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Lumbini Tour

Lumbini

Lumbini is the place where the Buddha, known as the Tathagata* was born. It is the place which should be visited and seen by a person of devotion and which should cause awareness and apprehension of the nature of impermanence. " Tathagata - One who has found the Truth ".

The birthplace of the Gautama Buddha, Lumbini, is the Mecca of every Buddhist, being one of the four holy places of Buddhism. It is said in the Parinibbana Sutta that Buddha himself identified four places of future pilgrimage: the sites of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse, and death. All of these events happened outside in nature under trees. While there is not any particular significance in this, other than it perhaps explains why Buddhists have always respected the environment and natural law.

Lumbini is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas in modern Nepal. In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a beautiful garden full of green and shady Sal trees (Shorea). The garden and its tranquil environs were owned by both the Shakyas and Kolias clans. King Suddhodana, father of Gautama Buddha was of the Shakya dynasty belonging to the Kshatriya or the warrior caste. Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while taking rest in Lumbini under a sal tree in the month of May in the year 642 B.C. The beauty of Lumbini is described in Pali and Sanskrit literature. Maya Devi it is said was spellbound to see the natural grandeur of Lumbini. While she was standing, she felt labor pains and catching hold of a drooping branch of a Sal tree, the baby, the future Buddha, was born.

How to Reach Lumbini

By Air

The closest airport is at Bhairahawa (also known as Sidhhartha Nagar) (22km), where there are flights to and fromKathmandu. Other airports serving more destinations include Gorakhpur and Faizabad in India. Bhairahawa - is the nearest airport to get Lumbini if you want to fly from Kathmandu.

By Train

The closest station is at Nautanwa, India on the Indian Railway network, but passenger trains are infrequent on this line. The alternative of taxi travel from the border crossing at Sunauli to Gorakhpur takes about two hours. From Sunauli, Siddharthanagar is only 3.5 kilometers. Total travel time is 12 – 18 hours from Dehli and 10 – 12 hours from Kolkata (Calcutta). The Mahaparinirvan Express tourist train stops in Gorakhpur where tourists continue to Lumbini by road.

By Road

Buses ply the route between Sunauli (from stop across from Hotel Yeti) and Lumbini. At Lumbini alight at the main gate. Alternatively, from the Nepal side of the border one can take a shared jeep to Bhairahawa (4 kilometers) followed by a bus to Lumbini. Bhairahawa-Lumbini buses depart every 15 minutes. The last return bus departs at 5 PM.

Buses also run from Kathmandu, Pokhara, Gorakhpur and Varanasi to Sunauli. Gorakhpur to Sunauli state transport buses are reasonably frequent. Taxis are probably the best option for reaching Lumbini from Sunauli, though you will need to know the going rate to avoid paying well over the odds. As everywhere else in the sub-continent, ensure that the fare has been agreed before heading out. This will save trouble at the destination.

Given that the sights in Lumbini are far across, bicycles and cycle rickshaws offer a good way to get around. Bicycles can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (100 NRs/day), as well as the Korean monastery (provided you are staying there). Bicycles are also available near the main gate next to the cycle rickshaw stand. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles. Also check the condition of the seat and the lock.

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