Crowded, dry and dusty, Butwal has all the hallmarks of a typical Terai city, its bustling streets dominated by bell-ringing rickshaws. Sitting on an ancient trade route from the Indian plains towards the Himalaya, it remains an important trade and transport hub at the crossroads of the north–south Siddhartha Hwy and east–west Mahendra Hwy. Nevertheless, Butwal is a dry well when it comes to tourism, so most pass right through.
Archaeologists have identified a village 15km east of Butwal as the site of the kingdom of Devdaha, home to Maya Devi, the mother of Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as the Buddha. There’s a small memorial park on the site, signposted off the Mahendra Hwy towards Narayangarh.