Lumbini: UNESCO World Heritage Property
Lumbini was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in 1997 as the place where Gautama Buddha was born in 623 BC.
The criteria for inscription in the World Heritage List are defined in the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value.
- “As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, testified by the inscription on the Asoka Pillar, the sacred area in Lumbini is one of the most holy and significant places for one of the world’s great religions” (Criterion iii).
- “The archaeological remains of the Buddhist viharas (monasteries) and stupas (memorial shrines) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD, provide important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from a very early period” (Criterion vi).
The values therefore encompass the property to be both an archaeological site as well as a place of pilgrimage.
The boundaries cover the central area around the Asokan pillar of 130 by 150 metres with a buffer zone designated as the remaining area within the water body as designed by the renowned Japanese Architect Kenzo Tange in a Master Plan for Lumbini.
The surrounding outer sacred garden is defined as a “wooded area” in the Kenzo Tange Master Plan, which is an area to be protected under the Ancient Monument Preservations Act.
The Government of Nepal, as a signatory to the World Heritage Convention, must establish a management system that ensures the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of Lumbini from any factors arising in and around the property, including the impact of the growing numbers of tourists and pilgrims to Lumbini every year.