Legendary and real places

Kapilavastu is a small town in Nepal, close to the Indian border. According to Buddhist tradition it was home to Suddhodana, the king of the Shakya people and father of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later became Buddha Shakyamuni. Siddhartha spent his formative years in the royal palace of Kapilavastu. It was from here that the young prince undertook four excursions during which he encountered human suffering for the first time. Thereafter he left the royal palace to become a monk and seek salvation. Thus, Kapilavastu is a sacred place for Buddhists and a major pilgrimage site.