Lumbini: Prince Siddharta Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. under the Sala tree in full moon at the famous gardens of Lumbini. Queen Maya was returning to her parental home for the birth of her child, and she gave birth while the royal caravan rested there. Today, there is no trace of the ancient village of Lumbini, but an Ashoka column, the famous rummindei pillar, which commemorated the emperor’s visit in 249 BC, still stand marking the sacred spot of Buddha’s birth. Lumbini, in the South-Western Terai of Nepal and the foothills of Churia range, evokes holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world - as Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. The exact location remained uncertain and obscure till December 1, 1886 when a German archaeologist Dr. Alois A. Fuhrer came across a stone pillar and ascertained beyond doubt it is indeed the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
We will also see the The Ashoka Pillar. Discovered by German archaeolgist Dr. Fuhrer, the pillar is evidence relating to the life of Lord Buddha and also the most visible landmark of the garden. The great Indian Emperor Ashoka visited the site in the twentieth year of his reign and as homage to Buddha’s birthplace, erected the pillar. The inscriptions in the pillar roughly translates as: “Kin Piyadesi beloved of the Gods, having been anointed 20 yeas, came himself and worshipped saying Here Buddha Shakyamuni was born: And he caused to make a stone (capital) representing a horse; and he caused (this) stone pillar to be erected. Because the worshipful one was born in the village of Lumbini, has been made free of taxes and recipient of wealth"
South of the Ashoka Pillar, there is the famous sacred pool- ‘Puskarni’ believed to be the same sacred pool in which Maya Devi took a holy dip just before giving birth to the Lord and also where infant Buddha was given his first purification bath.
The single most important place of the Lumbini (and to the entire Buddhist world for that matter) is the stoneslab-located deep in the Sanctum sanctorum.
Revealed after a hard and meticulous excavations
under the three layers of ruins over the site of a famous Maya Devi
temple, the stone slab foundation pinpoints the location of the original
place-marking the exact spot of the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Earlier the image was placed in the famous white
temple of MayaDevi beside the pillar-now totally dismantled to make
way for the excavations, which revealed the Sanctum Sanctorum the
exact spot where the Lord was born.