Kushinagar, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most frequented Buddhist pilgrimages in India visited by Indian and International Tourists.
Kushinagar, a district in Uttar Pradesh, India, is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage centers because it is the place where Lord Buddha is believed to have entered Mahaparinirvana (death). It was near the Hiranyavati River that Buddha took his last breath and was cremated at the Ramabhar Stupa. Located at a distance of 55 kilometers away from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar can indeed be a holy experience not only for Buddhist but also for all travel enthusiasts and historians
Kushinagar is an important Buddhist site, where Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained Parinirvana after his death. The two places most frequently visited in Kushinagar are the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which is built on the place of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana and the place of his cremation, which is 1.6 km away. Close to the Mahaparinirvana Stupa is located a 1500 year old Buddha-image of the Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries.
This place has been identified by archaeologists, with Kushinara (capital of Malla dynasty). It was one of the famous sixteen Mahajanpadas of the 6th century BC. It is believed that when Buddha turned 80 he predicted at Vaishali (Bihar) that after three months, on the day of Maghi Purnima, he would die at Kushinara.
On this day he arrived at Kushinara (present Kushinagar) in 543 BC and preached his last sermon. This place is venerated as the site of Buddhas Mahaparinirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death) near Hiranyavati River under the Sal tree at the age of 80 on full moon day (Vaishakh Purnima) and was cremated in Rambhar Stupa.
The place acquired great historical importance with the discovery of rich archaeological remains of Buddha&s time. Fa-Hien, the Chinese monk, who visited the Buddhist places of pilgrimage in India from 405-411 AD, saw at Kushinagar many Buddhist stupas and monasteries and Hiuen Tsang has also mentioned Kushinara in his travelogues. These recordings by Chinese travellers provided vital clues for the excavations done later. The city continued to be a living city till 12th century A.D. and thereafter was lost into oblivion.
Kushinagar - Set against a pastoral landscape, the small hamlet of Kushinagar, 53 km west of Gorakhpur, is revered as the site of the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his death and cremation, that marked his final liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth. During Buddha's lifetime, Kushinara, as it was then called, was a small town in the kingdom of the Mallas, surrounded by a thick forest cover. It remained forgotten, until the late nineteenth century, when archaeologists rediscovered the site, and began excavations.Today, Kushinagar is rediscovering its roots, as a center for international Buddhism, and is home to many viharas, including a Tibetan gompa devoted to Sakyamuni, a Burmese vihara, and temples from China and Japan.
By Road: Nearest railhead Gorakhpur, the headquarter of North Eastern Railway, is 51 Km and is connected to all major cities of India while Deoria railway station is 35 km. Kushinagar is not connected with rail so one has to go to Gorakhpur by road to catch the trains.
By Rail : Kushinagar is connected only by road. U.P. Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses as well as privates buses are plying from Gorakhpur or taxi can be hired from Gorakhpur through travel agents.
By Air: Air strip Kasia (5 km) is under construction. Gorakhpur Airport is 45 km away but it does not have regular flights from the rest of India. Lucknow (Amausi Airport)-252 km while Varanasi (Babatpur Airport) 288 km. This airport acts as the primary airport for Kushinagar.
Nirvana Temple is one of the most frequented amongst Buddhism shrines in the world. Nirvana Temple is a must visit destination during tour to India. The place evokes emotion for every Buddhist because it is the same temple near which, Buddha died.
Nirvana Temple houses a statue of reclining Lord Buddha that is 6 meters long. It is believed that this statue represents the very last moments of Lord Buddha i.e. moments before he attained Mahaparinirvana. The sculpture was unearthed during the excavations of 1876. Carved from Chunar sandstone, the statue represents the dying Buddha reclining on his right side. An inscription below dates the statue to the fifth century AD.
The temple stands on the same plinth as the Stupa behind it. As mentioned above the ruins of this temple, Carlleyl discovered Nirvana statue inside in 1876. By sinking a vertical trench at the center of its mound he first discovered the great statue in a much-shattered condition lying on a broken pedestal and then he unearthed other ruins.
Ramabhar Stupa can be counted as one of the most sacred shrine of Buddhism in the world. Situated just a kilometer off from the city center, Rambhar Stupa is a must visit for every tourist flocking India. Ramvara Stupa is said to mark the site where Lord Buddha was cremated and got Mahaparinirvana. Kushinagar is a place that has been frequented by Lord Buddha. There are sources, which confirm that Lord Buddha had many discourses at this place.
Mathakaut Temple is one of the most famous and most visited shrines in Kushinagar. The Mathakaut shrine is situated at the distance of 300 meters from Maha-Parinirvana Stupa, another famous Buddhist shrine in Kushinagar. The place is famous for because this is the site from where a black stone image of the Buddha in the 'Bhumi Sparsha Mudra' was recovered during early excavations. 'Bhumi Sparsha Mudra' in Hindi means 'Kneel down Posture'.
Japanese Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Kushinagar. This is a must visit site during your tour to Kushinagar. A magnificent 'Ashta Dhatu' or 'Eight Metals' statue of Lord Buddha marks this temple. This statue has been brought from Japan in dismantled form and was later joined before it was established in this temple. The temple itself is worth appreciation. The Atago Isshin World Buddhist Cultural Association has erected this temple that was generously funded by the Japanese Monarchy. The temple consists of a single circular chamber, housing a golden image of Buddha, softly lit through small stained-glass window.
Watt Thai Temple is one of the most beautiful and most visited temples in Kushinagar. Watt Thai Temple is only one of its kinds not only in Kushinagar but also in whole of Indian Sub-continent. The temple is centrally located in Kushinagar and that is why it can be seen from anywhere and everywhere in Kushinagar. The Temple has been laid out on a lush green lawn that is spread in several acres of land. This beautiful Temple was designed in order to serve as a Forest-Monastery. That is why the campus of this temple boasts off innumerable kinds of trees, plants, herbs and shrubs that make it more beautiful and watch able. This temple was erected to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s accession to the throne of Thailand. The gates of this truly magnificent temple was opened to the general public in the year 2001; since then this temple has remained at the helm of affairs in Kushinagar.
Chinese Temple is another fairly frequented tourist destination in Kushinagar. The temple is famous for its distinct architecture that puts it away from the numerous Buddhist Temples in Kushinagar. The architecture of this temple is predominantly 'Han Chinese' and has design elements that have been borrowed from various provinces of Mainland China. The exteriors of the temple have a subtle fusion of Chinese and Vietnamese architecture. A beautiful statue of Chinese Buddha marks the temple that attracts thousands of devotees as well as casual visitors every year. The temple also provides free stay to the pilgrims.
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Best time to visit Kushnagar Kushinagar is a small pilgrim town
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Location : Varanasi / Kushinagar / Lumbini / Sravasti Balrampur /
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