Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam. 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 at Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden, which spread over 8sq km and possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. Here we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, Buddha’s mother giving birth to him. Standing west to the Mayadevi shrine is the oldest monument of Nepal, the Ashoka Pillar. Emperor Ashoka erected the pillar in 249 B.C. to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond, Puskarni, where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to Lord Buddha.
There are other places of interest too nearby. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to Bhairawa. From Kathmandu it takes about eight hours by bus or car.