Lumbini, where Buddha was born.
On September 29, the group of six Mr. Laursen Peder, Ms. Laursen Alice, Ms. Lille Lilly, Ms. Norstrand Gerda, Mr. Scharff Kristian and Mr. Soelberg Per were cordially received by Explore Himalaya at the Sunauli border. They were escorted to their hotel. Once they recreated themselves from the long tiring journey, they made their ways towards Lumbini. The sacred place on earth is the birth place of Buddha. Their souls experienced the peacefulness as they were in the land of Buddha; pioneer of Buddhism and peace.
Overlooking a part of Pokhara from Sarangkot.
They moved towards the mountainous region of the country leaving behind the plains towards Pokhara. After enjoying the couple of days sightseeing in Pokhara and a night stay at the Sarangkot hilltop overlooking Pokhara the team headed towards Bandipur the small hilltop village 65 kilometers east of Pokhara. Bandipur is popular for the great mountain views of the Annapurna ranges and the charismatic Fishtail.
Bandipur- a hilltop
On October 3, the team hiked to Samari for their Home-stay programs. Their journey continued on October 4, to the Kalabari with 3 hours walk. Next morning after visiting the Durbar Square in Nuwakot the team came to the urbanity yet historical city of Kritipur.
Bhairavi Temple Nuwakot.
On October 6, 7 and 8 the team had the plans to have the close view of the Kathmandu valley. They visited Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and the Durbar squares of all the 3 cities within the valley. They made their ways back to their home late evening on October 8.Kathmandu Durbar Square.
The Department of Archeology under Nepal Government has begun excavations at Bhawanipur, Kerwani in Rupandehi believed to be Lord Buddha’s maternal home. Archeologists are trying to unearth evidence of Devdaha being the actual home Lord Buddha’s mother Mayadevi by conducting detailed excavations at the above site.
Marker stone marking the exact spot of Lord Buddha's birth inside Mayadevi Temple, Lumbini
(Pic: Julien Van Loye)
One of Asia’s best gift to the world is Buddhism. Based on Lord Buddha’s teachings of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) &’ Dharma’(truth), Buddhism spread from Nepal and India to the rest of Asia and the world. Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha, which lies in Nepal, has become a major centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists worldwide. In an article posted in bbc.com/travel entitled ‘10 Sites of Religious Pilgrimage,’ Lumbini together with Mecca, Vatican City, Golden Temple, Badrinath, Wailing Wall etc. has been listed as the 'must-visit' pilgrimage destination.
In order to promote Lord Buddha’s birthplace and his message of peace, Nepal’s government has declared year 2012 as Visit Lumbini Year.
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini during Buddha Purnima (Pic courtesy : NTB)
Nepal’s President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav will confer the Gautam Buddha International Peace Award to Japanese nationals, Tomihisa Taue (Mayor of Nagasaki) and Tadatoshi Akiba (former mayor of Hiroshima) at a special programme in Lumbini today. The award carries a cash prize of USD 25,000 each, medals and honorary letters. The Government of Nepal established the Gautam Buddha International Peace Award to recognize and honour individuals and institutions from around the world that have made significant contribution to peace and non-violence inspired by the teachings of Lord Buddha. The Japanese mayors are the first recipients of the award.
Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya World Center for Peace and Unity (LUM), the largest Buddhist temple and meditation hall in Lumbini will be opened for public this April. The building which covers an area of 48,600 sq.ft. took five years to complete. Touted as an eco-monastery, the building’s design incorporates maximum use of natural light and will have power generated by solar panels. According to Lama Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, who is leading the project, this project is “an effort to save the ancient arts and wisdom, to highlight the importance of our gentleness to the earth, and to promote a sense of peace and unity for all“. The monastery’s architectural design is a harmonious blend of a chaitya based on the ancient Indian work of Shariputra’s stupa found at Nalanda University, with touches of Nepalese architecture and Tibetan artwork.