The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture.
The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author
had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating
that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
Nepal is a tourist's paradise with an infinite variety of
interesting things to see and do. Nepal has many things to offer the visitor
the flourishing of art and architecture a demonstrated by the temples of
Kathmandu Valley, the natural beauties of the soaring peaks of Himalayas
including Mountain Everest and others.
was a beautiful amusement grove in about 7th century B.C.
This horticulture spot was recreated by Koliyas of Devdaha
and Sakyas of Kapilvastu. It was a place where Bodhisatwa
Siddhartha Gautam put his first step on earth. The prince
of the Sakya was born in Nepal in about 563 B.C. He was probably
the greatest man ever to live in the Indian sub-continent
in the whole of its remarkable history. He was born in orthodox
Hindu family and raised accordingly and became the founder
of the great religion which has spread far beyond the border
According to Buddhist literature, Lumbini was addressed as
Pradimoksha Vana and compared to the Chittalate Vana of lord
Indra’s paradise in Heaven. Amid the cool shadow of
thick Sal trees, the touch of the flowing breeze, and the
fragrance of flowers and fruits, the bees of five colors hummed
and people used to live with peaceful mind. This place is
22 km. west of Siddhartha Nagar and became a holy pilgrimage
site after the death of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha at his deathbed
suggested his disciple Ananda to visit four places among which
the first and the foremost place is Lumbini where he was born.
Lmbini possess its history even before the birth of Siddhartha.
It was a popular ancient northern trade route (Uttarapatha)
and a habitual as well as a religious place. After death of
Buddha this place was visited by many pilgrims, royalties,
and scholars from different parts of the world.
The Maurya Emperor of India, Ashoka visited Lumbini in 3rd
century B.C., after his renunciation from his regal life after
the bloodshed victory of Kalinga. The emperor made a pilgrimage
to Lumbini with his spiritual teacher Bikkshu Upagupta and
reiterated the legendry fame of the site. He adored the birth
place and installed a memorial colossal pillar with inscriptions
Devana piyana Piyadasina Lajina Visativasabhisitena
atana agacha Mahiyite hida Buddha jate Sakyamuniti
Silavigadabhica Kalapita Silathabhe Cha Usapapite
hida Bhagavana jateti Lummingame Ubalike Kata
Department of Archeology translates it as:
King Piyadashi (Ashoka), the beloved of Devas in twentieth
year of the coronation himself made a royal visit; Buddha
Sakyamuni having been born here, a stone railing was built
and a stone pillar erected. The Bhagavan having been born
here, Lumbini Village was tax- reduced and entitled to the
eight parts (only).
The Yuch-Chih monk Seng Tsai of the Chin Dynasty (265- 420
AD) was the first Chinese to visit Lumbini between 350 and
375 AD. He provides information about Lumbini that he saw
an Ashoka tree that was gripped by Maya Devi at the time of
Buddha’s birth was still living, a sculpture of Maya
Devi gripping the tree was placed beneath the tree, a spot
marking where Siddhartha’s feet first touched the earth
was offered flowers and sweets by pilgrims, and emperor Ashoka
had placed a shield of stones around the Siddhartha’s
The famous Chinese pilgrims Fa Xian (Fa-hsien) visited Lumbini
in 403 AD. He described these places in his book Records of
the Buddhist Kingdom. He mentions that Maya Devi had bathed
in the pond in Lumbini. She walked twenty steps to the north,
and raised her hand leaned by branch of the tree. The prince
was borne while she was facing the east. Prince Siddhartha
walked seven steps in all direction after he was born. The
Dragon King bathed the prince’s body immediately.
Another famous Chinese pilgrim Hsuantsang (Yuan- Chwang) came
to Lumbini in 636 AD. This was an important period in the
history of Lumbini. He has left detailed descriptions of Lumbini
in his book Records of the Western Countries of the Tang Dynasty.
Lumbini was 80 li away to the north east from the Arrow Fountain.
There was a pond in Lumbini. The water of the pond was green
and clear with flowers. The Ashoka tree was twenty five steps
to the north from the pond, and prince Siddhartha was born
under this tree. A stupa was at the east of the tree. It was
the place where two Dragons bathed the Prince after his birth.
A stupa was built by Ashoka. The just born Prince walked seven
steps into four directions. At that time the two Dragons appeared
from the earth and they stayed in the sky. Warm and cool water
spurted out from the mouth of the Dragons to bathe the Prince.
Meanwhile from the north of this stupa two springs spurted
with warm and cool water to bathe Maya Devi. There are two
stupas beside these springs. Another stupa was in front of
these two stupas, where Maya Devi had bathed. It was the place
where Sakra held Bodhisattva after this birth. Four stupas
were next to this stupa. It was the place where the four heavenly
kings held the Bodhisattva. A pillar was near the four stupas,
and a horse statue was on the top of the pillar. King Ashoka
built it. Later the evil Dragon damaged it with the thunderbolt
and it was broken and was lying down on the earth. There was
a river near the pillar and it flowed from east to south.
The local name was Telar (Oil River). First the Deva made
the wonderful oil to bath Maya Devi to cure the disease after
prince was born. After that it became water and flowed south.
After Hsuantsang, Wang-hiuan-tse and I-tsing visited important
Buddhist sites of Nepal.
Another Chinese traveler Wu Kung (764 AD) and Fang-Chih visited
Lumbini and added there own details about a great tope at
the spot where the Buddha was born. Fang-Chih also introduced
the inscriptions recorded in the stone pillar which was mentioned
King Ripu Malla the popular pilgrim from western Nepal visited
Lumbini in 1312 AD. He lithographed his name on the upper
eastern side of the colossal pillar. After the visit from
all these distinguished pilgrims other travelers may also
have visited the place but left no account of their visits.
Lumbini was then slowly converted into bush land and disappeared
till Khadga Shumsher Rana and Dr. A. A. Fuhrer recovered Lumbini
in December 1, 1896.
Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism By: Diwas Dhakal