I recall a conversation about my grandma and my father from childhood. One day my grandma was cleaning her old suitcase and found old coins that she had for a long period of time and she was going to throw them away because she thought they had no value in the market. My father was telling my grandma about the importance of the old coins that she has. It’s no just part of history but value also. Today I feel the same that the government and we are doing the same with Kapilvastu.
A district with 136 archeological sites is treated with no importance. I talked with one of the tourism entrepreneurs and he told me that the majority of the Buddhist pilgrims come through India after visiting Buddhist sites in India and enter through the Sunauli border and visit Lumbini and go back through India. Most of them do not go to Kapilvastu. Because they don’t know about its importance. Not only of the Shakya kingdom there are a lot of archeological findings that are from the Maurya Kingdom as well. Where is the place of those archeological findings in our academics? Where is the place of those dozen archeological sites in our coursebook?
Below are few of the sites that you must visit in Kapilvastu:
Civilization in Tilaurakot started back in 800BCE. This is the same place where Gautam Buddha spent 29 years of his life before leaving the Palace. Today also there are remains of the Palace still there unprotected and abandoned by authorities. The gates are open without security or surveillance.
Niglihawa is birthplace of birthplace of Kanakmani buddha. Emperor Asoka visited the site in 249 BC and erected the stone pillar with inscription on it.
Kudan is the same place where Gautam Buddha met his family first time after enlightenment. Major structural ruins excavated and conserved, so far, in Kudan include three stupas, a well and a pond (Nyigrodharama pond).
There are other many archaeological sites and the situation is same. Abandoned by Government and trust which take care of it. There are many ivory, vessels and terracotta figurines that are centuries old found in this area.
Kapilvastu region and Buddhism is not only about Lumbini. When millions of rupees are poured in just lumbini to turn it into a decorative place where countries are building stupas and monasteries of their own, There are dozen of equivalent sites which are abandoned and never highlighted. I feel government and Trust both should start focusing in those areas as well.