Exploring Tourism in Nepal
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Lumbini, Nepal

Lumbini is the hallowed birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya prince, the eventual Shakyamuni and the ultimate Buddha - the Enlightened One.The main attraction at Lumbini is the Sacred Garden that is spread over 8 sq km and possesses all the treasures of the historic area.  The Mayadevi temple, is the main attraction for pilgrims and archeologists alike.  This is where we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha's mother, giving birth to him as two Hindu gods, Brahma and Indra, shower him with lotus petals and holy water.  There is also a sacred stone marked with a "foot imprint" of Emperor Ashoka which had been placed here to mark the exact birthplace.  Nearby, to the west of the Mayadevi temple, stands the Ashoka Pillar - the oldest monument so far found in Nepal.  The pillar was erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site.  The inscription on it in Brahmi script authenticates Lumbini as the place where the Buddha has born in 623 BC.  To the south of the Pillar we find the sacred pond - Puskarni - where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha.

The treasury of cultural and archeological riches scattered around Lumbini evokes the time and aura of the Buddha.  Moreover, a host of stupas, monasteries, meditation centers and bahals (courtyards) being constructed in the International Monastery Zone by various countries such as Japan, China, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Shri Lanka, France and Germany embodying their respective architecture reflects and the world brothehood envisaged by the Apostle of Peach some 2500 years ago.
Tilaurakot is an important archeological site lying 27 km to the west of Lumbini, Tilaurakot evokes the ancient palace of King Suddhodhan, Siddhartha Gautam's father, where the Buddha spent his formative years as a Shakya prince.  Scattered foundations of the ancient palace, stupas and monasteries made of kiln-backed bricks and clay mortar are abundant here.  The most sacred spot here for Buddhists is the palace's eastern gate through which the Buddha had departed on his search for enlightenment.  A must for archeology and history buffs.  
Reaching Lumbini is easy.  A 35-minute flight from Kathmandu will wing visitors to Bhairawa, an industrial town situated 284 km south-west of the capital.  From here, regular taxis and buses leave for Lumbini, 22 km away.  There are daily flights to Bhairawa.  Daily Bus services are also available from Kathmandu to Bhairawa. 

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