Lumbini lies towards the south of Nepal in Rupandehi, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Lumbini, or “The Lovely” in Sanskrit, is where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam Buddha. Buddhist pilgrims travel here regularly to pay their respects to Buddha, who was said to have lived between 623 and 543 BC.
Pilgrims frequent the grounds to pay homage within Maya Devi Temple at the exact spot where Buddha was born, and they wander the lush surrounds to admire many effigies of Buddha represented in varying stages of his life. Pilgrims and visitors also explore the nearby Tibetan temple where they find luxurious murals and mandala art painstakingly painted on the walls within.
The holy site, where Buddha was born, is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries. Nearby, the sacred Bodhi Tree is adorned in streams of prayer flags and offers a harmonious spot where Buddhist monks come to sit, pray and chant. Opposite lies the Holy Pond where Buddha’s mother bathed and where he was bathed after birth.
While Lumbini is an important pilgrimage site for many Buddhists, the charming grounds offer solace and opulent colour for those who are merely passing through.