Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 BCE in the famous gardens of Lumbini. This makes it one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions - in fact one of the four most holy places for Buddhists.
And it still is . The actual birthplace has been protected within a new building and there are no concessions to the tourists. In fact we were lucky to get entry tickets. You enter the courtyard barefoot and join the queue along the raised walkway over the remains of more buildings to pay your respects at the stone which marks the place of birth. No photos are allowed inside.
There is no restriction outside though.
The setting is beautiful. The gardens are well kept and a deep stillness and peace envelopes the land despite the visitors nearly all of whom are devout Buddhists.
Maya Devi,the mother of the Buddha , was said to be spellbound to by the beauty of Lumbini and gave birth under the Sal tree. The tree is still revered today and there is a shrine with offerings tended there.
It's encircled by a ring of holy men with their alms bowls. To give to them is to invite good karma.
The sacred bathing pool known as Puskarni. It is believed that Maya Devi took a bath in this pool before the delivery.
This is an amazing place. Words just can't do it justice. Long may it remain so. Will UNESCO be able to balance the numbers of visitors which can only increase with keeping it an active place of holy pilgrimage. One can only hope so . This is a very special place indeed.