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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

One of the most ancient Buddhist Temples in Lumbini, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Maya Devi Temple is one of the most well-known temples which is known as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. The temple is situated in the middle of the park grounds called Lumbini Development Zone, it’s continuous developments making it a must-visit attraction. 

Maya Devi Temple is located right next to the sacred pool called Pushkarini and a sacred garden. This temple marks the spot where Maya Devi gave birth to Gautam Buddha and the archaeological remains of this place date back to the time of Ashoka, around 3rd century BCE. Gautam Buddha was said to have been born in 563 BC. The temple was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in 1978 and the work is still under process which comprises of landscaped lakes and a number of monasteries being built by various architects from all over the world. Fortunately, none of the monuments or temples was affected by the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

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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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