SOME IMPORTANT SITES AROUND LUMBINI:
The eastern gate of the palace reminds us about Siddhartha’s renunciation for the search of supreme knowledge. He renounced the palace at the age 29 quietly at mid night from this Mahaviniskramana dwara. The eastern gate is known as Mahabhiniskramana Dwara, through which Siddhartha took the great renunciation at the age of 29. It is also known as Mangala Dwara (auspicious gate) in the Buddhist literatures.Tilaurakot: The ancient capital of Sakya kingdom (Kapilavastu) is located about 27 km west of Lumbini. Tilaurakot houses the vestiges of ancient Sakya palace where Siddhartha lived his early 29 years as a prince. The ramparts of a moat and a fortification wall with its western and eastern gates surround the remains of the citadel including ancient structural remains in the central part of the mound.
Niglihawa lies about 8 km northeast of Taulihawa. It is the birthplace of Kanakmuni, the early Buddha of Bhadrakalpa. The site shelters an Asoka pillar erected by Emperor Asoka in 249 BC. The pillar is broken into two pieces, the lower part bearing inscription submerged in the ground and the upper part lying on the surface. The Asoka inscription engraved in Brahmi script and Pali language testifies the site as the birth spot of the Buddha. It is said that the shower of gold rained in Jambudwipa on the day he was born of father, Yajyadutta, and mother Uttara here.
About 3 km northwest of Niglihawa lies a rectangular fortified area popularly known as Araurakot, which is believed to be the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. The rectangular fortification wall is magnificent even in its ruins.
About 12 km north of Taulihawa lies the forest of Sagarhawa, with a long lake known as Lumbusagar. In this site, the Sakyas were massacred by King Virudhaka out of vengeance. The entire area of this site was littered with the blood of the Sakyas. Thousands of Sakyas were killed in the massacre.Later, in the memory of the noble Sakyas, hundreds of stupas were built here by their descendants. Dr. A. Fuhrer excavated and explored these stupas in 1897-1898. The Sakyas could fight against the invading army of Virudhaka, however did not go for bloodshed. They observed their vows of non-violence until their death. They chose to sacrifice their lives than to break the vow of non-violence.
About 5 km southwest of Taulihawa is Gotihawa. It is the site for Asoka Pillar where Krakuchhanda Buddha attained nirvana. Gotihawa is one of the major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists from all over the world. This holy site, sanctified by the birth of the Buddha has been marked by the construction of a stupa. An Asoka pillar erected here by Emperor Asoka in 249 B.C. ascertains it as the birth spot of Krakuchhanda Buddha. However, the upper part of the pillar is missing.
The ancient Nyagrodharama, where king Suddhodana met Lord Buddha, first time after his renunciation lies about 3 km south of Taulihawa. This is the site where Prajapati, Gautami, his second mother offered robe and Yasodhara, his wife invited him for a meal in the palace. Rahula, his son was ordained by Sariputra, his most revered disciple, at the age 8 here. The Buddha preached five important sutras and told the story of his search for supreme knowledge here during his stay with 300 his disciples at Kudan.
Sisahaniya is believed to be the site where the Sakyas built a stupa enshrining the precious corporeal relic of the Buddha that they had obtained as one eighth of their share. The Sakyas after building a relic stupa of Lord Buddha at Sisahaniya and worshipped there for a long time. The relic was taken away later. Today, we can see remnants of ancient potteries, burnt bricks and brickbats and even Sakya punch marked coins lying scattered on the surface of the site.