The Road to Lumbini

We took a road trip to Lumbini, setting off at dusk leaving Kathmandu to huge traffic jams which held us up for three hours or more. We arrived in Lumbini, at around four in the morning. after quite a scary taxi ride in heavy rain covering the two hundred kilometers from Kathmandu. We then had a long wait till six o’clock which is when they opened the gates.

There is a serenity that pervades Lumbini, a tangible and almost supernatural sense of peace that still exists at this the birth place of Gautama Buddha. This is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE; she is said to have first rested by the People tree in the grounds of the castle, then bathed in the waters of Puskarini or Holy Pond where she took her ritual bath before giving birth.

We walked round the gardens, early in the morning as the sun rose above the Stupas of the Buddhist countries of the world. The eternal flame burnt away at this world heritage site. We left mid-morning to start the long journey home back to Kathmandu. With several more hold ups on the way.

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