Kushinagar the land of great passing away or Mahaparinirvana
The ancient city of Kushinagar is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha and thus is the most important pilgrim spots for the Buddhist followers. From Hieun Tsang to Fa Hein, the city has been an important spot for the Buddhist pilgrim since the ancient times. Kushinagar is 53 km from Gorakhpur where Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Mahaparinirvana at age of 80 years.
As per folklore Buddha had predicted his own death. And on the full moon of the month of Vaisakha (April-May), he realized his death was fast approaching. He expressed his desire to leave his mortal self at a sal grove on the banks of the Hiranyavati in Kushinagar. He instructed his companion of 20 years, Ananda, to prepare a bed under two sal trees with its head turned towards the north. Scriptures say Buddha then uttered his final words: “Listen, bhikkhus, I say this: all conditioned things are subject to decay, strive with diligence for your liberation” and entered Mahaparinirvana (the great passing away).
Places to see in Kushinagar
Mahaparinirvana Temple & Stupa
This is the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage site in Kushinagar. A simple structure, it is surrounded by ruins and set amid an extensive lawn. The highlight of this modest temple, rebuilt in 1927 and set among extensive lawns and ancient excavated ruins with a circumambulatory path, is its serene 5th-century reclining Buddha, unearthed in 1876. Around 6 meters long, the statue carved from Chunar sandstone and depicts Buddha on his death bed, reclining on his right side with his head to the north.
This large stupa constructed with bricks houses the remains of the Buddha. During its excavations in 1876, a copper vessel discovered here bears an inscription in ancient Brahmi, which says that Lord Buddha’s remains are kept here. Along with this, silver coins of the 5th century AD were also unearthed at this site. The stupa stands on a 2.74-meter-high plinth. It rises to a height of 19.81m above ground level.
Lord Buddha’s funeral pyre was lit at Mukutavandha Vihara, where stands the Ramabhar stupa. In ancient Buddhist texts, this stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan chaitya. Today, there is nothing much left of the stupa, except a 15-m-high brick mound.
A few hundred metres away from the Mahaparinirvana temple, stands the Mathakuar shrine, built on the spot where Buddha delivered his last sermon. Inside is a black stone idol of the Buddha in Bhumisparsha mudra. The area also has several new monasteries built by devotees from across the world.
Top Hotels in Kushinagar
Name & Type
The Imperial Kushinagar
Hotel Metteyye Residency
The Royal Residency
Lotus Nikko Hotel
The nearest airport is Gorakhpur Airport (55 km)BY AIR
The nearest railway stations are at Gorakhpur Railway Station and Deoria.
Kushinagar is well connected with motorable roads from Gorakhpur and Deoria (35 km)
Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar are the important places that are related directly to the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. In addition to these, there are various other important sites too where he had traveled during His lifetime. These are Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali, Keysariya, Kapilvastu, Sravasti, and many more.