Unbeknown to many, the birthplace of the Buddha is, in fact, a mostly unheard of place called Lumbini in province number 5, Nepal. It borders Gandaki Pradesh and Karnali Pradesh to the north, Sudurpashchim Pradesh to the west, and Uttar Pradesh of India to the south.
In recent months, soil has been broken in Lumbini, kickstarting the beginning of the ambitious Mahasiddha Sanctuary for Universal Peace to mark the place where the Buddha took birth under a bodhi tree. Currently, just a simple Maya Devi temple to the south of the 3km by 1km urban plan by famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and a dharma chakra wheel designed by Sitec Studio indicate the historic importance of the site. The dharma chakra wheel marks the spiritual centre of the future Mahasiddha Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary will measure 45m high and 80m in diameter and will contain a Grand Hall to accommodate more than 1000 persons for ceremonies and gatherings in the name of peace. At the top of the building is a planned Sanctuary Hall with a statue depicting Maya Devi giving birth to the Buddha. The Sanctuary will also house a museum, library and vegetarian restaurant.
Also on the site will be a separate monastery including monk and retreat accommodation and an MEVP building.
Bert Bulthuis of Sitec Studio Hong Kong is the lead coordinating architect for this ambitious project coordinating architectural and spiritual discourse between the client, H.E. Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, the building committee, architects KplusK associates and consultants — the Beijing-based BIAD, and Kuala Lumpur-based JRP and Arcadis among them at venues across the Asia-Pacific region.