The Birthplace of Lord Buddha: Top 10 facts about Lumbini

Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha

The Birthplace of Lord Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. Now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage center; where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.

The Maya Devi Temple

The main temple at Lumbini:; the Maya Devi Temple; is a site; traditionally considered the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. The temple stands adjacent to a sacred pool known as Puskarini and a sacred garden. The archaeological remains at the site; were previously dated to the third; century BCE brick buildings constructed by; the Indian emperor- Ashoka. A sixth-centu; BCE timber shrine was; also discovered in 2013.

i bathed before giving birth to the Buddha. Dotted around the grounds are the ruined foundations of a number of brick stupas and monasteries dating from the 2nd century BC to the 9th century AD. Inside the Maya Devi Complex; is a small landscaped garden area that; consists of the Maya Devi Temple, a pool of water; the Ashokan pillar and the sacred Bodhi tree.

There are drawings depicting his birth inside the temple. The current temple was built; to protect the older temple under it.

 Top 10 facts about Lumbini
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini, Nepal

The Asoka Pillar

This Ashoka Pillar is located in Lumbini close to the Indian border. It is one of many stone pillars built by; the Indian Emperor Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC. Today; only 19 pillars remain that have inscriptions; most of which are found in India. The one located in Lumbini; holds a particular importance as it; is the oldest inscription found in Nepal. It also commemorate Ashoka;s visit to Buddha’s birthplace after he converted to Buddhism.

The Ashokan Pillar; in The Birthplace of Lord Buddha stands at 6M & is made from pink sandstone. The pillar was lost; until 1896 when a team of Nepalese archaeologists rediscovered it. What might seem like just a commemorative pillar by a long dead King actually has quite an intricate linage and historical standing.

Ashoka was an Indian Emperor who ruled nearly all of the Indian sub-continent. The link with Nepal; is routed during the brutal Kalinga war where; over one hundred thousand of Ashoka’s troops died. Based on political and economic expansion of the Muaryan Empire, the war started prior to the Muaryan dynasty in India. On Ashoka’s 8th year as king, he set about conquering Kalinga.

Ashoka’s army

Over 400,000 of Ashoka’s army went against over the 60,000 Kalingan army in the war. The casualties resulted in the death of 100,000 soldiers on Ashoka’s side. The war was brutal, and resulted in the Daya River turning red with blood. Over 100K people were; deported following the war. The Kalingan war remains one of the most important wars in world history.

The sheer scale of the bloodshed, which Ashoka believed he was the cause of, prompted him to follow Buddhism and devote the rest of his life to Ahimsa (non-violence) and to Dharma-Vijaya (victory through Dharma).

Ashoka ended the military expansion of the Muaryan Empire which continued on with nearly 40 years of relative peace and prosperity after the war. The Muaryan dynasty lasted fifty more years after Ashoka died. While most of the Ashoka’s accomplishments would have disappeared into history; credit is given to him for recording much of his life. This came in the form of many pillars and boulders with inscriptions written onto them. Ashoka said; to have visited Lumbini around 249 BC.

The Sacred Pond

The sacred pond called Puskarini is where legend says Maya Devi bathed before giving birth.  During the twilight and late evenings, the pond gives off a nice reflection of the Maya Devi Temple, making it look ethereal in the religious ambiance.

The Famous Bodhi Tree

Additionally there are the excavated remains of Buddhist viharas (monasteries) of the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD and the remains of Buddhist stupas (memorial shrines) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD.  where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of Lord Buddha form a central feature.

The archaeological remains of the Buddhist viharas (monasteries) and stupas (memorial shrines) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD, provide important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centers from a very early period in Lumbini.

The buffer zone gives the property a further layer of protection.

Along with that, there is also the Flame of Eternal Peace. The flame has been burning since 1986.

Top 10 facts about The Birthplace of Lord Buddha

  1. Lumbini during the birth of Lord Buddha (623 BC); Was a beautiful garden which was; commonly maintained by the Sakya of Kapilvastu; and Koilya of Devadaha
  2. After the death of the Buddha, the beautiful garden of Lumbini changed into a place of pilgrimage
  3. Emperor Asoka made a Royal Pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, Lumbini in 249 BC. Here he worshipped the birth-spot of the Buddha and left behind many monuments to propagate the Dhamma. Asoka erected the pillar with an inscription to commemorate his visit.
  4. Lumbini; Have rediscovered in 1st December 1896 by Dr; Fuhrer (German) and Khadga Shumsher Rana (a Nepali scholar). They excavated the Lumbini mound and exposed the Asoka Pillar and discovered famous inscription mentioning the Birthplace of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Lumbini
  5. In 1933-39 General Kesher Shumsher conducted a major excavation at Lumbini. He exposed structures by unscientific methods that resulted in the great damage to the site. He enlarged the Sakya pool with a series of steps and a brick perimeter.

The Birthplace of Lord Buddha

6. On the occasion of the 4th General Conference of The World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Kathmandu in 1956. The participants felt the urgency of the need to restore the Sacred garden of The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.

7. The international committee; for the development of Lumbini was; formed in New York in 1970. The committee awarded consultancy to design a Master plan for Lumbini to the world-renowned architect Prof. Kenzo Tange from Japan.

8. In 1997; Lumbini; was listed in the list of world;s heritage sites.

9. Before he passed away in Kusinara, Lord Buddha said; This (Lumbini) place is where the Tathagata was born; this is a place which should be; visited and seen by a person having faith; devotion and mindfulness which would cause the awareness and apprehensive nature of impermanence.”

10. Today pilgrims and visitors from all over the world come to Lumbini, the timeless place where ancient monuments mark the authenticity of the birthplace.

The Other Sacred Sites of the Lord Buddha

  • A) Siddhartha Gautam (Lord Buddha) was born in Lumbini.
  • B) At the age of 29, he took the great renunciation
  • C) At the age of 35; he was; enlightened in Bodhgaya
  • D) He preached for the first time at Sarnath
  • E) And at the age of 80, he passed away in Kusinara.
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