About 29km west of Lumbini and 30km from the border with India, Tilaurakot in the Terai region of Nepal is the site of the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu where the Buddha spent the first 29 years of his life before setting out on the path of enlightenment. The Buddha, known as Siddharth Gautam before he got enlightenment, was the son of Shakya king Suddhodana.
The Buddha had paid a visit to Kapilavastu in the first year after his attainment of enlightenment and converted his father, wife and son. He continued to visit the place in his later years. Once he came to his native city to convert a war between the Shakyas and the Koliyas over the question of their sharing water of the Rohini.
The excavations at Tilaurakot have unearthed remains of fortified city. Kapilavastu was visited by both the famous Chinese travelers Fa-Hien and Hiuen Tsang who came here in the 5th and 7th centuries AD respectively.
Located on the banks of the Banganga River, Tilaurakot is home to Tilaurakot museum which contains the artefacts found at the site of Kapilavastu.
How to Reach Kapilavastu
Air: the nearest airport to Kapilavastu is Gautam Buddha Airport at Bhairahawa which is 40 km east of Tilaurakot. Gautam Buddha Airport is connected by flights to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
Rail: The nearest station to Tilaurakot is at Nautanwa in India. However, Gorakhpur is the major railway station nearest to Tilaurakot. From Delhi you can board several trains including the Mahaparinirvan Express which will take you to Gorakhpur.
Road: Tilaurakot is connected by daily bus services with Gorakhpur.
Best time to visit Kapilavastu
In Kapilavastu temperatures in winters and summers are extreme. October to March is the best time to visit Kapilavastu.