Lumbini is a very popular place in Nepal because it is said to be where Buddha was born in 642 BC. In Buddhism, the place is considered to be one of the four holy places. According to religious belief, this place used to be a garden where Sal trees abound. Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi, began to feel labor pains in the garden and took hold of a low-lying branch of a Sal tree as she gave birth. Because of its importance as a holy place, Buddhists from all over the world visit the town.
Lumbini has remarkable beauty, and old Sanskrit and Pali writings give witness to this. Aside from this, the town has many temples and other interesting structures that you can visit, such as the Ashokan Pillar. The pillar was discovered in 1895 by German archeologist Feuhrer while he was in the Churia range. When the place was examined and excavated, archeologists found an ancient brick temple with a sandstone sculpture illustrating the birth of Buddha.
According to history, the pillar was built by Emperor Ashoka of India during his visit to the town in 249 BC. At that time, the town was prosperous. The emperor had four stupas built on Buddha’s exact birthplace, and he added a stone pillar with a horse statue perched on it. The pillar had an inscription saying that he visited the birthplace of Buddha and that he had the structures built. Because of this inscription, which is the oldest inscription ever unearthed in Nepal, the town was exempted from paying taxes in order to honor the place where Buddha was born.
There are a number of ancient Buddhist temples in Lumbini that were built somewhere between 2 BC and 9 AD. There are also newer temples designed with more modern features. One of these is Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Temple. The king of Mustang built this temple, and it was designed in Tibetan architecture. The other one is Lumbini Buddha Vihar. The Nepalese government funded the building of this temple, which was designed in Theravada style.
Be reminded that you should be dressed properly when you visit the temples. Enter the temples respectfully and do not make loud noises.
The Lumbini Museum is worth a visit. It has artifacts dating back from the Mauryan period as well as the Kushana period. It also has many ancient religious manuscripts and other great historical pieces. If you want to know more about Buddhism, you can go to the Lumbini International Research Institute where you will find a wide collection of literature about Buddhism and other religions. The institude also has a great collection of books about architecture and art.
Besides visiting these important structures and temples in Lumbini, there is not much else to do in the town. You can walk around and get acquainted with the locals. If you want to eat, there are some eateries near the bus terminal. These eateries commonly serve curry, locally called puri, at an affordable price. You will find a restaurant called 3 Foxes as you enter the town.