Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, in the Terai plains of Nepal is one of the greatest pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. More than 400,000 Buddhists and non-Buddhists visit Lumbini every year. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture) and holds immense archeological and religious importance.
Sacred Garden: It was here in the gardens of Lumbini that Prince Siddhartha Gautam, who later became the Buddha, was born in 623 BC. The nativity site is marked by a commemorative pillar erected by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka of India during his pilgrimage to the holy site in 249 BC. The inscription on the Ashoka Pillar identifies the Sacred Garden - spread over 9 sq. km – as the spot where the Enlightened One was born. A large number of Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit Lumbini to pray at the Mayadevi Temple where excavations have revealed the “marker stone” showing the exact spot where Siddhartha Gautam Buddha was born. The sacred Puskarni Pond where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath before the birth of Buddha lies to the south of the pillar. It was also in this pond that the infant Buddha was given his first bath.
Monuments: To the north of the Sacred Garden are monastic zones where different countries have built temples and monasteries depicting different sects of Buddhism. The Myanmar Temple (Lokamani Cula Pagoda) is a shiny gold and white structure that resembles the Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon while the International Gautami Nuns Temple is a replica of the Swayambhu Stupa of Kathmandu.
The China Temple, built by the Buddhist Association of China, is a complex of pagodas, prayer rooms, and meditation cells. Across the road is the Dae Sung-Suk Ga Sa Korean Temple. The Japan Peace Stupa, built by Nippon Jon Kyohoji of Japan, is a 41-m tall structure with four different Buddha statues set into the stupa’s dome facing the four cardinal directions. Other beautiful monuments and temples have been built by Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, France, Germany and Sri Lanka.
The circuit provides insight into the life of Lord Buddha and the development of Buddhism. There are 62 archaeological sites scattered around Lumbini. The tour goes through Tilaurakot, Kudan, Gothihawa, Niglihawa, Sagarhawa, Aurorakot, Devadaha and Ramagrama - all bearing significance to the life and enlightenment of the Buddha.
Tilaurakot: Identified by archaeologists as the capital of Kapilvastu, Tilaurakot lies 27 km west of Lumbini, where excavations are on to unearth the ancient palace of King Suddhodhan, Siddhartha Gautam’s father. The Buddha is believed to have spent the first 29 years of his princely life in Tilaurakot.
Kudan: Located some 4.5 km south of Tilaurakot, Kudan is where King Suddhodhan met Lord Buddha for the first time after returning from his enlightenment. It was here that the Kasaya (yellow robe worn by monks) was presented to Lord Buddha. It was also here that the Kasaya was presented by Lord Buddha to Rahul, his son.
Gothihawa: About 5 km from Tilaurakot, Gothihawa is where Krakuchanda Buddha, who preceded Shakyamuni Buddha, was born. Remains of a broken Ashoka Pillar and relics can be seen here.
Niglihawa: About 8 km from Tilaurakot, Niglihawa is where Kanakmani Buddha was born. Here too one can see remains of a broken Ashokan Pillar.
Devdaha: The capital of the Koliya kingdom and maternal home of Mayadevi, Devdaha is 35 km to the northeast of Lumbini. This is where Siddhartha Gautam spent his childhood.
Sagarhawa: Forest site is identified by archeologists as the “Palace of the Massacre of the Shakyas” by the invading forces. The ruins of the ancient site lie on the west and south banks of a large rectangular pond known locally as Lumbu Sagar, or long pond, in Niglihawa village. Sagarahawa is 12 km north of Taulihawa municipality in Lumbini.
Lumbini Village Tour: A walk through the villages surrounding Lumbini and interaction with the warm and hospitable local people, buying their handicrafts and observing their traditional rituals will bring one closer to understanding the diversity of the Terai cultures in Nepal. Village tours also give an opportunity to observe the Terai landscape and a peek into the locals’ agro-based rural lifestyle, colorful costumes, festivals which they celebrate with much joy and enthusiasm, and gracious hospitality. Visitors can also visit the local temples and mosques or partake in the cultural ceremonies. Wetland areas, lakes and ponds in the villages offer bird-watching opportunities. Visitors have the option of choosing to walk through the villages or ride in a local rickshaw or bullock cart. Some of the villages surrounding Lumbini are Ekala, Khudabagar, Tenuhawa, Lumbini Adarsh and Madhuvani. More information is available about the villages in the New Products section.
A visa for Nepal can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on the Nepal-India border and Kodari on the Nepal-China border.
Outside of Nepal, a visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission.
To renew a Visa, you can go to the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.
- A valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background.
- Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen.
- Credit card, Indian currency, and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee
Tourist Visa Nepal
1. Multiple entry - 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
2. Multiple entry - 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
3. Multiple entry - 90 days- US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Gratis (Free) Visa
For the first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.
Nepal Visa for Indian Nationals
Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal. As per the Nepalese Immigration, Indian Nationals traveling to Nepal by air must possess any one of the following documents.
2. Election Commission Card
Nepal Visa for Chinese Nationals
As per official circular of the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, China, Chinese nationals applying for a tourist visa to Nepal are being provided “gratis tourist visa” from Jan. 5, 2016, from following Nepali missions in the People’s Republic of China:
1. Embassy of Nepal, Beijing
2. Consulate General of Nepal, Lhasa
3. Consulate General of Nepal, Hong Kong
4. Honorary Consulate of Nepal, Shanghai
Other Visa Information
Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan will need to obtain a visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get a visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.
Visa Extension for Nepal
Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31).
Learn more about applying for Nepal visa online by clicking here Online Visa Application for Nepal.
For further visa information for Nepal, please contact: Department of Immigration Kalikasthan, Kathmandu
Tel: 00977-1- 4429660 / 4438862 / 4438868/ 4433934
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