Maya Devi Temple

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The Mayadevi Temple: The Maya Devi Temple is the heart of all monuments at this holy site. It houses the Marker Stone, the Nativity Sculpture and the structural ruins, all relevant to the birth of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. The Marker Stone pinpoints the exact birth spot and the Nativity Sculpture depicts the birth scene of the Prince Siddhartha.
The structural ruins inside Mayadevi Temple belong to 6th century BC to 5th century AD. It consists of 15 box chambers arranged in 5 rows in east-west and 3 rows in north-south direction as well as a circumambulatory path surrounded by an outer wall.

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East Monastic Zone

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The East Monastic Zone represents the Theravada (Hinayana) school of Buddhism where 13 plots are allotted for construction of Viharas. There are five Theravada Buddhist monasteries and one Vipassana meditation centre in operation in the East Monastic Zone while, three monasteries are under construction. They are:

1) The Royal Thai Monastery, Thailand;2) Canadian Engaged Buddhism Association (Bodhi Institute Monastery and Dharma Center) (under construction); 3) Mahabodhi Society Temple of India; 4) Nepal Theravada Buddha Vihar (under construction); 5) Cambodian Temple, Cambodia (under construction); 6) Myanmar Golden Temple, Myanmar; 7) International Gautami Nuns Temple, Nepal; 8) Sri Lankan Monastery, Sri Lanka and 9) Dhamma Janani Vipassana Center, Nepal.

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Kudan

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Situated about 3km south of Taulihawa, is the ancient and historical site of Nyigrodharama, currently known as Kudan or LoriKi Kudan. Lord Sakyamuni Buddha met king Suddhodhana here for the first time after returning from enlightenment. Major structural ruins excavated and conserved, so far, in Kudan include 3 stupas, ancient well and Nyigrodharama pond.


Stupa 1 (Rahula Stupa) is believed to have been built to commemorate the event and spot where Rahula, was ordained by the Lord Sakyamuni Buddha’s chief disciple Sariputra.


Stupa 2 is believed to have been built to commemorate the first meeting of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and king Suddhodana (after enlightenment).


Stupa 3 is believed to have been built to commemorate the events and place where Queen Prajapati Gautami offered Lord Sakyamuni Buddha the Kashaya Vastra, and Yasodhara invited him and his Sangha for a meal at the palace.

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Lumbini Development Trust

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Lumbini Development Trust is a special body of Government of Nepal under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to administer Buddhist sites of Greater Lumbini Area. The Trust was formed with enactment of Lumbini Development Trust Act 2042. Major responsibilities of the Trust are to explore, excavate, conserve and develop the Buddhist sites are that directly or indirectly associated with the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and earlier Buddhas. Currently, historic Buddhist sites Lumbini, Kudan, Gotihawa, Tilaurakot, Niglihawa, Araurakot, Sagarhawa, Devadaha and Ramagrama are under the jurisdiction of the LDT. The LDT is working to complete Lumbini Master Plan in a top priority, and simultaneously undertaking archaeological and conservation works in other historic sites.


The birthplace of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha in Lumbini, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is the abode of peace and an ultimate pilgrimage to the Buddhist devotees and peace lovers from around the world. Lord Sakyamuni Buddha was born here in 623 BC and preached the universal message of peace and compassion; therefore, it is regarded one of the most sacred places for people who believe in Buddhism. Buddhist pilgrims, peace lovers and general visitors from around the world visit Lumbini to pay homage to Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and observe the sanctity and shrines that are hallowed by the birth of the Buddha.

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Peace Flame

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The Monastic Zone, an area of 1 sq. mile in the middle of the master plan has been divided into two zones by a 1.6km long pedestrian walkways and a canal in the middle. The West Monastic Zone comprises 29 plots of land, each allotted for construction of Mahayana monastery and the East Monastic Zone represents the Theravada (Hinayana) school of Buddhism where 13 plots are allotted for construction of Viharas. Currently there are three meditation centers in operation in this zone. The Statue of Baby Buddha, Central Canal and its boating facility, the Eternal Peace Flame, the Peace Bell etc. in the monastic zone are of great interest for the visitors.

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Sacred Garden

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The Sacred Garden, the epicenter of the Master Plan, represents the southern part of the Master Plan and comprises the sacred birthplace of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. Historical monuments and objects of high archaeological, religious and spiritual value located in this zone include the Maya Devi Temple, the Asoka Pillar, the Marker Stone, the Nativity Sculpture, Sacred Pond (Puskarini), and many structural ruins including Buddhist Viharas & Stupas. The Sacred Garden landscape is encircled by a Circular Pond and a Circular Levee, which symbolize the purity and simplicity of the mandala, a mystic symbol of the universe.

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Sacred Pond

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Located 25 paces south west from the Marker Stone is the Sacred Pond, popularly known as Puskarini where it is believed that Maya Devi bathed before giving birth to the Prince Siddhartha. Infant Buddha was also given the first purification bath here.


The pond existed before the birth of the Buddha, probably in an oval shape. It was remodeled in shape and size, with an embankment of bricks laid in 1993 AD by Keshar Shumsher JBR. The present day pond measures 24.90m x 24.85m x 4.83m. While cleaning the pond in 1996, two wells were found in the northeast and southwest corners of the pond.

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The Ashoka Pillar

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The Asoka Pillar was erected here in Lumbini by the Emperor Asoka in 249 BC to mark the birthplace of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and to commemorate the Emperor’s visit to Lumbini. The Asoka Pillar bears the first epigraphic evidence with reference to the birthplace of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. The Asoka inscription engraved in Brahmi script and Pali language attests Lumbini to be the birthplace of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha.

The pillar is made of sandstone and other sedimentary rock. The pillar when first erected was about 40 feet long and originally had three parts (i) The monolithic pillar, (ii) A Lotus bracket, and (iii) A Crowning figure, which was possibly a horse. The present monolithic pillar is 30 feet and 10.5 inches (9.41m) long.

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Tilaurakot

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Kapilavastu district is an open museum as it alone houses more than 130 important archaeological sites. Significant Buddhist monuments and sites include Tilaurakot, Kudan, Gotihawa, Niglihawa, agarhawa, Araurakot, Sisaniya etc.

The Ancient Kapilavastu or the present day Kapilavastu district of Nepal is identified with the kingdom as well as the capital city of Sakya dynasty where Siddhartha spent his 29 years of palatial life as a Prince. After witnessing Chatur Nimitta Darshan (four causative sights), Siddhartha renounced the worldly life and left the palace through the Eastern Gate (also called as Mahabhiniskramana Dwara) in a quest for enlightenment.

Important archaeological and religious monuments uncovered so far from Tilaurakot include: (i) Fortification Wall, (ii) Western Gate, (iii) The Central Structural Complex, (iv) The Central Walled Complex, (v) The Central Pond, (vi) The Samai Mai Temple, (vii) The Eastern Gate (Mahabhiniskramana Dwara), (viii) The Northern Twin Stupa (Dhamnihawa Stupa), (ix) Eastern Stupa and Monastery (Hastigarta), and (x) The Southern Industrial Mound (Lohasaudiya).

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West Monastic Zone

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The West Monastic Zone comprises 29 plots of land, each allotted for construction of Mahayana monastery. 14 Mahayana Buddhist monasteries and two meditation centres are in operation, while four monasteries are under construction in the West Monastic Zone. They are:


1) Ka-Nying Shedrup Monastery (Seto Gumba), Nepal (under construction); 2) Zarong Tgupten Mendol Dogna Chholing, Nepal (under construction); 3) Urgen Dorjee Chholing Buddhist Center, Singapore; 4) Nepal Vajrayana Maha Vihara, Nepal (under construction); 5) French Buddhist Association, France; 6) The Great Lotus Stupa (Tara Foundation), Germany; 7) Drigung Kagyud Meditation Center, Laddakh; 8) The World Linh Son Buddhist Congregation, France; 9) Japanese Monastery, Japan (under construction); 10) United Tungaram Buddhist Foundation, Nepal; 11) Thrangu Vajra Vidhya Buddhist Association, Canada; 12) Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu, Vietnam; 13) Geden International Monastery, Austria; 14) Chinese Monastery, China; 15) Dae Sung Shakya Temple, South Korea; 16) Drubgyud Chhoeling Monastery (Nepal Mahayana temple); 17) Dharmodhaya Sabha Nepal (Swayambhu Mahavihara); 18) Karma Samtenling Monastery, Nepal; 19) Manang Samaj Stupa, Nepal; and 20) Pandirarama Lumbini International Meditation Center, Myanmar.

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