Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kushinagar

History of Kushinagar : In ancient times, Kushinagar was known as Kushinara and was a small town of not great significance in the Malla dynasty. The actual site of the original town has not been established, but the site of the Buddha’s death was one of the four major sites of Buddhist pilgrimage. It was here that the Buddha died and was cremated and achieved the Parinirvana. The last rites were performed with all the honour that is due to a universal monarch (Chakravartin), as he was held in reverence by all people. The kings of eight Indian states of the Gangetic basin came for the funeral rites and divided his ashes in eight parts. Each king carried these back to his kingdom and built a ‘Stupa’ over the mortal remains of Lord Buddha. On the Buddha’s death, the various monasteries were established which flourished until the last Buddhist monastery was destroyed at Nalanda in the 13th century. There were eight groups of monasteries, stupas and images, indicating that Kushinagar was a substantial community. It was here that the Tathagata, the reciter of truth, breathed his last days. The whole of Kushinagar was turned into a memorial site with stupas and Gupta period Chaitayas and Viharas, built by the kings. Fa Hien, Hieun Tsang and I Tsing, the Chinese travellers visited Kushinagar during different centuries and recorded a graphic account of the place which later fell to bad times, due to lack of patronage. Some of these recordings provided the vital clues for excavations done centuries later by Sir Alexander Cunningham and the Archaeological Survey of India in 1904-5. A shaft was driven through the centre of the stupa which brought to light a copper-plate placed on the mouth of a relic casket in the form of a copper vessel with charcoal, cowries, precious stones and a gold coin of Kamaragupta I.

Mahaparinirvana Temple :
This temple stands on the same plinth as the main Nirvana Stupa behind it. The reclining Nirvana statue of Lord Buddha inside the temple is 6.10 metres long and is made of monolith red - sand stone. It represents the "Dieing - 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. There is an inscription datable to the 5th Century A.D. recording that the statue was "the appropriate religious gift of the Mahavihara Swami Haribala".

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. A copper vessel was also recovered which contained silver coins of Kumar Gupta, an emperor of Gupta Dynasty, 5th Century A.D.

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. this Stupa has a huge circular drum with a diameter of 34.14 meters on the top consisting of the two or more terraces and is 47.24 meters in diameter at the base.

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.



Meditation Park:
Recently developed near the main Nirvana Temple, this park has artificial water bodies with raised lush-green platforms for meditation surrounded by Sal-trees and other afforestations, representing a complete Buddhist-ambience.


Indo-Japan-Srilanka Temple :    
Indo-Japan-Srilanka temple  is a marvel of Buddhist architectural grandeur of modern imes.


Wat Thai Temple :
It is a huge complex built in a typical Thai-Buddhist architectural fashion.



Museum :
Built by State Government in Buddhist-architectural ambience. Ancient archeological discoveries and antiquities are displayed there. Visiting hours are 10:00 am to 17:00 PM (except Mondays).



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.



Others :
There are several other nearby temples to be worth seen like Linh Son Chinese Temple, Myan Mar (Burmese) Temple, Birla Hindu Buddha temple, Japanese Stupa, Korean Temple, Shiva temple, Ram Janaki Temple etc.


Pawanagar /Pawapuri(Fazilnagar) :

It is a 'Nirvana' place of Lord Mahavir, 22 kms east of Kushinagar on the National Highway-28. Followers of Jain sect organise a festival here on the next day of Deepawali every year, when Lord Mahavir has attained Salvation.It is also believed that Lord Buddha, while going to Kushinagar from Vaishali, stopped here to accept meals from one of his disciples 'Chund'. Here he ate 'Sukar-Maddav' (Mushrooms) and developed dusentry which caused his death at Kushinagar.






Sun Temple, Turkpatti :
Situated 17 km east of Kushinagar on Kasia - Tamkuhi Road. There are huge and artistic   statues of Sun god, made of black stone.They were  recovered during excavations one of which is belonged to 4th - 5th Century A.D. and another 8th - 9th Century A.D.




Others

Kuber Asthan :

On Padrauna - Turkpatti route, this place has Shiv Temple, establishedby Kuber as per the saying. Lakhs of Shiv devotees offer JAl on Shivling on the 'Shivratri'.

Devraha Asthan:
3 kms from Padrauna cantonment, there is a huge ancient mount having three statues of Tirthankar MAhavir, tirthankar Neminath and Vishnu, one of the Trimurti of Hindu Gods. It is believed there stood a large Buddha Stupa also.

Kurukulla Asthan:
It is meditation centre of  'Aadi Shakti' Kurukulla Devi, setup by Nagarjun. It is situated on the river bank in dense forest 8 kms from Kasia - Tamkuhi road.

Sidhua Asthan :
Situated 4 kms from Padrauna - Tamkuhi road, it is famous 'Siddhi', place of gods.
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