Kushinagar

Top 7 Incredible Places To Visit In Kushinagar

The town of Kushinagar is situated in Uttar Pradesh, India. Along with Bodh Gaya, Lumbini and Sarnath, it is one of the four main pilgrim sites for practicing Buddhists. Therefore, for the dedicated followers of the religion, a Kushinagar tour is both holy and enlightening. It is believed that Gautam Buddha died and attained Parinirvana in Kushinagar.  Through the passage of time, the town has been variously known as Kushawati, Kushinara, Kasia and Kasia Bazar.

Kushinagar has a rich religious and political history. Some believe that the town was originally named Kushawati due to the abundant growth of ‘kush’, a kind of grass, in the region. But there are others who believe that it was named after its founder King Kush, the son of Ram. Whatever its history of origin may have been, archeological findings from the town prove that it has been an integral part of the great dynasties of Indian history like the Maurya, Gupta, and Pala. Sightseeing in Kushinagar is thus an invigorating experience for all.

Following is a list of places you must visit if you are in Kushinagar. And even though Kushinagar travel guides are available in abundance online and in the Uttar Pradesh tourism offices, this concise yet inclusive list is all you need to make the most of your visit to the town.

 

Sun Temple

Sun Temple-Kushinagar
Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is situated approximately 17 kilometers away from Kushinagar. It is at a place called Turkpatti on the Kasia-Tamkuhi road. It is an ancient temple, believed to be built during the Gupta dynasty. Its existence is even mentioned in the Sikand Purana and the Markanday Purana! Inside the temple, there are two statues of the Sun god. These statues are made of black stones that are locally known as Neelmani stones. It is said that during the 4th and the 5th centuries and again in the 8th and 9th centuries, massive excavations were carried out. The Neelmani stones were discovered during these excavations.

Famous for:

  • The two statues of the Sun god made of ancient black stones

Visiting hours:

  • It is open from 5 AM to 8 PM every day of the week
  • Mondays and Fridays are considered to be auspicious to visit the temple

Duration of visit:

  • If one is interested to offer prayers, it might take around 1 hour

Tickets:

  • Entry is free for all

 

Mahaparinirvana Temple

Mahaparinirvana Temple-Kushinagar
Mahaparinirvana Temple

The Mahaparinirvana stupa was reportedly built by Emperor Ashok in 260 BC to commemorate the death of Buddha in Kushinagar. The ancient Mahaparinirvana temple was later constructed beside the stupa by the Guptas somewhere between 3rd to 6th centuries. The present temple was built by the Indian Government in 1956. Inside the temple, there is a 6.10 meters long huge statue of the reclining Buddha, which dates back to the Gupta dynasty. It depicts Gautam Buddha in his deathbed. This statue was unearthed during the excavations of 1876, headed by Alexander Cunningham.

Famous for:

  • The ancient statue of reclining Buddha, carved from Chunar sandstone, portraying Buddha on his deathbed. It dates back to the 5th It is considered to be one of the most moving statues of Buddha in the world.

Visiting hours:

  • It is open from 6 AM to 8 PM on all days of the week

Duration of visit:

  • The temple and the stupa together might take around 1 hour

Tickets:

  • Entry is free for all

 

Kushinagar Museum

Kushinagar Museum-Kushinagar
Kushinagar Museum

The Kushinagar Museum, also known as the Buddha museum, is a quaint museum worthy of your time. It displays the various ancient artifacts excavated through the years in the areas in and around Kushinagar. Most of the objects displayed here are related to Buddhism. Ancient texts of Pali literature are also on display here.  Other objects on display are coins, statues, scriptures, carved pots and pans, and paintings.  Although the building is old and decrepit, the collection is rare and unique. The center of attraction is a huge statue of Buddha in a meditative pose, the features of which make it clear that it belongs to the Gandhara school of art.

Famous for: 

  • The statue of Lord Buddha in meditation from the Gandhara school of art
  • The rare collection of coins and Pali scriptures

Visiting hours:

  • It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM from Tuesdays to Fridays
  • It stays closed on Sundays and Mondays

Duration of visit:

  • It should not take more than 1 hour 30 minutes to look around the museum

Tickets:

  • 10 INR for all

 

Ramabhar Stupa

 

Ramabhar Stupa-Kushinagar
Ramabhar Stupa

Set amidst peaceful, green surroundings, the holy Ramabhar Stupa is a mound that rises to a height of 15 meters. It stands on the ground where Lord Buddha was cremated. Ancient Buddhist texts refer to this stupa as ‘Mukut- Bandhan Chaitya’. This stupa too was built by Emperor Ashok along with the Parinirvana stupa and it was excavated by Alexander Cunningham in 1876. In fact, its excavation and discovery confirmed the theory presented by ancient Chinese texts that Lord Buddha breathed his last in Kushinagar.

The quiet serenity of the surrounding is perfect for meditation. In fact, it is not very unusual to find Buddhist monks meditating around the stupa. These monks come as pilgrims from various parts of the world. The atmosphere is indeed intimidating.

Famous for:

  • The stupa marks the site of Lord Buddha’s cremation

Visiting hours:

  • The Ramabhar Stupa faces the road that leads to Deoria. It is open and accessible at all times from sunrise to sunset

Duration of visit:

  • Less than 1 hour

Tickets:

  • There is no entry fee

 

The Linh Son Vietnamese Chinese Buddhist Temple

Linh Son Vietnamese-Kushinagar
Linh Son Vietnamese

The Linh Son Chinese Buddhist temple is a modern temple that is first to greet the visitor’s eyes on entering through the gates of Kushinagar. The construction is a blend of Chinese and Vietnamese architectural design. It is colorful and as such markedly different from all other Buddhist temples and sites in the town. The main temple has a statue of Buddha made in Chinese style. The surrounding temple complex has shrines modeled on the major Buddhist temples around the world- Rajgir, Bodh Gaya, Lumbini, Saravati and Nirvana in Kushinagar.

The temple has a meditation hall that can house nearly 300 pilgrims at the same time. It also has a Dharma Hall and a school.

It is run by a Vietnamese Buddhist sect.

Famous for:

  • The Chinese style Buddha statue. It also provides accommodation to pilgrims

Visiting hours:

  • It is open from 7 AM to 8 PM

Duration of visit:

  • Around 1 hour

Tickets:

  • There is no entry fee

 

Wat Thai Temple

Wat Thai Temple-Kushinagar
Wat Thai Temple

The Wat Thai Temple is a modern temple in Kushinagar, built  50 years ago by the  King Bhumibol ’s. It is nestled amidst serene, sprawling greenery. It was originally designed as a forest monastery. One can thus find various kinds of flora in its compound. The temple is centrally located and it is visible from all parts of Kushinagar.  The massive temple complex has traditional Thai-Buddhist architecture. It is one of the most celebrated temples in the Indian subcontinent and as such it attracts tourists from all over the world.

Famous for:

  • It is one of the most celebrated temples of Kushinagar and the curious fact that it is visible from all parts of the town adds to its fame

Visiting hours:

  • Open to visitors from 1 PM to 4 PM

Duration of visit:

  • The sprawling temple complex along with the temple might take around 2 hours if you are keen to enjoy the serenity of the place

Tickets:

  • Entry is free for all

 

Pawanagar

Pawanagar, also known as Fazilnagar or Pawapuri, is located 22 kilometers east of Kushinagar. It is believed that Lord Mahavira died here in 543 BC and attained Nirvana. It is thus regarded as a holy place for the Jains. To commemorate Mahavira’s death, a beautiful temple has been constructed here. It houses a magnificent Manasthambha and four artistically carved idols.

Jain devotees from all parts of the world visit the town on Kartik Purnima and Deepawali. On Nirvana Diwas, processions are led out in celebration of the Nirvana Mahotsav.

This place is also regarded holy by the Buddhists as it is believed that Lord Buddha had rested here, on his way to Kushinagar from Vaishali, and accepted a meal of mushrooms from his disciple Chund Kamara.

Famous for: 

  • It is a holy site for the Jains and the Buddhists alike. It draws Jain tourists from all over the world during the celebration of Nirvana Mahotsav.

Visiting hours:

  • It is a town and as such open at all times

Duration of visit:

  • Should be within 1 to 2 hours

Tickets:

  • Entry fee is not applicable
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