After two nights in Chitwan, it was time to say farewell to this fantastic UNESCO World Heritage site and head off in search of more of Nepal!
Our next stop was a very important one for Buddhists, not just in Nepal, but across the world – the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
Our journey was peppered with lots of little stops for tea breaks, stretching our legs and the occasional photo stop.
We weaved through the edges of mountains (some of which were kinda scary at times) and past little villages as we made our way over to Lumbini.
Once we arrived in Lumbini, we checked into our hotel, the Buddha Maya Gardens by KGH Hotels and Resorts (I put in the full name with the KGH bit as you’d be surprised how many Buddha Maya hotels there are there – all of widely varying standards).
We decided to stay at the hotel for lunch, leaving us with more time to settle in before heading out to explore Lumbini.
Now, due to Lumbini’s significance to Buddhism, countries around the world have taken to building temples all around Lumbini almost as a gift of some sort to Nepal.
We started off at the World Peace Pagoda, donated to Nepal by Japan.
A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, which, according to Wikipedia is “a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace”.
From there, we moved on to Sokyo Japanese Temple and all the other temples in the square surrounding it…
…finishing off the square with the Great Drigung Kagyud Lotus Stupa.
Around the temple, and indeed many other temples and stupas in Nepal, are the prayer wheels (which vary in size) and which you’re supposed to spin around.
Within a short while of arriving at the stupa, the winds started to pick up and the rain clouds started to open so with that in mind, we said farewell to the temples and made our way over to the main reason people the world over visit Lumbini – Maya Devi Temple, the exact spot where Buddha was born.
More on that in the next post.