In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a park situated in Kapilavastu Nepal. It was in Lumbini that the Buddha was born. A pillar now marks the spot of Asoka's visit to Lumbiní. According to an inscription on the pillar, it was placed there by the people then in charge of the park to commemorate Asoka's visit and gifts. The park was previously known as Rummindei, two miles north of Bhagavanpura.
In the Sutta Nipáta (vs. 683) it is stated that the Buddha was born in a village of the Sákyans, in the Lumbineyya Janapada. The Buddha stayed in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha and there preached the Devadaha Sutta.
The closest airport is at Bhairahawa (also known as Sidhhartha Nagar) (22km), where there are flights to and from Kathmandu. Other airports serving more destinations include Gorakhpur and Faizabad in India.
Actually there is no railway station in Nepal near Lumbini. You can take taxi to reach there in low cost and superfast. But closest station is at Nautanwa, India on the Indian Railway network, but passenger trains are infrequent on this line. The alternative of taxi travel from the border crossing at Sunauli to Gorakhpur takes about two hours. From Sunauli, Siddharthanagar is only 3.5 kilometres. Total travel time is 12 – 18 hours from Dehli and 10 – 12 hours from Kolkata (Calcutta). The Mahaparinirvan Express tourist train stops in Gorakhpur where tourists continue to Lumbini by road.
Buses ply the route between Sunauli, from the stop across from Hotel Yeti, and Lumbini. At Lumbini alight at the main gate. Alternatively, from the Nepal side of the border one can take a shared jeep to Bhairahawa (4 kilometres) followed by a bus to Lumbini. Bhairahawa-Lumbini buses depart every 15 minutes. The last return bus departs at 17:00.
Taxis are probably the best option for reaching Lumbini from Sunauli, though you will need to know the going rate to avoid paying well over the odds. As everywhere else in the sub-continent, ensure that the fare has been agreed before heading out. This will save trouble at the destination.You can use the taxi from Butwal and take the south way along with Tamnaghar,Semlar, Puraini, Manmateriya and you will reach Lumbini. It will take 2 dollar or 200 NRs from Butwal to reach Lumbini.
Given that the sights in Lumbini are far across, bicycles and cycle rickshaws offer a good way to get around. Bicycles can be rented at hotels in Lumbini (100 NRs/day), as well as the Korean monastery provided you are staying there. Bicycles are also available near the main gate next to the cycle rickshaw stand. Make sure of the condition of the tires, as a flat will mean pushing it back over miles. Also check the condition of the seat and the lock.
- Ashokan Pillar - an inscribed pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka (249 BC) on the spot of Buddha's birth. The inscription, which is the oldest in Nepal, grants Lumbini a tax-free status in honour of Buddha’s birth.
- Buddhist Temples - there are foundations of temples dating from the 2nd century BC to the 9th century AD, and two modern temples: one in Tibetan style, the Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Temple, which was built by the king of Mustang, and one Nepalese Theravada style building, the Lumbini Buddha Vihar, which was built by the Nepalese government and contains Tibetan-style frescoes and Newari-style Buddhist images. Outside the main complex, there are other temples built in the styles of countries where Buddhism is the predominant religion, such as Chinese, Japanese and Burmese.
- The Japan Peace Stupa - the 41m imposing structure is situated at the northern end of the gardens.
- The Lumbini Museum displays artifacts from the Mauryan and Kushana periods, religious manuscripts and other items discovered at the site. Closed on Tuesdays.
- The Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI) is devoted to the study of Buddhism and other religions. It houses an extensive collection of books on religion, art and architecture.
Soak up the peaceful atmosphere, conducive to meditation and reflection.
Lots of trinkets and religious paraphernalia are for sale near the entrance to the complex, including Buddha snowglobes and stickers. A couple of shops in the village near the bus stop stock more of the same plus a bit more.
There are a couple of dhabas near the bus stop in the village. They all serve the same fare: puri in the morning, "curry" during the day, at 20 NRs a portion. At the beginning of the of the one street that is Lumbini village there is a rooftop restaurant 3 Foxes.
Two small shops will sell you local spirits to take out.
- Mayadevi guest house, lumbini bazzar (In main market), ☎ +977 71 580354.
- Korean Monastery, Vishnupura Road, ☎ +977 71 580125. sleep in a dorm for 300 NRs, including 3 meals a day; No smoking inside, and no music, dancing, card games, etc.
- Sri-Lankan Pilgrims' Rest House (about a 15 to 20 minute walk from main site.).
- Lumbini Garden Lodge, Maduwani-8, Mahilwar, Rupandehi, Lumbini, ☎ +977 71 580146. 400-650 NRs.
- Lumbini Village Lodge.
- Gautam Buddha Lodge. is situated in a nearby village. 200-400 NRs.
- Pawan International Hotel, ☎ +977 71 523-680. Main Road, Siddhartha Nagar.
- Buddha Maya Gardens Hotel (near Lumbini gardens), ☎ +977 71 580-220.
- Lumbini Hokke Hotel.
- Lumbini Hotel Kasai, ☎ +977 71 580134, e-mail: email@example.com. Opened in 2009 in the Lumbini Sacred Garden, this Japanese-managed hotel offer rooms with air-con, refrigerator, en-suite bathrooms, and 'a Toto washlet. Japanese and Indian cuisine, prepared from fresh organic vegetables direct from hotel's garden, are served in the restaurant. Airport shuttles are available.
- Wear clothing that expresses respect for the sacred nature of the site.
- Circumambulate the stupas and other sacred objects in a clockwise direction.
- Preserve the peace and tranquillity.
- Do not climb onto statues or other sacred objects.