LAND OF MAHAPARINIRVANA
Known earlier as Kushinara, now Kasaya, Kushinagar is one of the most sacred sites for the Buddhists. It was here that Lord Buddha is said to have attained 'Mahaparnirvana', the freedom from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth at Kushinagar. At the time of the great event, kushinara was an insignificant settlement, a part of the Malla Kingdom.
Kushi Nagar is an archaeological site, significant for its close proximity with the life of Lord Buddha. So far, at least ten monasteries have been discovered. The Mukutabandhana Stupa, which was built to hold the Buddhas cremated remains is considered of great sanctity. There is also a large reclining stone figure of the Buddha. The original image was made in Mathura and brought to Kushinagar by Haribala, a monk who lived in the time of king Kumargupta (AD 413-455). Although, the original image was destroyed, it was restored in the last century.
Nirvana Stupa: Standing at a height of 2.74m, the Nirwana Stupa is is built of bricks. This huge stupa was excavated by Carlyl in 1876. A copper vessel unearthed here bears an inscription in ancient brahmi stating that Lord Buddha's remains had been deposited here.
This temple houses the 6m long statue of reclining Buddha, which was unearthed in 1876. Carved from Chunar sandstone, the statue has an inscription below that dates the statue to the fifth century AD.
This shrine lies about 400 yards from 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.
Referred to as the Mukt Bandhan Vihar in ancient Buddhist texts, this stupa marks the site where the Lord was cremated. About 1 km away, this large stupa rises to a height of 49 ft.
Here the special attraction is a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha.
On display here is the beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metals) statue of Lord Buddha, which was brought from Japan.
The Buddha Museum contains finds from excavations at the site. Timings: 10:30 am. to 4:30 pm, all days except Monday. Other places of interest include Pawanagar (Fazilnagar) and the Sun Temple at Turkpatti.
(51 kms) Rahul Sankratayan Museum at Gorakhpur has an excellent collection of thanka paintings and relics of the Buddha. Water Sports Complex at Ramgarhtal Planetarium and the Gorakhnath Temple in the city are also well worth a visit.
Situated in Nepal at a distance of 122 km from Gorakhpur, Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Buses ply till the border, from where the remaining 26 km has to be covered by private vehicles.
The ancient city abounds in numerous stupas.
Air: There is no direct air connection.
Rail: From Delhi , one has to reach Gorakhpur, by rail.
Road: Taxis and buses. Gorakhpur is a convenient base for visiting Kapilvastu (110 km), Lumbini (108 km) and Shravasti (195 km).
Local Transport: Cycle rickshaws.
WHERE TO STAY
Kushinagar is one of the major spots that the Buddhist circuit covers, one of the reson why, tourist won't find any problems in finding a good accommodation option over here. Some of good accommodation options include: Pathik Niwas (UPSTDC), Kushinagar.
PWD Inspection House.
LRP Inspection House.
Mumgadaw Arakanese Rest House.
Government of UP Tourist Bureau, Buddha Marg, Kushinagar.
Banks: Central Bank of India, Kabiya Road, Kushinagar; State Bank of India, Kasia.
Post Office: Sub Post Office, Main Crossing, Kushinagar.
Hospitals: Community Health Centre, Deoria Road, Kasia; Govt. Ayurvedic Hospital, Buddha Marg, Kushinagar.
Area: 6.00 sq. km.
Population: 13860 (1991 census).
Altitude: 400 m above sea level.
Main Festival: Buddha Purnima.
Summer: Light Cotton.