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Label : Top Attraction

Tags : Temple

Timings : 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : Indians: Free; SAARC Citizens: NPR 100; Foreigners: NPR 200

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Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini Overview

The Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini is a revered and historically significant site marking the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Buddha. Situated in the Lumbini Garden, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple complex includes ancient ruins, stupas, and monuments dating back to the 3rd century BCE and later. Inside the temple, a marker stone is placed on the exact spot where Buddha is believed to have been born.

Maya Devi Temple is next to the sacred pool called Pushkarini and a sacred garden. A significant bas-relief sculpture within the temple depicts Queen Maya Devi holding onto a Sal tree while giving birth to Siddhartha Gautama. This image is one of the most iconic representations of the birth of Buddha. The temple complex is surrounded by ancient stupas and pillars, including the famous Ashoka Pillar. Erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE, the pillar bears inscriptions that commemorate his visit to Lumbini and the significance of the site.

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The history of Maya Devi Temple goes back to 2013. This was when an international team of archaeologists found a few ruins dating back to the sixth century BC. It was the remains of an ancient tree shrine that belongs to 550 BC. The researchers found out that the site is the earliest evidence of Buddhism as well as of Gautam Buddha.

The research was conducted by two archaeologists: one from the UK and one from Nepal. The two suggested that the shrine was the earliest evidence of Buddhism, which was heavily captured by the international press. This, however, was contradicted by other archaeologists who suggested that the tree was evidence of pre-Buddhist practices.

Things to see

Maya Devi Temple has a number of places within its complex to explore. 
  • The famous Ashoka Pillar is located in Maya Devi Temple. The inscription says that the pillar was erected by the people who were in charge of Emperor Ashoka’s (249 BC) visit to the park and those who were in charge of the commemoration Ashoka’s gift. The inscription is oldest in Nepal and serves as a tax-free location due to this fact. 
  • The sacred bathing pond is located right next to the shrine, is where Maya Devi took a bath before giving birth today, this pool is filled with turtles and at night, one can see the reflection of the temple. 
  • The most beautiful and well-decorated sight at Maya Devi Temple is the Bodhi Tree. It is related to the ancient fig tree and is characterised by heart-shaped leaves. The heart shape refers to the time when Buddha achieved enlightenment. The Bodhi tree is kept clean and is decorated with colourful prayer flags.

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