1. Mahaparinirvana Temple

Regarded probably as one of the most sacred shrines of the Buddhists across the world, Mahaparinirvana Temple is located in Kushinagar in UP. It houses the 6.10 m long idol of Lord Buddha lying in a position when he left his mortal remains at the age of 80 and achieved the supreme state of salvation or permanent bliss. The monolithic statue of Buddha is built out of a single piece of red sandstone of Chunar. It shows him reclining on his right side with his face facing the west. It was considered the right posture for Mahaparinirvana. The statue is built upon a large brick platform supported by stone pillars in its corners. There is an inscription on the platform stating that it was built by Swami Haribala, a disciple of the Buddha in 5th century AD. Both the temple and the vihar were a gift of a grateful disciple to his august teacher. The temple attracts huge crowds of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.


2. Ramabhar Stupa

Also called Mukutbandhan-Chaitya or Mukta-Bandhan Vihar in ancient Buddhist scriptures, Ramabhar Stupa is located approximately 1.5 km in the southeast of the Nirvana Temple. The site where the stupa stands is a highly venerated destination for the Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. It is believed that Buddha was cremated exactly at this spot after his death in 483 BC. According to Buddhist texts the stupa was constructed by the Malla Kings who ruled over Kushinagar during the lifetime of the Buddha. The design of its structure testifies to its ancient historic character. The stupa is built on a mound standing opposite the Kushinagar-Deoria road. It is built with bricks. With its circular base of 47.24 m, the stupa rises to a height of 14.9 m. Its drum like top has a diameter of 34.14 m. It is situated on the agricultural land having rice, sugarcane and wheat fields. There is also a pond-like water body close to it.


3. Matha Kuar Shrine

Located approximately 400 yards from the Parinirvan Stupa and Mahaparinirvana Temple, Matha Kuar Shrine, as it is locally called, houses a colossal idol of Buddha. It is 3.05 m tall and built out of a single block of blue stone brought from the Gaya region in Bihar. It is installed on a large brick platform. The idea was to present the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree in Bhumi Sparsh Mudra or an earth touching posture. The whole vision was a symbolic representation of the last spiritually charged moments in the life of the Buddha just before he attained Enlightenment and Nirvana. It is believed that he invoked the Earth to testify to the pious acts performed by him in his previous incarnations. The statue also bears an inscription that is largely illegible, but surely indicates the date of its construction to the 10th or 11th century. It is also believed that the Buddha delivered his last sermon at this place. The statue was found by Carlleyle in the course of excavations in 1876. It was broken in two pieces and was restored to its original form and installed in this temple in 1927. – Read Less Matha Kuar Shrine Photos

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