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Lumbini Tourist Attractions

Lumbini, a town in the Tarai about 22 km (131/2 mi.) west of Bhairawa, is famous as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama the historic Buddha, known as Buddha Shakyamuni.

Maya Devi Mandir

Although this temple, due to archaeological excavation, has been dismantled and at present cannot be seen, a description is given below. The Maya Devi Mandir, dedicated to Buddha's mother, is believed to be more than 2000 years old. It contains an ancient stone relief from the 2nd c. AD depicting Buddha's birth. The ravages of time have almost erased the carving, completing the work of the Muslim invaders who chiseled away the figures. But the scene is reproduced in marble near by: Maya Devi is shown reaching out with her hand towards a branch while Brahma welcomes the newborn Buddha standing at her side. The temple is maintained by Brahmins. Hindus venerate the relief as an image of Rupa Devi, goddess of abundance and fertility.

Ashoka's Column

Ashoka's Column is the oldest historical monument in Nepal. Other similar columns are found dotted around the Indian subcontinent - in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa and Madya Pradesh as well as Lumbini - erected by Ashoka not just as commemorative monuments but also to demarcate his kingdom. They show how extensive was the hegemony of the man who paved the way for Buddhism. The columns themselves yield valuable evidence from earliest history. The inscription on the one in Lumbini reads: "King Ashoka, favorite of the gods, made a royal visit in the twentieth year of the coronation. A stone parapet and stone column were erected in honor of Buddha, who was born here".

Water Tank

It is said that Queen Maya Devi bathed in the large water tank at the start of her labor and that Buddha was washed in it after he was born. Two dragons dispense the water, one hot, one cold.
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