Kushinagar, previously known as Kasia Bazaar, is a prominent Buddhist site of pilgrimage, where, it is believed by Buddhists that Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death. Followers of the religion wish to visit this town at least once in their lifetime for its symbolic history.
The Mahaparinirvana Temple, famous for its architectural design, is built around a large statue of Buddha found in the reclining position. This statue was excavated in the year 1876. The inscription on the ruins found in the temple state that the remains of Lord Buddha have been preserved here.
Ramabhar Stupa, a 15 metres high stupa now stands marking the point where Buddha attained Parinirvana.
Kushinagar museum, displaying various artefacts like coins, sculptures, statues and banners is a principal point of attraction for tourists. It is most widely known for the stucco idol of Buddha built in the Gandhara style.
Another place of interest is the Sun Temple believed to be built during the Gupta Period. It houses an idol of the Sun God built out of Neelmani stone, rare in its magnificent black colour.
Kushinagar is named after King Kusha, son of the legendary Lord Rama, who ruled the city. The city is seen mentioned several times in the works of the Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang.
Kushinagar is located 53 kilometres from Gorakhpur which is the nearest railway terminus and 5 kilometres from the nearest airstrip, available in Kasia.
The Mahaparinirvana Temple : It is a small one room temple, and is highly revered by Buddhists, since it’s here where Buddha took his last breath. It is a great place for meditation.
The Nirvana Stupa: It is located behind the Mahaparinirvana Temple. This brick stupa was discovered by British Archaeologists in1876.
Ramabhar Stupa: It is a place where Buddha was cremated after his parinirvana, thus is an important site for Buddhists.
Matha Kuar Shrine: It is a small shrine close to the Parinirvana Temple. It houses a statue of Buddha in “Sparsh Mudra”. It is a peaceful place, and must be visited to experience tranquility.
Japanese Temple and Wat Thai Temple: The Japanese temple was built by a Japanese organization. It is architecturally beautiful and is home to a “Ashta Dhatu” statue of Buddha. Life size statues of Monks and religious figures add to the overall spiritual atmosphere in this temple complex. Wat Thai Temple is a beautiful temple reflecting the Thai style of architecture. It’s a perfect place for meditation. The idols inside the beautiful temple are of metallic finish.
Kuber Asthan: Located about 20 Kms from Kushinagar Kuber Asthan holds prominence in Hindu Mythology as it is believed to be the birthplace of Kuber- The God of money. The place is small, serene and popular among locals.
Located near Mahaparinirvana temple, Meditation Park is a quiet place where one can meditate and heal their inner selves. It comprises of artificial water bodies and raised verandahs (platforms) for meditation. It is enclosed by Sal trees. The place also shows the relics of the old architecture. It is a perfect place to relax and connect with nature.
Uttarpradesh is a land of diverse cuisine. There are many restaurants in Kushinagar and roadside food joints. When in Kushinagar one must visit 7Star Restaurant in Hata, the food served here are delicious. One may also visit Yama Cafe, it’s a cosy travel cafe with a limited seating facility. For tasting mouth watering local sweets one must visit Gokul Sweet and Restaurant.
Those interested to know more about Buddhism must visit “Kushinagar Museum”. It is a very informative place and has an impressive collection of Buddhist literature, paintings and other artefacts depicting the history of Kushinagar. If you want to take part in rural activities then don’t forget to get connected with “United For hope Village Trips”. It is a great initiative where tourists can get an insight into India’s rural life. One can also visit Mahavir’s nirvana place in Pawnagar which is at a distance of about 22 kms from Kushinagar.
Hata is a town in Kushinagar District and is the main market for wholesalers, local vendors and retailers.