As the historical birthplace of Gautama Siddhartha Buddha, Lumbini is one of the most important religious sites In the world. The man who would later achieve enlightenment under a Bodhi tree, inspiring a global philosophy of peace and reflection, was born under a sal tree in Lumbini in the month of May in 563 BC. Despite being an important destination for pilgrimage, Lumbanl is nothing like Haridwar. Mecca or Lourdes. The centre of Lumbini is the Maya Devi Temple, which marks the exact spot where Queen Maya Devi of Kapilvastu gave birth to Gautam Siddhartha. Surrounding the temple is a sacred garden containing the pillar of Ashoka as well as the ruined foundation of dozens of ancients stupas and monasteries. The revered Maya Devi Temple sits on the exact site of the birth of the Buddha,acc ording to Buddhist scholars. Excavations carried out In 1992 have revealed a succession of ruins on the site dating back at least 2200 years, including a commemorative stone on a brick plinth, matching the description of a stone laid down by Emperor Ashoka in the third century BC. There are plans to raise a grand monument on the site but for now, the ruins are protected by a plain brick pavilion. The focal point for pilgrims is a famous sandstone carving of the birth of the Buddha reputedly left here by the Malla King Ripu Malla, In the 14th century,when Maya Devi was worshipped as an incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess. There’s a modern reproduction in the Bihari monastery near the temple. The pond beside the temple is believed to be where Maya Devi bathed before giving birth to the Buddha and dotted around the grounds are the ruined foundations of a number of brick stupas and monasteries, dating from the 2nd century BC to the 9th century AD.Opposite the temple are two small Buddhist monasteries: the Dharma Swami Maharaj Buddha Vihar.