The historic site of Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal faces a serious threat from air pollution, scientists and officials have warned.
Recent data collected from air quality monitoring stations in five places across the country show Lumbini is highly polluted.
The warnings have come amid expanding industrialisation near the sacred site.
It is already located in a pollution hotspot on the Gangetic plains.
For the month of January, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lumbini, in southwest Nepal, was measured at 173.035 micrograms per cubic metre.
The reading for the neighbouring town of Chitwan was 113.32 and the capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its high pollution levels, was at 109.82.
The World Health Organization (WHO) safe limit for the pollutant is 25 micrograms per cubic metre and the Nepal government has set the national standard at 40.