Kushinagar Knowledge Guide
The present Kushinagar is identified with Kusavati (in the pre-Buddha period) and Kushinara (in the post-Buddha period). Kushinara was the capital of Mallas which was one of the sixteen mahajanpads of the 6th century BCE. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Harsha, and Pala dynasties. In the medieval period, Kushinagar had passed under the suzerainty of Kultury Kings. Kushinara continued to be a living city till the 12th century CE and was thereafter lost into oblivion. Padrauna is believed to be ruled over by a Rajput adventurer, Madan Singh, in the 15th century CE. However, modern Kushinagar came into prominence in the 19th century with archaeological excavations carried out by Alexander Cunningham, 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. Excavations continued in the early twentieth century under J. Ph. Vogel. He conducted archaeological campaigns in 1904-5, 1905-6 and 1906-7, uncovering a wealth of Buddhist materials. Chandra Swami, a Burmese monk, came to India in 1903 and made Mahaparinirvana Temple into a living shrine. After independence, Kushinagar remained part of the district of Deoria. On 13 May 1994, it came into being as a new district of Uttar Pradesh.
Parinirvana Stupa The reclining Nirvana statue of the Buddha is inside the Parinirvana Stupa. The statue is 6.10 metres long and is made of monolith red sandstone. It represents the "Dying Buddha" reclining on his right side with his face towards the west. It is placed on a large brick pedestal with stone-posts at the corners.Nirvana Chaitya (Main Stupa) Nirvana Chaitya is located just behind the Main Parinirvana Temple. It was excavated by Carlleyle in the year 1876. During excavations, a copper plate was found, which contained the text of the "Nidana-Sutra" which concluded the statement that plate had been deposited in the Nirvana-Chaitya by one Haribala, who also installed the great Nirvana Statue of Buddha in the temple front.Ramabhar Stupa Ramabhar Stupa, also called a Mukutbandhan-Chaitya, is the cremation place of Buddha. This site is 1.5 km east of the main Nirvana Temple on the Kushinagar-Deoria road.Matha Kuar Shrine A colossal statue of Lord Buddha is installed, which is carved out of one block which represents Buddha seated under the "Bodhi Tree" in a pose known as "Bhumi Sparsh Mudra" (Earth touching attitude). The inscription at the base of statue is datable to the 10th or 11th century A.D.Other major places Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple: Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple is a marvel of Buddhist architectural grandeur of modern times. Wat Thai Temple: It is a huge complex built in a typical Thai-Buddhist architectural fashion. Ruins and brick structures: These are located around the main Nirvana Temple and Main Stupa. These are the remains of various monasteries of different sizes constructed from time to time in the ancient period. Several museums, meditation parks and several other temples based on architecture of various eastern countries.The Government of Uttar Pradesh has proposed the Kushinagar-Sarnath Buddha Expressway to connect Buddhist pilgrimage towns. The expressway will be around 200 km long and will reduce the distance from both town from Seven hours to one and half hours.