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Kushinagar :: City Information

Best Tra1vel Duration

October to April

History of Kushinagar

The present Kushinagar is identified with Kushawati ( in pre- Buddha period ) and Kushinara (in Buddha period). Kushinara was the capital of Mallas which was one of the sixteen mahajanpads of the 6th Century B.C.

According to the Valmiki's Ramayana, the Mallas was earlier part of Kosala Janpad. Kushwati capital was built by Kush, son of Lord Ram, the hero of the famous epic, 'The Ramayan'. After Ram's renunciation of the world Kusa left Kusavati for Ayodhya. His cousin, ChandraKetu, son of Lakshman took possession of this region. As per Buddha Pali literature, Kushawati was named prior to the king Kush. The naming of Kushwati was due to abundance of Kush grass found in this region which still holds good. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta and Harsha dynasties.

In medieval period, Kushinagar had passed under the suzerainty of Kultury Kings. Kushinara continued to be a living city till the 12th Century A.D. and was thereafter lost into oblivion. Padrauna is believed to be ruled over by a Rajput adventurer, Madan Singh in the 15th century A.D.

However, modern Kushinagar came into prominence in the 19th Century with archeological excavations carried out by A.Cuningham, the first Archeological Surveyor of India and later followed by C.L. Carlleyle who exposed the main stupa and also discovered a 6.10 meters long statue of reclining Buddha, in 1876 A.D. Ven. Chandra Swami, a Burmeses Monk, came to India in 1903 and made "Mahaparinirvana Temple" into a living shrine.

After independence, Kushinagar remained the part of district Deoria. On 13th May, 1994, it came into being as a new district of Uttar Pradesh for an all round balanced and speedy development.

Places to Visit at Kushinagar

Mahaparinirvana Temple

Description: Mahaparinirvana Temple

The Mahaparinirvana Temple, with its world famous reclining statue of Buddha, is an important site to visit. The 20-feet-long statue is seated on a brick platform. Ruins of as many as eight monasteries are around the main site. These monasteries have witnessed the rise and fall of a number of dynasties and the spread of Buddhism. Ruins of two monasteries-Mahaparinirvana Vihara and Makutabandhara Vihara-are especially famous. The Makutabandhara Vihara is believed to have been built by Malla kings to preserve the relics of the Buddha. Through the centuries, monuments and shrines of various types grew around these ancient sites.

Wat Thai Kusinara

 

Then there is the wonderful mini-city of Wat Thai Kusinara developed by the Thais. Built on an area of about 10 acres, it houses small huts, a school, a library, and hospitals. In the miniature gardens, lotus ponds and nurseries, all in typical oriental style, residents learn to love nature-the true gospel of Buddhism. Hundreds of Thai people come down every year to perform various kinds of services. The rich and poor alike, with clean-shaved heads and dressed in saffron clothes, live in modest huts and eat from banana leaves.

Kapilavastu

 

Kapilavastu (Piprahwa) is situated 148 km from Kushinagar and is an important Buddhist pilgrimage. Kapilavastu was the ancient capital of the Sakya clan ruled by Gautama Buddha's father.

Gorakhpur

 

Fifty-one kilometers off Kushinagar is Gorakhpur, an important city of eastern Uttar Pradesh. At Gorakhpur is the Rahul Sanskrityayan Museum, which has an excellent collection of Thanka paintings and relics of the Buddha. The water sports complex at Ramgarh Tal Planetarium and the Gorakhnath Temple in the city are also worth a visit.

How To Get To Kushinagar

By Air:

 

The nearest airhead is located at Varanasi from where one can take flights to Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow, and Patna. 

By Rail:

 

Kushinagar does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is at Gorakhpur (51 km), which is the headquarters of Northeastern Railways and linked to important destinations.

By Road:

 

Kushinagar is well connected to other parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh by bus. There are regular buses to Gorakhpur (51 km), Lumbini (173 km), Kapilavastu (148 km), Sravasti (254 km), and Sarnath (266 km), and Agra (680 km).