The ancient town of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh gets its name from Kusha the son of the Legendary God king Ram who founded and ruled the city. The archeological findings in the town date back to the 3rd century BC and belong to the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. Kushinagar today is a major pilgrimage center for the Buddhists in India and also finds mention in the writings of the Chinese traveler and pilgrim Hieun Tsang. It was at Kushinagar that Gautama Buddha attained the Mahaparinirvana. Here’s the list of the best places you can visit in Kushinagar.
1. Mahaparinirvana Temple
Mahaparinirvana Temple is located in the ruins various ancient monasteries which were founded during the 5th century AD. The temple is famous for its 6.10 meters long statue of Lord Buddha. According to the inscriptions in the ruins, the remains of Lord Buddha have been deposited here.
2. Kushinagar Museum
The site was opened to the public during 1992-93 and features the various archeological excavations that were found in Kushinagar. Kushinagar museum houses various artifacts like statues, sculptures, seals, coins and banners and a wide variety of different antiquities. The Stucco idol of Lord Buddha built in a striking Gandhara Style is one of the major attractions of the museum.
3. Ramabhar Stupa
Ramabhar Stupa marks the place where Lord Buddha received the Mahaparinirvana or the Final Enlightenment. The 15 meters high stupa is one of the major attractions in Kushinagar. The stupa is also the most important pilgrim spot for the Buddhists and is situated in a pleasant and lush green vicinity that makes it a must visit tourist spot.
4. Sun Temple
The temple dedicated to the Sun God was built during the Gupta Period and is mentioned in the Puranas. The temple is famous for its idol of the Sun God which was carved out of a special black stone (Neelmani Stone). The statue was believed to have been found during excavations conducted between the 4th and the 5th centuries.
The ancient city of Kushinagar is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha and thus is considered to be the most important pilgrim spots for the Buddhist followers. From Hieun Tsang to Fa Hein, the city has been an important spot for the Buddhist pilgrim since the ancient times. The aforementioned places will surely help you experience the significance of this city for the Buddhists in the world.
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