The birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini is situated 250 kilometers south-west of Kathmandu. A broken pillar erected in 249 BC by the first major Buddhist Ruler of India, Emperor Ashoka, proclaims in a now-extinct script that the Buddha was born there and the emperor made three pilgrimages to the holy spot. Lumbini’s status as a guardian of peace has been recognized the world over and its development is undertaken by Buddhists from everywhere. Lumbini is one of numerous magnets for journey that sprang up in spots crucial to the life of Gautama Buddha; other outstanding pilgrimage sites incorporate Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath.
Maya Devi Temple is situated amidst the vast 4km by 2.5km park grounds known as the Lumbini Development Zone. Composed by Japanese designer Kenzo Tange in 1978, it’s still a work in advance that includes finished lakes and various religious communities that have been or are being built by Buddhist groups from far and wide.
Within its premises lie the Sacred Garden, temples and monasteries, museums and research institutes. Listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO Lumbini is receiving well international support to maintain and develop it as a Buddhist pilgrimage and a symboi of world peace. Around an hour’s drive north-west of Lumbini is the interesting archaeological site of Tilaurakot. This has been identified as the ancient Kapilbastu, the capital of King Suddhodhana, Buddha’s father, and where the Buddha himself as Prince Siddhartha spent the first 29 years of life.
The holy pond adjacent to the temple is accepted to be the place Maya Devi showered before conceiving the Buddha. Dotted around the grounds are the ruins of various block stupas and monasteries dating from the second century BC to the ninth century AD.