Day trip to Lumbini is starting from Kathmandu by flight. It is 20 minutes flight to Bhairahawa domestic airport and another 1hour drive to Lumbini. 4 to 5 hours time is good enough to visit Lumbini. The major visiting places are Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka Pillar, Banyan tree (Bodhi). A purification pond near the Maya Devi temple where queen May Devi is said to have bath and given birth her son. Visit ancient Stupas and Monastic zone, eternal flame area, world peace stupa and main gate area. Nepal Highland Treks provide a local export guide in Lumbini with private car to drive from Airport. If you wish to spend one full day at Lumbini, there are time to spend in many sites, temples, monasteries inside Lumbini garden.
Lumbini day Tour Itinerary
06:45 Am: After breakfast in your Hotel, Drive to domestic airport of Kathmandu.
08:20: Fly to Bhairahawa airport which takes 40 minutes.
08:45: Guide from Nepal Highland Treks receive you from airport and drive together to Lumbini. It is about 25 kilometer takes 1 hour.
09:30: Visit major places with our guide. Lumbini garden.
15:00 PM: Stars driving back to Bhairahawa Airport for your flight to Kathmandu.
17: 15: Fly back to Kathmandu
17: 35: Pickup from airort and transfer to your hotel around Thamel
Optional itinerary with driving tour to Lumbini can design either from Kathmandu or from Pokhara.
Day 01: Drive to Lumbini with private transportation or tourist bus from Kathmandu/ Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel. It is 9 hours drive from Kathmandu and 8 hours drive from Pokhara. If you hire private car, you will have time to visit Lumbini same day and next day morning.
Day 02: Visit Lumbini and around. Drive back to Kathmandu or Pokhara again with your private car. If you drive with bus, you will have whole day visit today in Lumbini and next day morning drive back again to Kathmandu or Pokhara. Option to take bus toward Indian boarder.
Extend one day tour in Lumbini and include Kapilabhastu, Gotihawa, Niglihawa and Kudan.
Kapilavastu is the name of the ancient Sakya city “The royal family of Lord Buddha” where Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, was raised and lived until the age of 29. At Kapilavastu, the Lord Gautama Buddha was grown up and led a family life with his wife and son till he left for Nirvana. The place is about 25 kilometers east of Lumbini (the birthplace of the Siddhartha Gautama). Shakya capital (Kapilavastu) has a rich history and several stories related to faith and believe are narrated here by the locals. The stories are centuries old. There are many ancient archaeological sites situated in a 10 kilometer circle around.
Kapilvastu Kingdom Complex
Gotihawa lies 5-km southwest of Taulihawa town and is considered the natal town of Krakuchanda Buddha. The place has ruins of ancient habitation, stupas and monasteries. The place was visited by Ashoka as evidenced by a pillar with inscriptions. The pillar is broken with the upper part missing.
Araurakot lies about 9-km northeast of Tilaurakot. P.C. Mukheiji (1899) identified it as the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. It is a rectangular fortified area that contains a moat with heaps of ancient ruins.
Kundan is located 2-km southwest of Taulihawa on way to Gotihawa. It is a beautiful protected garden area with large structural ruins of monasteries and stupas and with a tank nearby. This is considered the historical sight where Lord Buddha, returning after many years preached, and where his father, ?uddhodana, was converted to Buddhism.
Niglihawa 7-km northwest of Tilaurakot, was another site visited by Ashoka and marked with a pillar. The pillar is broken into two pieces. The standing base pillar has Ashokan inscription in Brahmi script and the upper pillar has Devanagari inscription marking Ripu Mai's visit in 1312 AD. There are ruins of monasteries, stupas and habitation. It is identified as ancient town of Sobhawati, birthplace of Kanakmuni Buddha.
Sagarhawa lies 3.5 km north of Tilaurakot and west of Banganga river. It is a rectangular depression. Excavations done in 1896 traced seventeen stupas and large monuments made from well-burnt bricks. Findings of casket and other rare antiquities indicate them to be votive stupas of the war dead. However, these stupas remain no more as they were excavated to their foundation without restoration.
(Info from wikitravel.org)