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Monuments around Lumbini

Abhishek Subedi June 13, 2020

Lumbini is the place of many temples, monasteries and monuments. It is the birthplace of the Lord Gautam Buddha ” Light of Asia”. This place is truly known for its religious and historical significance. You can bless yourself with the spiritual and good energy residing in the place. As the place itself carries great historical significance, the surrounding heritage has increased the beauty of the place even more. The visitors can witness the beauty of the different arts and architectures of several countries. You can even get close to the history of the Lord Gautam Buddha. . Lumbini is the Buddhist pilgrimage located in the Rupandehi district of Province number 5 in Nepal. It is the major tourist attraction of the country with many temples and historical monuments. 

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. 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.

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. 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.

Monuments around Lumbini

Each of these monuments  have their own significance and values. Numbers of tourists visit these monuments to observe the arts, handicrafts and its religious values.

1. Bodhi tree

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.

Monuments around Lumbini

The significance of this tree is because of the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya where Buddha attained enlightenment and liberation from delusions, anger, and self-indulgence. The entire journey of Buddha’s life is often associated with the tree – right from the time he abdicated his throne, became an ascetic, achieved enlightenment and taught about his observations till his death. The Bodhi Tree is, therefore, considered immensely significant in Buddhism.

2. Maya Devi Pond

Maya Devi Pond is the beautiful pond surrounded by the wall and staircase of the bright red bricks. 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. Also known as Puskarini, this is where Gautama Buddha’s mother – Maya Devi – used to bathe. In fact, Lord Buddha’s first bathing was done in this pond. A grand temple now takes the location where Buddha was born, and the Maya Devi pond is located right in front of the shrine. On special occasions, the steps around the pond are illuminated with oil lamps after sundown to worship the sacred place.

Monuments around Lumbini

3. World Peace Pagoda

World Peace Pagoda is an early 21st century monument, a symbol of peace and a famous tourist attraction in Lumbini. This stupa is also known by the name Japan Peace Stupa. The pagoda is located outside the main compound of the Heritage Site. It has the glorious stupa structure with the traditional pagoda style architecture. This monument was constructed by Japanese Buddhist at the total cost of 1 million US dollars.

Monuments around Lumbini

It is painted in bright white colour with the golden Buddha statue. The majestic structure has a dome in the centre that can be reached by climbing one of the two flights of stairs leading to it. On the second level of pagoda, there’s a corridor encircling the dome. The Symbol of Peace is open all days of the week. It lets you explore, learn and get inspired to walk the path of non- violence and to live life in unity.

4. Lumbini Museum

Located inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Sacred Garden Area, Lumbini Museum displays about 12000 artifacts including religious manuscripts, metal sculptures, Terra cottas, coins from Maurya and Khusana dynasty and stamps from all over the world depicting Lumbini. Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), located opposite the Lumbini Museum, provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general. This museum was built in the 1970s and is now reimagined by architect Kris Yao from Taiwan and his team.

Monuments around Lumbini

5.Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar

Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha VIhar is the Buddhist Gompa located inside the heritage site of the Lumbini. This religious Buddhist Gompa belongs to the Sakyapa order. It was established by His Eminence Chogya Trichen Rinpoche. The immense peace and tranquility of the site makes it a perfect place for meditation and quiet introspection. It has a big hall where visitors can witness the views of monks meditating and chanting a Buddhist prayer. You can also indulge in the peaceful and harmonious sound of the Buddhist music. Every day, Tara Pooja is performed by the 600 monks residing in the monastery.

Monuments around Lumbini

6. Manang Samaj Stupa

Manang Samaj Stupa is a chorten created by Buddhists from Manang in Northern part of Nepal. This monument is said to be one of the oldest Stupas in Nepal. The construction of the monument is said to be done during the birth of Gautam Buddha in 600 BC. There is a golden Buddha Statue in the middle of this building and is surrounded by colorful murals. At present, this attraction is believed that it will go under renovation soon.

Monuments around Lumbini

7. Thrangu Vajra Vidya Monastery

Thrangu Vajra Vidya Monastery is a monastery in Lumbini that is dedicated to Thrangu Rinpoche. He believed in the teachings of Buddha, building his principles on peace, knowledge and unity. This monastery is one of the institutions established by him and is one of the few that actively support education in Nepal. From a very young age, Thrangu Rinpoche started establishing institutes for Buddhist studies. Today, this monastery has a number of students who are aspiring monks.There are also many events that take place at the monastery where seminars, speeches and ceremonies are held on a regular basis. He has also established here a number of institutions that are situated in different countries such as England, the US as well as Canada. Thrangu Vajra Vidya Monastery is an ode to Thragu Rinpoche and is a great attraction in Lumbini.

Monuments around Lumbini

8. Lumbini Crane Sanctuary

The big and great Lumbini garden in Nepal is now a sanctuary for cranes. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 6 kilometers and consists of the ruins of the palace of Tilaurakot where Lord Gautam Buddha spent 29 years of his life.  It is one of the most unique attractions in Nepal and is definitely worth a visit. This crane sanctuary aims at protecting the endangered Sarus Cranes in and around the wetlands of this area by creating a local community for their protection and to restore their natural habitat while creating an education facility around this conversation.

Monuments around Lumbini

It is believed that Gautam Buddha fought for the preservation of this bird, around 2500 years ago, and the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary wishes to continue his noble mission.Along with the Sarus Cranes, one may get a chance to see the antelope-like blue bull. Hence, for those who are interested in Buddhism or wildlife conservation, must visit this attraction.

The Lumbini consists of the many important and religious monuments which carry the great traditional and historical values.

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