Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage town in Uttar Pradesh. According to Buddhist scriptures, it is here near the Hiranyavati river that Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death. It was known as Kushavati in the days of yore and also finds mention in the epic Ramayana as Kusha, named after the son of Lord Rama.
However, its main claim to fame is its deep Buddhist roots. The town is home to several ancient stupas and viharas, dating to 3rd to 5th centuries. Most of these monuments were commissioned by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. Prior to its rediscovery in the 19th century, Kushinagar remained in a state of ruins mainly due to the violent invasions it endured over the period.
Tourist Places In And Around Kushinagar
Most of the sights and attractions in Kushinagar are associated with Lord Buddha. Most of these sites mark the last days of Buddha. The Mahaparinirvana Temple houses the over 6 m long statue of the reclining Buddha. The Nirvana Stupa was unearthed in 1876. The Ramabhar Stupa marks the place where Buddha was cremated.
The beautiful Meditation Park comprises artificial water bodies and magnificent landscaped gardens. The Kushinagar Museum houses relics found from the excavations carried out here. Being a major Buddhist pilgrimage destination, Kushinagar attracts devotees from across the globe, many of whom have set base here to study and research about the Buddhist faith.
Many of these people have built their own temples here, for example, the Wat Thai Temple is dedicated to Buddha, but the architecture style is typical Thai and very distinct from the Indian style. The Chinese Temple is also dedicated to Lord Buddha, and as the name suggests, the architectural style is distinctively Chinese.
The Indo-Japanese temple flaunts an interesting blend of two unique architectural styles. Apart from the Buddhist landmarks, Kushinagar also houses the famous Sun Temple which was originally built during the Gupta period. However, the temple has undergone several renovations, the last of which was carried out in 1981.
The temple draws huge crowds, especially during Janmasthmi. Then there are other places of interest such as Kuber Asthan dedicated to Lord Shiva, Devraha Asthan with statues of Jain Tirthankaras and Kurukulla Asthan, dedicated to a Hindu Goddess.
How To Reach Kushinagar
Kushinagar can be reached by road, rail and air.
Best Time To Visit Kushinagar
The ideal time to visit Kushinagar is between November and March.