It was in Lumbini, around the year 563 BC, that one of history’s greatest and most revered figures, Siddhartha Gautama – better known as the Buddha – was born. It’s no great surprise to learn that the World Heritage–listed Lumbini is of huge religious significance and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from around the world.
The Kathmandu Valley is awash with ancient temples and sacred sites, but Budhanilkantha is a little bit special. For one thing, it lies off the main traveller circuit, so most visitors are local devotees. This gives Budhanilkantha a uniquely mystical air – butter lamps flicker in the breeze, incense curls through the air, and devotees toss around tika powder like confetti.