Kushinagar Travel Guide
Kushinagar Travel Guide: Another site on the Buddha trail, Kushinagar is held in great reverence by the believers. For, it was here that his teachings reached a culmination –the body left its mortal coils and he quietly ascended to Nirvana (bliss). And as always, a legend is attached to it. Poisoned by his own disciple, the Lord was taken ill one night at the ripe old age of 80. He desired to leave his corporeal body at the Sal grove on the banks of the Hiranyavati River in Kushinagar. On a bed which Ananda had prepared under two Sal trees, after giving his last sermon about the ephemeral nature of existence, the Lord entered the sphere of No Nothingness then the sphere of Infinite Consciousness, then the sphere of Neither Perception, nor Non-Perception.
Today, Kushinagar is being rediscovered and it has turned into a center for international Buddhism. Myriad viharas, including a Tibetan gompa devoted to Sakyamuni, a Burmese vihara, and temples from China and Japan have sprung and continue to pull the faithful.
Places to visit in Kushinagar
Located in a verdant park, the Nirvana Stupa, dates back to the Kumaragupta It’s reign (413-55AD). In the early hours of the evening, the mellow light from the candles and the chanting of mantras render a sacred aura to the temple. The Mahaparinirvana temple enshrines a 6 meter long statue of the Buddha in the Parinirvana (reclining) posture. Carved from black stone, the statue now looks metallic gold because of the application of gold leaves by pilgrims.
The single circular chamber is brilliantly lit through small, stained-glass windows and houses a golden Buddha image.
Popularly believed to be the place, where Buddha was created by the Mallas, the Nirvana Temple is surrounded by rice, wheat and cane fields.
Mata Kaur Shrine
Houses a 10th century blue schist image of the Buddha.
Chandramani Bhikshu Dharamasala
The oldest monastery in Kushinagar, it houses marble images of the Buddha and the White Tara.
The Sri Lanka -Japan monastery
has an Ashta Dhatu (eight metals) statue of the Buddha flanked by Japanese – style portraits of his ten principal bhikshus.
Next to the meditation centre of the Sri Lanka Japanese Foundation is the new Kushinagar Museum.
How to Reach Kushinagar
Kushinagar is connected by road to Gorakhpur, that is further linked by air to Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow and Varanasi.Rail: The nearest railway station is at Gorakhpur and that is linked to important destinations. Kushinagar is well connected to other parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh by bus. There are regular buses to Gorakhpur (51 km), Lumbini (173 km), Kapilavastu (148 km), Sravasti (254 km), and Sarnath (266 km), and Agra (680 km).