Lumbini is a birthplace of Lord Budhha.The state government of Province No. 5 has honored the birth place of Lord Buddha, naming its province as a Lumbini. Located in Rupandehi district of Lumbini Province, some 288 km from Kathmandu, south western Nepal, Lumbini is very close to Sonauli (around 30 km), the popular Nepal India boarder check post in western Nepal.
Lumbini is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage places in the world as it was the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddharth Gautam who became Lord Buddha after getting enlightenment. Buddha was born in 563 BC and left his luxurious life and palace at 29 years world from his palace at Tilaurakot and finally got enlightenment in 528 BCE. Lumbini is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Lumbini has been major tourist destination in Nepal. Many tourists including Buddhist Pilgrims visit this holiest place each year searching the peace, to learn the meditation, explore more about love, peace, meditation, Monks and The Buddhism. There are many places which attract visitors the most, which you can read here in this blog. In this blog I am writing something more of Monastic Zone in Lumbini.
The map of the Lumbini Master Plan – © Lumbini Development Trust
Monastic Zone in Lumbini
There are two Monastic Zone in Lumbini, East Monastic Zone and West Monastic Zone.
East Monastic Zone of Lumbini
The East Monastic Zone of Lumbini represents the Theravada also known as Hinayana School of Buddhism. In the east monastic zone of Lumbini, there are fewer monasteries compare to West Monastic Zone this is the reason that east zone is more peaceful than the west zone. The forest is quite thicker in this area. Currently 9 monasteries are in East Monastic Zone of Lumbini including 3 new monasteries which are being constructed.
Many countries have built the monasteries as per their own tradition and architecture representing their own school of Buddhism and rituals. You feel really amazed visiting these monasteries as they offer their own spiritual programs since the monasteries are built and operated by different countries.
Monasteries which are in East Monastic Zone of Lumbini
The Royal Thai Monastery, Thailand
Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery is one of the remarkable monasteries in the monastic zone of Lumbini. The Thai monastery is center of attraction in the east zone. This was built by the Government of Thailand inspiring from the grand Wats of Thailand. The Thai Monastery offers traditional Buddhist Practice including Meditation. There are many picturesque places in the monastery. The Monastery is constructed from white marble and blue roof-topped meditation center. The beautiful design and carving on the walls attracts everyone and make this place a must visit in Lumbini. There is a big compound in the monastic zone.
Myanmar Golden Temple, Myanmar
Myanmar Golden Temple is another property sponsored by other countries, it is built by Myanmar. Myamar Golden Temple is considered as the oldest structure in the monastic zone of Lumbini. Built in Burmese style of architecture, the temple is dedicated to Lord Buddha. It looks Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and is another popular attraction in east zone.. Once you enter the temple you can see prayer halls and a Lokamani Pula Pagoda.
International Gautami Nuns Temple, Nepal
Sri Lankan Monastery, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Monastery is built by Sri Lanka.
Dhamma Janani Vipassana Center, Nepal
Mahabodhi Society Temple, India
The Mahabodhi Society Temple was built by Mahabodhi Society Temple of India. This monastery is small compared to other monasteries. You can see beautiful images which tell the story of Lord Buddha.
Bodhi Institute Monastery and Dharma Center, Canada
Canadian Engaged Buddhism Association (under construction)
Nepal Theravada Buddha Vihar, Nepal
Cambodian Temple, Cambodia
Each of the monasteries represents their own rituals, tradition and the artistic ideologies of sponsored country. Most of the sites are open to visitors where you can enjoy looking at all the public areas. You will feel like you are on the journey of South East Asia visiting east monastic zone of Lumbini. Your camera will be full of interesting religious art and architecture of traditional Asia.
West Monastic Zone of Lumbini
The West Monastic Zone represents the monasteries of Mahayana school of Buddhism. The west zone has more monasteries and meditation centers than the east zone. Similarly as the East Zone, many countries and groups have built the monasteries representing their own spiritual way, tradition and art of architecture. All in one, they have made the zone one of the best Buddhist Pilgrimage destinations in the world from where people can explore many more of Buddhism.
Like the east monastic zone, many sites are already attracting tourists from all over the world and some sites are being constructed.
Monasteries which are in West Monastic Zone of Lumbini
Urgen Dorjee Chholing Buddhist Center, Singapore
French Buddhist Association, France
The Great Lotus Stupa , Germany
Great Lotus Stupa was built by Tara Foundation, Germany. This monastery is one of the highlights of monastic zone. It has colorful decoration with partly covered by glass. The ceiling of the Stupa is covered with Buddhist mural and the gold, wood and carvings represent the belief of Buddhism and the teaching of Buddha that gives the message of peace and non-violence.
Drigung Kagyud Meditation Center, Laddakh India
The World Linh Son Buddhist Congregation, France
United Tungaram Buddhist Foundation, Nepal
Thrangu Vajra Vidhya Buddhist Association, Canada
Thrangu Vajra Vidya is a monastery built by Thrangu Rinpoche. Thrangu Rinpoche is has made many institutions to teach about Buddhism. The monastery organizes many events regularly and it guides if you would like follow the Buddhism.
Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu, Vietnam
Vietnam Phat Quoc Tu Temple is another attraction of Lumbini. The monastery is sponsored by Vietnam. It helps visitors to explore more about Buddhism in Vietnam, their belief, tradition and the architecture.
Geden International Monastery, Austria
Chinese Monastery, China
Chinese Monastery also known as China temple is a popular elegant Buddhist monastery in Lumbini. It is built based on Zhong Hua Chinese Buddhist Monastery. The structure is built in pagoda style of architecture.
Dae Sung Shakya Temple, South Korea
Dae sung Shakya also known as Korean Temple is built in the Korean style of architecture. This is the cool Buddhist monastery having colorful murals on the ceiling. This Korean Temple is one of the tallest monasteries in Lumbini. There is an area where pilgrims and no pilgrims can sleep. They also are offered food for three times in a day. Monks and pilgrims can be seen meditating in the courtyard.
Drubgyud Chhoeling Monastery , Nepal
Drubgyud Chhoeling Monastery also known as Nepal Mahayana Temple is another attraction of west monastic zone in Lumbini.
Dharmodhaya Sabha Nepal, Nepal
Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Bihar, also known as Swayambhu Mahavihara is one of the famous Tibetan styles of Gompa in Lumbini. It was built by His Eminence Chogya Trichen Ringpoche, The King of Mustang. The Bihar represents Shakyapa and it is one of the best places for Meditation in Lumbini. Everyday more than 50 monks perform the puja in the monastery which most of the visitors enjoy and follow the rituals.
Karma Samtenling Monastery, Nepal
Manang Samaj Stupa, Nepal
Manang Samaj Stupa was built by Manag Samaj representing their own tradition. Manang has the oldest Stupa which is as old as 600 BC, at Manang district of Gandaki Province near Tibetan boarder. There is a golden Buddha statue in the middle of Building as it is surrounded by beautiful colorful murals.
Pandirarama Lumbini International Meditation Center, Myanmar
Ka-Nying Shedrup Monastery, Nepal
Ka-Nying Shedrup Monastery also known as Seto Gumba of Lumbini. (under construction)
Zarong Tgupten Mendol Dogna Chholing, Nepal
Nepal Vajrayana Maha Vihara, Nepal
9Japanese Monastery, Japan
14 monasteries including four under construction are located in west monastic zone of Lumbini and there are two meditation centers. All the monasteries has its own design as per own religious and architectural tradition of the sponsored country or groups. All together, they have made the perfect Buddhist site of the world. Visitors will have the exceptional experience while visiting these monasteries which has different taste from one to others.