Kushinagar is a rural town situated in Kushinagar District
, Uttar Pradesh
. This place, which forms a part of the famous Buddhist trail encompassing Bihar
, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, is famous for the Mahaparinirvana (death) of Buddha
. Located at an altitude of 400 m above sea level, Kushinagar is 51 km north-east of Gorakhpur
Kushinagar was a major center of the erstwhile Malla kingdom and was known as Kasia or Kusinara. It was a major center of Buddhism during the rule of Emperor Ashoka, the third monarch of the Maurya Dynasty. References about this town had been found in the records of the Chinese travelers Fa-Hien, Hieun Tsang and I-tsing. With the decline of Buddhism, Kushinagar lost its shine and fell into neglect. In the last century, during the reign of Lord Alexander Cunningham, important remnants of the main site such as the Matha Kua and
Ramabhar Stupa were excavated, thus throwing light over its long lost past and cultural heritage.
Major tourist attractions in and around the town include
Mathakuar Shrine, Ramabhar Stupa, Japanese Temple, Kushinagar Museum, Japanese Garden, Buddha Vihar, Wat Thai Temple, Chinese Temple, Meditation Park and Birla Temple.
The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Gorakhpur, which is the headquarters of
North Eastern Railways, and is connected directly with Mumbai, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram and
National Highway 28 connects Kushinagar with Gorakhpur, Lumbini (173 km), Kapilavastu (148 km),
Sravasti (254 km), Sarnath (266 km) and Agra (680 km).