|Location||Located at the junction of NH-28 (connecting Lucknow to Mokama) at distance of 51 km from Gorkahpur city, in the north eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Distances||Sravasti- 274 km, Kapilvastu-157 km, Sarnath-271 km, Kaushambi 391 km, Lumbini-170 km, Deoria (33 km.), Padrauna the headquarter of Kushinagar district (19 km.)|
|Climate||Summer 43°C to 30°C, winter 25°C to 5°C|
|Best time||October -April|
|Must Visit||Mahaparinirvana Temple, Wat Thai Temple & Rambhar Stupa|
|Language spoken||Hindi and English|
|Local Transport||Kushinagar is a very small place. One can visit all the shrines & other buildings on foot or by hiring locally available cycle rickshaw|
|Festival/Fairs||Buddha Festival on Buddha Purnima, during April-May|
Kushinagar, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most frequented Buddhist pilgrimages in India visited by Indian and International Tourists. This place has been identified by archaeologists, with Kushinara (capital of Malla dynasty). It was one of the famous sixteen Mahajanpadas of the 6th century BC. It is believed that when Buddha turned 80 he predicted at Vaishali (Bihar) that after three months, on the day of Maghi Purnima, he would die at Kushinara. On this day he arrived at Kushinara (present Kushinagar) in 543 BC and preached his last sermon. This place is venerated as the site of Buddha&s Mahaparinirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death) near Hiranyavati River under the Sal tree at the age of 80 on full moon day (Vaishakh Purnima) and was cremated in Rambhar Stupa. The place acquired great historical importance with the discovery of rich archaeological remains of Buddha&s time. Fa-Hien, the Chinese monk, who visited the Buddhist places of pilgrimage in India from 405-411 AD, saw at Kushinagar many Buddhist stupas and monasteries and Hiuen Tsang has also mentioned Kushinara in his travelogues. These recordings by Chinese travellers provided vital clues for the excavations done later. The city continued to be a living city till 12th century A.D. and thereafter was lost into oblivion.
Modern excavations were started by Lord Alexander Cunnigham, the first Archaeological Surveyor of India and A.C.L. Carlleyle in 1961 and later Archaeological Survey of India conducted the excavations between 1904-1912 established the antiquity of this place. These excavations revealed that there was a Buddhist Vihar (Monastery) here.
All the monuments and facilities are located along Buddha Marg, a road bifurcating from NH-28. Towards the eastern end of this road various Buddhist countries of the world have built many Budhha temples. Many National & International societies and groups have established their centres here, eg., Japanese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Burmese, Tibet, Bhutan, Korean etc.
Being a place of great historical significance and renowned Buddhist pilgrim spot, it invites Buddhists from all over the world particularly from Nepal, Tibet, China, Burma Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. every year. Almost all the monks and pilgrims stay in the accommodations provided inside the premises of the temples of their respective countries.
It is a matter of great pride for Eastern Uttar Pradesh that most of the Buddhist sites are situated here. Out of six sites of Buddhist Circuit located in Uttar Pradesh five are located in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The 2550th year of Lord Buddha'&s Mahaparinirvana was celebrated at Kushinagar in 2006-2007.
How to reach
By Road: Nearest railhead Gorakhpur, the headquarter of North Eastern Railway, is 51 Km and is connected to all major cities of India while Deoria railway station is 35 km. Kushinagar is not connected with rail so one has to go to Gorakhpur by road to catch the trains.
By Rail :Kushinagar is connected only by road. U.P. Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses as well as privates buses are plying from Gorakhpur or taxi can be hired from Gorakhpur through travel agents.
By Air: Air strip Kasia (5 km) is under construction. Gorakhpur Airport is 45 km away but it does not have regular flights from the rest of India. Lucknow (Amausi Airport)-252 km while Varanasi (Babatpur Airport) 288 km. This airport acts as the primary airport for Kushinagar.