The Mayadevi Shrine is surrounded by several groups of stupas. So far, 31 stupas representing 3 different categories have been excavated at the Sacred Garden of Lumbini. Of them, 29 are Votive Stupas, 1 Relic Stupa and 1 Dhamma Stupa. The large number of ancient stupas in the vicinity signifies the importance of Lumbini as one of the holiest sites of pilgrimage after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha.
The stupas were constructed here from 3rd century BC until 8th or 9th century AD through the Mauryan, Sunga, Kushana and Gupta periods. Stupas erected at Lumbini Sacred Garden are of different types, designs and styles, primarily having square, rectangular and circular bases. Followings are the stupas uncovered in the Sacred Garden.
This stupa was constructed during Sunga period (2nd century BC). But archaeologist T. N. Mishra estimates it to be of Asoka time (3rd century BC).
This Stupa is identified as only one Dhamma Stupa out of 31 stupas excavated so far in the Sacred Garden of Lumbini. This stupa, as 42 described by archaeologist Mishra, is believed to be of Mauryan period (3rd century BC) which is plain in design and has the four stepping basement. Other stupas, both having circular and square bases, are believed to have been constructed during Sunga period (2nd Century BC) and Kusana period (1st to 2nd century AD). 19 Terra-cotta seals contained in the stupa ascertain it to be a Dhamma Stupa where pilgrims and followers worship to pay homage to the teachings of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha.
This is the only Relic Stupa out of 31 stupas excavated so far in the Sacred Garden of Lumbini. This stupa was first traced in 1975 and reconstructed above ground with Mauryan brickbats available at the site. The floor of this stupa at the time of excavation contained only the lid of a Gold Casket of cylindrical type in association with some charred human bones and other ritual offerings. The brickbats available at the site indicate the construction of stupa during Mauryan period (3rd century BC).
This group of 16 Stupas belongs to Votive Stupa which were constructed during Gupta period (7th or 8th century). These stupas were found by archaeologists D. Mitra in 1957 and reconstructed to thier original shape during 1976-77 excavations.
Located in the north and north-east of the Mayadevi Temple, the row of Six Stupas was constructed during Mauryan and Sunga periods (3rd to 2nd century BC). These were alsofound by archaeologists D. Mitra in 1957 and reconstructed to thier original shape in 1976- 77 AD.
This Group of Stupas was constructed during the 1st century BC to 5th century AD through Kushan to Gupta periods. This Group of Stupas as noticed by T. N. Mishra, include the Stupa No. 12 to Stupa No. 29.