Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture

Tripoto
16th Dec 2019
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Kushinagar also referred to as Kusinagar or Kusinara in ancient Buddhist scriptures is the site of the Lord Buddha Mahaparinirvana (death). It is located next to Kasia, a rural town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, 52 km from Gorakhpur, in northern India.

Kushinagar is one of the four major pilgrimage destinations in Buddhism been authorized by the Buddha himself. The other three sites are: Lumbini (birth); Bodhgaya (enlightenment); and Sarnath (first teaching).

History

Kushinagar was a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom of ancient India. Here near the Hiranyavati River, Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana , and was cremated.

Many of the ruined stupas and viharas at Kushinagara date back to 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD when prosperity was at its peak. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka is known to have contributed to significant construction at this site.

Prior to its rediscovery in the nineteenth century, there was a silence of more than half a millennium at Kasia. Due possibily to violent invasions, Kushinagar lost its vitality and eventually was neglected. The notable Buddha Temple, when rediscovered, was covered in a 40 foot high mound of bricks surrounded by a dense thorny forest.

Excavations began in the late 1800s and many important remnants of the main site such as the Matha Kuar and Ramabhar stupa were unveiled.

Day 1

I got a train from Kolkata to Gorakhpur. (Purvanchal express). After reaching Gorakhpur at around 10 a.m. I took a bus till kushinagar. Many cabs are also available but they can charge you a lot. And if you are travelling solo bus is the best option.

1. Kushinagar is around 52 km from gorakhpur.

I relaxed for the day after a tiring train and bus journey.

Kushinagar entry gate

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Buddha statue at the entrance

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Day 2

After waking up I sat out and there are plenty of small restaurants to eat from. And when you are in Uttar Pradesh the ideal breakfast has to be chana, samosa and chai.

At around 9 I went to visit all the places.

Note: the places to visit are all scattered within 2-3 kilometres. You can either book an rickshaw or just walk. I personally walked and enjoyed it fully.

The first place you would see is Linh-Son Vietnam Chinese Buddhist Temple 🌸

Linh-Son Vietnam Chinese Buddhist Temple ????

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The main temple complex

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Bonsai plants

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Ground floor temple complex

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

1st floor temple complex

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The second place is Mahasukhamdada Chan Thargyi Pagoda.

Entrance

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The temple provinvce

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Buddha sarovar

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The next place is Mahaparinirvana stupa. The reclining Nirvana statue of the Buddha is inside the Parinirvana Stupa. Statue is 6.10 metres long and is made of monolith red - sand stone. It represents the "Dieing - Buddha" reclining on his right side with his face towards the west. It is placed on a large brick-pedestal with stone-posts at the corners.

Note: photography is prohibited inside the stupa but I somehow convinced the guard and he allowed me.

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The fourth place is Matha-kuar shrine. A Colossal statue of Lord Buddha is installed, which is carved out of one block which represents Buddha seated under the "Bodhi Tree" in a pose known as " Bhumi Sparsh Mudra " (Earth touching attitude). The inscription at the base of statue is datable to the 10th or 11th Century A.D.

Note: the shrine was closed and I managed to click pictures from the windows.

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The next place on list is the Ramabhar Stupa, also called a Mukutbandhan-Chaitya, is the cremation-place of Buddha. This Site is 1.5 km east of the main Nirvana Temple.

Hiranyavati River is the place where that Lord Buddha took his last breath and was cremated at the Ramabhar Stupa.

Hiranyavati River is the place where that Lord Buddha took his last breath and was cremated at the Ramabhar Stupa.

The river is in a very bad state now Heavily polluted.

other places include the museum and other temples and dharmashalas build from findings by various other countries like Srilanka, Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Kushinagar museum

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

The place also is proud as it is the place where eminent Hindi writer "Sacchidanand Hiranand vatsyayan 'agyeya'"
It has a gallery and a garden(in ruins) devoted to the writer.

Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh
Photo of Kushinagar - a gem in Buddhism and Buddhist culture by Rounak Singh

Best time to visit: October to April

Once in Kushinagar, it appears that time has come to a complete halt. This sleepy town, with its serenity and unassuming beauty, absorbs visitors into a contemplative mood. It is this place that the Buddha had chosen to free himself from the cycles of death and life and, therefore, it occupies a very special space in the heart of every Buddhist and Indian.
It is a must visit. I felt peaceful and at the same time amazed with the abundance of cultural and architectural presentation from all over the world.  Overall i can say

"बुद्धं शरणं गच्छामि
धम्मं शरणं गच्छामि
संघं शरणं गच्छामि|"