Lumbini is an important archaeological site located in the Rupandehi District of Nepal. It is widely recognized as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts pilgrims and tourists from around the world.
Historical records and archaeological excavations have revealed that Lumbini was a thriving settlement during the 6th century BCE. The site contains the remains of ancient structures, including temples, monasteries, and a sacred pond called the Puskarni. It also features the famous Ashoka Pillar, erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. The pillar bears an inscription describing his visit to the birthplace of Buddha and his devotion to Buddhism.
Devanapiyena piyadasina lajina visativasabhisitena
atana agacha mahiyite hida Budhe jate Sakyamuniti
silavigadabhica kalapita silathabhe cha usapapite
hida Bhagavam jateti Lumminigame ubalike kate
Translation by H.M.G. Nepal
King Piyadasi (Asoka) the beloved of Devas in the twentieth year of the coronation himself made a royal visit; Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here, a stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected. The Bhagavan having been born here, Lumbini Village was tax-reduced and entitled to the eighth part (only).
The most significant discovery at Lumbini was made in 1896 when archaeologist Dr. P.C. Mukherji unearthed a stone slab known as the “Marker Stone.” Inscriptions on the slab identified it as the exact spot where Gautama Buddha was born. This finding confirmed Lumbini’s historical and religious importance.
Since then, numerous excavations and conservation efforts have taken place at Lumbini. The archaeological site has been expanded, and a master plan has been developed to preserve and develop the area. It includes the construction of monasteries, museums, research centers, and other facilities to enhance visitors’ experience and promote Buddhist teachings.
Lumbini remains an active pilgrimage site for Buddhists, who come to pay homage to the birthplace of Buddha and meditate in the tranquil surroundings. The site’s archaeological significance, coupled with its cultural and religious importance, makes it a prominent destination for anyone interested in Buddhism or ancient history.