Lumbini Tour

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Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, which was destined to be the prevalent religion in Asia. This nativity site, identified by the Ashokan Pillar, erected by Magadhan emperor Ashoka, to commemorate the birth place of Buddha, the Lumbini grove. The pillar was erected over 2200 years ago, making lumbini the quintessential Buddhist heritage site. Among the prime attractions are the sacred garden with an area of 8 sq. km, the Mayadevi Temple with a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha's mother and a sacred stone marked with a "foot imprint" of Ashoka. The Ashokan Pillar, the oldest monument so far found in Nepal lies to the west of the Mayadevi Temple. Today only the lower shaft of the pillar stands, the upper past having been split into two. There is no trace of the horse capital. To the south of the pillar is Puskarni, the sacred pond, wherein, Mayadevi is said to have had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha - the Enlightened one.

For those interested in the treasury of cultural and archaeological riches, Lumbini is the perfect place to be there with a number of stupa, monasteries, meditation centers and bahals(courtyard), no other place evokes the time and aura of the Buddha like Lumbini, the Hallowed birthplace of the Apostle of Peace.

Lying about 27 km west of Lumbini and evoking the ancient palace of King Suddhodhan (The chief of the Shakya tribe and father of Buddha), is Tilaurakot, where Buddha spent his early years. The place of tremendous archaeological significance. Other than quite a few scattered fountains of ancient palaces, stupas and monasteries, archaeologists have discovered thirteen successive layers of human presence (habitation), the oldest dating back to the eight century B.C. one should always remember the eastern gate of the palace, here, through which Buddha is said to have departed on his search for enlightenment. A never miss for Buddhist as well as historians and scholars.

Some of the very valuable archaeological finds (Dating 3rd century B.C) have been unearthed at Niglihawa. Situated to the north-east of Tilaurakot, this place encompasses a quadrangular tank, two broken pieces of another Ashokan Pillar. The pillar inscription commemorates Ashoka's visit to the place.

Identified by Archaeologists as the "Palace of Massacre of the Shakyas", the ruins of an ancient water tank were excavated n the forest of Sagarhawa. It lies to the north-west of Niglihawa.

Located to the south-west of Tilaurkot, the place is known for an Ashokan Pillar (Whose upper part, capital is missing) and a huge stupa. According to the legends, the place is also associated with Kanakmuni Buddha and Krakuchhanda Buddha. They arrived before Gautam Buddha.

This place once had a walled rectangular fortress. The citadel was Buddha's natal town. Lying to the north-east of Niglihawa, here you can find remains of ancient moat and brick fortifications reminding you of its glorious pa

The Buddhist Temple
The monastery of the Buddhist temple is built inside the surrounding complex of Lumbini in the manner of modern Buddhist shrines in Nepal. The prayer-hall contains a big image of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha in the medieval style. Colorful artistic murals decorate the large walls.

The Ashokan Pillar
Discovered by the now famous German archaeologist Dr. Fuhrer, the pillar is the first epigraphic evidence relating to the life history of Lord Buddha and is also the most visible land-mark of the auspicious garden. The historic importance of the pillar is evidenced by the inscription engraved on the pillar (in Brahmi characters). It is said that the Hindu Indian Emperor Ashok-the Great, who got converted, visited the site in the twentieth year of his accession to the throne and as a homage to the pure birth-place erected the pillar. The inscription on the pillar roughly translates as : "King Piyadesi the beloved of the Gods, having been anointed 20 years, came himself and worshipped saying--Here Buddha Sakyamuni was born. He caused to make a stone (capital) representing a horse and he caused (this) stone pillar to be erected. Because here the worshipful one was born the village of Lumbini has been made free of taxes and recipient of wealth."

Image Of Maha Maya Debi
In additional to the Ashokan Pillar, the other shrine of importance is the bas-relief image of Maha Maya Debi-the Queen of King Suddhodan. Enshrined in a small pagoda-like structure, the image shows Maya-Debi, the mother of Crown Prince Siddhartha Goutam. She is seen supporting herself by holding on with her right hand to a branch of a Sal tree, with the newly born infant Buddha standing upright on a lotus pedestal on an oval halo. Two other celestial figures are depicted in an act of pouring holy water and lotuses bestowed from heaven. Earlier the image was placed in the famous white temple of Maya Debi besides the pillar-now totally dismantled to make way for the excavations which revealed the Sanctum Sanctorum, the exact spot where Our Lord was born.

Located some 27 kilometers west of Lumbini lies the ruins of the historic town of "Kapilbastu". Believed to be the capital of Shakya republic where the Lord lived and enjoyed his life until his thirtieth year, Kapilbastu has been identified with Tilourakot by the archaeologists. Also, the place is believed to have been associated with different important episodes. There are ruins and mounds of old stupas and monasteries made of kiln-burnt bricks and clay-mortar. The remains are surrounded by a moat and the walls of the city are made of bricks. In fact, the ruins of the ancient city of Kapilbastu are in such a grand scale that it could easily be visualized as a high seat of authentic culture.

City Walk
With its network of streets and courtyards, remarkable architecture and temples, Tansen is a great town for walking. The tourism office has maps and a brochure guide for walking-tours of the town.

Tansen Durbar
Tansen Durbar is an impressive Rana-style palace in the centre of the town. The four-storied square building has sixty-three rooms enclosing a small courtyard. Built in 1927AD by General Pratap Shamsher it has gone from being the seat of Rana Governors to being the secretariat of the Palpa District.

The second story of the palace in the Gaddi Baithak throne hall still houses some important pieces of Palpa's history, including throne and ceremonial sword, and every year it is the site of a ceremony to mark the beginning of the spring season.

Sitalpati - Shady Restplace
An octagonal building in the centre of town, providing both view and a cool spot out of the sun, Sitalpati was built in 1891-2 by Governor Khadka Shamsher. It stands in a large open circular courtyard, outside the impressive main palace gate, and is the meeting place of roads, people and their goods.

Mul Dhoka
Also known as Baggi Dhoka, this huge finely decorated doorway leads from Sitalpati to the palace grounds. At 30x12 feet, it is the largest doorway of its kind. Built in 1891/2 by Governor Khadka Shamsher, its size allowed for his entrance on an elephant and today it a main feature of yearly chariot processions and festivals.

Shreenagar - A Nature Made Tower
A 30-minute climb or a short drive from Tansen bazaar leads to a truly heavenly spot from which to gaze out on Nepal. The best time to enjoy the views is in the morning when the hill is covered with dense fog like a heap of cotton or in the afternoon before sunset.

At 1515 metres, the hill-top park and forests of Shreenagar abound in scenic and natural beauty and offer breathtaking views of giant snow-capped mountains - Dhaulagiri, the four Annapurnas, Nilgiri, Tukuche, Mansulu, Ganesh Himal and the famed twin fishtail peaks of Machhapuchhre.

To the south, the view extends from the stunning Madi valley and the sweep of the Tinau River valley to a wall of green mountains and gorges and out onto the wide expanse of the Tarai plains.

Shreenagar Hill is a forest of pine trees and open green parkland. Made up of viewpoints and picnic spots, camping facilities as well as meditation spots and statues of Buddha, the park is one of the most picturesque spots in Western Nepal.

Temples Tansen is, like Kathmandu, rich in a culture of Temples. From early in the morning one can hear bells ringing and the beat of holy drums.

Bhagawati Temple - Mark of Victory
Rebuilt by the ten Governor of Palpa, Colonel Ujir Singh Thapa during to mark the victory over British India troops in 1815 AD/ BS, the temple is an artistic two-storied pagoda style temple located in the heart of the town. Although the temple is small in structure it holds immense religious significance. Chariot processions every Bhairn Krishna Nawami in August see deity statues are taken out throughout the town.

Amar Narayan - Temple of Lord Vishnu
Built in 1807AD by Amar Singh Thapa, the first governor of Palpa, the temple is a masterpiece of Nepali culture in the pagoda style with brass plate, gold roof and erotic wooden carving. The temple is surrounded by a one metre stone wall, known locally as the Great Wall of Palpa. Devotees chant holy Bhajan recitals in chorus every morning and evening.

Ganesh Temple - The God of Success
Built in 1920 AD/ BS and known as Siddi Brinayak or Shreenager, the Ganesh Temple is dedicated to the elephant god of success and is most popular on Tuesdays, especially for students and those starting a new venture who come to make offerings of Laddu sweet balls for Lord Ganesh.

Situated on the southern slope of the hill just above town, the temple is the site of a yearly festival during Bhadra, mid-August to mid-September, when there is a chariot procession. Some believe it to be as old as the Sen Kings of Palpa.

Palpa Ranighat - Nepal's Taj Mahal
The Ranimahal palace is a spectacular site. Built in 1892 AD/194? BS by Commander-in-Chief and Governor Khadka Shamsher in memory of his beloved Queen Tej Kumari. The complex including a huge main building surrounded by layered gardens, stone walls and a small shrine, set on a massive rock bed at the bank of the rushing Kali Gandaki river.

Ranighat is also a popular short trek. The trail runs along the Bharangdi Khola river featuring a scenic gorge, mountain brooks, steep forested hills and the rockside of Baikuntha Pahad and Hatti Dhunga, the elelephant rock. There is tea, cold and local drinks, food and water to be found along the way. Bhairav Sthan Temple / Palpa Bhairab

Situated 9 kilometres west of Tansen, reached in a two-hour trek or thirty-minute drive, the temple sits on a hillock and is well known for its huge trident. General Pratap Shamsher rebuilt the famous temple, replacing its gold plate brass roof and offering the brass trident. Worshippers visit the temple on every Saturday and Tuesday offering Rot rice cakes and sacrifices. There is a legend about the statue of Bhairab that is kept so hidden even priests worship from behind a curtain. Its sight is too unbearably frightening risking, potentially fatal. Devotees of Bhairab can see his silver mask.