c. 563 BCE - c. 483 BCE
The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to modern scholarly consensus.
350 CE - 375 CE
Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Seng-Tsai makes the first recorded visit to Lumbini.
A Buddhist Chinese pilgrim named Faxian (Fa-Hien) visited Kapilavastu and Lumbini. as recorded in his work "A Record of the Buddhistic kingdoms".
Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang visits and makes detailed notes on Lumbini.
Nepal's history dates back to the time of the Gopalas and Mahishapalas who are believed to have been the earliest rulers of the valley with their capital at Matatirtha, the south-west corner of Kathmandu Valley. They were ousted by the Kirantis around the 7th or 8th Century B.C. The Kirantis are said to have ruled the valley for many centuries following their victory. Their famous King Yalumber is even mentioned in the &lsquoMahabharata&rsquo as he is said to have led his troops to the epic battle. Then around 300 A.D. the Lichhavis arrived from northern India and overthrew the Kirantis. One of the legacies of the Lichhavis is the Changu Narayan Temple near Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture), which dates back to the 4th Century. In the early 7th Century, their King Amshuvarma, married off his daughter Bhrikuti to the famous Tibetan King Tsong Tsen Gampo, thus establishing good relations with Tibet. The Lichhavis brought art and architecture to the valley but the golden age of creativity arrived in 1200 A.D after the Mallas conquered them.
During their 550 year rule, the Mallas built remarkable temples and artistically designed palaces with picturesque squares filled with woodcarvings and metal works. It was also during their rule that the valley society and the cities became well organized spectacular religious festivals were introduced and literature, music, art and drama were encouraged. After the death of King Yaksha Malla, the valley was divided into three kingdoms: Kathmandu (Kantipur), Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon) and Patan (Lalitpur). At the time, Nepal as we know it today was divided into 46 independent principalities. One among these was the kingdom of Gorkha ruled by a Shah king. Much of Kathmandu Valley&rsquos history around this time was recorded by Capuchin friars from Italy who lived in the valley on their way in and out of Tibet.
An ambitious Gorkha King named Prithvi Narayan Shah embarked on a conquering mission that led to the defeat of all the kingdoms in the valley including Kirtipur.by 1769. Instead of annexing the newly acquired states to his kingdom of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan decided to move his capital to Kathmandu, thus establishing the Shah dynasty which ruled unified Nepal from the late 18th century to 2008.
The Gorkha state dates back to 1559 when Dravya Shah established his kingdom in a land predominated by Gurung and Magar people. During the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Gorkha kingdom was slowly expanding, conquering some neighbouring states while forging alliances with others. Eventually it was Prithvi Narayan Shah who led his troops to the Kathmandu Valley. After a long struggle, he defeated all the valley kings and established his palace in Kathmandu leaving Gorkha for good. Recognizing the threat of the British Raj in India, he banished European missionaries from the country and for more than a century, Nepal remained closed to the outside world.
During the mid-19th Century Jung Bahadur Rana rose to power as Nepal&rsquos first Prime Minister, becoming more powerful than the Shah King he was supposed to serve under. The king became a mere figurehead and Jung Bahadur started a hereditary reign of the Rana Prime Ministers that lasted for 104 years. In 1950, the Ranas were overthrown in an uprising to bring democracy in the country with strong support from the-then monarch of Nepal, King Tribhuvan. Soon after the overthrow of the Ranas, King Tribhuvan was reinstated as the Head of the State. In early 1959, Tribhuvan&rsquos son King Mahendra issued a new constitution, and the first democratic elections for a national assembly were held. The Nepali Congress Party was victorious and their leader, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala (popularly known as B.P.) formed a government and served as Prime Minister. But this government didn&rsquot last long as King Mahendra decided to dissolve Parliament in 1960, and introduced a one party &lsquoPanchayat&rsquo rule.
The Panchayat system lasted until 1990, when a popular people&rsquos movement led by the political parties that had been banned by the government which until then had been known as &lsquoHis Majesty&rsquos Government&rsquo, gave way to democracy. The long struggle paid off when King Birendra accepted constitutional reforms and established a multiparty parliament with himself as the Head of State and an executive Prime Minister under him. In May 1991, Nepal held its first parliamentary elections.
In February 1996, the Maoist parties declared a People&rsquos War against monarchy and the elected government. Then on 1st June 2001, a horrific tragedy wiped out the entire royal family of Nepal including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya along with most of their closest relatives. With only King Birendra&rsquos brother, Gyanendra and his family surviving, he was crowned king. King Gyanendra abided by the elected government&rsquos rule for a short time, but then dismissed the elected Parliament to wield absolute power. In April 2006, another People&rsquos Movement was launched jointly by the democratic parties focusing on Kathmandu, which led to a 19-day curfew imposed by the king. With the movement not cowering down and ignoring even the curfew, King Gyanendra eventually relinquished his power and reinstated Parliament. On 21st November 2006, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) 2006, committing to democracy and peace for the progress of the country and people. The king was removed and the decade long Maoist war on the state came to an end. A Constituent Assembly election was held on 10th April 2008. And on 28th May 2008, the newly elected Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic, abolishing the 240 year-old monarchy. Nepal today has a President as Head of State and a constitutionally elected Prime Minister heading the Government.
The Birth Place of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni – Lumbini, Nepal
Many archeologists and historians refer to the sacred Mayadevi Temple as the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Also, inscriptions on the famous Ashoka pillar also refer to this spot as Buddha’s birthplace. It is known that it was here that the newly born Buddha took his first seven steps and later gave a peace message to humanity.
It all started in the stunning Sal grove i.e. the center point of Lumbini Garden. The Queen of Kapilvastu’s Shakya King Suddhodhana was passing across the Lumbini Garden, on the full moon day around 600BC or Baishakha Purnima. She decided to take a bath in the sacred pond (Pushkarini). Soon after, the Queen took the support of close tree branch and gave birth to the sacred Prince Siddhartha, who later becomes the Buddha.
Every year, hundreds of people walk across the garden and soak up the peaceful atmosphere while visiting Mayadevi Temple. They come in the hope to find a quiet meditative spot to contemplate.
History of Lumbini
Lumbini was identified by an Indian Emperor – Ashoka. He visited the location in 248 BCE and erected the famous pillar with the inscription commemorating Siddhartha’s birth. Also, he built a wall all around the village and later ordered the four stupas building to mark the spot.
Modern and Ancient Lumbini Side-by-Side
Lumbini’s rich heritage withstanding, the great experience of touring Lumbini is now an amazing and curious combination of the new and the ancient.
Today, Lumbini is visited by hundreds of pilgrims and visitors because it is within a short striking distance of other attracting detours in the Middle Hills and Terai.
In the immediate north, plains give way to the Mahabharat range hills. Tansen is also a classic hill town in Nepal, dotted with Newari architecture and calm demeanor. A gentle walk from here brings you to Magar tribal villages and Ranighat Darbar. Then there is Chitwan National Park, one of the most popular havens for Nepali tigers and one-horned rhinos.
Set in the mighty Himalayas surrounds, Nepal offers the most stunning, diverse and scenic white-water experiences on the planet. It could be short trips for beginners or long trips for enthusiasts through mountain rivers and jungles. In short, the choices are countless.
Some of the major attractions of Lumbini include Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka pillar, Myanmar Golden Temple, World Peace Pagoda, Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar, China Temple, and Lumbini Museum.
Besides architecture, Lumbini is also popular for a wide range of bird species found in reservoirs included syps, owls, sarus crane, Indian spotted eagle, and other endangered animals.
In 1896, Nepalese archaeologists (led by Khadga Samsher Rana and assisted by Alois Anton Führer) discovered a great stone pillar at Lumbini. Führer postulated that the pillar was placed at the site by Ashoka (emperor of the Maurya Empire) circa 245 BCE. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Faxian in the early fifth century CE were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.
Recent excavations beneath existing brick structures at the Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini have uncovered evidence for an older timber structure beneath the walls of the newer brick Buddhist shrine, which was constructed during the Ashokan era. The layout of the Ashokan shrine closely follows that of the earlier timber structure, which suggests a continuity of worship at the site. The pre-Mauryan timber structure appears to be an ancient bodhigara (tree shrine), consisting of postholes and a wooden railing surrounding a clay floor containing mineralized tree roots that appears to have been worn smooth by visitors. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal from the wooden postholes and optically stimulated luminescence dating of elements in the soil suggests human activity (possibly pre-Buddhist tree worship) began at the site around 1000 BCE, followed by the development of a Buddhist monastery-like community by approximately 550 BCE. 
Gautama Buddha Story: The Beginning Of His Quest
Siddhartha was barely 29 years old when he left his palace in search of answers to self-realization. He followed a life of self-discipline and extreme austerity in terms of food habits, sleep and daily lifestyle. The result being that his body started to give up slowly he had to deal with a lot of physical sufferings. He started off as a lone traveler in this quest, but later on he gained the support of five men who eventually became his ardent followers.
Many months passed, his starvation and self-denial proved futile in his attempt to find answers to his questions. Then something happened which turned the course of events for him. After several days of starvation, he decided to get some food for himself. He accepted a small bowl rice from a young girl in the neighbourhood. This was the turning point for him when he realized that following harsh lifestyle and severe austerity did not serve any purpose. Achieving a balance between spiritual path and worldly life is the need of the hour. His focus shifted to achieving a path of balance but his followers misunderstood him for having gone back to worldly pleasures and so deserted him.
Siddhartha never lost his focus he believed that self-reflection (meditation) is the best way to connect with the soul. He made up his mind to meditate until he had found enlightenment. He chose a fig tree (now called the bodhi tree) and started meditating and promised himself not to move until he found answers to his spiritual quest. In his deep meditation mode he saw his entire life happenings and that of previous births too. It is said that after 49 days of meditation, he finally got an answer to his questions. He obtained pure enlightenment, and in that moment of enlightenment, Siddhartha Gautama became the “Buddha” (he who is awake). At the time of his enlightenment he gained complete insight into the reasons of suffering and how the humans could escape all this trauma.
Provinces Map of Nepal
Nepal (officially, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal) is divided into 7 administrative provinces. These provinces are: Province no. 1, Province no. 2, Province no. 3 (Bagmati Pradesh), Province no. 5, Gandaki Pradesh, Karnali Pradesh and Sudurpashchim Pradesh. These provinces are divided into districts which are further subdivided into smaller subdivisions – municipalities and rural municipalities.
Kathmandu (“The City of Temples”) is the capital of Nepal. It is located in the north western part of the Kathmandu valley to the north of the Bagmati River. Kathmandu is the largest and populous metropolitan city and the center of history, culture and economy of Nepal. It is a home to a number of World heritage sites and often referred to as the “Gateway of Nepal Himalayas”.
I n vedic language 'sanskrit', Lumbini means 'The lovely'. It is a holy Buddhist pilgrimage situated in kapilvastu district of western Terai region of Nepal. "Siddhartha Gautama" The Lord Buddha was born in May of 642 B.C. in this place. He took birth as the prince of the kingdom ruled by his father King Suddhodhana and mother, queen Mayadevi. Buddha was born when Mayadevi was on the way to her parents home at Devdaha. "Siddhartha Gautama" later in his youth left the palace along with his wife and son and went away in search of knowledge.
Lumbini, Nepal: Location
The birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini is a garden situated at the bases of Himalayas forming the Northern fence of Nepal. The garden mainly consists of a number of temples including the Mayadevi temple and The Holy pond(Puskarini), the Ashoka pillar and garden consisting mainly Peepal trees (Ficus religiosa) and Bar(Ficus bengalensis) trees.
It is located at Kapilvastu district of Lumbini zone of western Terai.
Its position on the globe is:
N27 28 08 E83 16 34. It lies about 25 km east to Municipality of Kapilvastu. The location is not extremely easy to reach. For pilgrims it is more convenient to reach the Gautam Buddha Airport at Bhairahawa directly from capital city Kathmandu from where 22 km west makes the way to Lumbini
Lumbini: Birth of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)
Lumbini: Ashoka's visit
The Indian Buddhist Emperor Ashoka visited lumbini in about 249 B.C. and constructed four stupas and a stone pillar which still stands today near the Mayadevi Temple. Ashoka's pillar has inscriptions written in ancient 'pali' script which on transliteration states:
"King Piyadasi (Ashoka) beloved of the devas(Gods) in the 20 year coronation himself made a Royal visit, Buddha Shakyamuni having been born here, A stone railing was built and stone pillar erected to the Bhagavan(Blessed one or god) having been born here. Lumbini village was taxed reduced and entitled to the eight part(only)".
A huge complex of monastries & stupas were erected on the site by followers of Buddha and Ashoka. This building series of monastries and temples continued long time, almost until the 9th century. Later than it Buddhism declined due to the disturbances and influence of Islam and Hinduism. The ancient great garden of Lumbini then slowly started to sink onto the depth of dust and soil and almost disappeared for centuries though was still being visited by few great pilgrims.
Lumbini: Re-discovery and Excavation
The grounded site of Lumbini was uncovered from earth's crust almost after 10 centuries of being dismantled or buried. It was re-discovered in 1895, when a German Archaeologist, Feuhrer come upon The Ashoka's pillar, identified by its inscriptions. Soon after that Nepali Archaeologists started excavation and research.
But this visit of the German Archaeologist is not the only basis for the re-discovery of Lumbini Garden. Many of the Chinese and Nepali pilgrims had visited and had made an attempt for rediscovering and revealing the ancient Land of Buddha being buried in the past time.
Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien (Fa Xian) visited Lumbini in 403 A.D., he found the monastries abandoned and the city of Kapilvastu in ruins. After 200 years of his visit another chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang described 1000 derelict monastries and Ashoka's pillar had been shattered by thunders and lightening and were dismantled on ground.
In spite of being buried the Holy Land Lumbini was not entirely forgotten. The Nepali King, Ripu Malla made a pilgrimage here in 1312, he possibly left a nativity statue that is still worshipped in Mayadevi Temple.
At the end of 14th century the Mughal invaders arrived the region and destroyed the remainings 'pagan' monuments both at Kapilvastu & Lumbini. The whole region now completely returned to wilderness and sites were lost to Humanity until the German Archaeologist arrived in 1895.
Khadga Sumsher, the Governer of palpa began excavation of Ashoka pillar in 1896, with Nepali Archaeologists and discovered the great stone at the site attributed to Ashoka. Some scholars believed that the monuments were built above the old monuments, which still persists under them. The main attraction of Lumbini, the Mayadevi temple was discovered after this excavation which locates the exact birth place of Siddhartha Gautama. The records name by chinese pilgrim Fa Xian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site.
Understanding the religious, cultural, architectural and traditional importance of Lumbini, being the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religion it has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997 under the criteria (iii) and (vi). Its remains contains evidence of the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from early period. Now its being conserved and developed according to a masterplan propounded by a Japanese monk by Nepal government , dozens of trusts, International Communities and the whole Buddhist community around the worl
Lumbini: After Buddha
After the death of the Buddha Lumbini became an important site for Buddhist pilgrims near and far a continuous flow of who came with faith and devotion, seeking peace and the purification of their minds.
There is no evidence or records mentioning visits made by any high authorities before the 3rd century BC. The religious complex has yielded cultural deposits belonging to that century, while ample archaeological finds from the village mound of Lumbini date back to the 7 1h Wh century BC.
The 3rd century BC is a landmark era in the history of Lumbini. The conversion of Emperor Asoka after the massacre and bloodshed in the devastating battle of Kalinga (present-day Orissa state in India) was a milestone in the history of Buddhism.
The patronage of a great and powerful emperor provided a strong stimulus to the spread of Buddhism. Among many other things, Emperor Asoka, in exhibition of his intense devotion to the Buddhist faith, instituted dharma-yalras ('state pilgrimages to hallowed Buddhist places') to replace Whara-yatras ('pleasure tours'). Evidence of such pilgrimages can still be seen in the inscriptions on pillars in Lumbini, Niglihawa and Gotihawa (though the pillar in Gotihawa is now broken, and its upper part missing).
Emperor Asoka took great interest in the well-being of the Buddhist Sangha and undertook measures to safeguard it against schisms. The Calcutta-Bairat rock edict (an inscription of Asoka) shows that he recommended the study of certain Buddhist texts to monks and laymen alike, and advised tolerance and understanding in matters of religion. He erected memorial columns in different parts of the land and inscribed on them simple rules of morality, such as loving-kindness to man and beast, truthfulness and respect towards elders, care for the destitute and nonacquisitiveness. He is also credited with having built throughout his vast empire stupas enshrining the relies -of the Buddha and with having appointed a special class of officers, called dharmamahamatras, to propagate righteousness among the people.
Under the auspices of Asoka a third Buddhist council of Theravadins held in Pataliputra led to the compilation of the Kathavastu, and it is said that after this council ended Asoka sent missionaries in different directions as far as Macedonia, Syria and Egypt in the west and Ceylon in the south to propagate the Buddhist doctrines. It is even believed that his son and daughter (Mahindra and Sangharnitra) went to Ceylon to preach the law of the Buddha.
Asoka's pious activities also led to the formation of schools of art, their main concern being in propagating and popularising the Buddhist religion through artwork. His noble examples were followed by the rulers who succeeded him. In fact, the history of Buddhism from the days of Asoka is intimately linked with that of Buddhist art (P.D., 308:1956).
Lumbini: About Ashoka Pillar
During his pilgrimages, Indian Emperor Asoka left behind monuments to propagate Dharma at every place he visited from north to south and east to west. According to Buddhist literature, he is said to have built 84,000 stupas. In Lumbini, he erected a pillar with the following inscription to commemorate his visit.
Devanapiyena piyadasina lajina visativasabhisitena
atana agacha mahiyite hida Budhe jate Sakyamuniti
silavigadab ca kalapita silathabhe cha usapapite
hida Bhagavam Lumminigame ubalike kate
athabhhagiya cha (Roman script, Pandey, 39.-1962). (PI.70)
The translation of the inscription given above made by the Department of Archaeology of H.M.G. Nepal is as follows:
King Piyadasi (Asoka) the beloved of Devas in the twentieth year of the coronation himself made a royal visit Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here, a stone railing was built and a stone pillar erected. The Bhagavan having been born here, Lumbini Village was tax-reduced and entitled to the eighth part (only). (Pl. # 7 1)
Twenty years after his coronation, King Priyadasi, the beloved of god, visited Lumbini in person and offered worship there because the Buddha, the sage of the Sakyas, was born there. He built a stonewall around the place and erected the stone pillar to commemorate his visit. Because Lord Buddha was born there, he made the village of Lumbini free from taxes and subject to pay only one-eighth of the produce as land revenue instead of the usual rate (Sircar, 69:1967).
Opinions differ widely on the meaning of silavigadabhica. Hultzsch and Charpentier thought it denoted a stone bearing a horse. Dr. Bliandarkar, following Ramakrishna and Fleet, renders the passage as follows: "He caused a huge stone wall to be made." Prof. Mookerji adopts a suggestion of Dr. Barua and renders the passage thus: "A stone bearing a figure was caused to be constructed" (Bhattacharya, 59:1960).
From the inscription of the Lumbini pillar we can conclude that Asoka showed his respect for the Buddha by the following acts:
Personally visiting the place and worshipping it, Constructing a stone wall surrounding the exact site of the nativity, Erecting a stone pillar with a suitable inscription to mark the place as worthy of commemoration by stating it's significance, and Exempting pilgrims visiting the place from all religious taxes and reducing the royalty payment on the produce of the village of Lumbini to one-eighth only,
These taxes are explained by Bliandarkar 'as religious cesses paid by pilgrims at certain holy places, such as Dwaraka in Kathiawar, where even today the practice exists, based on his observation of the Indian customs. Assuming that such cesses were prevalent in Lumbini, he believes that Asoka abolished them to spare unnecessary hardship to his co-religionists visiting Lumbini, the most sacred firtha for Buddhists'
Barua notes that the interpretation of the passage "hida Bhagavam jateti Lumminigame ubalike kate - athabhagiya ca", causes some difficulty, especially with the word ubalike, (Skt. udvalika), i.e 'free from bali or tax'. It seems to indicate that Lumbini was exempted from the prevalent tax rate of one-sixth or one-fourth noted by classical authors and made to pay a nominal tax of one-eighth only (Chattopadhyaya, 131:1977).
Bliandarkar shares Thomas's view that bali meant religious cesses and not simple taxes, so that Asoka exempted Buddhist pilgrims visiting the birthplace of the Buddha from the pilgrims' tax that they were presumably required to pay elsewhere.
Hultzsch's interpretation, mentioned above, undoubtedly leads to a contradiction: the village of Lumbini could not have been freed from taxes and required at the same time to pay a one-eighth share of the produce. Hultzsch's explanatory note ("in the case of the village of Lumbini, bureaucracy prevailed against charity") reflects no credit on the personality of the king, and therefore Bliandarkar's interpretation has held the field (Bhattacharya, 59-60:1960).
The reduction of tax in Lumbini village, further, reveals the extent of Asoka's empire. Raychaudhuri believes that the inscriptions at Kalsi and on the Rummindei (Lumbini) and Nigalisagar pillars prove the inclusion of what is now Deharadun District and the Terai within the limits of Asoka's empire. The inclusion of the Himalayan region within Asoka's empire is demonstrated by Rock Edict XIII, which refers to the Nabhapamtis of Nabhaka, probably identical with the Na-pei-kea (present day Gotihawa) of Fa-hsien, the birthplace of Krakuchchhanda Buddha about 10 miles south or south-west of Kapilavastu (Raychauhduri, 193:1927).
Chattopadhyaya supports the views of Raychaudhuri, concluding that the inclusion of a good portion of the Himalayan area is proved by the inscription in Asoka's Rummindei pillar in the vicinity of the village of Parariya and the inscriptions in the Nigalisagar pillar near the village of Nigliva, both of which show that the Nepalese Terai region was within the northem part of Asoka's empire. The first pillar marks the spot where the Buddha was bom, and the second contains a stupa with the relics of Kanakamuni (Chattopadhyaya, 118:1977).
Though it is clear that Emperor Asoka used the pillar as a religious tool to propagate the Dharma, there are no historical records on the number of stone pillars erected by him, and many of them have been destroyed or lost track of in a span of 2,230 years and many others probably still waiting to be discovered. Some I I to 12 have been discovered at various places to date (Tuladhar, 57:1995) among which three are in Nepal, being located in Lumbini, Niglihawa and Gotihawa.
According to John Irwin, out of a total of at least 40 Asokan pillars were known to have once existed, the remains of only about 20 are now traceable, many of them in fragments and so of little help to the art historian (Irwin, 706:1973). (Skt. # 4)
The most interesting Asokan pillars are some exquisite columns with inscriptions in the Kharosthi script found lying around quarries located in Uttar Pradesh that are still in operation. They were discovered quite accidentally by Prof. P.C. Pant and Dr. Vidula Jayaswal of Banaras Hindu University when working at burial sites which date from 800 BC. Thus the source of the raw material for Mauryan sculptures is now known, along with the means of transporting it (both had been an enigma to archaeologists and airt historians). Even the local people importance of the pillar-like blocks of stone with inscriptions only after the study by Banaras Hindu University.
After extraction from the earth, the sandstone slabs were chiselled into cylindrical or circular shapes and rolled down the hill to rafts on the river Ganga. The rounded sandstone blocks can be found in the riverbed, where they were partly submerged, and in the valleys surrounding the Chunar Hills (near Baragaon village in the hills south of the Chunar railway station in Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh, India).
The sculptures, stupas, railings of stupas and doorways of the Mauryan period were fashioned from sandstone. All 40 Asokan pillars found in different parts of the country were also found to be made from Chunar sandstone. The shafts of the pillars were monolithic, with the carved heads added separately (Rai, 5:1990).
The three Asokan pillars found in the Terai of Nepal were erected by Emperor Asoka to commemorate the 20th year of his coronation. The pillars in Lumbini and Niglihawa still bear the inscriptions, but the one in Gotihawa lacks its upper part, which probably contained an inscription.
Nepal lies at roughly the same latitude as Saudi Arabia or Florida. Due to its extreme topography, however, it has a much wider range of climate zones than those places.
The southern Tarai Plain is tropical/subtropical, with hot summers and warm winters. Temperatures reach 40°C in April and May. Monsoon rains drench the region from June to September, with 75-150 cm (30-60 inches) of rain.
The central hill-lands, including the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, have a temperate climate and are also influenced by the monsoons.
In the north, the high Himalayas are extremely cold and increasingly dry as the altitude rises.
Timeline: History of blasts in Hyderabad
Last night, terror struck the city of Hyderabad again when two powerful near simultaneous blasts ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area. Here's a quick look some blasts that took place in the past in the city,
Last night, terror struck the city of Hyderabad again when two powerful near simultaneous blasts ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area. According to PTI reports, 13 people have been killed in the blasts, though this number could go up, and over 83 others injured.
The blasts were triggered via Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) tied to two bicycles and took place in the peak hour at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police limits.
But for Hyderabad, this is not the first incident of terrorism in its recent past. The city has suffered several blasts since early 2002:
An official of National Investigation Agency collects evidence from the debris at one of the two bomb blast sites in Hyderabad. AP
2002: In 2002, two people were killed in a blast at a Sai Baba Temple, Dilsukhnagar area of the city. The police had blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba for the blasts. Terrorists targeted the same area in yesterday's strike.
May 2007: Around 14 were killed in blast at Mecca Masjid during the Friday Prayers in the old city of Hyderabad. While nine people were killed in the blasts, five more were killed when police opened fire at protestors who were angry at the bombings.
August 2007: Terror struck the city again within months of the Mecca Masjid blasts, and this time the damage was much greater with over 42 people killed in two blasts. One was at Lumbini Amusement Park and the other took place at Gokul Chat shop. Two more bombs were defused in other parts of the city.
February 2013: Two serial blasts took place at in Dilsukhnagar. Currently the death toll stands at 13.
Updated Date: February 22, 2013 09:11:20 IST
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Lumbini Timeline - History
• 2800 BC Indus Valley Civilization begins in the northwestern region of India
• 2600 BC Mohenjo-daro and Harappa phase of the Indus Valley Civilization begins, in Punjab and
Sindh. Other cities like Lothal, Mehrgarh also emerged during this period.
• 1600 BC India is invaded by the Aryans from the west
• 1400 BC The Vedas, the Hindu scripture, was written
• 600 BC The Upanishads written
• 599 BC Mahavira, 24th Tirthankar of Jainism is born
• 563 BC Gautam Buddha , founder of Buddhism is born in Lumbini
• 527 BC Nirvana of Mahavira
• 492 BC Bimbisara dies and is succeeded by Ajatashatru in Magadha Empire
• 483 BC Death of Gautama Buddha in Kushinagar
• 326 BC Alexander the Great moved into India, King Porus who ruled parts of the Punjab, fought
Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
• 321 BC Chandragupta Maurya established Mauryan dynasty defeating Dhana Nanda
• 305 BC Chandragupta Maurya defeats Seleucus Nicator of the Seleucid Empire.
• 300 BC Chola dynasty establishes his kingdom over southern India with capital in Thanjavur
• 269 BC Ashoka the Great, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, becomes the emperor of India
• 261 BC Kalinga War takes place between Magadha Empire and the kingdom of Kalinga.
• 232 BC Death of King Ashoka
• 185 BC The Mauryan Empire, collapsed after its emperor Brihadrata was assassinated by his
general Pusyamitra Sunga who then established the Sunga dynasty
• 50 AD Establishment of the Kushan empire by Kujula Kadphises, first Buddhist stupa is
• 300 The Pallava dynasty is established in Kanchi
• 320 The Gupta dynasty founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, reunited northern India initiating
• 335 King Samudragupta ascends the Gupta throne and expands the empire.
• 380 Chandragupta II, Samudragupta's son becomes the Gupta Emperor.
• 450 Invasions by the Huna.
• 606 Harshavardhana crowned Monarch .
• 712 First Muslim, Md. Bin Qasim defeats Raja Dahir
• 1021 Mahmud Ghazni defeats Tarnochalpal and annexes Punjab
• 1206 Qutb ub-din Aybak establishes the Delhi Sultanate
• 1221 Genghis Khan invades Punjab
• 1236 Razia Sultana, only lady ruler of Delhi
• 1290 Jalal ud-Din Firuz establishes the Khilji sultanate at Delhi
• 1298 Marco Polo visits India
• 1336 Vijayanagara Empire established by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I
• 1398 Timur conquered India resulting in the decline of the Delhi Sultanate
• 1469 Birth of Guru Nanak Dev
• 1497 Vasco de Gama's first voyage from Europe to India and back (to 1499)
• 1526 Babur established the Mughal Empire
• 1555 Mughal king Humayun comes to fight Sher Shah and regains India
• 1556 Humayun dies, and is succeeded by Akbar
• 1600 Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the East India Company established trading posts
in Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras
• 1605 Akbar dies, and is succeeded by his son Jehangir.
• 1612 British arrives India
• 1632 Taj Mahal construction initiated by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan
• 1653 Shah Jahan completes Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan dies, and is succeeded by his son
• 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs is executed in Delhi. Guru Gobind Singh
becomes tenth Guru of Sikhs.
• 1680 Shivaji dies at Raigad, Sambhaji became 2nd Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
• 1707 Death of Aurangzeb the Mughal emperor.
• 1757 In Battle of Plassey, Robert Clive, leads British forces which defeated the Mughal
governor of Bengal Mir Jafar
• 1774 Warren Hastings appointed the first governor general of India by the East India
• 1775 First Anglo-Maratha War
• 1799 Death of Tipu Sultan
• 1853 Started Post Service
• 1853 First Railway established between Bombay and Thane
• 1857 Indian Mutiny Rebellion of 1857( 10th May)
• 1857 Establishment of University of Mumbai, University of Madras and University of Calcutta
• 1858 The British government ruled India, Lord Dalhousie becomes the Governor-General of
• 1862 Death of Bahadur Shah Zafar
• 1869 "Arya Samaj" Established
• 1876 Queen Victoria was given the title Empress of India by the British Parliament
• 1885 Burma became an Indian province
• 1885 The Indian National Congress was formed (28th December)
• 1905 The British government divided Bengal into separate Hindu and Muslim sections
• 1909 Morley-Minto Reforms
• 1915 Mahatma Gandhi returns back to India
• 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (13th April)
• 1920 Mahatma Gandhi became president of Indian National
Congress, Non-cooperation movement Khilafat Movement
• 1927 Simon Commission
• 1929 Central Assembly Bombed by Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt.
• 1930 Purna Swaraj resolution in Lahore, Salt Satyagraha started
• 1931 Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev Martyred (23rd March)
• 1935 Government of India Act
• 1939 World War 2 began
• 1940 Muhammad Ali Jinnah demanded that a new country be formed from India for the
Muslims, which would be called Pakistan
• 1942 Quit India Movement
• 1942 Indian National Army Established by Subhas Chandra Bose
• 1945 World War II ended when United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
• 1946 Royal Indian Navy Mutiny
• 1946 The British government agreed to grant India independence
• 1947 British and Indian leaders agreed to divide the country into India and Pakistan
• 1947 India became independent (15th August)
• 1948 Mahatma Gandhi assassinated Nathuram Godse (30th January)
• 1950 Constitution of India came into effect and Jawaharlal Nehru became the Indian first