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Tourist Places To Visit In Kushinagar
Kushinagar is amongst one of the four holy sites that are very significant to Buddhism and its people. Every monument or stupa in Kushinagar is a remembrance of the life of Lord Buddha and this makes Kushinagar an important destination for Buddhists. The city of Kushinagar was excavated a long time ago and some magnificent stupas and temples were discovered. Various tourist places to visit in Kushinagar include the beautiful Birla Temple that was recently built, the Mahaparinirvana Temple that houses the idol of Lord Buddha in a sleeping position and many more religious attractions that will give you an insight of this beautiful city. Below are some of the places you may want to visit on your trip to Kushinagar.
Located at a distance of 1.5 km from the Nirvana Temple, the Ramabhar Stupa is also known as Mukta-Bandhan in old Buddhist scriptures. The Stupa is of great religious significance to Buddhists all over the world as it is said that this is the exact spot where Lord Buddha was cremated in 483 B.C. The Malla Kings who ruled Kushinagar in the time when Buddha was alive are said to have built the Stupa; the Stupa is so ancient, one can understand this by the design and the structure. The Stupa is made out of bricks and is 14.9 m high; it is set up on top of a mound that stands right next to the Kushinagar-Deoria road. The Ramabhar Stupa is a must visit in Kushinagar and an important location for the follower of Buddha.
One of the most beautiful and revered temples in Kushinagar is the Birla Temple, situated close to the nirvana site of Gautam Buddha. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses a statue of him sitting in an erect posture on tiger skin. Also, when you go visit the temple, there are provisions made by the temple authorities to relax and stay close; at reasonable rates you can find a decent place to accommodate yourself and your family in the temple vicinity. This is one of the newer structures that is built by the Birla Group and is visited by many Buddhists as well as Hindus every year.
The Mahaparinirvana Temple is said to be one of the most sacred shrines for Buddhists across the world. The structure consists of a 6.10 m long idol of Lord Buddha in a sleeping position. It is said that this idol is a depiction of the position he left his mortal body in and attained salvation. The structure of the sleeping Buddha is placed on a brick platform and was built by one of Buddha’s disciple back in 5th century AD. The statue of Buddha in the lying position was made with red sandstone of Chunar and is said to be the ideal position for Mahaparinirvana. Thousands flock to this stupa every year to see this beautiful stupa.
The Nirvana Stupa is situated right behind the Mahaparinirvana Temple and is also known as tye Nirvana Chaitya. The stupa is 2.74 m high and it also has a dome that is 15.81 m high; all of this stands on the same platform along with the temple structure. The stupa was excavated by an archeologist named General A Cunningham in 1876 and was then restored to its original state that very year. The entire monument was constructed by the Mallas, so that they can preserve the relics of Buddha. It is said that this monument was brought all the way from Mathura to Kushinagar and was established here by a disciple of Lord Buddha.
The Mathakaur Shrine is one of the visited monuments in Kushinagar and is close to other important monuments like the Nirvana Stupa. Inside this structure, you can find a statue of Lord Buddha that is 6 m long and is made out of Chunar and Stucco stone. The statue of Buddha retains the Bhumi Sparsh Mudra which is a depiction of the last few moments of his life before he attained salvation. According to local people in the region, this was the place where Lord Buddha gave his last sermon before he died. This shrine is considered very pious by Buddhists.
The Kushinagar Museum, also known as the Buddha Museum is one of the most visited museums in the region. It was built in 1992 and comprises of exhibits that relate to the times and life of Lord Buddha. The museum is situated 1 km from the city bus stand and is very close to Mahaparinirvana Temple; it is easy to get to. Ancient archeological findings from excavations and wealth from ancient eras are exhibited in the museum, depicting the existence of a rich culture and heritage in Kushinagar. You can see different items like icons of Buddha, scriptures, terracotta items, statues, paintings, coins, bricks and various other items. This is a great place to attain knowledge and learn about the history and life of Buddha.
The Japanese Temple in Kushinagar is a unique structure in Kushinagar. The Temple is famous as you can view the magnificent Ashta Dhatu or the Eight Metals statue of Lord Buddha. This temple attracts a lot of tourists that come here to see this unique statue and offer their prayers. The statue was originally brought from Japan and was in a dismantled form; once it reached Kushinagar, it was brought back to its beautiful self. This temple was built by the Atago Isshin World Buddhist Cultural Association and has only one chamber that houses this magnificent piece. The statue is also lit through a stained glass window that makes it look even more amazing, attracting a lot of tourists from all over the world.
Wat Thai Temple
Built by Buddha devotes from Thailand, the Wat Thai Temple is also known as Wat Thai Kushinara Chalermaraj Temple. This temple was built to celebrate the golden jubilee of the throne accession of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This structure was completed in the year 2001 and opened to the public as well; the funds to build the temple were collected from donations of the Tahi Buddhists. The Wat Thai Temple is built in a Thai-Buddhist style and is situated amongst dense trees, plants and shrubs. Beside the temple, you can also find a monastery, a garden and even a library.