Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the originator of Buddhism, The Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini. It is located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC. Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its relics hold significant evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centers from as early as the 3rd century BC.
According to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi (or Mayadevi) gave birth to the Buddha on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha in the month of May in the year 642 BC. The Buddha is said to have announced, "This is my final rebirth" as he entered the world. Buddhist tradition also has it that he walked immediately after his birth and took seven steps, beneath each of which a lotus flower bloomed.
In 249 BC, the Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and assembled four stupas and a stone pillar. The site was rediscovered in 1895, when a German archaeologist came upon Ashoka's Pillar, identified by its inscription. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site. Lumbini was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
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