LUMBINI :- Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, which was destined to be the prevalent religion in Asia. This nativity site, identified by the Ashokan Pillar, erected by Magadhan emperor Ashoka, to commemorate the birth place of Buddha, the Lumbini grove. The pillar was erected over 2200 years ago, making lumbini the quintessential Buddhist heritage site. Among the prime attractions are the sacred garden with an area of 8 sq. km, the Mayadevi Temple with a bas relief of Mayadevi, the Buddha's mother and a sacred stone marked with a "foot imprint" of Ashoka. The Ashokan Pillar, the oldest monument so far found in Nepal lies to the west of the Mayadevi Temple. Today only the lower shaft of the pillar stands, the upper past having been split into two. There is no trace of the horse capital. To the south of the pillar is Puskarni, the sacred pond, wherein, Mayadevi is said to have had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha - the Enlightened one.