Lumbini Province

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Lumbini Province
लुम्बिनी प्रदेश
Lumbini Pradesh
Dhaulagiri range Eastern Rukum.png
Dhorpatan.png
The Monastery of World Peace, Lumbini.jpg
BRP Palpa Ranimahal.jpg
Bageshwori Temple Nepalgunj.JPG
Bengal Tiger Bardiya.jpg
Official seal of Lumbini Province
Location of Lumbini Province
Location of Lumbini Province
Divisions of Lumbini
Coordinates: 27°39′33.13″N 83°26′18.3″E / 27.6592028°N 83.438417°E / 27.6592028; 83.438417
Country   Nepal
Formation20 September 2015
CapitalDeukhuri
Largest CityGhorahi
Districts12
Government
 • TypeSelf governing province
 • BodyGovernment of Lumbini Pradesh
 • GovernorAmik Sherchan
 • Chief MinisterKul Prasad KC (CPN (MC))[1]
 • High CourtTulsipur High Court
 • Provincial AssemblyUnicameral (87 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituency26
Area
 • Total22,288 km2 (8,605 sq mi)
 • Rank3rd
Highest elevation7,246 m (23,773 ft)
Lowest elevation
(Rupandehi)
90 m (300 ft)
Population
 (2021)
 • Total5,124,225
 • Rank3rd
 • Density230/km2 (600/sq mi)
  • Rank3rd
Time zoneUTC+5:45 (NST)
GeocodeNP-FI
Official languageNepali (51.6%)
Other Official language(s)1. Tharu (Dangaura)
2. Awadhi
HDIIncrease 0.563 (medium)
HDI rank4th
Literacy66.43%
Sex ratio90.43 /100 (2011)
GDP5 billion USD
GDP rank3rd
Websitehttp://ocmcm.p5.gov.np/

Lumbini Province (Nepali: लुम्बिनी प्रदेश, romanized: Lumbinī pradēśa) is a province in western Nepal. It borders Gandaki Province and Karnali Province to the north, Sudurpashchim Province to the west, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar of India to the south. Lumbini is the third largest and the third most populous province among the Nepali provinces.

Lumbini's capital, Deukhuri, is near the geographic centre of the province; it is a small town which is currently being developed to meet the prerequisite of provincial capital. The major cities in this province are Butwal and Siddharthanagar in Rupandehi District, Nepalgunj in Banke District, Tansen in Palpa District, and Ghorahi and Tulsipur in Dang District. The province is home to the World Heritage Site of Lumbini, where according to the Buddhist tradition, the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha was born.[2]

Etymology[edit]

Lumbini Province is named after the holy pilgrimage site of Lumbini in the Rupandehi District, birthplace of Gautama Buddha – the founder of Buddhism. The Provincial Assembly adopted Lumbini Province as the permanent name by replacing its initial name Province No. 5 on 6 October 2020 and Deukhuri was declared the state capital of the province.[3][4][5]

History[edit]

Pre-history[edit]

The Churiya range linked with the Dang valley of Lumbini province has been archaeologically considered very ancient with the existence of Sivapithecus, a link between man and ape. The pre-historic studies of the valley have been carried out extensively since the last century; by Tribhuvan University since 1966, American Museum of Natural History and the Department of Mines of then His Majesty's Government of Nepal from 1976, as well as the paleolithic study of Dang valley by University of Erlangen-Nuremberg of Germany in 1984, among others. These researches have pointed out that Dang valley was a lake approximately 2.5 to 1 million years ago.[6] In addition, Hand axes and other artefacts dated to early Paleolithic (1.8 million to 100,000 years ago) have been found in alluvial deposits along the Babai River in Dang Valley, which have been classified as Acheulean or second-generation tools that succeed the oldest Olduwan. Also along the Babai River, there have been discoveries of archeological sites dated to Upper Paleolithic/Late Pleistocene (about 50,000 to 10,000 years ago).

Shakya-era[edit]

As per the Buddhist tradition, Queen Maya Devi of Kapilavastu was traveling to her father's Koliya kingdom in Devdaha to give birth to her child as was the Shakya tradition. However, on the way she stopped near the garden of Lumbini to rest and went into labour thus giving birth to the future Buddha under a sal tree. Gautama Buddha was born in 623 BC in Lumbini, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC which marks the spot as the birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni.[2] The inscription mentions, as translated by Paranavitana:[7]

"When King Devanampriya Priyadarsin had been anointed twenty years, he came himself and worshipped (this spot) because the Buddha Shakyamuni was born here. (He) both caused to be made a stone bearing a horse and caused a stone pillar to be set up, (in order to show) that the Blessed One was born here. (He) made the village of Lummini free of taxes, and paying (only) an eighth share (of the produce)"

Gautama Buddha's s birth in Lumbini (His mother Maya Devi depicted holding a branch of sal tree)

According to the Buddhist texts, Gautama Buddha was born as a prince in a royal Shakya clan reigning over the kingdom of Kapilavastu. This ancient city has been widely identified as Tilaurakot of present Kapilvastu district where ruins of the ancient fortified city have been found.[8] Gautama was a prince of Kapilavastu until the age of 29, after which he left the palace behind and wandered throughout the Ganges plain as an ascetic – learning yoga and related concepts from various teachers.[9] Gautama became the Buddha or the Enlightened One after several years of his wandering, one day under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya. After enlightenment, he began his teachings and travelled extensively throughout the Ganges plain. The original teachings of Buddha later culminated into Buddhism, spreading through much of Asia then and the world at present.

After the death of Gautama Buddha, eight princes out of sixteen mahājanapadās received Buddha's relics, one of them a Koliyan king of Rāmagrāma (present Parasi district) who built a stupa enshrining the relic. Buddhist texts point out the princes constructed a stupa at or near their capital city and enshrined Buddha's relics.[10] The site has the only undisturbed original stupa containing the relic of Gautama Buddha in the world,[11] and was added to the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO on 23 May 1996.

Medieval Period[edit]

During the medieval period after the 11th century, Khasa Kingdom dominated much of western Nepal and western Tibet which was initially oriented towards Buddhism and Shamanism, and at their peak encompassed Guge and Purang of Tibet and western Nepal up to Kaskikot. King Ripumalla, one of the initial Khasa rulers, left an inscription on the Ashoka pillar with six-syllable mantra of Buddhism and his wish "Om mani padme hum: May Prince Ripu Malla be long victorious", dated around 1312 CE.[12][13][14]

The Lumbini pillar inscription of Khas King Ripu Malla: ""Om mani padme hum , May Prince Ripu Malla be long victorious (1312 CE)"

After the late 13th century, Khasa kingdom disintegrated into numerous principalities each with its own ruler. In the 18th century, King Prithvi Narayan Shah, born from the marriage of king Nara Bhupal Shah of the Gorkha Kingdom and Queen Kaushalyavati Devi, the princess of the Palpa kingdom; set out on a conquest to unify the region into modern Nepal.

Modern history[edit]

The"' Anglo-Nepalese War' "(1814–1816), was fought between the Gorkhali army of the Kingdom of Nepal and the British forces of the East India Company. Nepal had won the battle against the British in this region. Jitgadhi, Nuwakot Gadhi, and Kathe Gadhi acted as strong defensive and offensive bases during the war.

Battle of Jit Gadhi

With the help of an ousted Palpali king, Major General Wood planned to march on Siuraj, Jitgadi Fort and Nuwakot with a view to bypass the Butwal defenses, flushing out minor opposition on the axis, and assault Palpa from a less guarded flank. Nepalese Colonel Ujir Singh Thapa had deployed his 1200 troops in many defensive positions including Jit Gadhi, Nuwakot Gadhi, and Kathe Gadhi. The troops under Colonel Ujir were very disciplined and he himself was a dedicated and able commander. He was famous for exploiting advantages in men, material, natural resources and was well versed in mountain tactics.

Colonel Ujir Singh Thapa stood victorious against the English troops

The British advance took place on 22nd Poush1871 BS (January 1814 AD) to Jit Gadh. While they were advancing to this fortress, crossing the Tinau River, the Nepalese troops opened fire from the fortress. Another of the attackers' columns was advancing to capture Tansen Bazar. Here too, Nepalese spoiling attacks forced the General to fall back to Gorakhpur. About 70 Nepalese lost their lives in Nuwakot Pakhe Gadhi. Meanwhile, more than 300 of the enemy perished.

Historical Districts

During 1942 the region was divided into several districts such as Butwal, Deukhuri, Banke, Nuwakot, Salyan, Palpa, etc.

Geography[edit]

Lumbini, with an area of 22,288 square kilometers (8,605.44 sq. mi) covers about 15.1% of the country's total area. Lumbini Province is almost the size of US state of New Jersey. The province extends 150 km (93 mi) north to south and about 300 km (186 mi) east to west at its maximum width. It shares 413.14 km (256 mi) of border with India (states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh).[15]

The Province is geographically bordered with Gandaki Province to the east and north, by Karnali province to the north and west, by Sudurpaschim Province to the west and by India to the south. There are three ecological regions of Mountains, Hills and Terai; each occupying 3.1%, 69.3% and 27.6% of the province respectively.[16]

Land Utilization in Lumbini

  Forest (45%)
  Agriculture (29%)
  Housing (14%)
  Grassland (5%)
  Water (1%)
  Others (1%)
Ecological regions of Lumbini Province
Ecological regions Percentage of territory
Mountains 3.1%
Hills 69.3%
Terai (plain) 27.6%

Climate[edit]

Lumbini has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four seasons. The winter in January and February is followed by summer between March and May and the monsoon season between June and September.[17] In winter, it's sunny and mild, pleasantly warm during the day but cool at night, sometimes even cold. The average temperature in January is around 15 °C (59 °F). But the northern parts of the province get colder and can experience snowfall. By March, the temperature rises considerably and it begins to be hot, while from April to June it's scorching hot, and highs can reach or exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in southern plains.

In June, the summer monsoon arrives, characterized by heavy rains, in the form of downpours and thunderstorms. The monsoon arrives first in the east, in early June, while in the west it comes in the middle of the month or so. The temperature decreases, with the maximum dropping to around 32 °C (90 °F) in July and August, but the humidity increases, making the heat muggy. The rains are heavy, especially in July and August, when they exceed 300 millimeters (12 inches) per month, but in certain areas at the foot of the mountains, they can exceed 600 mm (23.5 in) per month.[18] The monsoon starts to withdraw by early October in the west, and about a week later in the east. The weather returns to be sunny, and even though October is still a hot month, the humidity decreases, and the night temperature becomes a bit cooler.

Average temperatures and precipitation for selected communities in Lumbini[19]
Location August

(°F)

August

(°C)

January

(°F)

January

(°C)

Annual

Precipitation

(mm/in)

Butwal 79 26.1 55.6 13.1 1827.2/71.9
Gulariya 84.4 29.1 59.4 15.2 1503.7/59.2
Nepalgunj 84.4 29.1 59.5 15.3 1302.1/51.3
Siddharthanagar 79.7 29 55.4 15.9 1762.7/69.4
Sitganga 75.6 24.2 51.8 11 1633.2/64.3
Tansen 76.8 24.9 53.4 11.9 1949.3/76.7
Tulsipur 79.7 26.5 55.4 13 1495.4/58.9

Valleys[edit]

Dang-Deukhuri[edit]

Dang and Deukhuri valleys, 10 km apart, are located in the Dang Deukhuri District. The Dang Valley lies between the Mahabharat Range in the north and the Churia Range in the south. It forms a nearly 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi) plain within a local drainage basin of less than 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi). It is drained by the Babai River, and is one of the largest Inner Terai valleys. Deukhuri Valley is southeast of the Dang Valley and extends about 60 km (37 mi) in WNW-ESE direction with a maximum width of 20 km (12 mi), and is surrounded by Sivalik Hills on all sides. It forms a nearly 600 km2 (230 sq mi) plain within a drainage basin of 6,100 km2 (2,400 sq mi). The valley is drained by the West Rapti River.

Dang valley is one of the largest Inner Terai valleys of Nepal

The elevations of Dang and Deukhuri valleys are 700 meters and 300 meters from sea level respectively. Late Cenozoic sedimentary sequences are well exposed along the southern part of Dang and all sides of Deukhuri valley, and mostly consist of deformed rocks resulting from the persistence of shortening between Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate.[20] The two valleys have been considered a vital location of Paleolithic archeology in South Asia due to the abundant presence of ancient Paleolithic tool sites.[21]

Other small valleys of the province are located in districts like Arghakhanchi (Rapti), Palpa (Rampur), Gulmi (Simaltari), Pyuthan (Darban and Bajipur).[22]

Forests[edit]

Forest zone in Bardiya district

About 15% of the total land is covered in protected forest in the province.

Forest area by districts in the province.[23]
Districts Forest (%) Area (ha.th.)
Arghakhanchi 59.69 73.96
Banke 62.70 117.91
Bardiya 56.82 113.69
Dang 65.60 200.72
Gulmi 41.83 46.34
Kapilvastu 36.92 60.97
Parasi 81.30 22
Palpa 56.62 82.77
Pyuthan 48.95 64.67
Rolpa 52.82 99.60
Rukum 39.39 66.25
Rupandehi 19.54 25.51
Total 50.43 974.38

Mountains[edit]

Being the only mountain district of Lumbini province, most of the prominent peaks of the province lie in Eastern Rukum District along the Dhaulagiri range.[24] The tallest mountain of Lumbini Province in Eastern Rukum, Putha Himchuli also known as Mount Dhaulagiri VII, has an altitude of 7,246 meters and is one of the popular trekking peak of the Dhaulagiri region.[25] The mountain was first ascended jointly by British explorer J.O.M Roberts and Nepalese climber Ang Nyima Sherpa in 1954.[26] Mount Sisne I remained an unclimbed summit until 2013, and the first successful ascent was made by a mountaineering team led by Man Bahadur Khatri.[27]

Putha Himchuli (Dhaulagiri VII), East Rukum
Mount Sisne, East Rukum
List of highest peaks of Lumbini[28]
S/N Mountains Elevation

(meters)

District Range Additional

Information

1 Mount Putha I 7,246 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range 95th highest in the world.

Date of first ascent: 1954 AD

2 Mount Putha II (Putha shoulder) 6,598 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
3 Mount Dogari (South) 6,315 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
4 Mount Samjang 5,924 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
5 Hiunchuli Patan 5,916 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
6 Mount Nimku 5,864 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
7 Mount Sisne II 5,854 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range
8 Mount Sisne I 5,849 Eastern Rukum District Dhaulagiri Range Date of first ascent:

26 May 2021 AD[29]

Protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

In 2011 Lumbini had a census population of 4,499,272 with 885,203 households.[30]

Ethnicity[edit]

The province is very ethnically diverse. The largest group is the Tharu with 15.14% of the population. The second largest is Magar with 15.01%. Other Janajati communities include Newar 1.35% Other Janjati 2.72%. The Khas and Arya communities are Khas/ Chhetri (13.60%), Hill Brahmin (12.37%), Kami (6%), Damai (1.88%), Sarki (1.48%), Thakuri (1.33%) and Sanyasi (1.15%). The Terai communities are Musalman (6.93%), Yadav (4.03%), Chamar (2.04%), Kewat (1.04%), Kahar (1.02%) and Paswan (1.01%).[31]

Ethnicities/castes of Lumbini

  Tharu (15.14%)
  Magar (15.01%)
  Chhetri (13.60%)
  Hill Brahmin (12.37%)
  Musalman (6.93%)
  Kami (6.00%)
  Yadav (4.03%)
  Chamar (2.04%)
  Damai (1.88%)
  Kurmi (1.57%)
  Sarki (1.48%)
  Newar (1.35%)
  Thakuri (1.33%)
  Sanyasi (1.15%)
  Other Terai (11.54%)
  Other Janajati (2.72%)
  Other Khas (1.22%)
  Others (0.74%)

Religion[edit]

Religion in Lumbini

  Hinduism (88.8%)
  Islam (6.9%)
  Buddhism (3.1%)
  Christianity (1%)
  Other or not religious (0.3%)

Language[edit]

Nepali is the most spoken language of the province, but is also a home to Tharu community and 'Tharu language' with 600,000 speakers. The province also has many speakers of Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Urdu and Magar languages.[32]

The Language Commission of Nepal has recommended Tharu and Awadhi as official language in the province. The commission has also recommended Bhojpuri, Urdu, Magar and Maithili to be additional official languages, for specific regions and purposes in the province.[33]

Languages of Lumbini (2011)[32]
Languages Percentage Speakers Number of Speakers
Nepali 50.09% 2,273,980
Tharu 13.3% 595,304
Bhojpuri 11.4% 508,630
Awadhi 11.2% 497,701
Urdu 5.1% 228,371
Magar 4.6% 204,034
Maithili 1.2% 54,135
Nepal Bhasa 0.6% 27,413
Gurung 0.4% 19,520
Other 1.3% 56,097

Administrative subdivisions[edit]

There is a total of 109 local administrative units in the province which include four sub-metropolitan cities, 32 urban municipalities, and 73 rural municipalities.[34]

Districts of Lumbini

Districts[edit]

Districts in Nepal are the second level of administrative divisions after provinces. Lumbini Province is divided into 12 districts, which are listed below. A district is administrated by the head of the District Coordination Committee and the District Administration Officer. The districts are further divided into municipalities or rural municipalities.

After the state's reconstruction of administrative divisions, Nawalparasi District and Rukum District were divided into Parasi District and Nawalpur District, and Eastern Rukum District and Western Rukum District respectively.[35]

Districts of Lumbini Province
Districts Nepali Headquarters Area (km2.) Population (2011)[36] Official Website
Kapilvastu District कपिलवस्तु जिल्ला Taulihawa 1,738 571,936 [1]
Parasi District परासी जिल्ला Ramgram 634.88 321,058 [2]
Rupandehi District रुपन्देही जिल्ला Siddharthanagar 1,360 880,196 [3]
Arghakhanchi District अर्घाखाँची जिल्ला Sandhikharka 1,193 197,632 [4]
Gulmi District गुल्मी जिल्ला Tamghas 1,149 280,160 [5]
Palpa District पाल्पा जिल्ला Tansen 1,373 261,180 [6]
Dang District दाङ देउखुरी जिल्ला Ghorahi 2,955 552,583 [7]
Pyuthan District प्युठान जिल्ला Pyuthan 1,309 228,102 [8]
Rolpa District रोल्पा जिल्ला Liwang 1,879 224,506 [9]
Eastern Rukum District पूर्वी रूकुम जिल्ला Rukumkot 1,161.13 53,018 [10]
Banke District बाँके जिल्ला Nepalganj 2,337 491,313 [11]
Bardiya District बर्दिया जिल्ला Gulariya 2,025 426,576 [12]
Lumbini Province लुम्बिनी प्रदेश Deukhuri 22,288 km2 4,499,272 [13]

Municipality[edit]

Cities and villages are governed by municipalities in Nepal. A district may have one or more municipalities. Lumbini has two types of municipalities.

  1. Urban Municipality (Urban Municipality has three levels):
    1. Metropolitan city (Mahanagarpalika)
    2. Sub-metropolitan city (Upa-mahanagarpalika) and
    3. Municipality (Nagarpalika)
  2. Rural Municipality (Gaunpalika)

The government of Nepal has set out a minimum criteria to meet city and towns. These criteria include a certain population, infrastructure and revenues.

 
 
Largest cities or towns in Lumbini Province
Central Bureau of Statistics [14]
Rank District Pop. Rank District Pop.
1 Ghorahi Dang 156,164 11 Shivaraj Kapilvastu 66,781 Nepalgunj
Nepalgunj
Butwal
Butwal
2 Tulsipur Dang 141,528 12 Gulariya Bardiya 66,679
3 Nepalgunj Banke 138,951 13 Buddhabhumi Kapilvastu 64,949
4 Butwal Rupandehi 138,741 14 Siddharthanagar Rupandehi 63,483
5 Tilottama Rupandehi 100,149 15 Krishnanagar Kapilvastu 65,602
6 Kapilvastu Kapilvastu 76,394 16 Rajapur Bardiya 59,553
7 Banganga Kapilvastu 75,242 17 Ramgram Parasi 59,455
8 Lumbini Sanskritik Rupandehi 72,497 18 Bansgadhi Bardiya 55,875
9 Kohalpur Banke 70,647 19 Sainamaina Rupandehi 55,822
10 Barbardiya Bardiya 68,012 20 Sunwal Parasi 55,424

Government[edit]

The Governor acts as the head of the province, while the Chief Minister is the head of the provincial government. The Chief Judge of the Tulsipur High Court is the head of the judiciary.[37] The Speaker of the Assembly is Purna Bahadur Gharti.[38] Umakanta Jha is the first Governor of Lumbini Province.[39] Current Governor Dharma Nath Yadav was appointed on 4 November 2019 by the President of Nepal.[40]

Provincial Assembly[edit]

Lumbini provincial assembly is the unicameral legislative assembly consisting of 87 members. Candidates for each constituency are chosen by the political parties or stand as independents. Each constituency elects one member under the first past the post (FPTP) system of election. The current constitution specifies that sixty percent of the members should be elected from the first past the post system and forty percent through the party-list proportional representation (PR) system. Women should account for one-third of total members elected from each party. If one-third percentage are not elected, the party that fails to ensure so shall have to elect one-third of the total number as women through the party-list proportional representation.

Province No. 5 Provincial Assembly 2018.svg
Party FPTP PR Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
CPN (Unified Marxist–Leninist) 572,942 31.35 23 533,613 33.10 12 35
CPN (Unified Socialist) 0 1 1
Nepali Congress 646,200 35.36 7 530,844 32.93 12 19
CPN (Maoist Centre) 285,878 14.64 13 239,281 14.84 6 19
People's Socialist Party, Nepal 97,892 5.36 1 78,567 4.87 3 4
54,529 2.98 54,110 3.36
Rastriya Janamorcha 15,803 0.86 0 32,546 2.02 1 1
Others 105,363 6.77 0 143,219 8.88 0 0
Independent 49,024 2.68 0 2
Invalid/Blank votes 90,857 306,734
Total 1,918,488 100 52 1,918,914 100 35 87
Registered voters/turnout 2,740,867 70.03 2,740,867 70.01
Source: Election Commission of Nepal

Economy[edit]

Butwal is major financial city of Lumbini.
Butwal is considered the financial capital of Lumbini.

As of 2021, Lumbini Province is the 2nd fastest growing province in Nepal after Bagmati Province and is third out of the seven provinces in terms of its contribution to the GDP (14% as of 2021).[41] The two major custom points of Nepal, Nepalganj and Siddharthanagar (Bhairahawa) are situated in the south of the province, and are major transit zones of trade and transport through India.[42] The rapidly expanding cities in Lumbini province, Butwal and Siddharthanagar in Rupandehi District, Ghorahi and Tulsipur in Dang District, and Nepalgunj and Kohalpur in Banke District are major industrial centers.[43]

Ranking 2nd in the number of banks and financial institutions in Nepal after Bagmati Province;[44] several projects have been launched in the province to boost economic growth. Construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport, upgrade of the Nepalgunj Airport into an international airport as per the 20-years master plan, establishment of industrial units in Special economic zone, and the opening of new hotels are expected to spur further economic growth in the province.[45][46] The national pride projects which have been initiated in the province include:[44]

National Pride Projects in Lumbini Province
Project Investment (NPR)
Sikta Irrigation Project 25.2 Billion
Babai Irrigation Project 18 Billion
Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project (including Karnali Province) 33 Billion
Gautam Buddha International Airport 6 Billion
Lumbini Development Trust 7.5 Billion
Electricity Transmission Project (including Bagmati Province) 61 Billion
North-South (Karnali) Highway (including Karnali Province) 4.1 Billion

Agriculture[edit]

The province has both temperate and tropical climates and is diverse in terms of agriculture crop production potentialities. The province is best suited for agriculture production with five core terai districts, one inner terai, and 6 other hill districts. The land is very fertile and a good source of irrigation prevails. Sikta Irrigation Project and Babai Diversion and Irrigation project have benefited the agricultural production. The major crops are paddy, mustard, wheat, maize, sugarcane, vegetables, potato, lentils and cotton.[47] Lumbini is self-sufficient in milk, cereal crops and pulses.

The total land used for agriculture in Lumbini is 889,219 hectares. Land Holding for agriculture in the province is 484,678 hectares.
Agriculture land use area in Lumbini[48]
Land use Percentage Area (Hectares)
Arable land 45.5% 404,541
Temporary Crops 44.9% 398,849
Permanent crops 5% 44,388
Woodland/Forest 0.9% 8,343
Meadows/Pasture 0.6% 5,561
Temporary Fallow 0.5% 4,389
Temporary Meadows 0.2% 1,303
Pondes 0.1% 828
Other 2.4% 21,017

Industry[edit]

By 2021, there were 16,549 registered companies in the province. Lumbini province ranks 2nd in the country after Bagmati Province in the share of small, cottage and micro-level industries numbering 81,164 that create an estimated 493,686 employment.[41] In addition, tourism industry is a massively growing industry in Lumbini province, welcoming the largest numbers of tourists in Nepal from about 113 countries worldwide.[49][50]

Two of the prime industrial estates of Nepal in Lumbini Province - Nepalgunj industrial estate (district), the oldest industrial estate of the province, was established in 1973 AD and Butwal industrial estate was established in 1975 AD. Combined, the two industrial estates have about a hundred industries in the zone and are a significant source of revenue of the country. Post-promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal in 2015, further industrial estates were declared in the province by the Council of Ministers of the Government of Nepal: Motipur industrial estate in Rupandehi and Naubasta industrial estate in Banke districts.[51] Similarly, Dang industrial estate has been declared in Dang district.[52]

Tourism[edit]

Lumbini[edit]

Lumbini, considered one of the holiest place in Buddhism associated with the Buddha's birth, is a World Heritage Site and the most visited place in Nepal with 1.5 million tourist arriving annually.[49] Lumbini has a number of older temples, including the Mayadevi Temple, and various new temples, funded by Buddhist organizations from various countries, have been completed or are still under construction. The ancient ruins of complex structures have been conserved in the area including the Shakya tank – the remains within the Mayadevi Temple with brick structures and cross-wall system that have been dated from 3rd century BC, Ashoka pillar, excavated remains of Buddhist monasteries of 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD and the remains of Buddhist stupas (memorial shrines) dated between 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD.[53] In addition to the ruins of ancient monasteries, there is a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi Temple, a site traditionally considered to be the birthplace of the Buddha.

French Buddhist monastery in Lumbini complex
World Peace Pagoda, Lumbini
Eternal Peace Flame (Shanti dip), Lumbini

Lumbini complex is divided into three areas: Sacred garden, Monastic zone, Cultural center and new Lumbini village. The sacred garden is the epicenter of the complex which is centered around the birthplace of Buddha and consists of the Mayadevi Temple, the Asoka Pillar, the Marker Stone, the Nativity Sculpture, Sacred Pond (Puskarini), and many structural ruins including Buddhist Viharas & Stupas.[54] The monastic zone is divided into east and west each reflecting two different schools of Buddhism. As a centre of pilgrimage, many countries have established their monasteries in the complex reflecting their own cultural design and spirituality. In the large monastic zone only monasteries can be built; no shops, hotels or restaurants are allowed. The zone is divided into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravadin monasteries, the western having the Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. The Cultural Center consists of museums, Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), administration complex etc. and the New Lumbini Village has the World Peace Pagoda and the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary. World Peace Pagoda lies at the northern end of the Lumbini complex and was designed by Japanese buddhists to represent universal peace.

Kapilvastu[edit]

Widely attributed as the hometown of Gautama Buddha, the Kapilvastu District of present-day Nepal has more than 130 archaeological sites, primarily concentrated in Tilaurakot, Kudan, Gotihawa, Niglihawa, Araurakot, Sagarhawa and Sisaniya. The region is also considered the hometown of two previous Buddhas before Gautama: Kakusandha Buddha who was born in Gotihawa and Koṇāgamana Buddha who was born in Niglihawa.[55] Among three Ashoka pillars in Nepal, two are situated in Gotihawa and Niglihawa erected during King Ashoka's visit to ancient Kapilvastu. Tilaurakot, considered the cardinal point of the ancient Shakyan city of Kapilavastu where Gautama Buddha spent 29 years of his lifetime, was added to the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO on 1996.[56]

Ramagrama[edit]

After the death of Gautama Buddha, the relics of Buddha was divided among eight princes out of sixteen mahājanapadās. One among them, a Koliyan king of Rāmagrāma (present Parasi district) also received the relic who built a stupa enshrining it.[10] Known as the only undisturbed original relic of Buddha in the world[11] the site of stupa was added to the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO on 23 May 1996.

Dhaulagiri circuit[edit]

Jaljala view point overlooking mountains

The Dhaulagiri circuit in Eastern Rukum encompasses the Dhaulagiri mountain range of the northern Lumbini Province. The Dhaulagiri mountain range extends from the northwest to the northeast of Eastern Rukum district and then continues eastward to its tallest peak at Dhaulagiri I. Putha Hiunchuli (Dhaulagiri VII), one of the most popular 7,000-metre mountains, was first climbed by British explorer J. O. M. Roberts and Sherpa Ang Nyima in 1954.[26] The West Dhaulagiri circuit is a tourist trekking circuit close to the Dhaulagiri mountain range and Magar-majority villages, with a distinct preserved Kham Magar culture of the northern Lumbini province.

Dhaulagiri mountain range in Eastern Rukum
Mount Sisne
A Magar village in East Rukum

The circuit's eastern portion is situated along the Dhorpatan reserve of Eastern Rukum, which was designated to preserve high-altitude ecosystems in western Nepal in 1983.[57] The reserve harbours alpine, sub-alpine and high temperate vegetation and 137 species of birds. Endangered animals in the reserve include the musk deer, wolf, red panda, cheer pheasant and danphe.

National Parks[edit]

Bardiya National Park is the largest national park in the lowland Terai which was established in 1976 spread over 968 square kilometres to protect the representative ecosystem, habitats of tigers and their prey species. As a popular tourist destination, the national park is a beautiful, unspoiled wilderness of sal forest, grassland, and alluvial washes cut by the many fingers of the Karnali River. In 1997, a buffer zone of 327 square kilometres surrounding the park was declared, consisting of forests and private lands. The buffer zone is jointly managed by the local communities and the park and community development and resource management is carried out jointly.[58]

Elephant ride and wilderness site-seeing of Gangetic dolphins, tigers, rhinos and elephants are popular touristic activities in the park. The Babai valley which is rich in biodiversity was added to the park in 1984. The zone has wooded grassland and riverine forest and its water is home to Gharial crocodile. More than 30 different mammals, 513 species of birds and several species of snakes, lizard and fishes have been recorded in the park area.[59]

" A tiger monitoring study conducted(July 2016) in Bardiya National Park in Nepal's Terai Arc Landscape has estimated 56 wild tigers, an increase of six from the 2013 estimate for the national park.WWF
One horned Rhino, Bardiya National Park

Banke National Park, adjacent to the Bardiya National Park with the coherent protected area of 1,518 km2 (586 sq mi) represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU). The national park was established in 2010 and is a protected area of tiger and four-horned antelopes. The park extends over an area of 550 square kilometers in Banke district of the province. Banke National Park is connected with Bardiya National Park in the west and wildlife sanctuary and forests of India in the south. The protected zone is an important component of Terai Arc Landscape(TAL) that provides habitat for tigers. The park has eight ecosystem types such as Sal forest, deciduous Riverine forest, savannahs and grasslands, mixed hardwood forest, flood plain community, Bhabar and foothills of Chure range and is home to 124 plants, 34 mammals, more than 300 birds, 24 reptiles, 7 amphibians and 58 fish species. As per the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973, 3 species of mammals (tiger, striped hyaena, four-horned antelope), 4 species of birds (giant hornbill, black stork, Bengal florican, and lesser florican) and 2 species of reptiles (gharial crocodile and python) are protected in the park.[60]

Rani Mahal[edit]

Rani Mahal at Palpa

Rani Mahal which was constructed in 1893 by General Khadga Shumsher to commemorate his late wife Tej Kumari Devi. He gave it the name Rani Mahal, which fittingly translates to 'Queen's Palace'. The palace is at the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, between Syangja and Palpa, eighteen kilometres from Tansen.

Pandaveshwor Temple[edit]

World's largest trident (Trishula) believed to be where five Pandavas brother prayed to Shiva in Dang valley

A temple dedicated to Shiva is situated at the base of chure range, south of Babai river about 9 kilometers from the center of Ghorahi in Dang district. As per the belief, the temple marks the ancient site of Mahābhārata where the five Pandavas brother prayed to Shiva during their journey to the Himalayas. The temple complex consists of the world's largest Trishula. The temple has become an important site for Hindu devotees as well as for prominent personalities such as the President of Nepal, police chiefs, chief justices and ministers.[61]

Some popular religious and tourist centres are:

Popular lakes

Infrastructure[edit]

Universal College of Medical Sciences, Siddharthanagar

Education[edit]

By 2014, Palpa District was one of the first 4 "fully literate" districts of Nepal, achieving a literacy rate of over 95%.[62][63] By 2018, further districts of Lumbini province namely, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Pyuthan, Dang, Parasi, Rupandehi, Rolpa, Bardiya and Eastern Rukum District were classified as fully literate districts of Nepal.[64]

According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in Lumbini Province is 66%. Different levels of education(acquired by population) can be classified as:

  • Primary Level (43%),
  • Lower Secondary Level (21%),
  • Secondary Level (11%),
  • SLC (8%),
  • Intermediate Level (5%),
  • Beginner (5%),
  • Non-formal (4%),
  • Post Graduate and Above (1%).

Universities

Health[edit]

Tinau International Hospital in Butwal

According to the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2016, the Province's Neonatal Mortality (per 1000 live births) stands at 30 and Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) stands at 42, both of which are higher than the national average of 21 and 32 respectively. The province has 670 public health facilities, including four hub hospitals, 18 hospitals, two regional medical stores, 31 primary health care centers, 570 health posts, 27 urban health centers, 15 community health units and 9 other health facilities.[65]

Communication[edit]

In Lumbini province, 49.2% of the population have radio access and followed by 30.4% have access to TV, and only 1.3% have access to the internet. Similarly, 4.4% of the population have access to landline telephone, while 65.8% have access to mobile phone. There are three major cell phone providers in Lumbini Province. They are Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (NTC), Ncell Axiata Limited (NCELL) and Smart Cell. The coverage of Smart Cell providers is only in 5 districts.

There are 66 newspaper channels in Lumbini Province with national, provincial, and local outreach. As per the classification, some of the top-ranking newspapers are Gorachya Dainik, Dainik Nepalgunj, and Mechikali Sandesh Dainik. There are a total of 63 radio stations in the province, such as Radio Lumbini, Radio Tulsipur, Bheri F.M., etc.[66]

Energy[edit]

91% of the population has access to electricity in the province. Of the 12 districts in Lumbini Province, Parasi, Kapilvastu and Bardiya have been electrified by more than 99 percent. Gulmi, Arghakhanchi and Rupandehi have more than 95 percent electrification and Rukum East has the lowest electrification of 11.25 percent.[67] Lumbini generates 21.2 MW of electricity from hydropower.[68] Total number of electricity consumers in the province is 457992, consuming 370.8 Million MWh of energy annually. According to NEA, Distribution and Consumer Service Directorate 93% of consumers are domestic users; loss of electricity in the province is 12.17% for the year 2076/77 (2020 AD). Out of the total loss in distribution provincial office, Gularia contributes the highest loss percentage of 25.02%.

Butwal Solar PV Project, Nepal's first private grid-connected solar power plant, was connected to national transmission line in October 2020. Ridi Hydropower Company has constructed the power plant in Tilottama of Rupendehi District. With over 32,000 solar panels of 330 watts each, the plant can generate 8.5 MW of electricity.[69]

Siddhartha Highway
Butwal-Bhairahawa road (H10)

Transportation[edit]

Roadways[edit]

Transportation routes in Lumbini evolved since NPL H01.svg H01. Lumbini has two major routes, NPL H01.svg H01 and NPL H10.svg H10 both intersecting in Butwal. 8,931 km of road is constructed in the Province. Out of which 5,293 km is blacktopped.

Rapti bridge, Nepal's second longest bridge over West Rapti river in Dang district[70]

All 12 districts of the province are connected via blacktopped roads. Major highways of the province are as follows:

  1. Mahendra Highway: Mahendra Highway(NPL H01.svg H01) traverses districts of Bardiya, Banke, Dang, Kapilvastu, Rupandehi, Parasi latitudinally. It connects to Bagmati to east and Sudurpaschim to the west.
  2. Ratna Highway: Ratna Highway (NPL H12.svg H12) to Karnali Province. It starts at Nepal- India border in Nepalgunj and terminates at Birendranagar, Surkhet. The highway transition into the Karnali Highway system from the point it terminates.
  3. Rapti Highway: Rapti Highway (NPL H11.svg H11) starts from Ameliya, Dang and terminates at Musikot West Rukum. This highway makes hilly regions of Rolpa, Salyan West Rukum and east Rukum accessible.
  4. Siddhartha Highway: Siddhartha Highway(NPL H10.svg H10) highway starts at Nepal-India Border in Siddharthanagar and terminates at Prithivi chowk, Pokhara. The major settlements on the highway are Siddharthanagar, Butwal, Tansen, Waling, Putalibazar, Syangja and Pokhara.

Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj have always been major trade routes with India. Lumbini has no railways but East West railway, Kathmandu-Lumbini railway and several other routes connecting Indian cities are planned.[71][72][73]

Air Travel[edit]

Nepal Airlines at Gautam Buddha International Airport

Gautam Buddha International Airport, Nepalgunj Airport and Dang Airport are major airstrips in the province. Nepalgunj Airport, Nepal's second most busiest airport after Tribhuwan International Airport, is being upgraded to an international airport as per the 20 year master plan.[46] Being mostly flat land air travel isn't preferable but Nepalgunj Airport serves as hub for most of the airports in Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province and is a transit point for tourists heading to Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash in Tibet.[74][75] New airports are under construction in Resunga (Gulmi District) and Sandhikharka (Arghakhanchi District).[76][77]

See also[edit]

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