Significance of Lumbini
Lumbini is near Siddhartha Nagar (Bhairawa) in the area now known as
Rummindei in Nepal just 10 Km from the Indo-Nepalese border touching the
district Basti in Uttara Pradesh.
This Buddhist site is the birth place of Prince Siddhartha in the B.C
6th century. It has been identified with the pillar inscription which
was erected by the emperor Asoka who visited the site of Rummindei. He
visited there in 250 B.C and worshipped in person the sacred spot where
the Prince Siddhrtha was born. The choronicles state.
Arriving at Lumbini Upagupta the spiritual guide of emperor Asoka
extended his right hand and said to Asoka “here o great King. The
Thathagatha was born”. Emperor Asoka with overwhelming joy and deep
devotion prostrated before the sacred tree under which the prince
Siddartha was born. He also erected a pillar to commemorate his visit to
The birth place of Prince Siddhartha
About (1000) thousand years after the birth of Buddha, Fa-hian the
first Chinese Buddhist pilgrim visited Lumbini in A.D 406 and saw the
first sacred tree under which Prince Siddhartha was born.
Fa-Hian also saw the bathing tank of the Sakyas where mother of
Siddhartha, Mahamaya had taken a bath. The other Chinese Buddhist
pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited Lumbini in A.D 637 gives a very faire
account of what he saw at the sacred site.
The emperor Asoka was the third king of the kingdom of Mauryas in
Maghada and his Inscriptions can be broadly divided into two categories
- those engraved on rocks and those incised on Pillars of stone.
The rock Inscription fall into there group - minor Rock Edicts, Rock
Edict and cave Inscriptions. The Pillar Inscriptions may be classified
under three sub division - Minor Pillar Edicts, Pillar inscriptions and
There are two Pillar Inscriptions of Asoka discovered in the Nepalese
Tarai to the north of the Basti District of Uttar Pradesh. The first of
these stands here the temple of Rummindei in the vicinity of the village
of Parariya which is about 3 Km from the head quarters of the Bhagavan
Pur Tashil in Nepal and about 8 km from Dulla in the Basti District.
The other inscribed Pillar stands on the bank of a large tank called
Nigali Sagar near the village of Nigaliva about 21 Km to the North-West
of Rummindei. The first was a sacred place owing to the fact that the
Prince Siddhartha was born there.
The meaning of Rummindei Inscription is as follows.
“Twenty Years after his coronation, King Priyadarsi, Beloved of the
gods visited this spot in person and offered worship at this place,
because the Buddha, The sage of the Sakya was born here.
He caused to build a stone wall around this place and also erected
this stone Pillar to commemorate his visit. Because the Buddha was born
here, He made the village of Lumbini free from land revenue and subject
to pay only one - eight of the produce as tax instead of the usual
This is evidence to show that Lumbini continued to attracted pilgrim
up to A.D 12 century. There after it was completely engulfed by jungle
and lay buried until the 19th century. This sacred Buddhist site was
discovered by Dr.
Alois Anton F here, a German Archeologist in 1895.
The writer is former archaeological assistant director of the
Department of Archeology.