Lumbini: the birth place of Buddha, the Shakya prince, who was born in the 7th or 6th century BC, the enlightened one, is the pilgrimage destination situated south part of Nepal. According to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi (or Mayadevi) gave birth to the Buddha on her way to her parent’s home in Devadaha in the month of May in the year 642 BC. The main attraction at the Lumbini remains the sacred garden spread over 8 sq. km. and possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temples, Ashokan pillar, sacred pond, Puskarni are also attractive side of Lumbini.
Before the Lord would come to the earthly world, his mother had dreamt a six-tusked elephant, which later was interpreted by the astrologers as a sign of giving birth to a world-renowned personality. Lord Buddha was born at Lumbini while his mother was on her way to parental home from Kapilvastu.
Maya Devi, queen of King Shuddhodhan of Kapilavastu gave birth to prince of Kapilvastu, Gautam, under a tree. King Shuddhodhan (Gautam’s father, the king of Kapilvastu) had been warned in advance by the astrologers that eventually the prince might chose spirituality to Kingdom. So the King tried every way to stop this outcome but in vain. The greatest preacher of humanity, Lord Buddha had been destined to be enlightened and show the world a better way of living. The place is a blessed one for its serenity and the natural beauty, purely coinciding to the perception of a place where the legend was born. One of the Parinirvana places for Buddha, this place houses some of the best reminders of Lord Buddha. Prominent among the structures is the Maya Devi temple and the structures built by Ashoka later on.
The place itself is interesting as a whole, the landscapes and the green forestry complementing its quiet ambience. However, Maya Devi temple and the Stupas and the Pillar built by Ashoka are really worth a visit.
Maya Devi Temple – the temple is famous for the Maya Devi’s statue, an exotic representation of the Buddha’s days of puberty. Excavated after the discovery of a Stupa by a German archaeologist, in 1895, the temple is built gradually and is composed of many temples, one after the other. It is also found that there is possibility that an Ashoka Stupa existed in the place of temple. The Maya Devi statue is splendid for its architectural beauty and the way it represents the childhood of Buddha.
The Ashokan pillar – The Ashokan Pillar, essentially erected by Ashoka is also a piece of great art, with the horse at the top of pillar, it makes a great view and represents an ancient story related to the Buddhist tales.
The puskarni – The literal meaning of Puskarni is pond, and this pond in the southern direction of the Ashokan Pillar is a scared one. It is said that Mayadevi took a holy dip in the pond, just before the birth of Lord Buddha.
The Buddhist monastery – Its built in the way of the modern Buddhist temples of Nepal but is quite important in the purview of architecture of the walls. The middle hall contains some exquisite murals resembling the medieval periods.