A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about spirituality


sunny 32 °C

So the next morning it was off on our epic 12 hour bus ride to the Nepali border town of Sunauli. The minute we entered Nepal it was a mosquito fest! We couldn't get over it. Within 100 metres of the border, it became Mosquito maniat! They were everywhere. We quickly smothered ourselves in anti mozzie juice whilest getting our Nepali visa.


There were quite a few differences between India and Nepal almost instantly. The roads were smoother and the countryside was a good bit cleaner. We finally reached our hotel in Lumbini at about 7 or 8pm, just in time for a giant buffet dinner and a humoungous bottle of the Nepali beer - EVEREST!


Te next day we were off to the birthplace of the Buddha. Here's the blurb - ''Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there. The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.''
It was a great big lovely garden full of lush green grass, lovely leafy trees, prayer flags everywhere, lots of Buddhists praying and the air was filled with an all round chilled out holy vibe. Now here's something I can get into I thought - Buddhism!






There was a big tree in the gardens around which all the monks were praying. We all gathered around, got our beads blessed and made a voluntary donation. (holiness still costs money even in Buddhism! :) ) It was a gorgeous day and lots of people and monks were out behind the temple in the grounds, kneeling, chanting and swaying in the breeze. Buddhism has a good vibe I reckoned. It doesn't call for you to believe in all sorts of mad animal-hybrid gods, just calls on you to modify your behaviour and generally be an all-round-good-guy! :) Or so I thought, until I heard that they believe that Queen Maya Devi gave birth to the Buddha from her armpit!!! LOLOL. Armpit???
Bonkers! It's like those who believe don't want to mention a lady's rude bits or even think about how babies are made. :D ;)

sidenote: The ladies here have a tough time in Nepal. Firstly, no one realllly wants daughters. They all want sons. Girls are regarded as a financial burden whose honour must be protected until they get married. They're pulled out of school first to allow the sons to go to school instead, and in the olden days, during a girls tempestuous time of the month, they were sent outside to the shed for four days!!! Apparently now they just can't cook food for those days. Weird. Harsh Times.
Once again I was reminded of how lucky I am to have been born in a country that's not extremely anti-women and bonkers.

So Buddhism anyways - seems cool. One of the lads on our tour wants to get into Buddhism and was really impressed by today. Another girl on our group was visibly moved and upset when getting her beads blessed. Her father is very sick and I think the spirituality of the place really hit her today.

After we saw the blessed stone that Buddha was born on, we pottered around a bit taking in the atmosphere.




On the way back to the bus there was a whopper fight over parking happening between some locals. Not very Zen!! Then I chatted to a backpacker who obviously hadn't brushed his teeth in days, and we hopped on the bus to make our way to Chitwan National Park. :D

Posted by squeakylee 20:47 Archived in Nepal Tagged buddha birthplace lumbini spirituality Comments (0)

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