Getting Enlightened at Kushinagar

Posted On December 7, 2011 

Blooming in the verdant surroundings in a small place near the Gorakhpur city is a lovely land which is revered and respected as the place of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana. This place Kushinagar has been witness to the death and cremation of the Buddha.Surrounded by luscious forests in those days, this place remained unknown till archaeologists rediscovered the site. Buddha’s last rites were performed by the Malla Maha Kashyapa and his ash collected as relics. These relics were distributed all over India and King Ashoka built around 84,000 stupas and all the stupas contained these relics.


It was the British officer A.C.L Carlleyle who unearthed the Nirvana statue in the Buddha temple which was described by the Chinese traveller Huein Tsang in his works. The excavation revealed the statue lying on a broken throne in the ruins of the temple. Measuring around 24 inches in height, the width was around five and a half feet. It was all in pieces and it was this British officer who restored the statue back to shape.

Carlyle saw the ruins of not only the original Buddha temple but also many smaller temples. The excavations revealed that Kushinagar the land had witnessed a sudden and violent death of Buddhism. Thus it was a chance attempt by Carlyle that has given us proof of the existence of the Kushinagar kingdom of the Mallas.

Buddhas statue at Kushinagar Buddhas statue at Kushinagar

Today Kushinagar is a flourishing tourist spot and also a pilgrim hub and is getting its roots back by being the centre for international Buddhism. It has many viharas and also a Tibetan Gompa that has been built for the Sakyamuni. There is a Burmese vihara and there are many Chinese and Japanese temples. There is the Parinirvana Sutra which meticulously describes the last days of the Buddha in the Pali Text.

While at Kushinagar you can also visit the neighbouring areas. Visit Lumbini which is around 86kms from Kushinagar. This is located on the Nepal border and is renowned as the place where the Buddha was born. Today there are buses that go till the Sonauli border from where the mode of transport is provided by Nepal.


Sraswati is another place that is worth visiting. This lies around 146kms from Kushinagar and is usually famous for the remains at Shaheth Maheth. This ancient capital of the Kosala kingdom is a sacred spot because it is believed that this is where Buddha spent around 24 monsoon retreats and created many miracles. Very well connected it is very popular in the Buddhist circuit.

Sidhuwan Sthan or the Sidh Palace is the next place that is worth a visit. Lying around 3 km from Padrauna Tamkuhi Marg it is very popular for being the place where the main Aacharya of the Jains, Sri Sidhnath Ji meditated and also passed away. This is the place where archaeological excavations revealed a statue of a Yaksha. The Yakshas were brought to an end by Lord Buddha.

Then there is the Deoraha Sthan which is located on the Kuber Sthan road. Here there is a very ancient mound which is said to be a place where there would have been a Baudh Vihar.


Kushinagar is an enlightened ancient land. Visit this city and feel the joy of a stupendous past.

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