Kushinagar A Buddhist Pilgrimage

Kushinagar is one of the principal centres of Buddhist pilgrimage, where Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained Parinirvana after his death. The three distinct groups of monuments of Kushinagar are: the main site of the Nirvana Temple, the central stupa and surrounding monasteries, the Mathakuar shrine to the south-west, and the Ramabhar Stupa. It is here that Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Mahaparinirvana.

In ancient times, it was known as Kushavati (Jatakas). It finds mention in epic Ramayan as the city of Kusha the son of Ram, the famous king of Ayodhya. Kushinagar was a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom of ancient India. Later, it would be known as Kushinara, one of the most important four holy sites for Buddhists. Today, Kushinagar is a much-frequented pilgrimage site for Indian and foreign tourists, and temples have been constructed by Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Burmese, South Korean, Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists, alongside the ruins of monasteries and stupas.

Buddha Poornima Festival: Buddha Poornima, held on the full moon night of either April or May, commemorates the birth anniversary of the founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha. The most festival of here.

Kushinagar’s Heritage:

Nirvana Stupa: This huge stupa made of brick was exposed by Carlyl in 1876. It is 2.74 meter high. An inscription on a copper vessel unearthed at this site states that Lord Buddha’s remains are deposited here.

Nirvana Temple: The more -than – 6 meter – long statue of reclining Buddha is installed here. The excavations of 1876 unearthed this image. The statue, carved out of Chunar sandstone, is probably dated in the fifth century AD.

Ramabhar Stupa: It is a large stupa, which rises to a height of 49 feet about 1 kilometer away from Mathakuar Shrine. Lord Buddha was cremated here. This stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan Vihar in ancient Buddhist texts.

Mathakuar Shrine: This shrine lies at a distance of about 400 yards from the Parinirvana stupa. An image of Buddha in black stone was recovered here. Lord Buddha gave his last sermon here.

Japanese Temple: A beautiful statue of Lord Buddha, which is made of eight metals and originally belonged to Japan is housed in this temple of Kushinagar.

Chinese Temple: A beautiful statue of Lord Buddha is the major attraction of this place.

Other Attraction-

Govt. Buddha Museum: The Buddha Museum contains finds from the site excavations at Kushinagar. Open: 10:00 am. to 5.00 pm. Weekly off : Monday.

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