Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a small town in the southern Terai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be seen. At the age of 80, he left this world with thousands of followers to keep Buddhism alive. Lumbini has since been a holy ground for Buddhists all over the world. The restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. An important part of Lumbini is the temple of Maya Devi. It has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch.
Many monuments, monasteries and a museum and the Lumbini International Research Institute are also within the heritage site. Also, there is the Pushkarini or the Holy Pond where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth where he had his first bath. There numbers of temples and monasteries inside the heritage area spread all over the area. These temples in Lumbini have helped to represent the arts and architectures of each different country. Visitors have to hire the rickshaw to roam around these temples as they are spread all around the place. These temples give you an opportunity to admire the designs and arts of the monasteries. Lumbini has a number of older temples and many new temples that have been completed or are under construction funded by different Buddhist organizations from around the world.
It is the major tourist attraction of the country with many temples and historical monuments. You can witness the spiritual power lingering around the area which will provide you with the feelings of peace and harmony. The monks reciting the prayers and melodious Buddhist music is another key point of the place which has added extra beauty and peaceful environment. It is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha. The place has a number of older temples, including the Mayadevi temple and various new temples funded by Buddhist organizations from various countries.
You will have a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley which takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. Including AM: Visit 2000 years old Buddhist shrine Swayambhunath, situated on the top of the hill west of the city the most popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is colloquially known as the “Monkey Temple”. There are many small buildings and shrines down the hillside behind Swayambhunath.
Explore the colorful Kathmandu Durbar Square – The Old Royal Palace of Kathmandu, Temple of living goddess Kumari, the Jagannath temple, and 17th century temple known for colorfully painted erotic carvings, Kasthmandap temple a three story temple built from a single tree in 12th century. Visit Pashupatinath temple, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the World. The holy river Bagmati and the burning Ghats and also visit one of the oldest and biggest stupa of Boudhanath.
Early morning we will take one hour flight to Lumbini and visit Maya Devi temple, the archaeological reserve of Buddha’s birthplace including Lumbini Gardens, where Buddha conducted his teachings; we also will see Asoka Pillar and a number of other Buddhist related monuments; we will take the rickshaw ride to visit the monastic district. Maya Devi Pond is the beautiful pond surrounded by the wall and staircase of the bright red bricks. Moreover, the pond is located right in front of the Maya Devi Temple in the heritage site. It is a square-shaped structure with steps all around to ascend to the water level.
The Bodhi tree in Lumbini is located in the premises of the Maya Devi Temple complex right to the shrine on the banks of the serene Maya Devi Pond. Buddhist monks often sit under the tree meditating and chanting spiritual scripts. The tree is an age old Peepal tree of Ficus Religiosa clad in colorful prayer flags. Locals believe that wishes made while tying colorful prayer flags around the tree are often granted. So you can see the many visitors tying the colorful flags around the tree. During the Buddha Jayanti many monks meditate and chant the prayers under the tree facing the Maya Devi Temple and pay their devotions to the Lord Gautam Buddha.
Lumbini is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha. This historical place was made a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997. The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, no other structures such as shops, hotels or restaurants can be constructed around there. Similarly, this has helped to preserve the beauty of the place as the religious and historical site. It is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravada monasteries and the western has Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. There is a long water filled canal separating the western and eastern zones, with the series of brick arch bridges joining the two sides along the length.
There are many striking monuments in Lumbini with the great religious and traditional values. Many of them carry great significance in the history of Nepal. You can witness these monuments with close observation and clean your disturbed soul with the peaceful, harmonious and spiritual environment. Moreover, you will Have to hire a rickshaw to roam around the heritage sites. You can witness many temples and monasteries around the sites. Moreover, these temples represent many countries from all round the world and their devotion to the Lord Gautam Buddha. You will be spending your whole day exploring the monuments and temples around the Lumbini Heritage Site.
Early in the morning we visited Tilaurakot, where Buddha spent 29 years of his sheltered life as a young prince unaware of poverty and suffering outside the palace walls. We return to the hotel for breakfast and drive to Chitwan for a jungle safari program. Similarly, the safari program includes many activities conducted over two days. Moreover, park rangers will schedule all activities. We finish the day enjoying sunset over the river and a drink in the bar located at the river banks.
Second day of jungle safari activities will include elephant bathing, elephant riding. And the opportunity to close encounters with these magnificent and highly intelligent creatures. Similarly, you will be able to come close to elephants and interact with them including touching and patting. Similarly, you will be amazed with their dexterity, gentleness and intelligence. You will be able to bathe in the river with the elephant. While riding elephants through the jungle we will hope to see rhinos, maybe tigers, dears, giant pythons and more. Rangers also arrange other activities such as nature walks, canoeing and bird watching.
We will catch a morning flight back to Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel in Thamel, with which you should be familiar. This will be a day for your shopping in Thamel and personal discoveries of interesting corners, nooks and crannies in touristy but charming Thamel. Similarly, you can stroll to nearby Durbar Square.
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