A place to meditate and be swept by spiritualism.
Famed for the great passing away of Gautama Buddha- known as him attaining Parinirvana- and his last sermon, humble Kushinagar has dome dotted skyline with many temples and stupas. Recognised to be a pilgrimage site for Buddhists, it is one of the major Buddhism religious sites visited by numerous devotees of the Enlightened One.
History of Kushinagar
The present day Kushinagar was known as Kusinara in the Buddha period. Kushinagar also has roots traced back to the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, where it is believed to be the capital built by Lord Rama’s son, Kush.
Kushinagar had been under the rule of various kingdoms throughout the medieval period and centuries after. It’s most significant contribution to Buddhism was revealed in the archaeological excavations in the 19th century by the first archaeological surveyor of India, A Cuningham. The main stupa and the lengthy reclining statue of Buddha were then shortly exposed. Kushinagar remained part of the Deoria district after India’s independence and then was annexed to be part of Uttar Pradesh in 1994.
Tourism in Kushinagar
Being a major pilgrimage tour destination, Kushinagar’s travel itinerary includes the major Buddhist temples built by locals and other Asians from China and Stupas- dome shaped Buddhist monuments believed to house relics and symbolise an enlightened mind- are another common sight in this serene pilgrimage destination.
The Mahaparinirvana Temple is the last resting place of Gautama Buddha where a 6.1 metres long reclining statue of the enlightened one in Nirvana state is on display. It is made fully from red sandstone with an inscription dated from the 5th century A.D. The.
Ramabhar Stupa is another sacred Buddhists tour spot. Also known as Mukutbandhan-Chaitya, this is Buddha’s cremation site. Nirvana Chaitya which is the Main Stupa is located behind the main temple where Buddha last laid down. The significance of this stupa is its excavation in 1876 which restored Kushinagar’s prominence among Buddhists and rest of the world. Those excavations by Carlisle also unearthed copper vessels with silver coins belonging to the Gupta dynasty, founding kingdoms of the great Indian civilisation.
The Matha Kuar Shrine has the installation of a majestic statue of Buddha, carved out of a single block of stone. This represents the image of the seated Buddha under the Bodhi tree with an inscription dating to either 10th or 11th century A.D. There are other various temples such as the Wat Thai temple with Thai influenced Buddhist architecture; the Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple is a grand example modern Buddhist architecture. Wtih so many temples, shrines and stupas in this sacred site, a Meditation Park is not out of place. A recent development near the main temple, this park is known for the man-made water bodies with raised meditation platforms. The meditation grounds have the company of Sai trees and other greenery to replicate the botanical Zen ambience that is often associated with Buddhism.
- Area (square kilometers) – 2873.5 Sq. km
- Population – 13860 (According to 1991 Senses)
- Elevation – 100m
- Geographical Location (coordinates) – 26° 45´ N and 83° 24´ E.
- Climate– Tropical
- Primary Rainy season – June, July and August.
- Temperatures – Summer: 25 deg to 45 deg Winter: 5 deg to 28 deg
- Languages – Hindi, Bhojpuri, English
- Best Season – September to April
Places to Visit
Mahaparinirvana Temple, Main Stupa, Meditation Park, Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple, Wat Thai Temple, Ruins & Brick Structures around the main Nirvana temple and Main Stupa, Pawanagar /Pawapuri (Fazilnagar), Sun Temple, Turkpatti.