Synopsis: Siddhartha Gautama lived in Nepal sometime between 300 and 500 B.C., about 2,300 to 2,500 years ago. He became known as Buddha.
The Buddha means "enlightened one" or "the awakened." He was born Siddhartha Gautama about 2,500 years ago in an area that is now modern Nepal. His father was the king, and his mother died shortly after giving birth to him. A holy man predicted great things for Siddhartha, whose name means "he who achieves his aim." The holy man said he would either be a great king, a military leader or a religious leader. Siddartha's father wanted to keep his son from knowing about religion and human hardship, and raised him in a palace built just for him. He got married when he was 16 years old.