Lumbini situated under the foothills of Himalayas, is in Nepal. The Shakya Prince Siddhartha or Gautama, renowned as The Buddha, was born at Lumbini during the full moon day of Baisakh (May) in 623 B.C. Lord Buddha’s father, King Suddhodana, was the ruler of the Shakya dynasty having its capital at Kapilavastu. His mother queen Mayadevi, (Mahamaya), gave birth to him while travelling to her paternal home. Resting in Lumbini gardens, 16 Km from the Kapilavastu and emerging from a bath with her face to the east, she leant her right arm on a Sal tree (Shorea robusta), and gave birth to the future Buddha.
Seven days after giving birth to Siddhartha, Queen Mayadevi died. King Suddhodana then asked her sister Goutami (Mahapajapati) to be the new queen. Goutami agreed and cared for Siddhartha as if he were her own son. Hardly some days after Siddhartha was born, a wise man predicted that this child would grow up to be either a great ruler or a great saint. King Suddhodana did everything in his power to keep the experience of the hard and painful things of life out of the young prince's life so that Siddhartha’s mind is not turned in the direction of religion. The prince was married at an early age of sixteen to a beautiful princess, Yashodhara.
ATTRACTIONS IN LUMBINI
Lumbini’s history is elaborately documented by Fa Hsien and Hsuan Tsang, the Chinese travelers. King Ripu Malla also recorded his pilgrimage during the 14th century in an additional inscription on the Ashoka pillar before the towns sacredness was forgotten. The causes for its ceasing to be a focus of Buddhist pilgrims after the 15th century remain unclear. The only local cult centered on the reverence of a 3rd-4th century statue of Mayadevi as a mother goddess of the Hindu’s. The Buddhist temples were neglected and eventually turned into ruins and this area turned into a dense forest. A team led by Khadga Samsher and the German scholar Dr A Fuhrer traced out for the first time in 1895-96 the Ashokan pillar at Lumbini and identified it with the spot where Buddha was born.