|• Type||Nagar Panchayat|
|• District Magistrate||Mr. Shambhu Kumar|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Kushinagar, Kusinagar or Kusinara (कुशीनगर) is a town and a nagar Panchayat in the Kushinagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh located around NH-28, and is 52 km east of Gorakhpur city. It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death. Outside India, it is an International Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre. The followers of Buddhism, especially from Asian countries, wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime.
According to one theory, Kushwati was capital of Kosala Kingdom and according to 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.
As of 2011 India census, Kushinagar had a population of 22,214, with 3462 households. Males constitute 52% (11,502 Men) of the population and females 48% (10,712 Women). 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 Nagar Panchayat.
The present Kushinagar is identified with Kushawati( in pre-Buddha period ) and Kushinara (in Buddha period). Kushinara was the capital of Mallas which was one of the sixteen mahajanpads of the 6th Century B.C. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta and Harsha dynasties.
In medieval period, Kushinagar had passed under the suzerainty of Kultury Kings. Kushinara continued to be a living city till the 12th Century A.D. and was thereafter lost into oblivion. Padrauna is believed to be ruled over by a Rajput adventurer, Madan Singh in the 15th century A.D.
However, modern Kushinagar came into prominence in the 19th Century with archeological excavations carried out by Alexander Cunningham, the first Archeological Surveyor of 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. He conducted archaeological campaigns in 1904-5, 1905-6 and 1906-7, uncovering a wealth of Buddhist materials.
Chandra Swami, a Burmese Monk, came to India in 1903 and made "Mahaparinirvana Temple" into a living shrine.
Location of Gautama Buddha's death and parinirvana
In 1896, Waddell suggested that the site of the death and parinirvana of Gautama Buddha was in the region of Rampurva. However, according to Maha-parinirvana Sutta, the Buddha made his journey to Kushinagar, died there and wherein he was cremated. Modern scholarship, based on archaeological evidence, believes that the Buddha died in Kushinagar, close to the modern Kasia (Uttar Pradesh).
Ashoka built a stupa and pilgrimage site to mark Buddha's parinirvana in Kushinagara. The Hindu kings of Gupta dynasty period (4th to 7th century CE) helped greatly enlarge the Nirvana stupa and Kushinagar site, building a temple with reclining Buddha. This site was abandoned by Buddhist monks around 1200 CE, who fled to escape the invading Muslim army, after which the site decayed over the Islamic rule in India that followed. The British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham rediscovered Kushinagara in late 19th-century and his colleague A. C. L. Carlleyle unearthed the 1,500 year old Buddha image. The site has since then become an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Archaeological evidence from the 3rd century BCE suggests that the Kushinagara site was an ancient pilgrimage site.
Kushinagar is situated at 53 km east from Gorakhpur on the National Highway -28, lies between latitude 26° 45´ N and 83° 24´ E. Gorakhpur is the main railway terminus for Kushinagar while air strip of U.P. Civil Aviation is available in Kasia, 5 km. from Kushinagar.
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 "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.
Nirvana Chaitya (Main Stupa)
Nirvana Chaitya is located just behind the Main 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.
Ramabhar 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 Temple on the Kushinagar-Deoria road.
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.
Other major places
- Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple: Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple is a marvel of Buddhist architectural grandeur of modern times.
- Wat Thai Temple: It is a huge complex built in a typical Thai-Buddhist architectural fashion.
- Ruins & 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.
- Several museums, meditation parks and several other temples based on architecture of various eastern countries.
The Government of Uttar Pradesh has proposed Kushinagar-Sarnath Buddha Expressway to connect 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
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 who defeated R. P. N. Singh of Indian National Congress in Indian general elections, 2014.
Notable People From Kushinagar
- Sachchidananda Vatsyayan 'Agyeya' (सच्चिदानंद हीरानंद वात्स्यायन 'अज्ञेय') was a notable Indian Hindi Writer.
- Ram Nagina Mishra was a former Loksabha M.P. from Kushinagar.
- Baleshwar Yadav was a former Loksabha M.P. from Kushinagar.
- Rajesh Pandey is a member of 16th Loksabha from Kushi Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency) and also served as a Member of Legislative Council in Uttar Pradesh.
- R. P. N. Singh was former member of parliament from Kushi Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency) from Indian National Congress. He also served as Minister of State for Road and Transport, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas in Dr. Manmohan Singh Cabinet. He was also member of many parliamentary committees.
Kushinagar has made a lot of progress in education in recent times. Since last decade - dozens of private and governmental institutes have been launched at this little town. Here is a list of all educational institutes at Kushinagar:
- Buddha Post Graduate College, Kushinagar
- Buddha Intermediate College, Kushinagar
- Mooti Chand Polytechnic Institute, Kurmauta, Kushinagar
- Buddha Central Academy, Kasia, Kushinagar
- Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Kasia, Kushinagar
- VIEIT Computer Education NH-28, Gorakhpur Road Kushinagar
- Rahul Public School, Kushinagar
- Rahul Shishu Shiksha Niketan, Kushinagar
- Swargiya Foolmati Devi Kushinagar Public School, Kushinagar
- Linh-Son 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
Medical institutions and hospitals in Kushinagar
There are two governmental and several private hospitals and clinics available at Kushinagar and Kasia. The popular ones are:
- Governmental Aayurvedic Hospital, Mahaparinirvana Temple road
- Buddha National Hospital, NH 28
- Government Hospital, Kasia
- Qazi Nursing Home, Kasia
- al-Shifa Medical College, Kasia
- Vartika Medical Center, Kasia
- Hitashi hospital,gorakhpur road,kasia
- Sanjeevni Hospital,sapha road,kasia
- Jeevan jyoti chikitsalaya,kasia
- Hansraj memorial hospital,NH-28
- Holy Mother's English School, Kasaia Road, Gaura Khas
- Janta Hospital, Kuasia
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