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One of the best things of studying in Nepal is definitively the amount of holy sites which can be visited. As I had visitors coming to Nepal this summer, it was a great chance to visit again many of these sites, such as Swayambunath, Namo Buddha or Pharping. We also went to Lumbini, where I had been before, yet this time I also got to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Kapilavastu, where prince Siddhartha lived till, at the age of 29, decided to renounce the kingdom.
What the archaeologists have identified as the ruins of Kapilavastu, the capital of the Sakya kingdom, are located around 30 kilometers to the west of Lumbini, near the present town of Tilaurakot. Thought little remains of what was the residence of the prince Siddhartha, today mostly covered by forest, perhaps the most impressive is the wall, very wide and solid, surrounding the whole town, its undulations being witness to the movements of the ground from the time it was built.
Walking inside Kapilavastu feels very special. Being there, one can really travel in time, imagining how prince Siddhartha spent there 29 years without going outside and bringing to mind the life-story of Buddha Sakyamuni, all within the serenity of the forest and the sight of white lotus flowers.
So if anyone is planning to go to Lumbini, I would definitely recommend to visit Kapilavastu as well, it is quite unknown for tourism, there is no entry fee, nor hotels to stay, but it is possible to arrange it as a one day trip from Lumbini.
~Julio from Spain