Location: Rupandehi, Nepal
Significance: birthplace of the Lord Buddha
Siddhartha Gautama, who eventually became the Lord Buddha, is said to have been born in a garden in Lumbini, Nepal, in 623 BC. Siddhartha was a prince who left his palace at the age of 29 to seek enlightenment. Lumbini began attracting pilgrims after 249 BC, when the Indian emperor King Ashoka first travelled there. The Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini Garden marks the king’s pilgrimage and is inscribed with a dedication to the Buddha. Other sacred monuments include the stone slab where Siddhartha was born, housed by the Maya Devi Temple, and the pool in which Siddhartha was bathed after being born, called Puskarni.