Kushinagar in Eastern Uttar Pradesh is one of the most frequented Buddhist pilgrimages in India. Lord Buddha got nirvana at Kushinagar. The place that has for long remained neglected is fast picking up on the tourism map. Kushinagar has seen major infrastructure uplift in the recent years that is pushing tourism in this region.
The nearest Airport from Kushinagar is in Gorakhpur district but the access to this airport is limited. Therefore, Varanasi airport acts as the primary airport for Kushinagar. The nearest railhead is Gorakhpur that is well connected to the rest of India as well as Uttar Pradesh.
Kushinagar is the very place where Lord Buddha got Nirvana. This event is known as Maha-Parnirvana in Buddhist and Hindu literature. Therefore, Kushinagar evokes emotion amidst pilgrims. There are sites that are related to Buddha's Nirvana and his cremation. These sites attract scores of visitors every year. The most famous among these are Ramabhar Stupa and Nirvana Temple. These sites have been excavated in past and has bore out many relics related to Lord Buddha.
There are other temples too that have been erected by Buddhist Councils of other member countries. The most famous among these are Japanese, Watt Thai and Chinese Buddhist Temples. These temples are famous for their distinct and splendid architectures. There are some interesting excursions too. Lumbini and Kapilvastu are two of the most famous excursions around Kushinagar. Both these places fall in Nepal. These sites are related to the birth and childhood of Lord Buddha respectively. All these attractions make Kushinagar a place worth visiting. Do come to Kushinagar if you want to experience the divinity in its sublime form
Location: In Eastern region of Uttar Pradesh, India
Climate: Summer 43°C to 30°C, Winter 25 °C to 3 °C
Best time to visit: October to March
Nearest Airport: Gorakhpur and Varanasi Airport
Nearest Railhead: Gorakhpur Junction
Must Visits: Nirvana Temple, Mathakaut Stupa
Language spoken: Hindi, Urdu and English
STD Code: +91-5563 and +91-5564
Kushinagar Tourist Attractions
Kushinagar is one of the most frequented Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in the Indian Sub-continent. The city has lots to offer when it comes to Stupas and Temples. Almost each and every corner of the city has some or other famous tourist attraction. While most of these sites are old, there is a sizable number modern architecture too.
Ramabhar Stupa can be counted as one of the most sacred shrine of Buddhism in the world. Situated just a kilometer off from the city center, Rambhar Stupa is a must visit for every tourist flocking India. Ramvara Stupa is said to mark the site where Lord Buddha was cremated and got Mahaparinirvana. Kushinagar is a place that has been frequented by Lord Buddha. There are sources, which confirm that Lord Buddha had many discourses at this place.
Nirvana Temple is one of the most frequented amongst Buddhism shrines in the world. Nirvana Temple is a must visit destination during tour to India. The place evokes emotion for every Buddhist because it is the same temple near which, Buddha died. Nirvana Temple houses a statue of reclining Lord Buddha that is 6 meters long. It is believed that this statue represents the very last moments of Lord Buddha i.e. moments before he attained Mahaparinirvana.
Mathakaut Temple is one of the most famous and most visited shrines in Kushinagar. The Mathakaut shrine is situated at the distance of 300 meters from Maha-Parinirvana Stupa, another famous Buddhist shrine in Kushinagar. The place is famous for because this is the site from where a black stone image of the Buddha in the 'Bhumi Sparsha Mudra' was recovered during early excavations. 'Bhumi Sparsha Mudra' in Hindi means 'Kneel Down Posture'. It is widely perceived that the last sermon of Lord Buddha was given here.
Watt Thai Temple
Watt Thai Temple is one of the most beautiful and most visited temples in Kushinagar. Watt Thai Temple is only one of its kinds not only in Kushinagar but also in whole of Indian Sub-continent. The temple is centrally located in Kushinagar and that is why it can be seen from anywhere and everywhere in Kushinagar. The Temple has been laid out on a lush green lawn that is spread in several acres of land.
Japanese Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Kushinagar. This is a must visit site during your tour to Kushinagar. A magnificent 'Ashta Dhatu' or 'Eight Metals' statue of Lord Buddha marks this temple. This statue has been brought from Japan in dismantled form and was later joined before it was established in this temple.
Chinese Temple is another fairly frequented tourist destination in Kushinagar. The temple is famous for its distinct architecture that puts it away from the numerous Buddhist Temples in Kushinagar. The architecture of this temple is predominantly 'Han Chinese' and has design elements that have been borrowed from various provinces of Mainland China.
Excursions around Kushinagar
The excursions around Kushinagar are no less interesting than the city itself. Two of the most famous excursions around Kushinagar are both situated in Nepal, across the Indian Border. They are namely, Lumbini and Kapilvastu. It should be noted that though the border between India and Nepal is porous for the inhabitants of both the countries, foreign nationals require separate Visas to venture in these countries. These places are under the range of 50 kilometers from Kushinagar therefore one need not stay overnight.
Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, in southwestern Nepal, nearly twenty-five hundred years ago. Since then, the city has always remained the focal point of Buddhism. Today's Lumbini is a small sleepy town in the southwestern Tarai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be seen. The followers of both Hinya na and Mahayana sects of Buddhism revere Lumbini. The restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient Stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar that is erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha.
Kapilvastu is located 27 kilometers south of Lumbini close to Siddhartha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The place is close to both Lumbini as well Shravasti. The place has now been christened Piprahwa. Kapilvastu is a prime archeological site and that is why it is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Nepal. Though very little remains of what was once a flourishing town, the place is a must visit. The place has the ruins of the palace where Lord Buddha spent his formative years. The archeological works that had been done in this area had to pass through various roadblocks including financial constraint. The archeologists had dug out as many as 14 different layers of human habitation in this area. The oldest among these dates back to 8th century before Christ. The place is a must for archeological and historical buffs.