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Kushinagar
Kushinagar
(also known as Kusinagar, Kusinara, Kasia and Kasia Bazar) is a pilgrimage town and a Notified Area Council in the Kushinagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
located around NH-28, and is 52 km east of Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur
city. The name of "Kasia Bazaar" was changed to "Kushinagar" and then "Kasia Bazaar" became a municipality with the official name "Kushinagar". It is an important Buddhist
Buddhist
pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
attained Parinirvana
Parinirvana
after his death.[1] It is an international Buddhist
Buddhist
pilgrimage centre. The followers of Buddhism, especially from Asian countries, wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime.[2]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Demographics 3 History 4 Location of Gautama Buddha's death and parinirvana 5 Geography 6 Tourism 7 Government and politics 8 Education 9 Notable people 10 Gallery 11 References 12 Further reading 13 See also 14 External links

Etymology[edit] According to one theory, Kushwati was the capital of Kosala Kingdom and according to Ramayana
Ramayana
it was built by King Kush, son of Rama, protagonist of the epic Ramayana. While according to Buddhist tradition Kushawati was named prior to the king Kush. The naming of Kushwati is believed to be due to abundance of Kush grass found in this region.[2] Demographics[edit] As of 2011 India
India
census, Kushinagar
Kushinagar
had a population of 22,214,[3] with 3462 households. Males constitute 52% (11,502 Men) of the population and females 48% (10,712 Women). Kushinagar
Kushinagar
has an average literacy rate of 78.43%, higher than the national average of 74%, male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 72%. In Kushinagar, 11% of the population is under 10 years of age. Schedule Caste (SC) constitutes 5.03% while Schedule Tribe (ST) were 2.39% of total population in Kushinagar
Kushinagar
Nagar Panchayat. History[edit] The present Kushinagar
Kushinagar
is identified with Kusavati (in the pre-Buddha period) and Kushinara (in the post-Buddha period). Kushinara was the capital of Mallas which was one of the sixteen mahajanpads of the 6th Century BCE. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Harsha, and Pala dynasties. In the medieval period, Kushinagar
Kushinagar
had passed under the suzerainty of Kultury Kings. Kushinara continued to be a living city till the 12th century CE and was thereafter lost into oblivion. Padrauna
Padrauna
is believed to be ruled over by a Rajput adventurer, Madan Singh, in the 15th century CE.

Conjectural reconstruction of the main gate of Kusinagara circa 500 BCE adapted from this relief at Sanchi

However, modern Kushinagar
Kushinagar
came into prominence in the 19th century with archeological excavations carried out by Alexander Cunningham, the first Archeological Surveyor of India
India
and later followed by C.L. Carlleyle who exposed the main stupa and also discovered a 6.10 meters long statue of reclining Buddha in 1876. Excavations continued in the early twentieth century under J. Ph. Vogel.[4] He conducted archaeological campaigns in 1904-5, 1905-6 and 1906-7, uncovering a wealth of Buddhist
Buddhist
materials. Chandra Swami, a Burmese monk, came to India
India
in 1903 and made Mahaparinirvana
Mahaparinirvana
Temple into a living shrine. After independence, Kushinagar
Kushinagar
remained the part of district Deoria. On 13 May 1994, it came into being as a new district of Uttar Pradesh.[5] Location of Gautama Buddha's death and parinirvana[edit]

Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar

In 1896, Waddell suggested that the site of the death and parinirvana of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
was in the region of Rampurva.[6] However, according to Maha-parinirvana Sutta, the Buddha made his journey to Kushinagar, died there and wherein he was cremated.[7][8] Modern scholarship, based on archaeological evidence, believes that the Buddha died in Kushinagar, close to the modern Kasia (Uttar Pradesh).[9][10][11][12] Ashoka
Ashoka
built a stupa and pilgrimage site to mark Buddha's parinirvana in Kushinagara.[13] The Hindu kings of Gupta dynasty period (4th to 7th century CE) helped greatly enlarge the Nirvana
Nirvana
stupa and Kushinagar
Kushinagar
site, building a temple with reclining Buddha.[14][15] This site was abandoned by Buddhist
Buddhist
monks around 1200 CE, who fled to escape the invading Muslim army, after which the site decayed over the Islamic rule in India
India
that followed.[16][17] The British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham
Alexander Cunningham
rediscovered Kushinagara in the late 19th century, and his colleague A. C. L. Carlleyle unearthed the 1,500-year-old Buddha image.[15][18][19] The site has since then become an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.[7][20] Archaeological evidence from the 3rd century BCE suggests that the Kushinagara site was an ancient pilgrimage site.[7] Geography[edit] Kushinagar
Kushinagar
is a nagar palika situated at 53 km east from Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur
on the National Highway-28, lying between latitude 26°45´N and 83°24´E. Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur
is the main railway terminus for Kushinagar while air strip of UP Civil Aviation is situated in Kasia, 5 km away from Kushinagar, currently being developed as an International Airport by Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Government and Government of India.[21] Tourism[edit] Parinirvana
Parinirvana
Stupa

The Parinirvana
Parinirvana
Temple with the Parinirvana
Parinirvana
Stupa, Kushinagar

The reclining Nirvana
Nirvana
statue of the Buddha is inside the Parinirvana Stupa. The statue is 6.10 metres long and is made of monolith red-sand stone. It represents the "Dying 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.[22] Nirvana
Nirvana
Chaitya (Main Stupa) Nirvana
Nirvana
Chaitya is located just behind the Main Parinirvana
Parinirvana
Temple. It was excavated by Carlleyle in the year 1876. During excavations, a copper plate was found, which contained the text of the "Nidana-Sutra" which concluded the statement that plate had been deposited in the Nirvana-Chaitya by one Haribala, who also installed the great Nirvana Statue of Buddha in the temple front.[22] Ramabhar Stupa
Stupa
Ramabhar Stupa, also called a Mukutbandhan-Chaitya, is the cremation place of Buddha. This site is 1.5 km east of the main Nirvana
Nirvana
Temple on the Kushinagar-Deoria road.[22] 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
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.[22] Other major places

Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple: Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple is a marvel of Buddhist
Buddhist
architectural grandeur of modern times.[22] Wat
Wat
Thai Temple: It is a huge complex built in a typical Thai-Buddhist architectural fashion.[22] Ruins and brick structures: These are located around the main Nirvana Temple and Main Stupa. These are the remains of various monasteries of different sizes constructed from time to time in the ancient period.[22] Several museums, meditation parks and several other temples based on architecture of various eastern countries.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
has proposed the Kushinagar-Sarnath Buddha Expressway to connect Buddhist
Buddhist
pilgrimage towns. The expressway will be around 200 km long and will reduce the distance from both town from Seven hours to one and half hours. Government and politics[edit]

Stupa
Stupa
ruins in Kushinagar.

Kushinagar
Kushinagar
comes under Kushi Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency) for Indian general elections. Current Member of Parliament from this constituency is Rajesh Pandey of Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
who defeated R. P. N. Singh of Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
in Indian general elections, 2014.[23] The current Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Kushinagar Assembly constituency is Rajnikant Mani Tripathi of Bharatiya Janata Party. Education[edit] Kushinagar
Kushinagar
has made a lot of progress in education in recent times. In the last decade,[when?] dozens of private and government institutes have been established at this little town. Here is a list of all educational institutes in Kushinagar: Government institutes

Buddha Post Graduate College, Kushinagar Buddha Intermediate College, Kushinagar

Polytechnic colleges

Government Polytechnic, Mujahana, Kushinagar Mooti Chand Polytechnic Institute, Kurmauta, Kushinagar

Other institutes

Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Kasia, Kushinagar Rahul Shishu Shiksha Niketan, Kushinagar Buddha Central Academy, Kasia, Kushinagar VIEIT Computer Education, NH-28, Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur
Road, Kushinagar Rahul Public School, Kushinagar Swargiya Foolmati Devi Kushinagar
Kushinagar
Public School, Kushinagar Linh-Son Buddhist
Buddhist
Intermediate College, Kushinagar Gyanlok College for Government Services, Kushinagar Nav Jeevan Mission School, Kasia, Kushinagar St. Xavier's High School, Kasia, Kushinagar Bright Children's Academy, Kasia, Kushinagar St. Joseph's School, Salemgarh, Kushinagar Gyan Bhoomi International School, NH-28, Kushinagar St. Thereses School, Padrauna, Kushinagar Malati Pandey Girls Inter College, Bhaluhi Madari Patti, Kasia, Kushinagar Holy Mother's English School, Gaura Khas, Kasaia Road Green Land Public School, Kasia Quantom Public School, Kasia S.D. Public School, Babhnauli Nirankari Inter College, Kasia Holy Mother's English School, Kasaia Road, Gaura Khas SP Montessori, Seorahi, Kushinagar

Medical institutions and hospitals There are two government and several private hospitals and clinics available at Kushinagar
Kushinagar
and Kasia. Noted ones are:

Government Hospital, Kasia Governmental Aayurvedic Hospital, Mahaparinirvana
Mahaparinirvana
Temple road Buddha National Hospital, NH 28 Qazi Nursing Home, Kasia Al-Shifa Medical College, Kasia Vartika Medical Center, Kasia Hitashi Hospital, Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur
Road, Kasia Sanjeevni Hospital, Sapha Road, Kasia Jeevan Jyoti Chikitsalaya, Kasia Hansraj Memorial Hospital, NH-28 Janta Hospital, Kasia

Notable people[edit]

Sachchidananda Vatsyayan 'Agyeya' (सच्चिदानंद हीरानंद वात्स्यायन 'अज्ञेय'), noted Hindi
Hindi
writer Ram Nagina Mishra, former Lok Sabha MP Baleshwar Yadav, former Lok Sabha MP Rajesh Pandey, member of 16th Lok Sabha, also served as a Member of Legislative Council in Uttar Pradesh R. P. N. Singh, former member of parliament from Indian National Congress, also served as Minister of State for Road and Transport, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas in the cabinet of former Prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh

Gallery[edit]

Mahasukhamdada Chin Thargyi Pagoda
Pagoda
(Burmese Temple)

Wat
Wat
Thai Temple

Buddha relic distribution site

Buddha's body was kept at this location for one week, after he attained Parinirvana.

Gautam Buddh's statue in Parinirvana, at the Mahaparinirvana
Mahaparinirvana
Temple

Ramabhar Stupa
Stupa
was built over a portion of the Buddha's ashes on the spot where he was cremated by the ancient Malla people.

Relief on base of Buddhist
Buddhist
statue

Stone plaque pointing towards Buddha relic distribution site

References[edit]

^ W. Owen Cole, Peggy Morgan Six Religions in the Twenty-First Century 2000 - Page 204 "Kushinara. Here, near modern Kasia in Uttar Pradesh, is the site of the Buddha's death. A temple commemorates the Buddha's final ..." ^ a b "Kushinagar". official government website of Kushinagar. Retrieved 17 July 2015.  ^ Census
Census
of India: Population Finder, http://censusindia.gov.in/PopulationFinder/View_Village_Population.aspx?pcaid=1249&category=N.P. ^ Vogel J Ph. (1950). "Some Buddhist
Buddhist
Monasteries in Ancient India". Journal of the Ceylon branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1: 27–32.  ^ " Kushinagar
Kushinagar
History". kushinagar.nic.in. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ "A Tibetan Guide-book to the Lost Sites of the Buddha's Birth and Death", L. A. Waddell. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1896, p. 279. ^ a b c Lars Fogelin (2015). An Archaeological History of Indian Buddhism. Oxford University Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0-19-994822-2.  ^ John Guy (1991). "The Mahabodhi temple". The Burlington Magazine. 133 (1059): 356–357. JSTOR 884751.  ^ United Nations (2003). Promotion of Buddhist
Buddhist
Tourism Circuits in Selected Asian Countries. United Nations Publications. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-92-1-120386-8.  ^ Kevin Trainor (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7.  ^ Elizabeth Lyons; Heather Peters; Chʻeng-mei Chang (1985). Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-934718-76-9. ; Fred S. Kleiner (2009). Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives. Cengage. pp. 13, 31. ISBN 0-495-57367-1.  ^ Huntington, John C (1986), "Sowing the Seeds of the Lotus" (PDF), Orientations, September 1986: 47, archived from the original (PDF) on Nov 28, 2014  ^ Akira Hirakawa; Paul Groner (1993). A History of Indian Buddhism: From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 101. ISBN 978-81-208-0955-0.  ^ Gina Barns (1995). "An Introduction to Buddhist
Buddhist
Archaeology". World Archaeology. 27 (2): 166–168. doi:10.1080/00438243.1995.9980301.  ^ a b Robert Stoddard (2010). "The Geography of Buddhist Pilgrimage
Buddhist Pilgrimage
in Asia". Pilgrimage and Buddhist
Buddhist
Art. Yale University Press. 178: 3–4.  ^ Richard H. Robinson; Sandra Ann Wawrytko; Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu (1996). The Buddhist
Buddhist
Religion: A Historical Introduction. Thomson. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-534-20718-2.  ^ Mark Juergensmeyer; Wade Clark Roof (2011). Encyclopedia of Global Religion. SAGE Publications. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-4522-6656-5.  ^ Asher, Frederick (2009). "From place to sight: locations of the Buddha´s life". Artibus Asiae. 69 (2): 244.  ^ Himanshu Prabha Ray (2014). The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation. Routledge. pp. 74–75, 86. ISBN 978-1-317-56006-7.  ^ Lars Fogelin (2006). Archaeology of Early Buddhism. AltaMira Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0-7591-1444-9.  ^ " Kushinagar
Kushinagar
geography". kushinagr.nic.in. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b c d e f g "Places in Kushinagar". kushinager.nic.in. Retrieved 17 July 2015.  ^ " Kushinagar
Kushinagar
Loksabha". elections. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

A Literary History of Deoria & Kushinagar
Kushinagar
by M.A. Lari Azad (USM 1998 Ghaziabad) Patil, D R (1981). Kusīnagara, New Delhi : Archaeological Survey of India.

See also[edit]

Varanasi

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kushinagar.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kushinara.

Official Photo Gallery of Kushinagar Entry on Kusinara (Kushinagar) in the Dictionary of Pali
Pali
Proper Names Photos of Kushinagar
Kushinagar
ruins and stupas Photos of Kushinagar Kushinagar
Kushinagar
Travel Guide Kushinagar
Kushinagar
Photo Gallery, Temples At Kushinagar Kushinagar, Archaeological Survey of India, Sarnath
Sarnath
Circle

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