Kapilavastu (Kapilbastu or Taulihawa) was one of the 16 republics in what is today Nepal during the 6th century B.C. Known as Shakya, it was the birthplace of a man who came to be known as Lord Buddha.
Siddhartha Gautama was the firstborn son of the elected king of the Sakha, Suddodhana. At the age of 29 Siddhartha left his princely life, first wandering as an ascetic in the wilderness, and then finally attaining enlightenment under the branches of a Bodhi Tree (Sacred Fig) in the Northern Indian city of Bodh Gaya.
The remains of the Shakya Royal Palace where Buddha was raised is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the four holiest areas of the Buddhist religion. Thousands of pilgrims and travelers on tours of India visit here yearly. There are several stupas in the area thought to contain remnants of Buddha's body, and it's common to see pilgrims and monks meditating and making offerings to the shrines.
Ashoka, a sixth century B.C. Buddhist emperor, built numerous brick temples and structures in the area. The Maya Devi Temple nearby is in excellent condition despite its age. The temple sits near a large reflecting pool, and the UNESCO protected temple is one of the best examples of early Buddhist architecture. A recent archeological survey has found what may be the oldest Buddhist shrine on earth buried beneath Maya Devi's grounds.