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Kushinagar

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Area : 6.0 sq km
Population : 13,860 (1991)
Languages : Hindi and English
Best time to visit : October to April
About Kushinagar India
Kushinagar, one of the principal centers of Buddhist pilgrimage is the place of Mahaparinrvana. The monument of Kushinagar are situated in three distinct comprising in the main site of the Nirvana Temple houses over 6meter long statue of the reclining Buddha The image was unearthed during the excavations in 1876. An inscription below dates the statue to the 5th century BC Mathakaur shrine is black stone image of Lord Buddha in the Bhumi Sparsha Mudra (a posture showing him touching the earth ) was recovered here.
The Mahaparinirvana temple, Kushinagar
The credit for bringing this ancient site to light goes to General A. Cunningham and A.C.I. Carlyl, who, after excavating the site in 1861, established its antiquity for the first time. Later, between 1904 and 1912, several excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India at Kushinagar confirmed its identity.

Location of Kushi Nagar
Kushinagara is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 51 km off Gorakhpur. The place, which is famous for the Mahaparinirvana (death) of Lord Buddha, has been included in the famous Buddhist trail encompassing Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal.

Kushinagar History
Kushinagar is also known as Kasia or Kusinara. The founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha passed away at this place near the Hiranyavati River and was cremated at the Ramabhar stupa. It was once a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom. Many of Kushinagar temples, stupas and viharas date back to 230 BC-AD 413. when its prosperity was at the peak. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka added grandeur to this place by getting the magnificent statue of Buddha carved on a single piece of red sandstone. Fa Hien, Huen Tsang, and I-tsing, the three famous Chinese scholar travelers to India, all visited Kushinagar or Kushinagara.

With the decline of Buddhism, however, Kushinagar lost its importance and suffered much neglect. It was only in the last century that Lord Alexander Cunningham excavated many important remnants of the main site such as the Matha Kua and Ramabhar stupa and Kushinagar news made headlines. Today, people from all over the world visit Kushinagar. Many national and international societies and groups have established their centers here.
Pilgrimage Attraction of Kushinagar Uttar Pradesh
  • Nirvana Stupa
    Nirvana Stupa, KushinagarThis huge brickwork stupa, exposed by Carlleyl in 1867, stands at a height of 2.74 meter. A copper vessel was unearthed at this site. It bore an inscription in ancient Brahmi, which stated that Lord Buddha's remains had been deposited here. The Stupa is located in the east of the main Nirvana Temple.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • Nirvana Temple
    This houses the over 6 meters long statue of reclining Buddha. The image 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 and the reclining Nirvana statue inside were discovered by Carlleyl in 1876. By sinking a vertical trench at the centre of its mound he first discovered the great statue in a much-shattered condition lying on a broken pedestal.
  • Mathakuar Shrine
    This Shrine lies about 400 yards form the Parinirvana stupa. A black stone image of the Buddha in the bhumi sparsha mudra was recovered here. The last sermon by Lord Buddha was given here.

    More than a furlong south-west of the Main Site, by the side of the road, is the Matha-kuar shrine, wherein is installed a colossal statue of Buddha, locally called Matha-kuar. The possible significance of its name has already been referred to. The statue measures 3.05 m in height and is carved out of one block of the blue stone of the Gaya region to represent Buddha seated under the Bodhi tree in a pose known as the bhumisparsa-mudra ('earth-touching attitude'), which symbolically expresses the supreme moment in Buddha's life just before his Enlightenment, when he called upon the Earth to bear witness to the pieties performed by him in his previous births.
  • Ramabhar Stupa
    About 1 km away, this large stupa rises to a height of 49 ft. It marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist texts this stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan Vihar. Alias THE CREMATION STUPA Less than 1.61 km to the east of the Matha-kuar shrine stands a mound facing the road from Kasia to Deoria. There is a sheet of water, called Ramabhar Jhil or pond, close to it, which dries up in summer. Whether the name Ramabhar originally belonged to the pond or to the mound it is difficult to say; nor can it be satisfactorily derived or its relation to the events of Buddha's death easily explained.
  • Japanese Temple
    Japanese Temple, Kushinagar A beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metlas) statue of Lord Buddha, which came from Japan, can be seen here. Built by the Atago Isshin World Buddhist Cultural Association, it consists of a single circular chamber, housing a golden image of Buddha, softly lit through small, stained-glass window.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • Kushinagar Museum
    The Buddha Museum contains finds from excavations at the site. The museum has 248 precious antiques related to coins, statues and sculptures, architectural remains & bronze statues.

    The proposal was mooted to found a museum for preserving the archaeological wealth from the region and the present building came into existence in 1992-93. it is located at about 1 km. Sough-East from the Kushinagar bus stop, ½ km. From the Mahaparinirvana temple and about 3 Km. From the Kasia bus stand. The nucleolus of the collection represents sculptures, terracottas particularly the Buddhist icons, architectural remains, bronzes, clay seals, banner paintings (Thankas) and a few coins. Besides , some Hindu and Jaina antiquities are also on view. The Stucco statue of Lord Buddha in the meditation posture is a superb specimen. It represents zenith of the Gandhara School of Art.
  • Japanese Garden
    The Children park in the front of Buddha Museum is under construction. The park is initially under Japanese eye of construction and will be handed over to the UP Government on completion. The park can be partially viewed as a rock garden.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • Buddha Vihar
    The Myanmar Buddha Vihar, first Monastry in Kushinagar, attracts the tourist with many of its Buddhist temples inside their monastery. The temples are equipped with beautiful metal statues of Lord Buddha and a rare collection of Excavated Bone & Metals (Asthidhatu) of Lords and followers. The Burmese Buddha Vihar also holds the main charge for conducting Prayers in Mahaparinirvana Temple.

    A huge "Samridhi Chaitya" Stupa which will contain 5000 brass statues of Lord Buddha from all over the World is under construction and is likely to be inaugurated by 1st week of February 2001.
  • Wat Thai Temple
    The one of its kind, this Buddhist temple can be seen with wide open eyes in Kushinagar. The temple flourishes on its greenery well spread and pleasant atmosphere. The beautiful Temple was designed to be the forest- monastery gathering innumerable kinds of trees as to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of His Majesty King Bhumibol the Great's Accession to the Throne. The construction of the temple is compleated but the doors of the temple are likely to be opened by 2001 for general public.
  • Chinese Temple
    The Lin Sun Chinese Temple is the another attraction of Kushinagar, The temple attracts the beautiful Chinese image of Lord Buddha. The exterior looks of the temple gives a mix view of Chinese and Vietnamese architecture. The temple also provides free stay facility to the Buddhist tourists.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • Meditation Park
    Recently developed near the main Nirvana Temple, this park has artificial water bodies with raised lush-green platforms for meditationsurroundedd by sal- trees and other afforestations, representing a complete Buddhist-ambience.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • Birla Temple
    Birla Hindu Temple, the shiva temple, is founded by Birla Group at the nirvana site of Gautama Buddha. At the main site a marble statue of lord Shiva sitting in an erect posture on tiger flash cushion. The 'dhyana posture' he is sitting in, is termed to be the position in which the communion of thou soul (Jivatma) to thy soul (parmatma) is possible.

    The temple also provides accommodation for Hindu Buddhist tourist on very nominal rates. A dormitory is also specially made for Indian Buddhist tourists available at cheapest rates.
    Visiting Hours : Sunrise to Sunset
  • International Buddha Trust
    International Buddha Trust started in the year 1996 with the motive to perform the communion of the individual soul (Jivatman) with the universal soul or God (Parmatman). They believe that Yoga provides the perfect panacea & is also a complete system of self-transformation & self realization which are the ultimate goods of human existence. It acts as a bridge that unites the ephemeral & limited Human body with the divine, internal, infinite soul. The free classes are held for 10 days in a year which includes free lodging and fooding too , each day providing new sense to the life style of every individual .
How to Get There
  • Air
    The nearest Kushinagar airport is Gorakhpur (44km).
  • Rail
    The nearest rail head or station is Gorakhpur : 51 km, which is the headquarters of North Eastern Railways and linked to important destinations. Gorakhpur is connected directly with Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin and Barauni.
  • Road
    Situated on National Highway No. 28, Kushinagar is well connected with other parts of the state. Some major road distances are : Gorakhpur-51 km, Lumbini-173 km, Kapilastu-148 km, Sravasti-254 km, Sarnath 266 km. Lalitpur 33 km from Deogarh. For more info you can check out the map of Kushinagar Uttar Pradesh.

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