Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal in the year 563 B.C. He gave up his princely life to achieve more, ultimately attaining enlightenment. He then taught others how to achieve nirvana.
Naturally, he is a revered figure for Buddhists around the world and though I didn’t feel any hallowed connection to the this place, it was definitely special in its own right.
I’ll keep the words to a minimum in this post and let the pictures speak for themselves of this serene, peaceful place.
The entrance to the 3 by 1 mile site was special in its own right. I have fallen in love with the Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. You hear this song all over Nepal, and the entrance to Buddha’s birthplace was no different. A souvenir stall at the entrance was playing it and I couldn’t think of a better way to start this wonderful day.
Below a picture of the entrance gate and a lady walking down the pathway in the opposite direction.
After walking down the pathway, you reach the building that houses Buddha’s birthplace and a small plaza of sorts surrounded by historical ruins.
You are not allowed to take pictures inside the building housing the actual birthplace. Inside it looks like an archaeological site, with large glass doors on the floor over the spot where Buddha was born.
Outside the birthplace, sermons were taking place in various languages, people meditated, others prayed and offered incense, and a dog slept. The atmosphere was quiet, peaceful, and beautiful.
Below is a video of people worshiping a holy man under a tree just outside the birthplace and then the pictures.
Most of the site has been set aside for monastic temples. The eastern side has Theravadin-style monasteries (the Buddhism practiced in Southeast Asia) and the western side has Mahayana-style (Zen) and Vajrayana-style (Tibetan) Buddhism. These two sides are separated by a long, beautiful pond.
The area is very green and most temples had a garden of sorts. I don’t think I’ve been in a place with so many butterflies before. Butterflies are revered by Bhuddists for their symbolism – shedding their old self to achieve greater heights.
The World Peace Pagoda
At the very north of the site there is a Japanese-built world peace pagoda. Next to the pagoda is a small Japanese-style temple. While I was there, drums were being beaten and it created a very harmonious atmosphere as you can see below.
I don’t know if I adequately presented the serenity and awesomeness of this holy place, but I tried my best. Thanks for following and I hope you can visit some day!
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About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.