Kushinagar is a town in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a place where people believe Gautama Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) attained Mahaparinirvana (peace of the soul) after his death. For this reason, is a popular international Buddhist pilgrimage centre.
Kushinagar has many attractions, most of which are associated with Buddhism and Lord Gautama Buddha – the places he visited, spent time at and attained Mahaparinirvana. Hence these are of historical as well as religious significance.
Here are the most popular sites to visit in Kushinagar:
- Mahaparinirvana temple – A temple at the spot where Gautama buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.
- Ramabhar Stupa – The actual cremation place of Gautama Buddha.
- Mathakuar Shrine – One of the important Buddhist shrines in the city.
- Japanese Temple – A Buddhist temple built in this city by a Japanese organization. The upper part of this temple is painted a shiny golden and looks very appealing on the inside too.
- Kuber Asthan – A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Kuber, the Hindu God of wealth. One of the few popular non-Buddhist sites in the city.
- Meditation Park – A beautiful and relatively newly-built park having some artificial water bodies and lots of lush greenery and flora. A lovely spot for spending some relaxed time. This park too, has a Buddhist ambience.
When in Kushinagar, one should must visit following Museums:
- Kushinagar Buddhist Museum – A museum that houses artefacts related to significant Buddhist icons, some architectural remains, bronzes, clay seals and Buddhist Thangkas (banner paintings). It also has some ancient coins of the Mallas, a sculpted image of Lord Buddha, a Stucco statue of Lord Buddha in his meditation posture.
As Kushinagar is a Buddhist center, the most important festival celebrated here is of course, Buddha Poornima. On this occasion, the three most important stages of Gautama Buddha's life, namely -Birth, Enlightenment, and Death - are celebrated. This usually falls in the months of April or May. Thousands of people who follow Buddhism, including leaders and common people, flock to Kushinagar during this time, to take part in the celebrations each year.
Kushinagar is not really a shopper’s paradise, but it does have some good malls and shopping spots for casual shopping or window shopping. Here are some such places to check out:
- Vishnu Barton Bhandaar
- Walk-In Mart
- Pathak Pustak Bhandaar (Book shop)
- Pawa Rediment Center
- Ankit Shopping Mall
- Vibhay Mall
- Ars Mall
- Chitranjan Mall
- City Mall
Kushinagar is popular for Buddhist, Tibetan and Thai foods. Some of the popular foods available here abundantly include Thukpa, Momos, Rice and Thai curries.
Some of the popular eateries to find these foods and more in the city include:
- Yama Cafe (probably the most popular with locals as well as tourists – for food and beverages)
- Taj Biryani & Restaurant
- Madhavpuria Refreshments
- Lumbini Pop Light Restaurant
- Haveli The Desi Adda
- The Tokyo – A multicuisine restaurant
Some of the best places for a comfortable stay in Kushinagar are:
- The Imperial, Kushinagar
- Singh Resort
- Kushi Palace
- Hotel The Ideal
- Hotel Radiance Paradise
- SanPark International Hotel
- Hotel Shivoy Vishesh
- Limewood Resort & Restaurant
Kushinagar city STD Code – 05564 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police - 100
- Women helpline – 1090
- National Ambulance Service – 1098
- Fire helpline – 101
- Traffic Police – 103
- Women Ambulance - 102
Hindi is the official language in kushinagar. But, language like Urdu is spoken as well.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Hello - Asalam u alaikum
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- Goodbye - khuda hafiz
- How old are you? - Aap ki umr kya hai?
- Congratulations - Mubarak ho
- What is this? - Yeh kya hai?