Lumbini Circuit Tour takes you to the entire important religious site in and around Lumbini. Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Maya Devi, the queen of Shakya king Suddhodhana of Kapilvastu, gave birth to the Buddha on her way to parent’s home in Devadaha in May the year 620 BC. Feeling the onset of labor pains, she grabbed hold of the branches of a shade tree and gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam, the future Buddha.
The Buddha is said to have announced, this is my final rebirth as he entered the world. It is said that he walked which a lotus flower bloomed princes Siddhartha renounced his worldly riches and set out in the world at the age of 30.
Buddha as stated in Mahaparinirvana Sutta spoke to his followers: After I am no more, oh Ananada, men of belief will visit the tour places with faith, curiosity and devotion: Lumbini where I was born, Bodhgaya where I attained enlightenment, Sarnath where I set motion the wheel of Dhamma and Kusinagar where I shall pass into Mahaparinirvana. Those who make pilgrimages to these places will be reborn on the dissolution of their body after in a heavenly state. These four historical places have become world famous pilgrimage sites for all the Buddhists around the world.
In 249 BC, the Buddhist convert Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and constructed four stupas and a stone pillar. Ashoka’s Pillar bears an inscription that translates as: King Ashoka, beloved of Devas, in the 20 year of the coronation himself made a royal visit, Buddha having been born here, stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected to the Bhagavan having been born here.
There are 62 other archaeological sites scattered outside the lumbini garden. Lumbini Buddhists Circuit Tour starts from Tilaurakot and ends at Ramgrama.
Tilaurakot: Tilaurakot is the ancient Kapilvastu, the capital of the Shakya Kingdom, situated 27km west of Lumbini, 3km from Taulihawa town. A joint effort of Nepalese and Japanese archaeologists recovered the royal town of Tilaurakot, the elaborate gateway in the western side, the twin stupa of the Buddha’s parents, King Sodhodhan’s palace in and around the Tilaurakot mound. Buddha visited Kapilvastu severl times during his life. Renowned Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien and Hiuen –Tsang noted that they saw Kapilvastu in complete ruins and counted 10 deserted cities within Kapilvastu. It is said to have been destroyed by King Vurudhaka who massacred the Shakyas during the last days of Buddha.
Kundan- Kundan is situated about 5km south of Tilaurakkot where Kind Sudhodhana met Lord Buddha, the first time after returning from enlightenment. It is a huge mound of structural ruins and a pond nearby appears to be the wreckage of stupas and monasteries believed to the Kasaya stupa where a Kasaya was presented to Lord Buddha. Kundan is also Kshemavati, the birthplace of historic Krakuchanda Buddha.
Gotihawa –Gotihawa is an important archaeological and religious site of the Buddhist world, located
3km south-west of Taulihawa. It is believed that Krakuchada Buddha who came before Shakyamuni Buddha was born and attained nirvana in Gotihawa. The area outside modern Gotihawa village is covered with ancient potteries, brick structures of stupas and monasteries.
Niglihawa –Niglihawa is a significant archeological site situated about 7km north of Taulihawa where close to a large pond lie the remains of a broken Ashokan Pillar. Emperor Ashoka visited during his pilgrimage, built a stupa and set up a pillar. Renowned archeologist Dr. Fuhrer discovered this pillar in 1895. This site is regarded as a very important religious place for Buddhists and research scholars.
Sagarhawa- Sagarhawa is the forest site where the ruins of an ancient pond were excavated in 1695. Archaeologists have identified this site as the Palace of the Massacre of the Shakyas. The ruins of the ancient site are lying on the west and south banks of the huge rectangular pond locally known as Lumbu Sagar or long pond in Niglihawa village. It is about 12km north of Taulihawa.
Aurorakot –Aurorakot is the large rectangular fortified area with the remains of ancient most and brick fortifications lies nearby Niglihawa. This citdal was believed to be a walled forest in ancient times. This citadel was believed to be the birth town of Kanakmuni Buddha, lying to the east of Niglihawa.
Devdaha –Devdaha is the ancient capital of the Koliya kingdom, located 54km east of Lumbini across the Rohini river. It is the maternal home town of Queen Maya Devi(mother), Prajapati Gautami(step-mother), Princes Yasodhara(consort) where Prince Siddhartha had spent his childhood. There are several other sited Kumarbarti, Khayardanda, Bairimai/Kanyamai, Bhabanipur/Devdamar, Mathagadi(ancient weapon around Devadaha.
Ramgrama –Ramagrama is the brick mound on the bank of the Jharahi River. It is 7m high brick stupa consisting of relic of Buddha. The Stupa was built by the king of Ramgrama who was the eighth king to obtain the Buddha’s relics.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Receive at Kathmandu airport and drive to hotel. Check in Hotel and rest for a while. In the afternoon visit Swoyambhunath stupa is also known as monkey temple.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Lumbini
Drive or fly to Lumbini. By oveland bus or car travel it takes a day journey of 7/8 hours. By flight it is about an hour flight journey.
Day 3: Lumbini sightseeing tour
Breakfast and whole day lumbini tour visit important places of Lumbini garden.
Day 4: Lumbini to Kathmandu
Drive or fly back to Kathmandu. In the afternoon, free shopping and walk around Thamel.
Day 5: Kathmandu Airport
Final transfer to Kathmandu airport to get flight back to home.