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Lumbini

In the plain south of the first foothill of the Churia range, lies Lumbini, birthplace of Gautama, the Buddha. Lumbini is a sacred place for Buddhists from all over the world, standing on an equal footing with holy places sacred to other world religions. A veteran Asian traveller and author of several books writes, 'As millions of Christians look to Jerusalem for inspiration, as millions of Muslims turn to Mecca, so do three hundred million Buddhists see in the sacred Kingdom of Nepal, a pillar left by the great Emperor Ashoka to mark the site where Buddha was born.

Tourist Places

Ashokan Pillar

The Ashokan Pillar-In 1895, a German archaeologist, white wandering about the foothills of the Churia range, discovered a massive stone pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka in 250 B.C. to pay homage to the birth place of Buddha. It is said that the great Indian Emperor Ashok visited the site in the twentieth year of is ascendancy to the throne and as a homage to the birthplace, erected the pillar. The inscriptions in the pillar roughly translates as: Kin Piyadesi beloved of th Gods, having been anointed 20 yeas, came himself and worshipped saying Here Buddha Shakyamuni was born: And he caused to make a stone (capital) representing a horse; and he caused (this) stone pillar to be erected. Because the worshipful one was born in the village of Lumbini has been made free of taxes and recipient of wealth"

Maya Devi Temple

the temple of Maya Devi containing a stone relief depicting the birth scene of Lord Buddha. The bas-relief shows Maya Devi supporting herself by holding on to a branch of a sal tree, and the newborn infant Buddha standing upright on a lotus pedestal. Two celestial figures are engaged in the act of pouring water and lotuses from the heaven, indicated in the sculpture by a delineation of clouds. The Maya Devi shrine has been worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists since the beginning of the Christian era and is believed to have been built over the foundation of at least one earlier temple or stupa.

Puskarani

To the South of the Maya Devi temple is the famous sacred pool of 'Puskarani', believed to be the same sacred pool in which queen Maya Devi bathed just before giving birth to Buddha. It is also belived to be the same sacred pool in which queen Maya Devi bathed just before giving birth to Buddha. It is also believe to be the pool where the infant Buddha was given his first purification bath. The structure consists of three projecting terraces in descending order and is riveted with fine brick masonry.

Kapilvastu

Located some 27 km. west of Lumbini lies the ruins of historic town of ‘Kapilvastu’. Believed to be the capital of Shakya republic where the Lord lived and enjoyed his life until his thirteeth year, Kapilvastu has been identified with. Tilaurakot by the archaelolotists. Also, the place is believed to have been associated with different important episodes: there are ruins and mounds of old stupas and monasteries made of kiln-burnt bricks and clay-mortar. The remains are surrounded by a moat and the wall of the city are made of bricks. In fact, the city of Kapilvastu are in such a grand scale that it could be easily be visualised as a seat of high culture

Aroarakot

About 10 km northwest of Taulihawa there is a rectangular fortified area which is popularly known as Arourakot. The fortified area is identified by the famous Indian archaeologist P.C. Mukharji as the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. Remains of ancient moat and brick fortification around the Kot can still be clearly located. A brick lined well is seen to the south and elevated mound towards the northwest corner.

Gotihawa

About 5 km. southwest of Taulihawa, there is a village called Gotihawa. In the village there is an Ashokan Pillar standing in a slab. The upper portion of the pillar is broken and lost and only the lower portion of the pillar 3.5m. high is still intact. Adjoining the pillar towards its northeast there is a huge stupa with successive ring of wedge shaped Mauryan bricks.

Kudan

About 2 km. southwest of Taulihawa, on the left side of the Shoratgarh Taulihawa road stands the village Kudan having a huge structural ruin with a cluster of four mounds and a tank. The mounds were excavated in 1962.

Niglihawa

About 8 km, northwest of Taulihawa, there is another site of archaelogical importance. The site has quadrangular tank surrounded by bushes, locally known as Niglisagar. On the western Bank of the tank there are two broken pieces of the Ashokan pillar, the longer one laying flat and the shorter ones stack into the ground. The pillar bears 2 peacocks on the top part and a Devanagari script inscription reading Om mani Padme Hun Ripu mallasya Chiran Jayut 1234.’ The shorter portion of the pillar which is partly buried in the ground measures 1.52m in length bears four lines of Ashokan inscription in the Brahmi script which roughly translates as: "King Piyadasi Beloved of the gods, after 14 years of his coronation enlarged for the second time the stupa of Buddha kanaka Muni, and after 20 years of his coronat ion he came himself and worshipped (and ) he caused (this) stone pillar to be erected:"

Sagarhawa

About 12 km. north of Taulihawa, there is a forest area called Sagarhawa. In the midst of the forest there is a huge rectangular tank which is popularly known as Lumbusagar, or a long tank. The ancient tanks ruins which were excavated and indentified by Dr. Aslois A Fuhrer as the ‘Palace of massacre of the Shakyas’ in 1895 can still be located on the west south banks of the Sagar.

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