mbini" width="214" height="125" align="right" />Gautama Buddha lived between approximately 563 BC and 483 BC. One of the four main pilgrimage sites for the Buddhists, Lumbini was set during the lifetime of Gautama Buddha. The other three such places are Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath. It is Lumbini where Buddha grew up and lived till the age of 29. There are various Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Lumbini including the Mayadevi temple. There are also the remains of Kapilavastu palace and the Puskarini pond in Lumbini which are worth a sight.
In the time of the Buddha, Lumbini was a park situated between Kapilavastu and Devadaha. It was the place where the Buddha was born. Ashoka is said to have visited Lumbiní and that spot is now, marked with a pillar. According to an inscription on the pillar, in order to commemorate Asoka's visit and gifts, it was placed there by the people then in charge of the park. The park was previously known as Rummindei, two miles north of Bhagavanpura.
According to the Sutta Nipáta (religious text of the Buddists), Buddha is said to be born in a village of the Sákyans, in the Lumbineyya Janapada. The Buddha preeched the Devadaha Sutta in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha.
In 1896, Nepalese archaeologists discovered a great stone pillar at the site, attributed to Emporer Ashoka. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.
Lumbini, at present:
Lumbini, as of 1997, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site specifically nominated for the international World Heritage program. The holy site of Lumbini is circumscribed by a large monastic zone, within which only monasteries can be built. Ant other establishments such as shops or hotels or restaurants cannot be set here. This zone is set in two parts- eastern and western monastic zone. The eastern zone posses the Theravadin monasteries and the western has the Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries.
The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacredBodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the precise place of birth of Buddha is located. From early morning to early evening, devotees from various countries make a pilgrimage tour to India. Pilgrims chant hymns and meditate at the site. In 1956 a Nepalese Buddhist temple was built and a Tibetan monastery of the Sakya order was completed in 1975. Many young monks study here and practice Buddha's teachings. Thus, they are perform two pious acts, helping to revive Lumbini as a place of Buddhist practice and preserve the great traditions lost in Tibet.