Lumbini & Tilaurakot
Lumbini in Nepal is the hallowed cradle of Buddhism and birthplace of Lord Buddha. Its history dates back to the time of his birth around 560 BC.
Even in that serene era, Lumbini has attained great heights of civilization and prosperity. There are also evidences of many royal visits to this sacred place. One such royal visitor was Emperor Ashoka Mauraya of India in 249 BC. To com-memorize his visit he erected a grand stone monolith which stands till today. Nearby is the shrine of Maya Devi, Buddha’s mother. It contains a stone relief depicting Buddha’s native scene. In the area are also modern Buddhist shrines and an older Lamaist gompa.
A little distance away are the ancient ruins of Tilaurakot where the Buddha as Prince Siddhartha renounced the riches of his father’s Kingdom in search of truth.
Tansen & Chitwan
One and half-hours from Lumbini lies beautiful hill station of Tansen. Like Kathmandu, Tansen is a town abounding with temples and views of majestic snow capped western Himalayan mountain range.
East of Lumbini lies Chitwan national park. One of the Best park’s on this side of the World. It is a home to the Rhinoceroses, the royal Bengal tiger, gangetic dolphin and crocodiles. There are also over 50 species of large mammals and over 400 species of bird.
Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar (India)
A few hours drive from Lumbini lies some of the holiest places of India. Varanasi, considered as most sacred place of hindus, is a city of beautiful age-old temples. Even by 600 BC Varanasi was already a place of pilgrimage of Hindus.
About 10 km north of Varanasi is Sarnath, a tranquil world part. Here in the Deer Park, Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.
At Bodhaya, some distance away Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under Bodhi tree.