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.