Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, is located in the Rupandehi District of Nepal. There are different monasteries and pagodas built by different countries. Each Monastery has its own design, significance and importance.
It’s developing rapidly and a lot of monasteries, pagodas, and museums are still under construction. Each time I visit the place I find a drastic amount of changes. If you really want to explore the place, I recommend you to stay in Lumbini for at least a week. Without any further due, here is the list of 5 things that you can do in Lumbini and enjoy your stay in Lumbini.
1. Explore Monasteries
Whose idea was it, to bring all these countries together in common Buddhist celebration and meditation? Whoever’s idea was it, it’s brilliant! A realization is made that Buddhism is universal and should be shared, and out of this sharing a place of great serenity is created. You have to feel it, and you will.
This is not like a visit to a museum; you will experience a living, thriving community of Buddhist devotees. And the community is still growing. There are several new monasteries under construction from countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and Malaysia that are dated to be completed by late 2015. There is no place in the world like this. It is an international feast of monasteries. Don’t forget to visit the following monasteries:
- Myanmar Golden Temple
- Mahabodhi Society Temple India
- Chinese Monastery
- The Great Lotus Stupa, German Monastery
2. Try Indian foods from street vendors
The best thing I like about traveling is the local food. I am a food Junkie and like to taste varieties of local food. If you are among the people who like to taste local street food instead of eating at McDonalds while traveling, Lumbini might be a great place for you. A sub-mixture of Indian/Nepali food in a variety of styles can be found in this region.
There are many street vendors selling delicious homemade local food, mostly with Indian Flavor. Remember, Lumbini is right at the Indian Border. Hence, Indian food is common. Most of the food you will find is vegetarian. Momo, Noodles, Curries, Pakauda, Samosa, Tikiya Chat, and Pani Puri are the most common. Order your food, sit for a while, and enjoy the food. You won’t find Western Hygiene here, but find the local taste.
Are you ready to taste the spicy food?
3. Rent a bicycle and explore rural Terrain
To get more inside local culture, I normally try to explore rural parts in comparison to modern towns. A rental wheel on your own is the best way for sightseeing. Multiple options are available in Lumbini for sightseeing around major monasteries area. You can use rickshaws for sightseeing other than a cab. Give it a try for a bicycle and burn fat instead of fuel. However, during summer it’s not recommended. The temperature can be more than 40 degrees Celsius during the daytime.
Look around you in Lumbini, everyone is on a bicycle. Why? Because the roads are flat and easy to ride, the weather is generously warm and traffic is minimal. Head for the country, look for quiet roads, there are many. As you ride you will pass by local huts, happy children yelling Namaste, a mustard field with yellow flowers, rice paddies, and occasional surprises. It is farmland and friendly people, goats, buffalos, and oxen. You will see ancient agricultural methods still working! It’s a study of the past set in the present. You can rent a bicycle everywhere either on an hourly or daily basis for next to nothing. It’s cheap and provides pleasure, so go for it.
4. Sign up for a meditation class
Everyone in the 21st century is busy with their day-to-day life and likes to relax at least for a while during weekends. People normally practice meditation in many forms. Normally, I used to practice Tai Chi and listen to Tibetan Incarnation for meditation. Since I was running out of time, I couldn’t give it a try for meditation while I was in Lumbini. However, you can spot some of those meditation centers inside the premises of Lumbini, go give it a try for next to nothing.
Meditation is a major component of Buddhism. Yes, you might have practiced meditation classes in your own country, with either a little success or a lot of failures. Then we give up. But when you are in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, this is the best place to try meditation. To assist you, there are several meditation centers run by Buddhist Monks. You can room and board there, become a part of that community, and immerse yourself.
5. Explore Maya Devi temple and meditate under the bodhi tree, who knows you may find enlightenment
I’m pretty sure it will be a jaw-dropping moment for everyone like me after entering inside Maya Devi Temple. The inside of Modern modern-looking temple is all about the centuries-old markstone of Gautam Buddha’s Birthplace. Because of the rule, I couldn’t take pictures inside the temple, however, you can see a picture taken by me from the south of the temple with a pond where Maya Devi (Mother of Gautam Buddha) took a bath after giving birth to Lord Buddha.
This one will surprise you. You approach the temple from a long gracious walkway. Then you come upon a modern-looking white temple. You take off your shoes and go inside and suddenly history overcomes you. This building is housed with the remains of Buddha’s birthplace, the exact spot!
Read the story of Buddhist Life before you come here, because you will feel a greater impact. You will see the 2nd to 7th BC century ruins. Outside the temple, there are remains of stupa, village buildings, and the pond where Buddha’s mother (Maya Devi) took a bath after giving birth to Lord Buddha. There is a Bodhi Tree next to the pond, many prayer flags, and immaculately kept grounds over where you can wander. You will be carried away.