Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the Enlightened One, is the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of people faithful to all schools of Buddhism. This nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The main attraction at the Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden spread over 8sq km and possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. Here we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha’s mother giving birth to him. Standing west to the Mayadevi shrine is the oldest monument of Nepal, the Ashoka Pillar. The pillar was erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249BC to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond, Puskarni, where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha.
There are other places of interest too nearby. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to Bhairawa. From Kathmandu it takes about eight hours by bus or car.