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Kushinagar

53 Km from Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, one of the principal centers of the Buddhist pilgrimage, is the place where Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Maharparinivana.

Kushinagar was previously known as Kushinagar, which was the capital of Malla dynasty. It was one of the famous sixteen Mahajanpadas of ancient India. The Chinese travelers Fa Hien and Hieun Tsang have also mentioned Kushinagar in their travelogues.

The credit for bringing this ancient site to light goes to General A. Cunningham and A.C.L. Carlleyle 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.

The monuments of Kushinagar are clustered in three distinct groups comprising the main site at the Nirvana Temple, the central Stupa and surrounding monasteries, the Mathakuar Kot to the south-west and the Ramabhar Stupa, a kilometer to the east.



Fast Facts
Temperature : Summer: 32 - 43°C
Winter: 25 - 19°C
Season : October-April
Clothing : Summer - Cotton 
Winter - Woollen
Languages Spoken : Hindi, Urdu
STD Code : 05564

Tourism Office: Government of UP Assistant Tourist Office, Pathik Niwas, Kushinagar, Tel: 05564-273045, 273046 (P.P.)

Getting There

Air
Kasia airstrip-5 Km, Gorakhpur Airport-46 Km, Amausi Airport, Lucknow-252 Km, Babatpur Airport, Varanasi-286 Km. 

Rail
The Nearest railway stations are Deoria-35 Km and Gorakhpur- 53 km, which are linked with important destinations. Kushinagar does not have a Railway Station, one has to go up to Gorakhpur by train and from there reach Kushinagar by road. 

Road
Situated on National Highway No. 28, with frequent bus services, Kushinagar is well connected with other parts of the state.
Kushinagar is:

  • 53 km from Gorakhpur
  • 170 km from Lumbini (Nepal)
  • 157 km from Kapilastu
  • 253 km from Sravasti
  • 274 km from Sarnath

Where to Stay

Hotel Nekko Lotus
Tel: 05564 273025-26

International Guest House 
Tel: 05564 273082

Birla Hindu Buddha Dharmshala.
Tel: 05564 273090

Burmese Dharamshala
Tel: 05564 273105

Hotel Royal Residecy 
Tel: 05564 273011-15

Hotel the Imperial
Tel: 05564 273096-97

Linshon Chinese Rest House
Tel: 05564 273093

Sights to See

Wattthai Temple
This is a huge temple complex built in the typical Thai Buddhist architectural style.

Nirvana Stupa
This huge brickwork stupa, exposed by Carlyl in 1876, stands at a height of 2.74 miters. 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.

Mahaparinirvana Temple
This houses a 6.10 meter long statue of the 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.

Mathakuar Shrine
This shrine is about 400 yards from the Nirvana Stupa. A stone image of Lord Buddha in the 'Bhumi Sparsha Mudra' (earth touching posture) under the 'Bodhi tree' was excavated here. The inscription at the base of the statue dates it to 10th-11th century. Adjacent to this shrine, ruins of a monastery have also been discovered.

Ramabhar Stupa
About 1.5 km away from Mahaparinirvana Temple, this large Stupa rises to a height of 15 meters. It marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist texts, this Stupa has been referred to as 'Mukut-Bandhan Chaitya'.

Chinese Temple
Here the special attraction is a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha.

Japanese Temple
A beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metals) statue of Lord Buddha which was brought from Japan can be seen here.

Govt. Buddha Museum
The Buddha Museum contains finds from the site excavations at Kushinagar. Open: 10:00 am. To 5.00 pm. weekly off: Monday.

Other places of interest include Indo-Japanese-Sri Lankan Temples, Burmese Temple, Birla Hindu Buddha Temple, Krean Temple, Shiva Temple, Ram-Janki Temple and Meditation Park.

Excursions

Turkpatti (17 Km)
East of Kushinagar, at Turkpatti, two statues of Sun God dating to 4th & 8th centuries were recovered along with a Sun Temple.

Pawanagar (22 Km)
It is said that while coming to Kushinagar from Vaishali, Lord Buddha had stopped here. According to the Jain texts, this is the place where Lord Mahavira attained salvation. A big festival is held here on the day following Deepawali.

Gorakhpur (51 km)
At Gorakhpur is the Govt. Museum, which has an excellent collection of Thanka paintings and relics of Lord Buddha. Gorakhnath Temple is one of the most prominent and magnificant temples of this area. A month-long "makar Sankrant Mela" is orgnanised here every year from the 14th of January. Geeta Press, the famous publisher of religious books, is located here. Lord Vishnu Temple, Kusumi Vinod Van, Geeta Vatika, Ram Garh Tal are some of the other attractions.

Tarkulha Devi Temple (65 Km)
This place is closely associated with the freedom struggle of India. The Shaheed Smarak Park and museum are worth visiting.

Maghar (78 Km)
The great poet-saint Kabirdas breathed his last here. His Mazar and Samadhi stand side by side. A festival is held here on Makar Sankranti (January).
Kapilvastu (Piprahwa)

Lumbini (178 Km)
Lumbini (Nepal) is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Festivals

Maaghi Purnima Mela
The fair is held at Sita Kund every year for a month, beginning on the Maaghi Purnima day. This fair is famous for sale of wooden furniture of all varieties at affordable prices. Traders from Katihar, Purnia and Saharsa in Bihar and UP and Assam participate in the fair along with their products.

Shivaratri Mela
It is an important fair. Elephants and horses are adorned with ancient attires and costumes. Lakes of people assemble here on Maha shivaratri to watch a special play based on the mythological marriage of lord Shiva with goddess Parvati.

Sita-Kund
It's a hot water spring, the water of which cools only for an hour on the day of Maaghi Purnima. But no one knows at what time the water cools. This hot spring, six km from the district HQ, is now enclosed in a masonry reservoir and is visited by a large number of pilgrims every day, particularly during the full moon of Maagh.