10/10/2009 to 10/11/2009 | Nepal

Lumbini (Birthplace of the Buddha)

Every time I’ve left Nepal I’ve gone via Sunauli the border town with Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and only a short 17 miles from the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini.  Each time I see sign indicating the turn off for Lumbini, I think to myself I should stop there one of these times.  Well this time was the time I finally stopped.  I had not even made up my mind to go until I reached the town of Bhairahawa where my bus terminated, a few kilometers from Sunauli and at the junction of the road to Lumbini.  I managed to catch the last bus to Lumbini from Bhairahawa at about 7pm that night and found a small guesthouse in a nearby village for a reasonable rent.  There isn’t a whole lot left of the monasteries and temples that once marked this place, but the Buddhist community is attempting to revive the site by building monasteries in the style of the various countries that donate them within the large wooded park that surrounds the site of the Buddha’s birth.  A plan that is being carried out and yet to be completed in all of the important sites associated with the Buddha’s life.  These new monasteries are of mild interest to me, kind of like paling copies of the real things that I have seen elsewhere.  I did find the atmosphere of the pilgrims and meditating monks around the ruined foundations of the monasteries that marked the Buddha’s birth place an interesting place to visit and I was happy I made the effort to finally get to Lumbini.

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