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Khushinagar Buddhist Tourist Place
 


Kushinagar - The Destination

Kushinagar

For all those on the Buddhist trail, Kushinagar is the final destination. One of the principal centers of Buddhist pilgrimage is the place Buddha chose for his Mahaparinirvana, or final exit from this earth. Kushinagar, the seat of Mallas Dynasty, also known as Kushinara, is situated 56 kms from Gorakhpur city in Uttar Pradesh. In Kushinagar, after teaching Dhamma for 45 yrs, Lord Buddha entered the ultimate state of Nirvana under a Sal tree at the age of 80 yrs on a full moon day. It is here Lord Buddha announced the four holy places to be visited by every Buddhist pilgrim that is Lumbini-Birth place, Bodhgaya

- Enlightenment place, Sarnath- First Sermon place and Kushinagar- Mahaparinirvana place.

It is here in Kushinagar that his body was cremated and the ashes (remains) were divided into eight parts and distributed among eight claimants who preserved the remains in their kingdoms and built Stupas. The main site of the Nirvana Temple houses an over 6 meter long statue of the reclining Buddha. The image, crafted in the 5th century BC, was unearthed during the excavations in 1876. Mathakaur shrine, a black stone image of Lord Buddha in the Bhumi Sparsha Mudra (a posture showing him touching the earth) was recovered here. Ramabhar Stupa rises to a height of 49ft and marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist texts, this stupa has been referred to as Mukut Bandhar Vihar.

Nine centuries after the Buddha’s passing, the Chinese traveler Fa Hein discovered the city deserted and dying. In fact, Kushinagar was rediscovered as an important Buddhist site only after excavations in the 1880s. There was a flourishing community here till the 11th century as is shown by the existence of the eight groups of monasteries, stupas and images. Today, it is a major pilgrimage site and on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, the festival that marks the Buddha’s birth, Kushinagar overflows with devotees from all over Asia. A huge fair is held in which his relics are taken out in procession.

Kushinagar - Facts at a Glance

State : Uttar Pradesh
Area : 6.0 sq km
Temperature : 27°C - 40°C (Summers)
4°C - 22°C (Winters)
Altitude : 400 mts
Language : Hindi, English
Best Season : October - April
 
Attractions in Kushinagar

Mahaparinirvana Temple & Stupa - This temple 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 symbolizes 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. This huge brickwork stupa, exposed by Carlyle in 1867, stands at a height of 2.74 meter . A  copper  vessel was  unearthed  at  this  site. It bore an
Mahaparinirvana Temple & Stupa, Kushinagar
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.

Rambahar (Muktabandhana Stupa) - 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.

Buddha Vihar - The Myanmar Buddha Vihar, first monastery 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. Also to be seen here is a huge "Samridhi Chaitya" Stupa which contains 5000 brass statues of Lord Buddha from all over the World.


Birla Temple - Birla Hindu Temple, or the Shiva temple, is founded by the 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 imprint cushion. The dhyana posture he is sitting in, is termed to be the position in which the communion of your soul (Jivatma) to His soul (Parmatma) is possible
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