Siddhartha Guatma, Lord Buddha
In the little dusty village of Lumbini, which straddles the border between Nepal and India, sits one of the most important historical sites in the world. Though you wouldn't know to look at it, (and most certainly not from the day that we visited), this site has become one of the most famous pilgrimage sites, for any religion. Next to a tranquil pond, in an uninspiring red brick building sits the rock upon which Siddhartha Gutama, who later in life reached enlightnement and became the Buddha, was born. On the day that we visited, the entire grounds (and most of the monasteries within proximity) were virtually void of people. Needless to say, it was a tad eerie and slightly unnerving, especially having to elbow our way though the Potala and the Jokhang in Tibet. There were no pilgrims, no Buddhists, no monks, and no tourists. Just us. Though the lack of people made the situation odd, it also made it highly relaxing and serene. Maybe the grounds have a special forcefield enclosed that enables you to view only it and not other people. We'll never know.
The entire park also housed many monasteries built from Buddhists from around the world: Korea, China, Japan,Thailand and the awe inspiring German monastery. Though we only spent the one night in Lumbini, we were glad that we had made the trek to this corner of the planet to catch a glimse at a piece of history. Oddly enough....the morning we left would also be the day that we visited the deathplace of Lord Buddha. And with that.....on to India!!!
D and T