Mahaparinirvan Temple & Nirvana Stupa
About 500 mts. from entrance gate on Buddha Marg, Kushinagar, in the District of the same name, U.P., India
Sunrise-sunset, opens on all days
Historical & Religious
Oct.- April, Auspicious occasion Buddha Purnima Festival (April-May)- Buddha Smriti DayHow to reach
Hire a cycle rickshaw/ hired taxi/on foot from the bus stand
A must visit in Kushinagar. This temple stands amongst the ruins of various Buddhist Vihar (monastery) of different sizes, which were constructed from time to time in the ancient period, and has extensive lawns and a meditation garden, on a 2.74 mts. raised platform along with a stupa. It has a 6.1 mts long massive monolithic statue of Buddha carved out of one piece of red sandstone of Chunar in recumbent position (Mahaparinirvana Posture) reclining on the right side, with his face towards the west. The statue rests on the brick pedestal covered with stone slabs. The western face of the pedestal has a sculpture panel depicting the inscriptions of 5th century AD. The statue represents the very last moment of Buddha. The temple and vihar were built by Swami Haribala, a Buddhist follower. The structure was unearthed during the excavation started by General A. Cunningham, the first Archaeological Surveyor of India, in 1876, who found it in a much shattered condition lying on broken pedestal and the same was later restored by A.C.L. Carlleyle in 1876. Fa-Hein, the Chinese monk, who visited the Buddhist place of pilgrimages in India from 405-411 AD, saw many Buddhist stupas & monasteries at Kushinara. Ven Chandra Swami, a Burmese Monk, came to India in 1903 and made Mahaparinirvana temple into a living shrine. The present form of the temple was given in 1957 on the occasion of Buddha’s 2500th Jayanti Celebrations.Nirvana Stupa:
This stupa is located just behind the Mahaparinirvana Temple (east of the Mahaparinirvana Temple) on the same platform. The stupa with its cylindrical base and dome is 15.81mts. high from the ground level. A copper plate with text of Nidan Sukta inscribed on it was found during excavations possibly deposited by Haribala in Nirvana Chaitya. Massive statue of Buddha in the front portion of the temple had also been installed by Haribala. Some silver coins in the copper vessels were also excavated. These coins apparently belong to Kumar Gupta (Emperor of Gupta Dynasty) in 8th century AD.