Lumbini

Lumbini is the sacred site of the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is located in southern Nepal, near the Indian border and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The temple over the spot where the Buddha was supposedly born

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In the Buddha’s time, Lumbini was a park situated in Kapilavastu Nepal. It was in Lumbini that the Buddha was born. A pillar now marks the spot of Asoka’s visit to Lumbiní. According to an inscription on the pillar, it was placed there by the people then in charge of the park to commemorate Asoka’s visit and gifts. The park was previously known as Rummindei, two miles north of Bhagavanpura.

In the Sutta Nipáta (vs. 683) it is stated that the Buddha was born in a village of the Sákyans, in the Lumbineyya Janapada. The Buddha stayed in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha and there preached the Devadaha Sutta.

The closest airport is at Bhairahawa (also known as Sidhhartha Nagar) (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu. Other airports serving more destinations include Gorakhpur and Faizabad in India.

Actually there is no railwaystation in Nepal near Lumbini. You can take taxi to reach it at low cost. The closest station is in Nautanwa, India on the Indian Railway network, but passenger trains are infrequent on this line. The alternative of taxi travel from the border crossing at Sunauli to Gorakhpur takes about two hours. From Sunauli, Siddharthanagar is only 3.5 kilometres. Total travel time is 12 – 18 hours from Dehli and 10 – 12 hours from Kolkata (Calcutta). The Mahaparinirvan Express tourist train stops in Gorakhpur where tourists continue to Lumbini by road.

Buses ply the route between Sunauli, from the stop across from Hotel Yeti, and Lumbini. At Lumbini alight at the main gate. Alternatively, from the Nepal side of the border one can take a shared jeep to Bhairahawa (4 kilometres) followed by a bus to Lumbini. Bhairahawa-Lumbini buses depart every 15 minutes. The last return bus departs at 17:00.

Buses also run from Kathmandu, Pokhara, Gorakhpur and Varanasi to Sunauli. Gorakhpur to Sunauli state transport buses are reasonably frequent.

Taxis are probably the best option for reaching Lumbini from Sunauli, though you will need to know the going rate to avoid paying well over the odds. As everywhere else in the sub-continent, ensure that the fare has been agreed before heading out. This will save trouble at the destination.You can use the taxi from Butwal and take the south way along with Tamnaghar,Semlar, Puraini, Manmateriya and you will reach Lumbini. It will take 2 dollar or 200 NRs from Butwal to reach Lumbini.

Given that the sights in Lumbini are far across, bicycles and cycle rickshaws offer a good way to get around. Bicycles can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (100 NRs/day), as well as the Korean monastery provided you are staying there. Bicycles are also available near the main gate next to the cycle rickshaw stand. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles. Also check the condition of the seat and the lock.

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