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India India image, video clip, background information of Buddhism places in India and Nepal


9/6/59
Kushinagar, India part 1

Kushinagara, the capital of Mallas, also called as Kushinara, Kushigrama according to the Mahaparinirvana Sutta, is one of the four most sacred places as declared by Buddha himself. Here Buddha breathed his last and attained Parinirvana on the full moon day of the Vaishakha (April-May) month. The body is believed to have been cremated with due honours by the Mallas of Kushinagara near Makutabandhana Chaitya. After a gap of about two centuries, Kushinagara again came to prominance during the Mauryas and reached its peak of glory under the Guptas as revealed by numerous structural activities in the form of stupas, monasteries built during that period. The Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien (5th century A.D.) Hiuen-Tsang (7th century A.D.) and I-Tsing (8th century A.D.) who visited this place have left an elaborate account of the structural remains in their memoirs.

front view of Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

The remains unearthed here are the results of extensive excavations by Carlleyle in 1876 and later by archaeological survey of India between 1904-12. They comprise the main stupa, the Nirvana Temple on a raised platform surrounded by a group of monasteries on the western side, a group of small sized stupas with carved bricks and ornamental pilasters on the southern side, a large two tiered brick platform and small sized stupas partly concealed beneath the main stupa on the eastern side and votive stupas and monasteries on the northern side ranging in date from Mauryan period (3rd century B.C.) to (10th century A.D.) numerous antiquities such as inscribed clay seals, gold and silver coins, terracotta figurines have been recovered during the course of archaeological excavation.

side view of Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Stupa and Nirvana Temple

The main stupa with the shrine in front, form the focus of the extensive remains and both stand on the same platform of 2.74 m. in height. The stupa with its cylindrical base and dome is 19.81 m. high from the ground level. Excavation of the earlier ruins revealed a circular chamber at a depth of 4.27 m. with a copper vessel and a copper plate inscribed with Pratitya Samutpada Sutra and recording its deposition by one Haribala, in Gupta characters of fifth century A.D. Further down, at a depth of 10.36 m. a circular plinth of a small stupa with a figure of Buddha in Dhyana Mudra, stylistically datable to first century A.D. was discovered in 1927 A.D. The stupa was completely restored, out of the donation of Burmese devotees, in the same year.

Buddha statue inside Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Buddha statue inside Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

The Nirvana shrine houses, a colossal monolithic sand stone statue of Buddha in the reclining pose. The 6.1 m. long statue rests on a brick pedestal once covered with stone slabs. The western face of the pedestal has a sculpture panel depicting three mourning devotees and an inscription of fifth century A.D, recording the gift of the image by Haribala. Both the statue and the temple ruins were first discovered in 1876 A.D. and later on restored by Carlleyle. The present form of the temple has been given in 1956 A.D. on the occasion of Buddha’s 2500th Jayanti celebrations, as per the recommendations of a committee appointed by Union Government.

Bell in front of Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Bell in front of Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ruins around Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

history of Kushinagar
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

history of Mahaparinirvan Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ramabhar Stupa or Makutabandhana Chaitya
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ramabhar stupa

This stupa situated near a pond called Ramabhar perhaps represents the site of cremation of Lord Buddha. The Buddhist traditions refer to this stupa as Makutabandhana Chaitya. It was excavated in 1910 A.D. revealing remains of brick floor and corners of walls in the centre and a part of circular drum which was finally exposed in 1956 A.D. The huge circular drum of stupa measures 34.14 m. in diameter resting over a circular plinth with two or more terraces. The main stupa is surrounded by subsidiary structures besides votive stupas of which a large rectangular hall is interesting. A good number of clay seals, ornamental bricks etc. have been recovered in the excavations.

history of Ramabhar Stupa
or Makutabandhana Chaitya
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Wat Thai Kusinara Chalermraj
Thai Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Wat Thai Kusinara Chalermraj
Thai Temple
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Bhumi Sparsha Mudra
(Earth touching attitude)
Buddha statue
Matha Kuar Shrine
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Matha-Kuar Shrine

This shrine with a colossal statue of Buddha forms the part of a large monastic complex.
The statue, 3.05 m. in height, is carved out of blue stone of the Gaya region and represents Buddha under Bodhi tree in the Bhumisparsha Mudra (earth-touching attitude). The inscription on the pedestal of this image datable to 10-11th century A.D. records the construction of the shrine by a local Kalachuri chief.

The excavations, conducted in 1876 A.D. by Carlleyle and later by archaeologists revealed the original shrine on the west with the Buddha statue surrounded by an ambulatory path and a monastery attached to the east consisting of an open courtyard with rows of rooms on north, south and east. The existing temple housing the Buddha image was built in 1927 A.D.

The entire complex once formed part of a large group of subsidiary monuments surrounding the main stupa and Nirvana temple.

history of Matha-Kuar Shrine
& Bhumi Sparsha Mudra Buddha statue
Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India



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