Rabindra Dhungel, 25 september 2020. Periodic maintenance of the World Heritage Site has been started in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. According to the Lumbini Development Fund, periodic conservation and sanitation work is being carried out in the Shakya Pushkarini, the ruins of the monastery and the stupa and Bodhi tree complex in the Mayadevi temple premises. Mayadevi had bathed in Pushkarini, south of the Mayadevi temple, before giving birth to Siddhartha.
Himal Upreti, archeological officer of the development fund, said that maintenance work is being carried out in the area after 12 years using the time of closure. He said, “It was time to carry out periodic protection but it could not be done.
Upreti said that work is underway to repair the stairs and the surrounding area inside the pond, the ruins of the monastery and the Bodhi tree complex. Archaeological Officer Upreti said that the conservation work has been carried out due to the lack of sanitation and conservation work for a long time.
“We have taken special care to ensure that the original features of the stupa are not lost,” he said.
To the south of the Mayadevi temple are the remains of a monastery built from the third century BC to the fourth century. Similarly, soil has been filled at the base of a 100-year-old Bodhi tree in the Mayadevi temple premises. According to the Archaeological Fund, a fund will be dug to save the Bodhi tree.
According to the Development Fund, Lumbini was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. It has become an important attraction not only spiritually, religiously but also archeologically and culturally. Millions of tourists from all over the world come here to seek peace and spiritual achievement.
Working member secretary of the fund Gyanin Rai informed that the sanitation work was done with the mutual consent of the Department of Archeology, Development Fund and UNESCO. According to him, the Mauryan emperor Ashoka had made a pilgrimage to this place in the third century BC.
Periodic protection does not have to be done at this time, it can be done whenever needed. Archaeologist Bindari said, “If people walk, live and burn incense indiscriminately, it will affect the heritage. Even if we stop these things, nature will protect the heritage.”
It was excavated in 1962 by Indian archaeologist Devla Mitra. From 1972 to 1985, the Department of Archeology carried out archeological excavations, exploration and conservation of Lumbini.
The Mayadevi temple was excavated from 1992 to 1995 under the joint auspices of the department, the Japan Buddhist Federation and the Development Fund. Excavations in 1996 revealed two wells.
According to Rajan Basnet, Information Officer of the Development Fund, the government has announced the discovery of ‘Marker Stone’ in 2052 BS as the study and research of the development fund, Buddhist Federation and the department involved in the excavation has proved that there is a ‘rock’ in the holy place where Buddha first set foot during the excavation. Lumbini is now deserted due to the bandh.