Lumbini Spiritual Tour

Introduction

Lumbini Spiritual Tour | Outdoor Himalayan Treks, Nepal

The Lumbini Spiritual trip does not just take you into Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama the Buddha, but also to Gotihawa, Tilaurakot, and Kodan, which are related to the Buddha’s life, thus carrying important religious significance. Together you will also explore the lifestyle and culture of the people living in the Terai plains of Nepal while visiting these places.

Gautama the Buddha was born in Lumbini in 563 B.C., in Rupandehi district of central Terai in Nepal. Gautama’s mother, Mayadevi, was on her way to her maternal house in Devdaha. As she arrived in Lumbini, she delivered her child, who surprised her mother by walking three steps immediately after birth. According to legends, she was enraptured to see his radiant face, and lotuses and water were poured from the heavens upon the new born baby.

Gautama the Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, and earned the title (Buddha meaning the wise) only after enlightenment. He led the earthly life in his father Sudhodhana’s kingdom for 29 years. Noticing the philosophical bent of his son’s mind, King Suddhodhana tried his best to engage his son in earthly pleasures, by getting his son marry at an early age and building a huge wall around the palace. However, Siddhartha Gautama saw the sufferings and miseries of human life and abandoned the palace life and took to monk-hood. After years of meditation and wandering, he finally attained enlightenment and became the founder of Buddhism. In his preachings, Gautama the Buddha has instructed the followers of Buddhism to make a pilgrimage to Lumbini, his birthplace, at least once in his lifetime.

Although the holiest place for the Buddhists, Lumbini has remained largely in shadow for most of the time, due in part to the gross misinformation spread in the world community that Lumbini lies in India. After it was verified by the UNESCO as the birthplace of Gautama the Buddha and its inclusion in the world heritage list, it has slowly started to get the international limelight. A landmark achievement for the physical development and international fame for Lumbini was achieved when U Thant, the then Secretary General of the UN, visited it as a pilgrim in 1967 A. D. The Secretary Generals of the UN afterwards have taken keen interest in developing it as a beacon of world peace. Especially noteworthy are also the visit of the incumbent UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and his enthusiasm in developing Lumbini. Nepal government declared 2012 as Visit Lumbini Year in order to highlight its holiness and its importance to the entire humanity.

Trip Facts

Trip Duration: 4 nights and 5 days

Trip Mode: Flights and Drives

Maximum Altitude: 1300 m, Kathmandu

Itinerary Outline

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa and reach Lumbini

Day 2: Lumbini Exploration

Day 3: Visit Gotihawa and Tilaurakot via Kudan and return to Lumbini

Day 4: Drive from Lumbini to Devadaha and Ramagrama, and fly back to Kathmandu

Day 5: International Departure

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa and reach Lumbini
In the first day, we fly from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa. This is a short flight taking about 30 minutes. Then we drive to Lumbini in as much time. Use your time to make a cursory glance of Lumbini, specially its monastic zone, where different nations from around the world have made artistically exquisite monasteries modeled after their own architectural traditions.

Day 2: Lumbini Exploration
We make a detailed exploration of Lumbini today. The center of curiosity is, of course, the Maya Devi temple. The temple houses the nativity sculpture, depicting Buddha’s birth, and the marker stone, which pinpoints the location where Buddha first touched the ground. Since the marker stone and its foundation date back to the 3rd century B.C. and since it is mentioned in the Ashokan Pillar as a marker of the precise location of Buddha’s birth, archeologists point to it as very reliable evidence. Outside the temple is the Puskarni pond, where Maya Devi had taken a bath before delivery and where Buddha was given the first bath. And then there are the ruins of the Stupas dating from 8th century A.D. to 3rd century B.C. And if you get enough time afterwards, there are plenty of monasteries built by different nations in the monastic zone. You can also consider making a visit to nearby villages, where you will notice the truly peasant life and culture of the people living in the plains.

Day 3: Visit Gotihawa and Tilaurakot via Kudan and return to Lumbini
Each of these places, namely, Gotihawa, Tilaurakot and Kudan, holds special significance. Gotihawa is believed to be the birthplace of Krakuchanda Buddha, the former incarnation of Guatama the Buddha. Its importance, like that of Lumbini, was recognized by the ancient Indian emperor Ashoka who had built a pillar here as well. You can see a lot of brick remains of stupas and monasteries in this village. Kudan’s importance cannot be simply exaggerated because it was the place where King Suddhodhana had met Buddha after his enlightenment. Finally Tilaurakot was the capital of King Suddhodhana’s kingdom in the ancient time. It was the place where Buddha had spent 29 years of his life.

Day 4: Drive from Lumbini to Devadaha and Ramagrama, and fly back to Kathmandu

Another important day for us, because we visit Devdaha, lying about 54 km east of Lumbini. Devdaha was Maya Devi’s maternal home. It was also the maternal home of Buddha’s wife Yashodhara, and of his stepmother, Prajapati. Buddha had, according to legends, had visited this place seven years after his enlightenment and converted a large number of people into Buddhism. The we go on to visit Ramgram, where we notice the remains of a very rare brick stupa which has Gautama Buddha’s relics, collected from the place of his funeral, are kept. If we have time after this, we catch a flight to Kathmandu from Bhairahawa. If not, we return to Kathmandu the following day.   

Day 5: International Departure
We drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu and pay you farewell for your return journey.

Guidelines

Documents required:

  • Scanned copies of passport sized photo and passport of each participant
  • Travel insurance

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