Tourism Impact in Lumbini

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Chapter One

1. Introduction Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, is situated about 22 km. from Bhairahawa (Siddharthanagar), below the Churia range, 24 km. south from the foothills of the Himalayas, on the western bank of Telar river in Rupandehi district of Lumbini zone in Nepal. It is about 300 km. west of capital city Kathmandu. Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi Terai districts of Lumbini Zone are around Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, which are fertile and densely populated. It is about 34 km. from Naugarh Railway Station on the North-Eastern Railway of India. Buddha, Known as the Lord of Asia, was born in Lumbini during the full moon day in the month of Baisakh in 623 BC. He was born under a sal (Shorea robusta) tree when Mayadevi was going to her maternal town on the occasion of delivery.

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). The garden and its tranquil environs were owned by both the Shakyas and Kolias clans. King Suddhodana, father of Gautama Buddha was of the Shakya dynasty belonging to the Kshatriya or the warrior caste. Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while taking rest in Lumbini under a sal tree in the month of May in the year 642 B.C. 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 labor pains and catching hold of a drooping branch of a Sal tree, the baby, the future Buddha, was born. The bas relief above depicts Maya Devi with her right hand holding on to a branch of a sal tree with a newborn child standing upright on a lotus petal, shedding an oval halo, around his head, while two celestial figures pour water and lotuses from vessels of heaven as indicated by the delineation of clouds. This nativity scene was installed by Malla Kings of the Naga dynasty from about the 11th to 15th Century in the Karnali zone of Nepal.

1. Background of the Study

• Lumbini is considered the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Many a times referred as 'The Light of Asia', Buddha was the founder of Buddhism faith. His period is estimated to be approximately between 563 and 483 BC. • The place is famous for Maya Devi temple. It is believed that the present temple has been built at the place where Queen Maya gave birth to lord Buddha. Another important structure is the Ashoka pillar. Apart from that Lumbini has ruins of various Stupas and monasteries. Then there is Pushkarni pond where Queen Maya took bath before giving birth to Buddha. • The Lumbini region comes under Lumbini Trust, an NGO. Foreign pilgrims here have constructed new temples and monasteries. • The Buddhist associations of China, Myanmar and Gautami Nuns have their separate pagodas. The ones by Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are under construction. • 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. • Lumbini is one of four Buddhist pilgrimage sites based on major events in the life of Gautama Buddha. Interestingly, all of the events occurred under trees • The other three sites are in India: Bodh Gaya (enlightenment), Sarnath (first discourse), and Kushinagar (death).

2. Objectives of the study

The main objectives of this is to study and analysis the impacts which brought by tourism in socio cultural and economic and environment in lumbini. However, the general objectives of the study are:

• To study...
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