Published: July 4th 2009September 4th 2008
Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Kapilavastu district of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who was also known as the Gautama Buddha, gave birth to the Buddhist tradition.
Everything was easy, after arriving at the Nepali border post. I was given the visa and sufficient days to travel in Nepal. Having obtained the visa, I went to a local tea shop a couple of metres away from the border post. A little girl was serving tea from the pot. As soon as I finished two cups of tea, I realised that I need to get some Nepali notes to pay for the tea. I did not have a single coin in my pocket. The girl did not mind about it, but I went to a local money exchange shop and got some Nepali notes. I was given bad rate there but it was not sensible decision to argue with the locals near the border post. I paid for the tea and went searching for a transport to Butwal from where I can take a bus to Lumbini.
I hopelessly searched an
affordable transport but my quest was out of luck. I gave up walking along the road. A lonely rickshaw cyclist came to me and offered me his hand. I was jubilant and my trip is not going to end here.
The rickshaw cyclist was as old as my father who really struggled to paddle while I sat behind. A couple of occasions, I had to descend from where I sat. A numerous time, I had to get off the cycle and push from behind. We struggle ourselves in the dark all the way to Butwal. Finally I was extremely lucky to get the very last bus to Lumbini.
The bus flew along a straight road by passing a couple of villages and many fields. I could only see the fading lights in distance which came from the kerosene lamps. Tall mango tress stood along the road motionless. The sky was full of glittering stars. I felt alone to be on this bus.
When I arrived at the gate to the scared garden, there was a guy waiting for me as if I arranged in advance someone to take me to a guest house. He took me behind
his motor bike to a guest house called Gautama Buddha in Padariay bazaar. The night was so cold and I just went to bed for a long night.
There are more photos below