Saturday, December 29, 2007

Maya Devi temple, Ashoka pillar, Pushkarni pond - Lumbini



Shakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini, , twenty-five hundred years ago....

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.

Lumbini Museum

Lumbini Museum, Lumbini International Research Institute, and Kapilvastu Museum (situated 27km west of Lumbini in Tilaurakot) are other places to see in this region. The Kapilvastu museum has ruins of ancient capital of Sakya kingdom where the Buddha spet his his youth as Prince Siddhartha.

Visit Sacred Garden in morning. It is spread over 8 sq.km and possesses all the treasures of the historic area. Today as part of the global initiative to promote Lumbini, many countries have built or are building temples, monasteries or stupas near the Sacred Garden in the International Monastery Zone. Temples or shrines that have finished their construction so far are Myanmar Temple, International Gautami Nuns Temple, China Temple, The Nepal Buddha Temple and the Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihara.

Gotihawa is in the Kapilvastu district, about 31 kilometers west of Lumbini. Gotihawa is regarded a very important religious place for Buddhists all over the world. It is believed that Krakuchanda Buddha, who came before Sakyamuni Buddha, was born and attained nirvana in Gotihawa.

Kudan is in about four and a half kilometers south of Tilaurakot. It is where King Suddhodhana met Lord Buddha.

Niglihawa is situated about 32 kilometers northwest of Lumbini. Emperor Ashoka visited Niglisagar during his pilgrimage, built a stupa and set up a pillar. It is believed that the Kanakmuni Buddha, who came earlier than Shakyamuni Buddha, was born, enlightened, and met his father in this place.

The Ramgram Kingdom was 60 kilometers to the east of the holy place of the Buddha's birth. The King of Ramgram Kingdom was one of the eight Kings who obtained Buddha's relics and he also built a pagoda, which is named Ramgram Pagoda.

Sagarhawa is in the northwest of Niglihawa. This site has been identified by archeologists as the "Palace of massacre of the Shakyas."

Tilaurakot is about 25 kilometers west of Lumbini that extends over an area of two and half miles. Tilaurakot is the exact site of ancient Kapilvastu due to its general consonance of local bearings and geographical conditions as described in the Buddhist texts and travel accounts of Chinese pilgrims.

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