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The Buddhist Destinations in India

KUSHINAGAR

KUSHINAGAR: A small dusty town in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar is the place where Lord Gautam Buddha breathed his last. The religious significance of Kushinagar can be perceived by the fact that a large number of followers visit this place everyday. This is also the place where Lord Buddha preached his last sermon and said, /"All things must pass. Decay is inherent in all things".

Kushinagar was an important centre under Mauryan King Ashoka, a great Buddhist follower. Most of the religious structures here were constructed between 3rd century BC and 5th century AD. For a long time Kushinagar remained lost in the jungles and was unknown to the world till 19th century when the British rediscovered it in 1880. Extensive excavations have indicated the presence of a large number monks here as late as 11th century AD. A majority of tourists come to Kushinagar during Buddha Purnima to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha. The place has a tropical climate with extreme temperatures during summers and winters. Winter days are pleasant with dry weather and clear sky.

One of the four major centres of Buddhism along with Lumbini, Bodhgaya and Sarnath, there are many places of religious importance in Kushinagar. Rambhar Stupa is the most important landmark of Kushinagar. The stupa is said to have been built on the same spot where Lord Buddha was cremated in 483 BC. Mahaparinirvana Temple is another important attraction in Kushinagar with a huge statue of Lord Buddha in reclining position. Mathakuar Shrine is the place where Lord Buddha had given his last sermon. There are many modern temples, stupas, and shrines in Kushinagar built by various Buddhist countries. A museum here houses objects found during the excavation of Kushinagar.

Entire Eastern India and some neighbouring places in Nepal are full of places closely associated with life and times of Lord Buddha. The region has a history dating back to several centuries before Christ. Many of the dynasties of this region gave patronage to Buddhism. Gorakhpur is a major railway junction and the best place from where you can visit the Buddhist pilgrimage centres like Kushinagar, Kapilavastu, and Lumbini. Kapilavastu was the capital of Shakya Clan, of which Gautam Buddha was a prince. Lumbini is the place where Lord Buddha was born and named Siddhartha

LUMBINI

Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, was located in 1890 after being untraced for 1,500 years.

Lumbini grove, the sacred site of Lord Buddha's birth is today a small village in Nepal, 27 km from Sonauli on the Indo-Nepal Border.

Three hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana, Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and erected a pillar there. This pillar, though broken, still remains at the site. It is known as the Rummendei Pillar after the earlier name of the place (modern name Rupandhei) in Nepal.

Air: Nearest airport is Varanasi (323 km) and Bhairawha, Nepal.

Rail: The nearest railway station is Gorakhpur 123 km away.

Road: Buses ply up to the Indian side of the border, from where the passengers have to disembark and take another bus after crossing the border check post.

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South India Tour
Buddhist Destinations in India
Delhi, Agra, Varanasi & Sarnath, Sankasia, Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Ajanta and Ellora, Sanchi, Sravasti
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