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Visiting the Holy Sites of LUMBINI

Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, in present-day southern Nepal. What is considered the exact location of the birth is identified by a stone slab in the inner sanctum of the Maya Devi Temple, named after Siddhartha’s mother. Above the stone slab is a damaged sculpture of Queen Maya Devi holding the branch of a sala tree after giving birth to Prince Siddhartha, who stands erect on a lotus pedestal. The oldest monument at Lumbini is the Ashoka Pillar, which marks it as the birthplace of the Buddha. A little south of the pillar is the spring-fed rectangular Puskarni pond, where Maya Devi is believed to have bathed before giving birth. The Sacred Garden, developed in recent years, lies beyond the Maya Devi compound and hosts some 40 monasteries from Asian Buddhist nations. At the end of a beautiful canal- and tree-lined avenue is the majestic World Peace Pagoda (Vishwa Shanti Stupa), built by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order. Today, the Lumbini Sacred Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of world peace.

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