Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini

Maya Devi Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple situated at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, Nepal. It is the main temple at Lumbini, a site traditionally considered the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. The temple stands adjacent to a sacred pool (known as Puskarni) and a sacred garden. The archaeological remains at the site were previously dated to the third-century BCE brick buildings constructed by Ashoka.[1] A sixth-century BCE timber shrine was discovered in 2013.[2]

Maya Devi Temple
BRP Lumbini Mayadevi temple
Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini is located in Nepal
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini
Location within Nepal
Geographic coordinates27°28′10″N 83°16′33″E / 27.469554°N 83.275788°ECoordinates: 27°28′10″N 83°16′33″E / 27.469554°N 83.275788°E
Completed3rd century BCE (Maya Devi Temple) ~550 BCE (earlier shrine beneath)

2013 discovery

Mayadevi Temple and ruins of ancient monasteries in Lumbini 03
Mayadevi Temple and ruins of ancient monasteries in Lumbini

In November 2013, an international team of archaeologists digging under the temple discovered the remains of an ancient tree shrine dated before 550 BCE. The researchers speculated that the site is the earliest evidence of Buddhist structures and the first archaeological evidence of Gautama Buddha's life.[3][4][5] The excavation was headed by Robin Coningham of Durham University, UK, and Kosh Prasad Acharya of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, Nepal.[3][4] According to Coningham, the shrine is "the earliest Buddhist shrine in the world."[5] The speculations of the researchers were widely reported in international press, to the dismay of the rest of the scientific community, who mostly have disputed the conclusions of the researchers. Julia Shaw, a lecturer in South Asian archaeology at University College London, cautioned that the shrine may represent pre-Buddhist tree worship, and that further research is needed. The conclusions drawn by the researchers were also heavily criticized by Buddhist scholar Richard Gombrich.[5][6]

See also


Maya Devi Lumbini

Maya Devi Temple in 2006

Maya Devi Temple top

Close up view of the top of Mayadevi Temple.

Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9123
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9120
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9113
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9121
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9107
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9095
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9099
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9092
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9090
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9091
Buddha Jayanti-IMG 9088
Birth Place of lord Buddha
Mayadevi Temple
Mayadevi Temple Lumbini front view

Mayadevi Temple Lumbini front view


  1. ^ "Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha". UNESCO. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Coningham, R.A.E.; K.P. Acharya; K.M. Strickland; C.E. Davis; M.J. Manuel; I.A. Simpson; K. Gilliland; J. Tremblay; T.C. Kinnaird; D.C.W. Sanderson (2013). "The earliest Buddhist shrine: excavating the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini (Nepal)". Antiquity. 338. 87: 1104–1123. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Varma, Subodh (26 November 2013). "New finds at Lumbini may push Buddha's birth to 6th century BC". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b Morgan, James (26 November 2013). "'Earliest shrine' uncovered at Buddha's birthplace". BBC. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Vergano, Dan (25 November 2013). "Oldest Buddhist Shrine Uncovered in Nepal May Push Back the Buddha's Birth Date". National Geographic. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ Gombrich, Richard (12 December 2013). "Recent discovery of "earliest Buddhist shrine" a sham?". Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

Further reading

Gautama Buddha

Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम Siddhāṛtha Gautama, c. 563/480 – c. 483/400 BCE) or Siddhattha Gotama (शिद्धत्थ गोतम) in Pali, also called the Gautama Buddha, the Shakyamuni (i.e. "Sage of the Shakyas") Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk (śramaṇa), mendicant, sage, philosopher, teacher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.

Maya (mother of the Buddha)

Queen Māyā of Sakya (Pali: Māyādevī) was the birth mother of Gautama Buddha, the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. She was sister of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, the first Buddhist nun ordained by the Buddha.In Buddhist tradition Maya died soon after the birth of Buddha, generally said to be seven days afterwards, and came to life again in a Hindu-Buddhist heaven, a pattern that is said to be followed in the births of all Buddhas. Thus Maya did not raise her son who was instead raised by his maternal aunt Mahapajapati Gotami. Maya would, however, on occasion descend from Heaven to give advice to her son.Māyā means "illusion" in Sanskrit. Māyā is also called Mahāmāyā ("Great Māyā") and Māyādevī ("Queen Māyā"). In Tibetan she is called Gyutrulma and in Japanese is known as Maya-bunin (摩耶夫人). Also Sinhalese known as මහාමායා දේවී (Mahāmāyā Dēvi).

Maya Devi Temple

Maya Devi Temple may refer to:

Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar, a Hindu temple in India

Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini, a Buddhist temple in Nepal

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