International Airport near Lumbini
The nearest airport to Lumbini lies 20 kilometres away in Bhairahwa.
The Asian Development Bank(ADB) has announced an additional loan of 30
million USD for the upgradation of Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahwa
to an international airport. The loan has been approved under ADB's
South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, which aims to
aid in the development of tourism related infrastructure in the Indian
sub- continent. According to ADB's Country Director, Kenih Yokoyama,
the airport's upgradation is crucial for the development of Lumbini as
a major pilgrimage site. As Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha
many Buddhists from all over the world make it a point to visit this
holy place once in their lifetime. The number of foreign visitors to
Lumbini are increasing and ADB believes that linking this pilgrimage
site directly to the international tourist circuits will further
popularise Lumbini as a major Buddhist pilgrimage destination. By 2030
the upgraded international airport is expected to serve 760,0000
passengers, around 280,000 of which will be visitors to Lumbini. OPEC
Fund of International Development, Asian Clean Energy Fund and the
Government of Nepal are the other financers of this project.
Another buddhist monument Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu also lies very close to the only international airport of Nepal, Tribhuwan international Airport.