Nirvana Stupa, also popularly known as the Nirvana Chaitya is situated behind the Mahaparinirvana temple. Both the temple and the 2.74 m tall stupa with a 15.81 m high dome built on a circular base stand on the same platform.
The stupa is made of bricks and was discovered along with the temple in the course of excavations carried out by General A. Cunningham, the first Archaeological Surveyor of India, in 1876. It was restored to its original state by A.C.L. Carlleyle in the same year.
It is believed that the entire monument was built by the Mallas to house the relics of the Buddha. It was further developed by Emperor Ashoka. A disciple of Buddha, called Haribala brought the stupa from Mathura at its present location in Kushinagar during the reign of Kumaragupta, an emperor of Gupta Dynasty.
Subsequent excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India discovered a copper vessel containing the ashes of the Buddha. An inscription on the vessel confirms the internment of Buddha's remains at this place.