Kushinagar (Buddhist Pilgrimages )

Kushinagar The origins of the present region we refer to as Kushinagar can be found as far back as in Valmiki’s Ramayana, which claims that the land, at the time called Kushawati, was established by Kush, the son of Ram. This name held all the way till the pre Buddhist period, and in due course, with the coming of the Mallas Mahajanpads, the land was renamed Kushinara. However, Buddhist Pali text suggests that the name Kushawati came before the arrival of King Kush, and the foundation of it lay in the fact that there has always been an abundance of the Kush grass in the region.

Kushinagar is situated in Uttar Pradesh, India, approximately 52 km east of the city of Gorakhpur. NH-28 is the highway it lies on.

The climate of Kushinagar can be broadly classified as warm and temperate. The driest month for the region would be November; the most precipitation is seen in August. The warmest month would be May, with the average temperature staying around 31-33 degrees Celsius . The lowest the temperature falls on average is 16 degrees Celsius, and in January.

The time between October and March serves as a pleasant window in terms of the best time to visit Kushinagar.

The most noteworthy thing about the history of Kushinagar is that the Buddha chose it as the place for his last sermon and the attainment of parinirvana (attainment of nirvana in death, the ultimate nirvana). It is widely believed that the Buddha chose this site for his last sermon and death for three reasons: firstly, that it would be best suited for the preaching of the Maha-Sudassana Sutta. Furthermore, it was chosen so that Subhadda, a 120 year old Brahmin who had been turned away by Ananda, one of the Buddha’s oldest disciples, would be able to visit him there and join the sangha (Buddhist order). Immediately after his conversion, Subhadda passed away. Lastly, Kushinagar was chosen so that the presence of Doha the Brahmin could be ensured, to resolve any conflicts that may arise regarding the relics of the Buddha after his death.
The languages spoken in the town are English and Hindi.

General Information || How To Reach || Major Attractions
Parinirvana Temple || Mahaparinirvana Temple || Ramabhar Stupa || Kushinagar Museum || Neighboring towns

General Information About Kushinagar
Country : India
State : Utter Pradesh
Location : 53 km from Gorakhpur.
Climate : Hot and humid summers and mild winters. Summers extend from mid-April-mid-September with maximum temperature touching 40-45°C while winters extend from December to February with minimum temperature touching 5°C. Rainy season extends from June to September.
Best time to visit : October to February
Significance : Lord Gautam Buddha died here.
Languages : Hindi and English.
Festival : Buddha Purnima

Tourist Attraction in Kushinagar
The Parinirvana Temple and Stupa: when Alexander Cunningham, founder of the Archeological Survey of India, suggested in 1862 that this was the site of the Buddha’s last resting place, it having been established a few years earlier that the region referred to at the time as Kasia was in fact a part of the ancient Kushinagar, an officer named A.C.L Carlleyle began excavation expeditions in the area to uncover evidence substantiating this claim. He discovered the Parinirvana Stupa, made of brick and standing at a height of 2.74 m, in 1867.

The Mahaparinirvana Temple :this was built by the Indian government in 1956, meant as a commemoration of the 2500 years since the Buddha attained parinirvana. Inside this temple, one can find the famous statue of the reclining Buddha, believed to depict the last hour of the Buddha’s life. The 6.1 m figure carved out of chunar sandstone lies on a stone couch, and the level detail goes further to include three sculptures at the front of the couch, supposedly meant to signify Ananda, Subbhadda, and Doha. It was excavated in 1876.

Ramabhar Stupa :it believed that this was the site were the Buddha’s body was cremated. The Stupa stands at a height of 49 feet, and is merely 1.5 km away from the Mahaparivana Temple. There is a Ramabhar Jheel close by, which is seasonal.

Kushinagar Museum :opened in 1992-93, the Kushinagar Museum features a wide array of artifacts uncovered during the excavations of the area undertaken by Carleylle and J. Ph. Vogel, many prominent finds having been made in numerous campaigns through the first decade of the twentieth century.

Neighboring towns :The towns located in the vicinity of Kushinagar are Kasia, Deoria and Faizilnagar. Faizilnagar is an important site for Jainism, and is located merely 16 km south east of Kushinagar. It is said to be the site of the Lord Mahavir, founder of the Jain sect’s passing away.

How to Reach Kushinagar
Airways : the town is rather well connected by road to the more prominent areas of Gorakhpur, approximately 52 km away. Plenty of buses are available at regular intervals and a bus ride to Kushinagar from Gorakhpur takes around two hours on an average.

Railways : Gorakhpur is the closest and most accessible railway station to Kushinagar, and is well connected to most major rail routes of the country.

Roadways : the town is rather well connected by road to the more prominent areas of Gorakhpur, approximately 52 km away. Plenty of buses are available at regular intervals and a bus ride to Kushinagar from Gorakhpur takes around two hours on an average.

Buddhist Tourist Pilgrimage in India

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