Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha


Lumbini was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997, as the place where Gautama Buddha was born in 623 BC. The sacred area is one of the holiest places for Buddhists around the world.

UNESCO is implementing the Japan-funded project for conservation and management of Lumbini, in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust. The Office safeguards the cultural assets of the Greater Lumbini Area, in particular of Tilaurakot and Ramagrama, both on the Tentative List for World Heritage inscription. We focus on archaeological investigation and establishing a strategy for inscription on the World Heritage List.


A number of significant results have been achieved:

The conservation of the three most emblematic monuments of Lumbini: Marker Stone, Nativity Sculpture and Ashoka Pillar.

-       Successful excavations within the Sacred Garden particularly within the Mayadevi Temple, revealing evidence of structures dating back to 6th century BCE and proofing for the first time evidence of a structure during Buddha’s live time.

-       Preparation of the integrated management plan for Lumbini.

-       During the excavations in Tilaurakot, evidence was found of structures dating back to 8th century BCE.

-       During the January/February 2015 excavations, a spectacular hoard of 500 silver punch-marked coins of 2nd century BCE, was recovered from a monastery area, outside the ancient wall of Tilaurakot.

-       In 2016, remains of a 1,800 years old palatial complex were discovered exactly at the place where the Chinese Monk Xuan Zang described it in 7th century AD in his travel record. Under this complex we found approximately 3 meters of older archaeological layers.

-       Fifteen staff of the Department of Archaeology and  the Lumbini Development TrustT and thirty Master’s level students were trained in conservation and archaeological investigations.

The Office also takes a coordination role in bringing various stakeholders together in Lumbini, in order to ensure that the various interests (conservation of historical remains, development of Lumbini area and needs of Buddhist pilgrims) are not in conflict but develop in harmony. 

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