Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is located in the Rupandehi District of Lumbini Province in Nepal.
Lumbini was a sacred grove of sal trees in the ancient kingdom of Shakya, where Siddhartha Gautama was born in 566 BCE. According to Buddhist tradition, his mother, Queen Mayadevi, gave birth to him while standing under a sal tree. The baby took seven steps in each direction and declared, "I am born to end all suffering."
In the 3rd century BCE, the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great visited Lumbini and erected a stone pillar to commemorate the Buddha's birth. The pillar bears an inscription that identifies Lumbini as the birthplace of the Buddha.
Lumbini remained an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists throughout history. Many pilgrims have visited the site over the centuries, including the Chinese monks Faxian and Xuanzang.
In the 20th century, Lumbini was rediscovered by archaeologists and began to be developed as a modern pilgrimage center. Today, Lumbini is a thriving Buddhist complex with temples, stupas, and monasteries from all over the world.
In recent years, Lumbini has undergone a major development project. The Lumbini Master Plan aims to create a world-class Buddhist pilgrimage center that is also sustainable and environmentally friendly.
One of the most significant developments is the construction of the International Buddhist Confederation Complex, which will house the headquarters of the International Buddhist Confederation and a number of other Buddhist organizations.