription on the pillar is said to be the oldest of its kind, and describes Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini and his emphasis on the importance of the village that serves as the birthplace of Buddha.The rich history behind the Ashoka Pillar and its spiritual impact on Buddhist landmarks makes it a site that should not be missed.
Myanmar Golden Temple
Located in the Lumbini Monastic Zone, the Myanmar Temple is believed to be one of the oldest monuments in the complex. It is an impressive structure with three prayer halls, with one of them topped with a corncob-shaped tower that has been styled after the shrines of Bagan. The Lokamani Pula Pagoda is a gold stupa located within the temple grounds that resembles the Burmese style of architecture and together with the Myanmar Temple creates a fascinating spectacle.
World Peace Pagoda
One of the main attractions of Lumbini, the World Peace Pagoda is also known as the Japan Peace Stupa, and was built in 2001 by the Japanese with an aim to propagate the idea of peace through the construction of a landmark in the land of Buddha and his teachings. The beaming white pagoda makes for a splendid sight on a clear day, and its green vibrant surroundings create a tranquil atmosphere all around it.
Inside, it consists of a golden statue of Buddha depicted in the position he had taken upon during his birth. Other statues within the stupa depict the various positions he may have assumed throughout his lifetime. On the outside, a central dome is accessible via two flights of stairs, with a corridor around the dome that is used by devotees for circumambulation. From the top of the monument, you can vaguely observe a number of other landmarks from a distance.
Dharma Swami Maharaj Buddha Vihar
This monastery styled after the Tibetan Gompa was constructed by the King Chogya Trichen Ringboche, and belongs to the Sakyapa order in Buddhism. It is a remarkable place for meditation, with the highlight of the temple being the Tara Pooja that is conducted every day by the sixty monks that reside here. Additionally, ten thousand monks collect in this monastery for a 10 day Pooja twice a year; once at the end of September, and the other on the 13th of December.
Also known as Dae-Sung-Shakya-Sa, this Korean-styled architectural marvel is the perfect source of gaining an insight into the lives of Korean Buddhist monks. Visitors can find the opportunity to stay here for a few days and get a glimpse at experiencing a lifestyle that revolves around abstinence of everyday comforts that we take for granted. What you are going to leave with is a life altering encounter with peace and self-awareness.
Inspired by the architectural designs of the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia, this monastery is a vibrant and enthralling structure whose highlight is its outer square railing that is topped by four 50 meters green snakes on all sides, and beautiful intricate patterns that cover the outer surface of the monastery walls.
Eternal Peace Flame
When opting to go for a boat ride in the Central Canal, keep an eye out for the Eternal Flame at the southern end of the canal, which has been burning since 1986 to venerate the International Year of Peace; an iconic image that marks the efforts to maintain peace and harmony in the world.