Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.The Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the Enlightened One, is the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of people faithful to all schools of Buddhism.UNESCO lists this nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar as a World Heritage Site. The main attraction of Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden which spread over 8sq km, possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike.
Most popular of them are- Peace Pagoda, Lumbini Garden, Maya Devi Temple, Tara Foundation, World China Temple, Thai Monastery, Burmese (Myanmar) Temple, Nepal Buddha Temple and Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery are the major attractions of Lumbini.
Archaeological Zone In The Sacred Garden
It is the beautiful area around the Asoka pillar where you can spend time in peace relaxing and wondering around. The main archaeological site, where the Mayadevi Shrine was located is being excavated. So far archaeologists have found many items from there of which two are very significant: Marker stone of the Buddha’s birth spot and an oldest terracotta image of the Buddha when he was about to leave palace in search of Enlightenment. These archaeological items are kept in the temporary archaeological office at the site.
The Eternal World Peace Flame
The eternal World Peace Flame is a major attraction of the Lumbini garden located at the centre of the garden. Tourists flock to observe the flame that is kept glowing uninterrupted 24 hours a day. The flame that represents peace and fraternity in the world was brought from the United States of America as part of the celebration of the International Peace Year
The Great Drigung Kagyud Lotus Stupa(German Monastery)
The truly extravagant stupa is one of the most beautiful buildings in lumbini which was constructed by the German Tara Foundation. The domed ceiling of the main prayer room is covered in Buddhist murals. This stupa is not only religiously important but also carries history with it. The stupa was built under the guidance and supervision of two great Rinpoche’s. One can see the beautiful combinations of gold, wood and carvings. The roof of the stupa has the carving of a few Buddhist teachings that spreads the message of non-violence and world peace. One can see regular studies and practices of Yoga and meditation being carried on by the Rinpoche’s in this stupa. It is believed that the Rinpoche’s, who run and take care of the Stupa, have to stay in the premises and continue preaching.
Holy Bodhi Tree
This Bodhi tree is located opposite the Mayadevi pond in Lumbini. "Bodhi Tree", which is also known as Bo, is actually a term used for the very old fig tree where The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, is said to have sat under when he achived spiritual enlightenment in India. Such a stage of enlightenment is known as Bodhi.
Today the term Bodhi Tree has been given to several important trees in Buddhism. It is said that the term Bo Gaha in Sinhalese means "Tree of Widom". The Bodhi tree in Lumbini is often confused with a Sal or Ashokan tree that Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to the Buddha under.
Zhong Hua Chinese Buddhist Monastery
This elegant monastery is one of the most impressive structures at Lumbini. Reached through a gateway flanked by Confucian deities, the elegant pagoda-style monastery looks like something from the Forbidden City.
Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery
Close to the north end of the pond, this stunning and imposing wat(Thai-style monastery) is built from gleaming white marble.
Myanmar Golden Temple
The Myanmar Golden Temple is one of the oldest structures in the compound. This place is highly recommend to the visitor’s for a short stop. There are three prayer halls – the most impressive is topped by a corncob-shaped shikhara (tower), styled after the temples of Bagan. Within the temple grounds is the nearby is the Lokamani Pula Pagoda, a huge gilded stupa in the southern Burmese style, inspired by the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon.
World Peace Stupa
The World Peace Stupa was constructed at Lumbini to spread the message of peace, friendship and goodwill in the world and to raise awareness to keep the earth pure and clean. The 41.5 m tall stupa is one of the major attractions of Lumbini. The stupa was constructed as part of the campaign by Japanese Buddhist preacher Fujing to construct World Peace Stupa in different parts of world.
"Eco-monastery is an effort to save the ancient arts and wisdom, to highlight the importance of our gentleness to the earth, and to promote a sense of peace and unity for all, Architecturally, unlike many other monasteries, this one will be a modern hybrid monastery. It is a chaitya based on the ancient Indian work of Shariputra's stupa found at Nalanda University, and also incorporates Nepalese architecture, which is then beautified by Tibetan artworks." said Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche.
Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, is the high-ranking lama leading the project and a Harvard graduate, is known for being one of the first lamas to earn a Western Ph.D.
Maya Devi temple, Ashoka pillar, Pushkarni pond
One can see Maya Devi temple, the place where Maya Devi gave birth to the lord Buddha. An Ashoka pillar, which has inscriptions identifying the spot as the birthplace, ruins of ancient stupas and monasteries. Recent excavations have turned up a stone bearing a “foot imprint”, indicating the exact place of birth. Pushkarni pond where Queen Mayadevi took bath before giving birth. The International Gautami Nuns temple is also found here which is a replica of the Swayambhu stupa in Kathmandu.