Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini in 563 B.C., in Rupandehi district of central Terai in Nepal. Gautam’s mother, Mayadevi, was on her way to her maternal house in Devdaha. As she arrived in Lumbini, she delivered her child, who surprised her mother by walking three steps immediately after birth. According to legends, she was enraptured to see his radiant face and lotuses, and lotuses and water were poured from the heavens upon the new born baby.
Although the holiest place for the Buddhists, Lumbini has remained largely in shadow for most of the time, due in part to the gross misinformation spread in the world community that Lumbini lies in India. After it was verified by the UNESCO as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and its inclusion in the world heritage list, it has slowly started to get the international limelight. A landmark achievement in the physical development and international fame for Lumbini was achieved when U Thant, the then Secretary General of the UN, visited it as a pilgrim in 1967 A. D. The Secretary Generals of the UN afterwards have taken a keen interest in developing it as a beacon of world peace. Especially noteworthy is also the visit of the incumbent UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and his enthusiasm in developing Lumbini. Nepal government has declared 2012 as the Visit Lumbini Year in order to highlight its holiness and its importance to the entire humanity.