(Previously known as Kushinara) has the distinction of being one of the four
most sacred Buddhist sites in India. It is the site where Lord Buddha left
for his eternal abode. Tourists and devotees from all over the world arrive
here to get reminded of the noble and meaningful character of Lord Buddha,
who through his knowledge and experience gave to the world a system of
beliefs which is today one of the most largest and the oldest religion in
the world. During the time of Lord Buddha, Kushinara was a tiny hamelt
surrounded by deep forests. The town of Kushinagar remained in a state of
oblivion until in the late 19th century historians rediscovered the site and
began further excavations. The place is home to a number of viharas,
monasteries and temples built by the countries like China and Japan.
Location & Climate
The small hamlet of Kushinagar lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh, 53 km
west of Gorakhpur. Owing to its location in the Gangetic plain, the village
experiences a hot and humid climate. Summers are hot and during the season,
temperature reaches a maximum of 45 degrees Centigrade. June to September is
the time of the monsoons. The ideal time to visit here is between the months
of October and March.
Kushinagar has a number of tourist attractions associated with Lord Buddha
and Buddhism. Followers of Buddhist faith pour into the place in great
numbers to see and experience the Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The famous
tourist attractions of Kushinagar are as follows.
» Nirvana Temple :
The Nirvana Temple or the Nirvana
Stupa is one of the biggest draws for tourists and devotees here. The temple
is set in a lush park and dates back to the reign of Kumaragupta I (413-55
AD). The temple enshrines an image of Lord Buddha in a reclining posture.
Buddhist adherents from Burma refurbished the temple in the year 1927. A
number of stupas built by Buddhist pilgrims surround the temple.
» Japanese Temple :
The Japanese Temple, constructed
by the Atago Isshin World Buddhist Cultural Association, is yet another
attraction for tourists here. The temple comprises of a single circular
chamber and houses a golden image of Lord Buddha. Tiny stained glass windows
mildly light the inside of the chamber.
» Rambhar Stupa :
The Rambhar Stupa occupies a
position 1.5 km southeast of the Nirvana Temple. The stupa lies amid serene
surroundings and fields of rice, wheat and cane lie around. It is said to be
the spot where the Mallas cremated Lord Buddha.
» Mata Kaur Shrine :
Another famous Buddhist shrine
at Kushinagar is the Mata Kaur Shrine. The shrine has a metamorphic rock
image of Lord Buddha. The image is blue in colour and dates back to the 10th
Though not too many, you can find government-run tourist lodges, guest
houses and a few private hotels in Kushinagar. The architecture of most of
the hotels have an influence of Buddhist motifs. Some of the hotel have been
inspired from the architectural forms of stupas and monuments.
Hotels in Kushinagar
¤ Lotus Nikko Hotel (3 Star)
¤ The Royal Residency (3 Star)
¤ Pathik Niwas U.P. Government Tourist Bungalow
¤ PWD Inspection Bungalow
¤ LRP Inspection House
Varanasi is the closest airport from Kushinagar. The airport has direct air
links with places like Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow and Patna. Gorakhpur, at a
distance of 51 km, is the nearest railhead from Kushinagar. It is the
headquarters of the Norteastern Railways and is linked to the key
destinations of the country through a number of express trains. Regular bus
services from Kushinagar connect it to places like Gorakhpur (51 km),
Lumbini (173 km), Kapilavastu (148 km), Sarnath (266 km), Sravasti (254 km)
and Agra (680 km).