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Kushinagar Tour

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Kushinagar or Kusinagar is a town and a nagar panchayat in Kushinagar district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Being an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, it is the place where Gautama Buddha died.

KushinagarKushinagar, now is a frequently visited Buddhist travel site for Indian and foreign tourists. Temples have been constructed by Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Burmese, South Korean, Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists. Along with them stand the ruins of ancient monasteries and stupas. Kushinagar is one of the main four sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha. The other three are Lumbini, BodhGaya and Sarnath.

History :

Known as Kushavati (Jatakas) in ancient times, Kushinagar was a famous centre of the Malla kingdom of ancient India. It one of the most important four holy sites for Buddhists. Here, Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana (or Final Nirvana) near the Hiranyavati river. The Buddha fell ill after eating a meal of a species of mushroom which translates as "pig's delight".

Many of the ruined stupas and viharas in Kushinagar date back to 3rd century BC - 5th century BC. It was the time when prosperity was at its peak. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka is said to have contributed to significant construction at this site.

In the 19th century Kushinagar was rediscovered after, more than half a millennium at Kasia. After violent invasions, Kushinagar lost its vitality and eventually was neglected.

Buddha's Visit to Kushinagar :

At the time of the Buddha, Kushinagar was the capital of the Mallas and also the place of the Buddha's death.Kushinagar was a small city with mud roof houses amidst a jungle. Buddha had chosen it for his Parinirvana. After the Buddha's death his body was carried into the city and finally to Makutabandhana, where his body was cremated. After the Buddha's death, Kusinara (declared by the Buddha himself) became one of the four holiest pilgrimage sites in India of Buddhism. The other three being Lumbini, Bodhgaya and Sarnath.

Rediscovery of Kushinagar :

It was in Kushinagar where the rediscovery of the remains of the Parinirvana Stupa and Parinirvana Temple was made. They were covered in a 40 foot high mound of bricks and surrounded by a dense thorny forest. On the arrival of an East Indian Company officer, E. Buchanan, in Kasia a survey-work was conducted. In 1854 H. H. Wilson, made the suggestion that ancient Kushinagar and Kasia were the same.

General Alexander Cunningham, an archaeological surveyor, proved the site to be that of Gautama Buddha's passing. Work resumed around 1861-62. In the late 1800s, excavations began and many important remnants of the main site such as the Matha were found.

Tourist Spots in and near Kushinagar :

  • Mahaparinirvana Stupa : Built on the place of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana (Great Nirvana or passing away)
  • Makutabandhana : 1.6 kms away, is the cremation-site of Gautama Buddha's body. Devotees make a pilgrimage tour to India to visit this site.
  • Buddha Image : Closeby is also a 1500 year old image of the Buddha as he attained Parinirvana.

The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries. The Maitreya Project is also building a 500ft/152m bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha near Kushinagar.Tour Bokking

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