Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.
Justification for Inscription
The Committee decided to inscribe this site on the basis of criteria (iii) and (vi). As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from a very early period.
As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha - the apostle of peace and the light of Asia was born in 623 BC - the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from a very early period. Lumbini, in the South-Western Terai of Nepal, evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world, like Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims.
Lumbini is the place where the Buddha, known as the Tathagata, was born. It is the place which should be visited and seen by a person of devotion and which should cause awareness and apprehension of the nature of impermanence. The site and its surrounding area is endowed with a rich natural setting of domesticable fauna and favourable agricultural environ. Historically, the region is an exquisite treasure-trove of ancient ruins and antiquities, dating back to the pre-Christian era. The site, described as a beautiful garden in the Buddha's time, still retains its legendary charm and beauty.
The birthplace of the Gautama Buddha, Lumbini, is one of the four holy places of Buddhism. It is said in the Parinibbana Sutta that Buddha himself identified four places of future pilgrimage: the sites of his birth, Enlightenment, First Discourse, and death. All these events happened outside in nature under trees. There is no particular significance in this, other than it perhaps explains why Buddhists have always respected the environment and natural law.
Lumbini is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas in modern Nepal. In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was a beautiful garden full of green and shady sal trees (Shorea robusta). The garden and its tranquil environs were owned by both the Shakyas and the clans. King Suddhodana, father of Gautama Buddha, was of the Shakya dynasty and belonged to the Kshatriya (warrior caste). Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while resting in Lumbini under a sal tree in the month of May, 642 BC. The beauty of Lumbini is described in Pali and Sanskrit literature. Maya Devi, it is said, was spellbound to see the natural grandeur of Lumbini. While she was standing, she felt labour pains and catching hold of a drooping branch of a sal tree, she gave birth to a baby, the future Buddha.
In 249 BC, when the Indian Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini, it was a flourishing village. Ashoka constructed four stupas and a stone pillar with a figure of a horse on top. The stone pillar bears an inscription, which in translation runs as follows: 'King Piyadasi (Ashoka), beloved of devas, in the 20th year of the coronation, himself made a royal visit, Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here; a stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected to the Bhagavan having been born here, Lumbini village was taxed reduced and entitled to the eight part (only)'.
Lumbini remained neglected for centuries. In 1895, Feuhrer, a famous German archaeologist, discovered the great pillar while wandering about the foothills of the Churia range. Further exploration and excavation of the surrounding area revealed the existence of a brick temple and sandstone sculpture within the temple itself, which depicts the scenes of the Buddha's birth.
It is pointed out by scholars that the temple of Maya Devi was constructed over the foundations of more than one earlier temple or stupa, and that this temple was probably built on an Ashokan stupa itself. To the south of the Maya Devi temple there is the famous sacred bathing pool known as Puskarni. It is believed that Maya Devi took a bath in this pool before the delivery. By the side of the Ashoka pillar a river which flows south-east and is locally called the Ol. In 1996, an archaeological dig unearthed a 'flawless stone' placed there by Ashoka in 249 BC to mark the precise location of the Buddha's birth more than 2,600 years ago. if authenticated, the find will put Lumbini even more prominently on the map for millions of religious pilgrims.
Muktinath TempleThe Pagoda style Muktinath Temple is symbol of the religious symbiosis between both Hindus and Buddhists. Hindu believes that lord Vishnu got salvation from curse of Brinda (wife of Jalandhar) here. Therefore he is worshipped as Muktinath (Lit. the lord of salvation). Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu The main shrine of Muktinath is a pagoda - shaped temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. On the other hand where as Buddhists regard as Buddha. Buddhist worships Vishnu as Avalokiteshvara. The Temple depicts metal statues of lord Vishnu, goddess Laxmi, Saraswoti, Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kush and Sapta Rishis.
The building in 1815 of the Buddhist-Hindu temple of Vishnu and Chenrezig at Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa was initiated by the Nepali Queen Subarna Prabha who considered Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa Salagrama.
The famous temple of Lord Muktinath situated at base of Khatang Kang(Thorang Peak) in Baraha Gaun (lit. Twelve village) in the district of Mustang in the north central part of Nepal,and it is about 110 Km from Pokhara and 20 kms northeast of Jomsom. The temple and the religious shrine of Muktinath is about 90m in elevation above Ranipauwa and an altitude of about 3800 meters from the sea level. It is a gate way to Mustang from Manang in famous Annapurana circuit Trek route. Named after highly referred Muktinath shrine the valley is one of religious place in Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhist. The Buddhist nuns take care of cultural heritage inside Muktinath temple. Photography and filming of deities inside Temple and Monasteries is strictly prohibited.
The holy shrine, which is said to have risen on its own, is one of eight such shrines (the others include Srirangam, Sri Mushnam, Tirupati, Naimisaranyam, Thottadri, Pushkaram and Badrinath). It is also one of 108 Vaishnava shrines.
It is believed that one should visit this temple after completing pilgrimage of four special religious sites, Chardham Yatra of India; Muktinath must be visited once
Here in the early 19th century the Hindus consecrated a Vishnu temple and named is Muktinath - Lord of Liberation. Against a backdrop of incredible starkness you can sit and stare to the south the snow covered Annapurna range, or to the north the Tibetan plateau.
Attraction of Muktinath
Kunda: In front of MuktinathTemple there are 2 Kunda (Water pond), Where holy dip is believed it can wash away negative karma, the results of one's past negative actions.
Mukti Dhara: Around the temple is a wall from the temple which there are 108 waterspouts (Dhara) name of “Muktidhara”. The 108 faucets in the cast in the shape of bulls' heads, pour fourth-sacred water closely arranged in a semi-circle with a gap of hardly a foot between the faucets, at a height of seven feet. The water from Gandaki River continuously flowing through the mouth of the bull. Pilgrims who visit the temple take a holy bath in each of these spouts. But as the water is ice cold it requires burning desire and courage to take a holy bath here. Hindu devotees take bath under chilled water of 108 waterspouts “Muktidhara” believing that it brings them salvation. It is also believed that the deity was originated from Jumla,far western part of Nepal. It has helped to make this area as center of Tourist attraction. In Janai Purnima Buddhist’s Yar tang Mala celebrated here.
The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur, the birthplace of the Hindu goddess Sita. Janakpur is a Terai town in the Central Nepal. It’s also place of great importance for the followers of Hinduism. This rather neglected town is the capital of ancient Mithila Kingdom described in the holy literature of Ramayana.
A Western traveler Mark Moxon describes the Janaki Mandir: Although a modern building (built in 1912) this celebration of vitality denotes the spot where Sita, Rama's wife, was born, back in the days of the Ramayana (another name for Sita is Janaki, after her father Janaka, hence the name Janakpur); round the corner is the Rama Sita Bibaha Mandir, a tacky little building that marks the spot where Rama and Sita were married, and which contains a Disney-esque collection of figures acting out the marriage ceremony.
The Goddess Sita was born to the King Janak of the Mithila Kingdom, and was later married to the Lord Rama of Ayodhya, according to the Ramayana. The reference of the town in the Holy Scripture brings thousands of visitors every year from Nepal & India to this ancient capital.
Places of interest in this city includes: Janaki Temple, Biwaha Mandap, and numerous beautiful ponds. The most famous landmark in Janakpur is the Janaki Temple. The most auspicious day for a pilgrimage is Biwaha Panchami (November). It is day of celebration for the wedding of the Goddess Sita and the God Ram with mock wedding processions. Many pilgrims from Nepal and India attend the celebration. The present temple was built by Queen Brishabhanu of Tikamgarh of India.
Near Janakpur lies the ancient place of Dhanushadham, another important religious site for the Hindus. The Dhanusha pond is believed to have been made by the pieces of arrow broken by the God Rama at Janak’s Durbar. There are several other ponds in the area, and the famous temples there are Ram Mandir, Ganesh Mandir, Panchamukhi Hanuman Mandir, Baba Makhandada Kuti etc.
Located 22 km outside Kathmandu and about 1 km outside the village of Pharping is one of the main temples of Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali. Animal sacrifices, particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats, are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen during the Dashain festival.
The word Dakshinkali is made up of Dakshin and Kali. Dakshin means south and Kali is derived from one of the Hindu goddess Kali. So it basically means the goddess Kali of the south. So the Dakshinkali temple is situated south-west part of the Kathmandu which is just 45 minutes drive from Kathmandu. The sanctuary and its surroundings are dedicated to goddess Kali, the deity who claims at least twice (Tuesday and Saturday) a week a good portion of fresh animal blood. So lots of devotees gather there in a huge mass especially on Tuesday and Saturday where they usually sacrifice cocks and he goats.
On the way, the sight of the gorge is impressive and it is worthwhile to walk down and across the old suspension bridge, throwing a glance down into the very narrow and deep chasm. In the midway near the village of Pharping, lies the the pleasant spot called Sheka Narayan. There is a pond filled with crystal clear water and lots of gold fish type fishes swimming around. After some minutes of drive from Pharping you will finally reach to the destination of the Dakshinkali where you now have to move downhill as the goddess is situated at the bottom of the hill. The view is just spectacular with all the green vegetation around and the weather is just too awesome around there. Not only the Hindu devotees but we can find lots of other groups of people going there to enjoy their picnic as well. Since the place is quite far away from the valley and there is less crowd and less noise and other pollutions, people prefer to go there to take a break and have a nice picnic with all their friends and families.
So this place is important with entertainment prospect as well as holy place. People do believe that if we pray to the goddess and offer sacrifices our enemies will demise and we will be victorious in our way, and lots of other people do make their wish to the goddess and they believe the goddess will make those wishes come true if you wish from heart and offer sacrifice to the goddess. Well that’s about the place and the rituals of Dakshinkali. I suggest that every tourist should at least once visit this holy place to experience the peaceful surrounding over that place.
Budhanilkantha Temple, a Vishu shrine about 8km northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal - 7/29/2004 (08220005). Located here is a Deity of Lord Vishnu, Vishnu (Narayan) Jalasayana, lying on Ananta Sesa, in the cosmic ocean. The Deity is over 1,000 years old. Lord Vishnu is about 17 ft long and is lying in a 43 ft long tank, as if floating, with His legs crossed. His four hands hold the four symbols of Vishnu: the chakra (disc), club, and conch-shell and lotus flower. Budhanilkantha literally means �old blue-throat.� Ananta has 11-hooded heads. It is believed that the deity was carved in the 7th or 8th century during the Licchavi period. Hindus can walk down the steps and touch His feet, but foreigners cannot.
In the village of Budhanilkantha north of Kathmandu lies a 5 meter tall sleeping Vishnu (Jalasayana) in the middle of a small pond. The sculpture from the 5th century represents Vishnu's sleeping in the cosmic ocean while resting on Ananta Sesa the thousend headed snake.
What is a sleeping Vishnu (Jalasayana) ?
In hindu mythology every major time area (Yuga) starts and ends with Vishnu sleeping in the cosmic ocean for millions of years. The universe starts (explodes ??) with Brahma being born out of the navel of Vishnu. After that Brahma starts creating. When an erea ends everything is sucked back into the breath of Brahma who dissapears again into the navel of Vishnu (implosion ?) and Vishnu will sleep until the next cycle .
The above story is told by Narada (a head figuerre in the Veda's who passes on stories) in the Bhagavata Purana.
Kathamndu Jain temple is Situated in Bhagwan mahavir jain Niketan in the heart of Kathmandu Valley(the capital of Nepal). It is one of the important place of our society. This temple follows all kind of religion and has built temples of Terapanth as well as Digambar. This temple is a example to the union of Jain Religion. This Temple is situated about 3 KM from the airport and about 5 KM from Gongabu bus park
Pashupati River bank Side which is cremation Side
See pictures of and read about Pashupatinath Cremation Nepal
The importance of the holy Bagmati river lies in the fact that Hindus are cremated on the banks of this holy river, and Kirants are buried in the hills by its side. According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati river before cremation. The chief mourner (usually the first son) who lights the funeral pyre must take a holy river-water bath immediately after cremation. Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take bath in the Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies at the end of cremation.Bagmati River is thus considered purifying the people spiritually and physically
Holiest Temple Pashupatinath
Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It is not known for certain when Pashupatinath Temple was founded. But according to Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda, one day Lord Shiva grew tired of his palace atop Mt. Kailash and so went in search of a place where he could escape to. He discovered Kathmandu Valley and, without telling anyone, he ran away from his palace and came to live in the Valley. He gained great fame there as Pashupati, Lord of the Animals, before the other gods discovered his hiding place and came to fetch him. He disguised himself as a majestic deer and would not help the other gods when they asked for his help. When Shiva did not yield to their pleas, they planned to use force. God Vishnu grabbed him by his horns and they shattered into pieces. Vishnu established a temple and used the broken horns to form a linga on the bank of the Bagmati River. As time went by, the temple was buried and forgotten. Then a cow was known to have secretly sprinkled her milk over the mound. Apparently, when the cow herders dug around the spot, they found the lost lingas and again built a temple in reverence.
The temple was first established in the 17th century. The priests who perform the services at this temple have been Bhat-Brahmins from South India (Karnataka) origin since last 350 years. The priests of Pashaputinath are called Bhattas and the chief priest is called Mool Bhatt or Raval. The chief priest is answerable only to the King of Nepal and reports to him on temple matters on a periodic basis.
This tradition is supposed to have started by the request of Adi Shankaracharya who sought to unify the different states of Bharatam (Unified India) by encouraging cultural exchange. The unique feature of this temple is that only 4 priests can touch the idol. This tradition is supposed to have started by Sage Shankaracharya in 8th century, ostensibly to stop human sacrifice which was prevalent in that temple. This procedure is also followed in other temples around India which were sanctified by Adi Shankaracharya. Malla kings honoured the request of Adi shankarachaya as latter being one of the greatest ever Hindu acharyas.
However,this tradition was recently changed after the historic revolution in Nepal which demolished the monarchy and established democracy where Nepalese priests supported by the anti- Indian Maoists government.There was widespread protests by most Nepalese as they saw this as an intereference in their religion.