Lumbini Buddhist Circuit Tour The Lumbini Circuit Tour provides insight into the life of Lord Buddha and the development of Buddhism. There are 62 archaeological sites scattered outside the Lumbini. The tour goes through Tilaurakot, Kudan, Gotihawa, Niglihawa, Sagarhawa, Aurorakot, Devadaha and Ramagrama all bearing significance to the life, Enlightenment and death of Buddha.
Tilaurakot has been identified by archaeologists as the actual capital of Kapilvastu and the home of King Suddhodhan, father of Prince Siddhartha who later went on to become the Buddha. This is believed to be the place where Lord Buddha spent the first 29 years of his princely life. Chinese travelers who visited Tilaurakot more than 2,500 years ago reported seeing numerous stupas, monasteries and palaces. The Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien and Hiuen-Tsang noted that they saw Kapilavastu in complete ruins and counted 10 deserted cities within Kapilavastu. King Virudhaka, who massacred the Shakyas during the last days of Lord Buddha, is said to have destroyed the cities.
Located about 27 km west of Lumbini and 3 km-from Taulihawa town, a joint effort by Nepali and Japanese archeologists recovered the royal town of Tilaurakot, the elaborate gateway in the western side, the twin stupa of the Buddha's parents, and King Suddhodhan's palace in and around the Tilaurakot mound. Historically, Kapilavastu was named after Saint Kapil. The Buddha visited Kapilavastu several times during his life. The first nunnery in Buddhist history was also established in Kapilavastu.
The earth rampart, the brick fortification, the ancient habitation, and the 13 layers of human depositions dating between 8 B.C. and 2-3 A.D. are the most noteworthy things in the historic ruins. The Kapilavastu Museum exhibits coins, pottery and toys dating back to the 7th century B.C. and 4th century A.D. including a collection of jewelry and ornaments. The terracotta figures recovered at Tilaurakot belong to pre-Mauryan, Mauryan, Sunga and the Kushana periods.
Kudan is located some 4.5 km south of Tilaurakot. It is a huge mound of structural ruins and a pond nearby appears to be the ruins ofstupas and monasteries. These are believed to be the Kasaya Stupa, where a Kasaya (yellow robe worn by monks) was presented to Lord Buddha. This is where King Suddhodhana met Lord Buddha for the first time after he returned from Enlightenment.
Gotihawa is an important religious and archaeological site for the Buddhist world community and also historically and archaeologically important. Located about 3 km southwest of Taulihawa, it is believed that Krakuchanda Buddha, who came before Shakyamuni Buddha, was born in Gotihawa and attained Nirvana here. Brick structures of stupas and monasteries can be seen in the area outside modern Gotihawa village. At the center of the main mound the remains of a broken Ashokan Pillar lie on a slab. Adjoining the Pillar on the northeast side is a huge stupa with rings of wedge-shaped ancient bricks/ identifying the Nirvana Stupa of Krakuchanda Buddha. The villagers are still using an ancient well in the center of the village.
A walk through the villages surrounding Lumbini interaction with the warm and hospitable local people, buying their authentic hadicraft products and observing their traditional rituals will bring one closer to understanding the diversity of terai cultures in Nepal. Tour of villages also gives opportunity to observe Terai landscapes and vgetation found in the outskirts of the settlements. The people in these traditional villages offer a peek at their agro-based rural lifestyle, colorful costume, festivals which they celebrate with much joy and enthusiam and gracious hospitality. They belong to different religions, cast and creed, with agriculture as main occupation. The main festivals celebrated by the people are Nag Panchami, Holi Dashain and Tihar. Tourists can visit the local temples and mosques or partake in the cultural
ceremonies. The birdwatching opportunities. Visitors have the option of choosing to walk through the villages, riding through a local rikshw or bullock cart.
Ekala offers culturaql sightseeing in the village and birdwatching at Lake karbolaha that has a crane sanctuary nearby. Visitors can also visit Shiva and Kalimaisthan temples and a mosque in the neighborhood. They live in traditional stone or tent-houses. The main ethnic groups who live here are yadav, Harijan, Chamar, Gupta and the muslims. The languages spoken are Bhojpuri and Nepali.