Address: Lumbini 32900, Nepal
There are four places of pilgrimage for Buddhists. The first one is Lumbini, where the Buddha was born. The second is Bodh Gaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment. The third is Sarnath where Buddha’s first teaching was given. The last is Kushinagar where the Buddha attained Parinirvana. Lumbini is a sacred place for Buddhists, just like Bethlehem in the eyes of Christians.
Lumbini is full of temples built with funding from Buddhist organisations of different schools and countries, including China, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and many others. Therefore, no matter where you are from, it is almost certain that you can find a familiar temple in Nepal. There is also a World Peace Pagoda where visitors can pray for world peace. The most remarkable place in Lumbini must be the Maya Devi Temple, where the Buddha was born. It is said that the Buddha was born from Queen Maya’s armpit when she was resting by the Ashoka tree, or literally the “sorrowless tree”.
The Buddha could walk immediately after his birth. He took seven steps, with each step producing one lotus flower. Then he declared, with one finger pointing up to the sky and another down to the ground, “I alone am the World-Honored One!” Today, the Ashoka tree and the place where the Buddha was bathed have become the dream destination for many Buddhist pilgrims. In Lumbini, you can also see the Pillar of Ashoka, which was built upon the order by Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Empire.
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