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Uttar Pradesh: KushiNagar
Kushinagar (Hindi: कुशीनगर), Kusinagar or Kusinara
The capital of the Mallas, it was known as Kushinara and even before, Kushibati, in 6th century BC.
It is 3 kilometers south west of Kashia Bazar. It is also called Kot or Matha Kuar. It is a pace of archeological importance as the excavation in 1908 to 1905 revealed the Kushinagar Buddha Pilgrimage as described by Hiuen Tsang. Artifacts like golden coins, gems, charcoal container, stupas and more have been discovered. Buddha died at the age of 80 years at Kushinagar, on the banks of Hiranyabati river. The Mallas divided the ash of his pier into 8 parts and built stupas. The buddhist style of architecture also took its birth. There is Nirvana temple and Mukut Vandana Stupa too.
A replica of the old temple have been built by the Burmese. It has a thoughtful Buddha, 20 feet long Budda on his death bed statue, built in 5th century BC by Haribala. The statue has a specialty: If you view it from the front, it is a smiling Buddha, if you view it from a side it is thoughtful buddha, while if you view it from his legs, the face is like a dead man's, depicting the three stages of life.
The surrounding areas of the temple bears testimony of the by gone ages, with destroyed pieces of construction everywhere.
There is Purana Ashram, Math, Temples, Matha Kuar mandir, and the ramavar stupa a kilometer and a half away. There are temples built by China, Burma and Tibet as well, all pertaining to Buddha.
Do check out the mesuem, which has a commendable collection of artifacts.
A British firm is also building the tallest statue of Earth, with Bronze and Steel, of a Smiling Buddha, as a tribute to friendship and world peace.
How to Reach: Kushinagar is best covered from Lucknow (278 Kms), the capital of UP. It can also be covered from Gorakhpur (2 hours). There is a air service by UP Air Buddha Circuit.
Where to stay: Pathik Nivas of UPSTDC, PWD IH, Mungadaw Arakanese, and Dharamshalas by Birlas, Chinese, Nepali etc. Not many shops or restaurants are there.