Jun 16, 2012

Lumbini in Nepal

Lumbini in Nepal
Lumbini map
Lumbini Map 
Lumbini is the traditional birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, who was born in the 7th or 6th century BC. According to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi (or Mayadevi) gave birth to the Buddha on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha in the month of May in the year 642 BC. Feeling the onset of labor pains, she grabbed hold of the branches of a shade tree and gave birth to Siddharta Gautama, the future Buddha. The Buddha is said to have announced, "This is my final rebirth" as he entered the world. Buddhist tradition also has it that he walked immediately after his birth and took seven steps, under each of which a lotus flower bloomed. In 249 BC, the Buddhist convert Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and constructed four stupas and a stone pillar. Ashoka's Pillar bears an inscription that translates as: "King Piyadasi (Ashoka), beloved of devas, in the 20 year of the coronation, himself made a royal visit, Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here, a stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected to the Bhagavan ["blessed one"] having been born here. Lumbini village was taxed reduced and entitled to the eight part (only)".

Places to see in Lumbini

Maya Devi Temple
The red-bricked temple, known as Maya Devi Temple, is not only important from the beauty perspective, but also carries a remarkable history with it. It is respected so, because Maya Devi gave birth to Lord Buddha at this place. There is a marked stone inside the temple that stands for the exact spot of Buddha's birth. Along with that, one can see Buddha’s footprints as well at that place. People believed that Maya Devi took a bath in the pond, Pushkarani, situated in the temple, before she went into her labor-pains. Also, the infant Buddha was given a purification bath in the same pond after he was born. Henceforth, that pond is considered as a holy pond.
The temple has stood ignored for years and years, until it caught the eye of the preservers. The interiors of the temple are still unadulterated and one can see the ancient walls (half-standing) and the staircase and the roof made of that old-red-huge-bricks and red-bricked tiles. It seems as if the temple is not ready to let go of that glorious past and history.

The Ashokan Pillar
The Ashokan Pillar, standing proudly near Maya Devi Temple, war erected by King Ashoka. It is believed that the king visited this place personally and built this pillar as a tribute to Lord Buddha’s birth place. Not only did he erect the pillar but also gifted an inscription to it, which later on became the proof of his physical presence at the place. As a respect to the place, the king engraved on the pillar that Lumbini will stay a tax-free site forever and it still enjoys that respect.
For years and years, this pillar was lost in the sands of time. But then, it was rediscovered by the governor of Palpa, Khadga Shumsher Rana. The pillar is fenced by iron rods, that seem to protect it. Pilgrims offer prayer flags and banners to the pillar and tie them to the boundary of the rods. The Ashokan pillar is circled by multiple sets of round-staired podiums that contain bowls of incense. The pilgrims contribute to the bowl with their share of incense and sit there for some time to meditate

Pushkarni Pond
This is the pond where Mahamaya Devi is said to have bathed before she gave birth to Buddha. Not only this, infant Buddha was given a purification bath after he took birth. It is a sacred pond and is revered by the Buddhists, one should be watchful of showing appropriate respect.
The water in the pond is believed to have medicinal properties as well. The people with skin problems are believed to be cured of their disease here.

Zhong Hua Chinese Pagoda
This Chinese Pagoda, also known as Zhong Hua Pagoda, was built by the Chinese government to keep the motto of the world peace alive. This Pagoda is one of the most beautifully carved buildings in Lumbini. Apart from owning a huge statue of Laughing Buddha, it also houses a few of the symbolic things. One can see statues displaying Chinese art and culture- a few of them holding a sword to represent the unique fighting style, and a few holding the musical instruments. The Pagoda also houses a symbolic bell, that is to be rung only on the special occasions. A huge drum, known as Dhamphu, is kept in the corner. These kinds of drums were used in the olden days whenever people were supposed to gather at one place.
The Pagoda is centered in the lush green grass and beautiful landscapes. The statue of Lord Buddha, with his hands joined, offers a warm welcome to its tourists.

World Peace Pagoda
Built in 2001, this World Peace Pagoda was built for two reasons and both the reasons are closely related. Built as a tribute to Buddha's birth place, it also stands for the world peace. This pagoda spreads the message to rise above caste, creed, religion and nationality and be united as one. It inspires people, as Lord Buddha did, to live and let live peacefully.
The glistening statue of Lord Buddha is built in such a way that it reminds one of a new born child. Also, at the base of the pagoda lies a grave of the Buddhist monk who was killed by a few Anti-Buddhist people when this Pagoda was being built.
The white-coloured domed building and a long stone-paved path leading to the staircase with the golden statue of Lord Buddha at the entrance adds more peace to this peaceful place. There is another golden statue of Lord Buddha, seated on a lotus, at the back side of the Pagoda. The place inspires a lot of people to spread world peace.

Drigung Kagyud Lotus Stupa (German Temple)
This stupa is not only religiously important but also carries history with it. The stupa was built under the guidance and supervision of two great Rinpoches. One can see the beautiful combinations of gold, wood and carvings. The roof of the stupa has the carving of a few Buddhist teachings that spreads the message of non-violence and world peace.
Once in every year, a congregation is seen in great number, sometimes touching nine thousand. On this day, His Highness himself visits the place and delivers the message of peace and unity.
Apart from this, one can see regular studies and practices of Yoga and meditation being carried on by the Rinpoches in this stupa. It is believed that the Rinpoches, who run and take care of the Stupa, have to stay in the premises and continue preaching.

Pushkarini Holy Pond
This is the pond where Mahamaya Devi is said to have bathed before she gave birth to Buddha. Not only this, infant Buddha was given a purification bath after he took birth. It is a sacred pond and is revered by the Buddhists, one should be watchful of showing appropriate respect.
The water in the pond is believed to have medicinal properties as well. The people with skin problems are believed to be cured of their disease here.

Wat Thai Temple (Royal Thai Monastery)
The glistening white marble, the Thai styled architecture and the beautiful carvings make this temple one of the must visit sites in Lumbini. This temples gives the feel of 'Wonderland' except the fact that only Alice is not allowed here. It is built on a raised ground, that is fenced by a beautiful landscape.
The Temple, being the only Thai temple is the country, sees around 50,000 visitors every year. The 10 monks, who stay in the premises, work religiously to preach the teachings of Lord Buddha and to facilitate the visit of their pilgrims. They also make special arrangements for sick old people and handicaps. The place is said to bless the disabled and helpless people. So pilgrims come with a great hope and spend days here curing themselves. It also houses meditation and yoga hours where people are inspired to find inner peace.
Respecting the faith and dedication of the pilgrims, the temple has now multiplied its facilities. Free cataract operations and other surgeries are done here by the specialists.
The temple serves many purposes- religious, medical and spiritual and emotional.

Vietnam Pagoda (Vietnam Temple)
Vietnam Pagoda, a beautiful building in red and white that spreads in four acres, has emerged from a very strong belief of a Vietnamese Monk, Dieu. He has always wanted to build a Pagoda on the land of the great birth and enlightenment. His faith signaled him green only the day when two huge 'Saras Cranes', from nowhere, landed in his monastery for shelter. He never knew that those were the endangered species and were in the need of the protection. But as soon he came to know that, he felt as if God is indicating him to go to the sacred land of Nepal and save the extincting principals and roots of Buddhism. This is how this Pagoda was built.
This Pagoda spreads the message of peace, humanity and moral righteousness to the people. It also makes huge donations to the poor and needy. The monk, who has homed himself here, travels far and wide to spread the message of Lord Buddha.
The Pagoda is built in Vietnamese style, with its roofs and borders turning inside like the petals of lotus. A lotus pond at the entrance of the temple, and a small bridge flying across the pond to the main gate, compel one to like the place immediately. The Pagoda is decorated with brown sheltered corridors that lead to the adjoining parts of the building.
This place also helps one find his inner peace through meditation.

Myanmar Temple (Myanmar Pagoda)

Korea Temple (Korea Pagoda)

Lumbini Museum and LIRI

Sri Lanka Pagoda (Sri lanka Temple)

Sokyo Japanese Temple

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