The Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini wears a deserted look on Thursday despite it being the Buddha’s 2,564th birthday because of the Nepalwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Any other year, the place would be packed with pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world, devotees from Nepal and tourists. This year, Lumbini was also supposed to be the venue for the Third International Buddhist Conference.
Resident monks and nuns from various monasteries in Lumbini did take part in morning prayers on Thursday, and Prime Minister K P Oli asked Nepalis to light lamps on Thursday evening to honour the Buddha.
In Lumbini itself 2,564 oil lamps will be lit in the sacred garden and the Buddha’s nativity site.
All photos: Gyanin Rai