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Things to do and Places to see in Lumbini

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Tue Feb 15, 2022
Maya Devi Temple

Lumbini, a homeland of Buddha, lies in the south-western of the Terai region of Nepal. This place is one of the sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites that holds great both historical and religious importance. From the magnificent Lumbini Museum to the Sacred Garden, visitors to this exotic city will discover a trove of spiritual, cultural, and historical treasures. One of the most explored places in Nepal, Lumbini attracts not only Buddhists but also people from different religions.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lumbini has an abundance of Buddhist monasteries built by several Buddhist countries worldwide and ancient stupas dating back to 2000 years. One of the important sites of Lumbini is the Mayadevi temple, which is considered the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Likewise, there are two zones- Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries in the western zone and Theravada monasteries in the eastern side. Lumbini is a sacred place where Maya Devi gave birth to the Buddha, and there are many inscriptions, bricks, and other evidence which proved it to be the birthplace. Also, in 1896 while rediscovering the process, Nepali archaeologists found the Ashoka Pillar, which confirmed the vital linkage between Buddha and Lumbini.

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Blessed with several ancient stupas, shrines, and monasteries depicting various stages of Buddha's life, Lumbini has a lot to offer to its visitors. To help you make the most of your time in this amazing city of Nepal, refer to our list of the top things to do in Lumbini.


Explore Lumbini Monastic Site

Without visiting the monasteries of Lumbini, your tour to Lumbini is incomplete. Lumbini Monastic Site includes several temples and monasteries where you will get an insight into the life of Gautam Buddha. No wonder there are several monasteries in Lumbini that purely follow Buddhist practices. While exploring the places, you'll also get a chance to understand the significance of Buddhism- the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautam Buddha. These elegant monasteries have impressive structures and reflect their unique version of Buddhism. There are two east and west monastic zone in the Lumbini.

West Monastic Zone

In the west monastic zone of Lumbini, there are some incredible monasteries showcasing aesthetic architecture here, and most of them are open for visitors. All monasteries have their design reflecting the various nations' different architectural and religious styles. But collectively, they create a wonderful collection of Buddhist sites. There are altogether 14 monasteries and two meditation centers in the zone.

South Korea's Dae Sung Shakya Temple is one of the tallest monasteries in Lumbini. While stepping inside each of the monasteries, you'll feel like getting into a different country. In the center of the west monastic zone, you'll find the beautiful lake surrounded by several incredible monasteries. The most eye-catching is the Great Lotus Stupa, sponsored by Germany. It has an attractive large garden with colorful decorations.

Here are a few monasteries you can visit in the West-Monastic Zone of Lumbini:

  • Urgen Dorjee Chholing Buddhist Centre, Singapore
  • French Buddhist Association, France
  • The Great Lotus Stupa (Tara Foundation), Germany
  • Drigung Kagyud Meditation Centre, Laddakh
  • The World Linh Son Buddhist Congregation, France
  • United Tungaram Buddhist Foundation, Nepal
  • Thrangu Vajra Vidhya Buddhist Foundation, Canada
  • Chinese Monastery, China
  • Drubgyud Chhoeling Monastery (Nepal Mahayana Temple)
  • Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu, Vietnam
  • Dae Sung Shakya Temple, South Korea
  • Geden International Monastery, Austria
  • Dharmodhaya Sabha Nepal (Swayambhu Mahavihara)
  • Pandirarama Lumbini International Meditation Center, Myanmar
  • Karma Samtenling Monastery, Nepal
  • Manang Samaj Stupa, Nepal

East Monastic Zone

Lumbini Monastic Zone also consists of the east monastic zone with several monasteries representing the Theravada (Hinayana) school of Buddhism. Different countries built and operated monasteries and offer several spiritual programs showcasing the local traditions to the visitors. While visiting this east zone, you'll experience some of the fascinating religious architecture of Asia.

One of the most captivating buildings is the Royal Thai Monastery, built from the shining white marble inspired by the great wats of Thailand. Next is the Myanmar Golden Temple, which looks is similar to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Likewise, Sri Lankan Monastery is surrounded by water and spread over several levels. The Mahabodhi Society Temple of India is small but contains several alluring images depicting the story of Lord Buddha.

Here are the lists of monasteries of the East Monastic Zone of Lumbini:

  • The Royal Thai Monastery, Thailand
  • Mahabodhi Society Temple of India
  • Dhamma Janani Vipassana Center, Nepal
  • International Gautami Nuns Temple, Nepal
  • Myanmar Golden Temple, Myanmar
  • Sri Lankan Monastery, Sri Lanka

Visit Lumbini Museum

Lumbini Museum is another exciting place to visit in Lumbini. Located inside the UNESCO Heritage Site of Sacred Garden area, it is an incredible place to explore where you can learn about Buddhist history. The museum displays about 12000 artifacts, including religious manuscripts, metal sculptures, terra cottas, and even coins collection from Maura and Khusana dynasties. You can explore the Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI) just opposite the museum. This place offers research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion.

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Maya Devi Temple And Sacred Garden

Maya Devi Temple is a notable landmark in Lumbini. It is also one of the ancient Buddhist temples, well-known as Gautam Buddha's birthplace. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which lies in the middle of the park grounds called Lumbini Development Zone. While exploring around the temple, you'll get a chance to witness a scared pool called Pushkarini and a scared garden.

The Bodhi Tree And Maya Devi Pond

Inside the Maya Devi Temple complex, there is the Bodhi tree. Under the Bodhi tree, Buddhist monks sit for meditation and chant spiritual scripts. This ancient Peepal tree is clad in colorful prayer flags. Local people believe that your desires are often granted if you tie the colorful prayer flag and make a wish. Also, in front of Maya Devi Temple, there is a large Maya Devi Pond where Queen Mayadevi took a bath before giving birth to the Lord Buddha. In this pond, Lord Buddha also bathes for the first time. On special occasions, the steps around the pond are illuminated with oil lamps to worship the sacred place.

Ashoka Pillar

Ashoka Pillar sits right next to the sacred Mayadevi Temple. In 249 BC, Emperor Asoka erected this excellent piece to commemorate his visit to Lumbini. Nepalese archaeologists rediscovered this 6-meter tall pillar in 1896. You'll witness the Brahmi script engraved on the pillar. Also, in the inscription, he proclaims this place as the birthplace of Buddha.

Explore World Peace Pagoda Lumbini

World Peace Pagoda in Lumbini is also known as Japan Peace Stupa. It is an early 21st-century monument that is a symbol of peace. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Lumbini. Constructed by Japanese Buddhists, the stupa structure is fascinating with traditional pagoda-style architecture. This glorious stupa is colored white, and a giant golden Buddha statue will definitely catch your eyes. 

Enjoy Boating In Central Canal

Boating in the central canal Lumbini is another fun thing to do in Lumbini. While boating, you can witness beautiful structures on both sides of the Mayadevi complex. With the collaboration of Lumbini development, trust boating has been one of the most popular activities visitors enjoy inside the Mayadevi complex.

The Eternal Peace Flame Of Lumbini

Eternal Flame is another major attraction of the Lumbini garden. Situated at the south end of the canal, it resembles the enduring effort to create peace and harmony in the world. In 1986, the Eternal Peace Flame was created to commemorate the International Year of Peace.

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Lumbini Crane Sanctuary

The birthplace of Gautam Buddha is not only an important Buddhist pilgrimage site but also now a sanctuary for cranes. According to legend, there is an essential link between Sarus Crane and Buddha, so it is admired in Lumbini and other parts of the world. Lumbini Crane Sanctuary is one of the major attractions of Lumbini and is definitely worth a visit.

Well, Crane is one of the world's tallest flying birds, which has an elegant appearance with a grey body and a redhead. It also has a peculiar trait that people have beloved for many years. They always live in pairs never separate from their partner for a single moment. This bird is considered a love sign of pure faith and dedication. Thus, this crane sanctuary in Lumbini is an important way to honor this special bird and preserve the species.

Cycling Tour Around Town

Cycling is another best way to explore the sacred area in Lumbini, including a large number of Buddhist monasteries, meditation centers, temples, and shrines. You'll get plenty of time to explore Buddhist sites. Most monasteries lie in the middle of a large green area and are easily accessible at the end of a long road. During the bicycle tour, you'll get more insight into the rural parts and learn about the local culture lifestyle of terai people.

Meditation

Undoubtedly, Lumbini is the most sacred pilgrimage site to Buddhists worldwide. It holds both religious and spiritual significance among the Buddhist disciples. Most people worldwide travel to Lumbini to witness and explore Buddhism's religious and philosophical aspects. No wonder, for the meditation, you'll find a better tranquil place than the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. You can visit the sacred Lumbini Heritage site, any one of the monasteries or meditation centers, and learn meditation techniques. Here you can practice the art of meditation, understand the philosophy and techniques behind it, and have control over your mind and thoughts.

Visit The Hometown Of Lord Buddha, Tilaurakot

Tilaurakot is one of the oldest cities in South Asia and Siddhartha Gautam's hometown. Once the capital city and Shakya kingdom where the prince Siddhartha Gautam was born, he grew up and spent 29 years in the palace. You can even visit the Kaplivastu Museum nearby Tilaurakot, where you can glimpse some artifacts discovered during the archeological work in Tilaurakot.

Further, it is also an important site for Hindu devotees as there is Samai Mai Hindu Temple where many people come to worship Samai Mai. Many tourists and Buddhist devotees visit Tilaurakot to explore more about this ancient town and behold an initial step of the epic journey walked by the Gautam Buddha. There is a belief that Lord Buddha left his luxurious life and started the spiritual journey from the eastern gate. Standing precisely at the east gate, you can feel the nirvana and be a part of the modern spiritual journeys.

Final Say,

Lumbini is a holy place, and many travelers visit here to procure more than tourist experience and find more significant ways to explore spirituality. You'll get an opportunity to see the most beautiful monasteries built by several Buddhist countries like China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Germany. While visiting these monasteries, you'll get to soak in the peaceful and spiritual environment.

However, there are many top things to do in Lumbini but for an immersive experience, you can visit some Buddhist meditation centers and indulge in meditation and yoga therapy. You can also interact with the Buddhist monks who worship in the vicinity of monasteries. Each monastery will allow you to experience the spiritual side. After exploring this holy place, you'll feel more lively, vibrant, and awake from deep inside.

If you are planning for any tours to Lumbini then feel free to get in touch with our experts to know more.



  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Tuesday Feb 15, 2022

Recent Comments

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Dominique Moreau | Mon Mar 21, 2022
Never knew that we could do so many things in Lumbini :)
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Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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