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Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is believed to be the place where Siddharta Gautama - Buddha was born. For many years those who made the long journey to Lumbini found there was not a lot there! The Maya Devi Temple, the Ashokan Pillar and that was about it. How things have changed since.
Plans were drawn up in the late 1970's by a Japanese architect to make Lumbini a place of both pilgrimage and a tourist attraction too. So now there's a Japanese stupa, a Burmese style pagoda, a Chinese style temple, some fairly formal gardens and a museum. The exact spot where Buddha is said to have been born hasn't been moved to make way for the newer developments.
But, is Lumbini worth the effort of a visit?
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The main reason people come to Lumbini (and in their thousands) is one of pilgrimage. Buddhists from around the world particularly.
So, if you're coming here with faith and spirituality in mind then the peace, tranquility and significance of Lumbini is obvious.
But, take a look at the map below, Lumbini isn't exactly close enough to other places generally visted in Nepal. It's on the Terai too, so a long way from the Himalayas.
However it is possible to fly from Kathmandu to an airport about 15 miles from Lumbini.
For the more general "just curious" tourist, there's some nice parkland, monasteries and the main sights of the Ashokan Pillar and the Maya Devi Temple. But, if Buddhism isn't your thing then we'd find it very hard to justify coming all the way to Lumbini.
The air pollution, due to heavy industry in the area, particularly from India, is particularly bad.
Lumbini Images - Click to enlarge