Lumbini

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For the zone of Nepal, see Lumbini Zone. For the Municipality of Nepal, see Lumbini Cultural Municipality.
Not to be confused with Lumbini Gardens or Lumbini Park.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Lumbini 4.jpg
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, vi
Reference 666
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1997[1][2] (21st Session)

This article is about a town. For the information related to district : Rupandehi District

Lumbini
लुम्बिनी
City
Lumbini
Lumbini
Coordinates: 27°29′02″N 83°16′34″E / 27.484°N 83.276°E / 27.484; 83.276Coordinates: 27°29′02″N 83°16′34″E / 27.484°N 83.276°E / 27.484; 83.276
Country Nepal
Zone Lumbini
District Rupandehi
Elevation 150 m (490 ft)
Languages
 • Official Nepali
Time zone NST (UTC+5:45)
Postal Code 32914
Area code(s) 71

Lumbinī (Sanskrit: लुम्बिनी About this sound Listen , "the lovely") is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi District of Nepal. It is the place where, according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 623 BCE.[1][2] Gautama, who achieved nirvana some time around 543 BCE,[3][4] became the Lord Gautama Buddha and founded Buddhism after achieving Enlightenment.[5][6][7] Lumbini is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of Gautama Buddha; other notable pilgrimage sites include Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath.

Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple and several others which are still under construction. Many monuments, monasteries and a museum — the Lumbini International Research Institute — are also located within the holy site. Also located there is the Puskarini or Holy Pond where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate Enlightenment and finally relinquished their earthly forms.

Lumbini was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1997.[1][2]

Location of Lumbini, Nepal

In Pratham's time[edit]

In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was situated between Kapilavastu and Devadaha (both in current Nepal).[8] It was there, that the Buddha was born.[9] A pillar now marks the spot of Asoka's visit to Lumbiní. According to an inscription on the pillar, it was placed there by the people then in charge of the park to commemorate Asoka's visit and gifts.[10] The park was previously known as Rummindei, two miles (3.2 km) north of Bhagavanpura.

In the Sutta Nipáta (vs. 683) it is stated that the Buddha was born in a village of the Sákyans in the Lumbineyya Janapada. The Buddha stayed in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha and there preached the Devadaha Sutta.[11]

Rediscovery[edit]

Further information: Pillars of Ashoka

In 1896, Nepalese archaeologists (led by Khadga Samsher Rana and assisted by Alois Anton Führer) discovered a great stone pillar at Lumbini. Führer postulated that the pillar was placed at the site by Ashoka (emperor of the Maurya Empire) circa 245 BCE. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Faxian in the early fifth century CE were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.

Present-day[edit]

Lumbini

The present-day Lumbini historic site is 4.8 km (3 mi) in length and 1.6 km (1.0 mi) in width.

The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, no shops, hotels or restaurants. It is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravadin monasteries, the western having Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries.

The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Asokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the precise place of birth of Buddha is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site.

A non-governmental organization named Samriddhi Foundation started in 2013 working extensively in the field of education and health specially in government schools of the area where underprivileged children study. A non-governmental organisation called "Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation" (APECF) backed by chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and then Prime Minister Prachanda, the Chinese government and a UN group called "United Nations Industrial Development Organization" (UNIDO) signed a deal to develop Lumbini into a "special development zone" with funds worth $3 billion.[12] The venture was a China-UN joint project. A broader 'Lumbini Development National Director Committee' under the leadership of Pushpa Kamal Dahal was formed on 17 October 2011.[13] The six-member committee included Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) leader Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal, Forest Minister Mohammad Wakil Musalman, among other leaders. The committee was given the authority to "draft a master plan to develop Lumbini as a peaceful and tourism area and table the proposal" and the responsibility to gather international support for the same.[13]

Nipponzan Myohoji decided to build a Peace Pagoda in the park in 2001, which is visited by many different cultures and religions every day.

Hindus regard the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu and thousands of Hindu pilgrims come there on the full moon of the Nepali month of Baisakh (April–May) to worship Maya Devi as Rupa Devi, the mother goddess of Lumbini. There are controversy about the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, however on the basis of enough evidence from the Lumbini it is found that Buddha was born in Madesh. Actually Buddha was from Madeshi descent.[14]

Lumbini was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1997.[1][2]

On the Nepali rupee[edit]

Nepal's central bank has introduced a 100-rupee Nepali note featuring Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. The Nepal Rastra Bank said the new note would be accessible only during the Dashain, Nepal's major fiesta in October 2013. It displays the portrait of Mayadevi, Gautam Buddha's mother in silver metallic on the front. The note also has a black dot which would help the blind recognise the note. The name of the central bank in Latin script would be printed on the note along with the date of printing in both the Christian Era and the Bikram Era. The new note is being issued following a cabinet decision 27 August.[15]

Transport[edit]

Lumbini is a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu and a 30-minute drive from Bhairahawa. The closest airport is Gautam Buddha Airport at Bhairahawa, with flights to and from Kathmandu.[16]

Gallery[edit]

Foreign visitors (2012-2013) [17][edit]

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total
2013 9,371 17,869 22,581 7,101 3,654 3,552 3,621 9,685 7,351 13,610 16,483 10,618 125,496
2012 6,591 20,045 20,519 8,295 1,316 1,366 2,651 17,924 7,955 13,099 21,740 14,566 136,067
 % Change 42.18 -10.86 10.05 -14.39 177.66 160.03 36.59 -45.97 -7.59 3.90 -24.18 -27.10 -7.77

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/180
  2. ^ a b c d "Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Cousins, LS (1996). "The Dating of the Historical Buddha: A Review Article". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 6 (1): 57–63. JSTOR 25183119. 
  4. ^ Schumann, Hans Wolfgang (2003). The Historical Buddha: The Times, Life, and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass Press. pp. 10–13. ISBN 8120818172. 
  5. ^ "Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  6. ^ ""Gautama Buddha (B.C. 623-543)" by T.W. Rhys-Davids, The World's Great Events, B.C. 4004-A.D. 70 (1908) by Esther Singleton, pp. 124–35". Unz.org. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Buddha (BC 623-BC 543) – Religion and spirituality Article – Buddha, Bc, 623". Booksie. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Lumbini". Victoria and Albert museum. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  9. ^ J.i.52, 54; Kvu.97, 559; AA.i.10; MA.ii.924; BuA.227; Cv.li.10, etc.
  10. ^ See Mukerji: Asoka, p. 27; see p. 201f for details
  11. ^ MA.ii.810
  12. ^ "Programs/Projects >> UNIDO IP Projects >> Introduction". UNIDOitpo.org. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Lumbini Development Committee formed under Dahal's leadership". ekantipur. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Nepal 8 – Joseph Bindloss – Google Books. Books.google.co.in. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal’s 100-rupee note – Indistan News – National, Political and States News
  16. ^ "Lumbini". Welcome Nepal. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.tourism.gov.np/uploaded/Lumbini_Arrivals2013.pdf

External links[edit]