Sightseeing in Nepal

Sightseeing in Nepal

On the roof of the world, shoe horned into the grand Himalaya, Bhutan, the thunder Dragon, is a fiercely independent kingdom. With an area slightly larger than Switzerland, there are only about 600,000 people. The name Bhutan appears to derive from the ancient Indian term "Bhotanta" which means the end of land of the Bhots, it could also extend from the Sanskrit word Bhu'uttan or highland.

The Kingdom lies east of Nepal and west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Located in the heart of the high Himalayan mountain range, Bhutan is a land-locked country surrounded by mountains in north and west. The rugged east, visited by few Western travellers, the high Himalaya in the northern steppes separates the kingdom from Tibet.

Nepal river rafting trip is a wonderful way to explore and experience Nepal's natural and enthno-cultural heritage. Rivers here are regarded as goddesses, and are included in a number of Hindu and Buddhist religious rituals. Many can be witnessed during a raft adventure. Slopes adjoining the rivers often harbor dense vegetation and interesting wildlife. Several varieties of fish also abound. And rafting in Nepal is a great experience in it's own right: the thrill of running white water rapids can be as exhilarating as reaching a mountain summit! Rivers can be grouped into three categories on the basis of their origin: Antecedent to the Himalayas.

Nepal is a country steeped in culture and tradition. As a visitor, it is important that you respect the rights and beliefs of the local people and that you minimize your impact - culturally and environmentally.

The Nepali people are a friendly and proud people who will thank you for saying something positive about their country. Always remember that life for many of the people in Nepal is extremely hard, they have very few material possessions and there is little or no alternative to doing things the hard way. Nevertheless, you will find many of their qualities put the western 'developed' world to shame.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

LumbiniLumbini, the Birth Place of Lord Buddha, is the holiest pilgrimage of the Buddhist world. Because of its immense historical and archeological importance, Lumbini is listed as a. Many countries and leading Buddhist institutions have constructed magnificent monasteries and monuments in Lumbini garden reflecting their respective indigenous architecture. This multi-culture endeavor enhance Lumbini as an International Buddhist pilgrimage center. Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, lies in the midst of flat, emerald-green fields. It is one of the four great Buddhist pilgrimage sites and draws pilgrims from Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka.
Lumbini is a place less known to many but a destination worth a visit to simply come to experience an ambiance of spiritualism. While in Lumbini you can forget the tense and materialistic urban life and live a few blissful days of absolute peace and tranquility in touch with your inner spirituality. Buddha Maya Gardens makes sure that your wish to be in touch with the simple aesthetics of life is fulfilled.

Maya Devi Temple Lumbini remained neglected for centuries. In 1895, Feuhrer, a famous German archaeologist, discovered the great pillar while wandering about the foothills of the Churia range. Further exploration and excavation of the surrounding area revealed the existence of a brick temple and a sandstone sculpture within the temple itself which depicts the scenes of the Buddha's birth.

It is pointed out by scholars that the temple of Maya Devi was constructed over the foundations of more than one earlier temple or stupa, and that this temple was probably built on an Ashokan stupa itself. On the south of the Maya Devi temple there is the famous sacred bathing pool known as Puskarni. It is believed that Maha Devi took a bath in this pool before the delivery. By the side of the Ashoka pillar there is a river which flows southeast and is locally called the 'Ol' river. In 1996, an archaeological dig unearthed a "flawless stone" placed there by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC to mark the precise location of the Buddha's birth more than 2,600 years ago, if authenticated, the find will put Lumbini even more prominently on the map for millions of religious pilgrims.
Recently, several beautiful shrines have been built by devotees from Buddhist countries. A visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, is not only for spiritual enlightenment but also for solace and satisfaction that one gets in such a calm and peaceful place.

Ashoka Pillar

The first Pillar of Ashoka was found in the 16 century by Thomas Coryat in the ruins of ancient Delhi. Initially he assumed that from the way it glowed that it was made of brass, but on closer examination he realized it was made of highly polished sandstone with upright script that resembled a form of Greek. In the 1830s James Prinsep began to decipher them with the help of Captain Edward Smith and George Turnour. They determined that the script referred to King Piyadasi which was also the epithet of an Indian ruler known as Ashoka who came to the throne 218 years after Buddha's enlightenment. Scholars have since found 150 of Ashoka's inscriptions, carved into the face of rocks or on stone pillars marking out a domain that stretched across northern India and south below the central plateau of the Deccan. These pillars were placed in strategic sites near border cities and trade routes.
These pillars were carved in two types of stone. Some were of the spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura, the others of buff-colored fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi. The uniformity of style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted by craftsmen from the same region. It would therefore seem that stone was transported from Mathura and Chunar to the various sites where the pillars have been found, and there was cut and carved by craftsmen. The pillars have four component parts. The shafts are always plain and smooth, circular in cross-section, slightly tapering upwards and always chiselled out of a single piece of stone. The capitals have the shape and appearance of a gently arched bell formed of lotus petals. The abaci are of two types: square and plain and circular and decorated and these are of different proportions. The crowning animals are either seated or standing, always in the round and chiseled as a single piece with the abaci.
The most celebrated pillar is the pillar with the lion capital at Sarnath. Here, four lions are seated back to back. The pillar at Sanchi also has a similar lion capital. There are two pillars at Rampurva, one with bull and the other with lion as crowning animal. The pillar at Sankissa has an elephant as crowning animal. Five of the pillars of Ashoka (two at Rampurva, one each at Vaishali, Lauriya-Areraj and Lauryia-Nandangarh were possibly marked the course of the ancient Royal highway from Patliputra to the Nepal valley.

Places to visit

Lumbini Museum - for Mauryan Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta, stone and metal sculpture and icons;

Japanese Peace Stupa - Nepal’s tallest Buddha’s statue;

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