Lumbini Today
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Lumbini Today

Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha is situated in southern Nepal. It is a matter of pride for all Nepalese that the Buddha was born into this world about 2600 years ago. Famous dignitaries like Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) from Pataliputra, India, King Ripu Malla from the Khasa kingdom of far west Nepal (14th century), Fa-hien (5th century) and Hiuen Tsang (7th century) from China made pilgrimage to this holy site and left their marks behind. This holy site remained deserted for a long time until it was dLumbini todayiscovered and brought to light. One hundred and two years ago on December 1, 1896, the famous Ashokan Stone Pillar was discovered in a neglected state at the Lumbini Garden, the site where the Buddha was born. Later exploration and excavation on the site have yielded valuable archaeological remains dating back to 3rd century BC. The most significant of all findings is the Marker Stone showing the exact birth-spot of the Buddha. In recognition of the archaeological and historical sanctity of this site, Lumbini was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997.

Lumbini is situated about 300 km in south west of Kathmandu and 22 km away from present Siddharthanagar (Bhairahawa) Municipality. It is 27 km east from the ruins of King Suddhodhana’s palace in Kapilavastu, Tilaurakot.

In the past, when people visited Lumbini the most obvious sites were the Ashokan pillar, pond, Mayadevi shrine and archaeological ruins around it. Seeing those ruins in the middle of the open fields really make people think of law of impermanence as the Buddha’s message. However in present Lumbini one can see more than these ruins. It has transformed to be one of the Buddhist Centre of the world. The proposed Master Plan for the development of Lumbini which was finalised and approved by the United Nations and the government of Nepal in 1978 is taking its shape slowly, although it has been a few decades since it was started. Because of these recent developments, one can imagine how Lumbini is going to look in future according to the vision of the famous Japanese architect Professor Kenzo Tange. There are a lot to see and do when you visit Lumbini now. 

The Master Plan covers an area of three square miles on north south and encompasses three zones each covering one square mile (2.56 sq. Kms.). The three zones are united by a 1.474-meter long walkway and a canal. The zones are: a) the Sacred Garden Zone b) the Monastic Zone and c) the New Lumbini Village.

The heart of the design is the Sacred Garden located in the southern part. The ultimate objective of the design here is to create an atmosphere of spirituality, peace, universal brotherhood and non-violence consistent with the time and Buddha’s message to the world. The Sacred Garden shelters the ancient monuments at the centre in a freshly restored atmosphere of serene and lush forest all around the complex. In keeping with the goal of the protecting sites of archaeological significance, no new construction is permitted in the sacred area surrounded by a pond and the circular levee.

The Monastic Zone is situated in the forest area north of the Sacred Garden. Divided by a canal, there are East and West Monastic Enclaves having 42 plots each allotted for new monasteries of Theravada and Mahayana traditions of Buddhism. Nearby, across the central link bridge, a research centre, a library, an auditorium and a museum provide facilities for research and study on Buddhism.

The Northern part of the site is being developed as the New Lumbini Village which is also a gateway to the outer world where the visitors can find comfortable lodges and restaurants offering high standard facilities.

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