Lumbini – the birthplace of Siddhattha Gotama

The present-day Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini marks the spot where Siddhattha Gotama was born.

Lumbini Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Nepal, just 26km from the border with India.  It is an important pilgrimage destination for Buddhists along with Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kusinara, because Prince Siddhattha Gotama (who later became Sakyamuni Buddha) was born there in 623 BCE.

Lumbini laid roughly half-way between ancient Kapilavatthu (the capital of Sakya kingdom) and Devadaha (the capital of Koliya kingdom), and was shared by the nobles from both principalities as a pleasure grove.

The Buddha’s mother Queen Mahamaya travelled in her last month of pregnancy from Kapilavatthu to Devadaha in order to give birth to her first child at her maternal home, in accordance to the custom those days.  En route, her entourage stopped at Lumbini Park for a rest.  There she felt birth pangs and delivered the sacred child besides a lovely pond in the shaded grove.  That very spot where the future-Buddha was born is now the site of Mayadevi Temple (photograph above).