Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Tilaurakot’

Loitering in the land of Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 26, 2012

By Sanjib Chaudhary

After reading the article “Tilaurakot Excavations (2023 – 2029 V.S.)” by Tara Nanda Mishra and the book “The Great Sons of the Tharus: Sakyamuni Buddha and Emperor Asoka the Great” by Subodh Kumar Singh, I was dying to visit Tilaurakot, the place where Lord Buddha spent his 29 years.

Tilaurakot – the citadel in shambles

Finally, I got the chance to visit Taulihawa. I was excited – the reason – Tilaurakot and Jagadishpur Lake being in the vicinity. As we crossed the Bhikchhu Chowk, the roundabout that leads the way to Tilaurakot, the sign board was misleading. While one showed the way to Tilaurakot, another had a two headed arrow which was pointing towards two opposite directions. However, the problem was solved within minutes as the locals told us to head northward.

On the way to the Tilaurakot complex is a museum that houses the archaeological findings that were excavated from the complex. We wanted to see the site of King Suddhodana’s palace first, so we skipped the visit to the museum.

Not a single visitor in the complex

Reaching the complex, I had thought that crowds of people will be competing for a glimpse of the ancient kingdom. However, the expectation was shattered within seconds. I could see not a single visitor in the surrounding.

Anybody can enter the complex and surprisingly you don’t need to pay for the entrance. Entering the citadel was like travelling back into the days of Buddha. I could sense the ambience – tranquil and heavenly.

Grand defence of ancient times

At the entrance of the Western Gate, the remnants of 10 feet wide defence wall were astonishing. You can imagine how well protected the citadel was – apart from the defence wall, there used to be a 22 feet wide moat with crocodiles. It was simply impossible for the enemies to enter the city.

The excavations carried out on the western end of the ruins at Tilaurakot, roughly in the central position of the western wall brought to light three different phases of defence walls. Among them, the first wall was made of clay, possibly digging the nearest outside area, and the ditch had been simultaneously converted into a moat. The first mud wall can be dated to 7th-6th Century BC. The second phase of defence wall had also been made of yellowish clay, and had been built during 200 BC. The third wall was erected just over the basement and outer toe of the second phase wall. It was made of bricks and brick-bats in yellowish mud mortar. It can be dated to 150 BC. The walls were surrounded by a deep moat, which was probably fed by water from the Banaganga River.

One of my colleagues tried to step on the wall out of curiosity but was admonished by a staffer wearing an orange tee shirt with the Lumbini Development Trust logo. However, he was himself sleeping on the wall! Read the rest of this entry »

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Development of Lumbini as Buddhist Mecca discussed

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 20, 2012

BUTWAL: The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), one of the international donor agencies operating in the country, has stressed developing Lumbini area as the Vatican City of the Buddhists by formulating an integrated masterplan.

A delegation of KOICA which is visiting Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, also suggested including the entire Lumbini region and surrounding places in this development plan.

The leader of the KOICA team, Prof Kwak Yong Hum, speaking at a discussion programme here on Wednsday said Lumbini could be developed as Mecca and Medina are for the Muslims and as the Vatican City is for the Christians. The discussion was organized by the Siddharthanagar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said Lumbini could be developed as a World Peace City and it would be centre of faith for people of all the faiths.

Prof Kwak who has already spent over 10 years studying about Lumbini said development of Lumbini means the development of the entire Lumbini area and not just the area around Lumbini .

He stressed the integrated development of the Lumbini region including other areas related with the life of the Buddha like Tilaurakot, Devdaha and Ramgram.

“This integrated development should also include programmes for the improvement of the living standard of the local community there,” Prof Kwan stressed.

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LUMBINI: Mikel Dunham’s interview with Lisa Choegyal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

Lisa Choegyal is a tourism consultant who works throughout the Asia Pacific region, specializing in pro-poor sustainable tourism planning and marketing. With a background in the private sector, she was for over 20 years Director of Marketing of Tiger Mountain, Nepal’s pioneer trekking, adventure and wildlife operator. Based in Kathmandu, she has worked since 1992 as a senior associate of TRC Tourism (formerly Tourism Resource Consultants) in Wellington, New Zealand  (www.trctourism.com). Lisa was Team Leader of the ADB Ecotourism Project 2000-2001, DFID tourism monitor on TRPAP 2001-2005, tourism-marketing specialist for the ADB SASEC program 2004-2008, and prepared the UK Aid DFID Great Himalaya Trail development program for SNV Nepal 2006-2010. She serves on a number of non-profit boards related to tourism and conservation, and is New Zealand Honorary Consul to Nepal since 2010.

-LISA CHOEGYAL-sm

02-nun at Lumbini

DUNHAM: How do you assess the current framework for development in Lumbini, the framework that is already and has been in place for a long time?

CHOEGYAL: The institutional framework is interesting with so many stakeholders, different factions and historical complexities. UNESCO has a crucial role to play to preserve its world heritage status. The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) is the obvious main custodian although it needs to be evolved into an Authority rather than a Trust. It is typical of the current political scenario that existing institutions become politicized. . Perhaps it was felt, in this case, that it is easier to create a parallel organization and just blow LDT out of the water. Three billion dollars is a convincing figure.

I’ve worked on Lumbini, from a tourism perspective, on and off, for the last twenty years but most recently with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) tourism infrastructure study, where I was part of a consulting team that designed the South Asian Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) tourism components. SASEC is an ADB grouping of five countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India – actually the north and northeast States of India – Nepal and Sri Lanka. We worked for six years as tourism sector advisors on the SASEC program with our firm, TRC Tourism, which is based in Wellington, New Zealand. SASEC was modeled on the ADB’s Greater Mekong Sub-Region tourism program, on which TRC had also been tourism advisors (Cambodia, China (PRC, specifically Yunnan and Guangxi), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam).

In many ways, South Asia was easier than the Mekong because we were dealing with countries that were used to working together in tourism, and had been cooperating and selling joint packages for decades — whereas in the Greater Mekong, many of them had been emerging from long-term conflicts. We were able to make a lot of headway in the tourism sector in South Asia, whereas other SASEC sectors, such as water resources roads and large-scale infrastructure had a much more complex agenda.

Lumbini emerged as being one of the priority areas in the sub-region for tourism development using a sub-regional rationale, linked, as it is, very convincingly, with the footsteps of the Lord Buddha circuit in India. Of course it is also an incredibly important national tourism site for Nepal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Faking Lumbini Accelerating

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 13, 2012

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Power News (सिमा अतिक्रमण)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 13, 2012

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तिलौराकोट

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 20, 2011

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Lumbini: The Birth-place of Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 19, 2011

NEPAL has always fascinated the world with her majestic religious sites and picturesque beauty of mountains, and the serenity in the hearts of her people. Though the Nepalese have diverse beliefs and ethnic backgrounds, all unite and respect each other’s culture and religion marking unity in diversity. Nepal is endowed with many historical, religious and cultural aspects of interest. One of these mesmerizing holy places, Lumbini, where the Buddha Shakyamuni was born in 623 BC is situated in the south-western Terai of Nepal and is 298 kms away from the capital. Lumbini evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world. The following menu which takes you to other Important Buddhist Places in the Lumbini and its surroundings.

 Lumbini

 Ramagrama

 Devadaha

 Tilaurakot : Kapilavastu

 Kudan

 Gotihawa

 Arorakot

 Niglihawa

 Sagarhawa

 

 

LUMBINI

Lumbini is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the Sakya prince, and the ultimate Buddha, the Perfectly Enlightened one. The site of his nativity is marked by the commemorative pillar erected by Indian Buddhist emperor Ashoka over 2,200 years ago and was rediscovered in 1896. Thus, as Ashoka himself acknowledged, Lumbini is a quintessential Buddhist heritage site, currently undergoing a renaissance by the internationally supported Lumbini Development Project

Across the world and throughout the ages, religious people have made pilgrimages. Many great teachers of the Buddhist tradition maintained the practice of pilgrimages, paying respect to the holy sites.

The Buddha himself exhorted his followers to visit what are now known as the four original places of Buddhist pilgrimage: Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar.

 

The View of Mayadevi Temple with Asokan Pillar and Puskarini Pond in Lumbini as they looked in olden days.

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IS UTTER PRADESH GOVERNMENT FAKING ANOTHER KAPILVASTU ?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 15, 2011

[So I had  asked the government of India what it would officially say about the controversy. They sent an email reply tome, posted as titled Reply From Government of India on Buddha Birth Place saying that “the desired information is not available in the record holdings of National Archives of India”. Then on February 14, 2010 I wrote a paper on the Buddha birth place and posted offering a title as  Nepal’s Lumbini: Where The Buddha Was Born. Then followed a series of debates particularly on Kapilvastu. In the meantime Kapilvastu Forum came forward from India to debate Kapilvastu.]
By B. K. Rana

Up till now Indian scholars, journalists and writers claim Buddha was born in India which virtually is a claim that can’t be archaeologically evidenced to be true. But on the other hand the people of Nepal tell all that the Buddha was born at Lumbini in Nepal. The Himalayan Voice had published last year a series of discussions in which scholars from around the world took part. The fact is that the debate was earlier initiated with a title Where Was Buddha Born? at Indo_Eyrasia_ Research Yahoogroups on August 1, 2009, without any knowledge of on going ‘book controversy’. The Buddha birth place controversy again brought recently out by a writer had prompted a series of national and international fury over a book ‘The Post American World‘ published in 2008.
 

A group of people burned the book down in Chautara, Sindhupalchowk district, some 4 hours  drive eastwards from Kathmandu. A Maoist lawmaker had  even raised the issue, reading aloud the text in the book in front of the Nepalese parliamenterians. The Buddha birth place controversy is not new at all, it is there since  August 24, 1928 as a news broke out in a local newspaper the ‘Daily Asha’ that an Ashokan inscription was discovered in Kapileswara of Orissa. The law maker and others seemed to have been concerned over the recent book only.

So I had  asked the government of India what it would officially say about the controversy. They sent an email reply to me, posted as titled Reply From Government of India on Buddha Birth Place saying that “the desired information is not available in the record holdings of National Archives of India”. Then on February 14, 2010 I wrote a paper on the Buddha birth place and posted offering a title as  Nepal’s Lumbini: Where The Buddha Was Born. Then followed a series of debates particularly on Kapilvastu. In the meantime Kapilvastu Forum came forward from India to debate Kapilvastu. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ban pledges support for Lumbini’s development

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2011

KATHMANDU , JAN 25 – Minister for Federal Affairs, Constituent Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Minendra Rijal held a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Tuesday.

The meeting primarily dwelled on the development of Lumbini.

Minister Rijal underlined the need for fully recognising the enormous potential and significance of Lumbini as an enduring source of international peace, security and harmony, the bedrock of the UN Charter, according to Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

During the meeting, the Secretary-General mentioned that he was very much impressed by the beauty of Lumbini when he visited it in 2008. He, however, said much remains to be done to preserve the sacred place. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Life of Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 29, 2010

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The Life of Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2010

This clip could mean something to you:

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