Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha

The Maya Devi temple in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha

Lumbini was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage 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, and it contains crucial evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from a very early period.

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 Ashoka 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 site to be both an archaeological site as well as a place of pilgrimage.

The boundaries cover the central area around the Ashoka Pillar of 130 by 150 metres with a buffer zone designated as the remaining area within the water body as designed by the 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 UNESCO Office in Kathmandu is assisting the authorities to manage and preserve the site by implementing the project Strengthening Conversation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha" funded by the Government of Japan and the “UNDP/UNESCO Lumbini Support Project” funded by UNDP Nepal.



Related links:

Lumbini: past, present and future

International Buddhist Cultural Heritage Conference, Lumbini (Nepal), 15 - 18 November 2014

Tito Drupet's pages on Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha:




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