Lumbini that means ‘The Lovely One’ in Sanskrit is a famous Buddhist site in the Lumbini District Zone of Nepal. Lumbini is considered the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Many a times referred as ‘The Light of Asia’, Buddha was the founder of Buddhism faith. His period is estimated to be approximately between 563 and 483 BC. Lumbini is located 25kms east of the municipality of Kapilvastu. Kapilvastu was the seat of governance of the then kingdom of Nepal. In the year 1896, the Indo-British archaeology team discovered a great stone pillar at the site. Later that pillar was attributed to Ashoka, the Mauryan ruler and propagator of Buddhism.
The records maintained by Fa Hein were also taken in to consideration in the process. For Buddhists, this is one of four pilgrimage sites based around the life of Gautam Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath. Going by its cultural, religious and historical importance, UNESCO declared Lumbini, a world heritage site in the year 1997. The place is famous for Maya Devi temple. It is believed that the present temple has been built at the place where Queen Maya gave birth to lord Buddha. Another important structure is the Ashoka pillar.
Apart from that Lumbini has ruins of various Stupas and monasteries. Then there is Pushkarni pond where Queen Maya took bath before giving birth to Buddha. The Lumbini region comes under Lumbini Trust, an NGO. Foreign pilgrims here have constructed new temples and monasteries. The Buddhist associations of China, Myanmar and Gautami Nuns have their separate pagodas. The ones by Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are under construction.
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