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Kushinagar, is one of the principal centre of Buddhist pilgrimage, is the place where Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Mahaparinirvana.
The credit for bringing this ancient site to light goes to General A. Cunningham and A.C.I. Carlyl, who, after excavating the site in 1861, Later, between 1904 and 1912, several excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India at Kushinagar confirmed its identity.
The monuments of Kushinagar are situated in three distinct groups comprising the main site of the Nirvana Temple, the central stupa and surrounding monasteries, the Mathakuar shrine to the southwest, and the Ramabhar Stupa a kilometer to the east
Nirvana Stupa is a huge brickwork stupa, exposed by Carlyl in 1876, which stands at a height of 2.74 mtr. 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.
Nirvana temple houses over 6 mtrs long statue of 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 AD.
Mathakuar 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.
Ramabhar Stupa is a large stupa which rises to a height of 49 ft. It marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist texts this stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan Vihar.
Chinese Temple is famous for its beautiful statue of Lord Buddha.
Japanese Temple has the beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metals) statue of Lord Buddha. This statue was bought from Japan.
The Kushinagar Museum is also known as the Buddha Museum.
Other places of interest include Pawanagar (Fazilnagar) and the Sun Temple at Turkpatti.
How to Reach
By Rail : Nearest railway station is Gorakhpur : 51 km, which is the headquarters of North Eastern Railways and linked to important destinations. Some important trains to Gorakhpur are Bombay-Gorakhpur-Bandra Exp., New Delhi-Barauni-Vaishali Exp. Cochin-Gorakhpur Exp., Shaheed Exp, Amarnath Exp, Kathgodam Exp, (Kushinagar does not has a Railway Station, one has to go to Gorakhpur from where Kushinagar can be reached by road.
By Road : Situated on National Highway No. 28, with frequent bus services, Kushinagar is well connected with other parts of the state. Some major road distances are : Gorakhpur-51 km, Lumbini-173 km, Kapilastu-148 km, Sravasti-254 km, Sarnath 266 km.