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Niglihawa: The Birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha

Situated about 7km northeast of Taulihawa,Niglihawa is identified as the holy place where Kanakamuni Buddha was born. Emperor Asoka visited the site in 249 BC and erected the stone pillar with inscription on it. The Asoka inscription engraved on the pillar in Brahmi script and Pali language attests the fact that Emperor Asoka enlarged the Kanakamuni Buddha's stupa, worshiped it and erected a stone pillar to mark the birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha on the occasion of the twentieth year of his coronation. The pillar also bears an inscription, "Om mani padme hum and Sri Ripu Malla Chiram Jayatu 1234" of King Ripu Malla written in the year 1234 (Saka Era corresponding to 1312 AD).

Dr. Alois Fuhrer discovered this pillar in 1895 AD. It is now in a broken state,into two pieces. The lower part of the pillar with an edict measures 10 feet, 6 inches (3. 20 m). The upper half of Asoka's Pillar is 14 feet 9 inches in length with 2 feet diameter at its uppermost and 2 feet 6 inches at its lower end.

Celebrated Chinese pilgrims, Fa-Hien and Hiuen-Tsang, describe the Kanakamuni Stupa and Asoka Pillar in their travel accounts. Unfortunately, both the basement and the capital of the pillar together with the lion atop of which Hiuen Tsang speaks are still missing. A small stone statue with image of Kanakamuni Buddha has been established here recently. 


Roman version of the inscription on the pillar written in the Brahmi script and Pali language:

Devanam piyena piyadasin lajina- chodasavasa bhisitena Budhasa Konakamanasa thube-dutyam vadhite Visativa sabhisitena –cha atana-agacha-mahiyite silathabe-cha usa papite

The English translation of the inscription (by Smith 1969) is as follows:

“His Majesty King Priyadarsina in the 14th year of his reign enlarged for the second time the stupa of the Buddha Kanakamuni and in the 20th year of his reign, having come in person, paid reverence and set up a stone pillar”.