Think Buddhist circuit and you’ll come up with Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Sarnath and Sanchi. But often overlooked is Kushinagar, the Buddha’s final resting place. This humble town in eastern Uttar Pradesh was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Malla. It was a lost world for over 500 years before its chance rediscovery in the mid-19th century. Although several impressive new Buddhist temples have altered the town’s landscape, its main draws remain the historic stupas and viharas dating to the 3rd century BCE. Among these, the Mahaparinirvana Stupa and temple (the latter houses a stunning 1,500-year-old reclining Buddha) and the Muktabandhan Stupa (representing the Buddha’s cremation site) are the most spectacular. Gorakhpur, 52 km away, is a convenient railhead.

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

There are a few good accommodation options in Kushinagar. Choose from The Imperial (Tel: 05564-273096/ 97; Tariff: 6,000-12,000), Lotus Nikko Hotel (Tel: 273026, Cell: 09935071868; Tariff: 4,500-10,500), The Royal Residency (Tel: 273011-14; Tariff: 6,500) or UP Tourism’s Rahi Pathik Niwas (Tel: 273045; Tariff: 800-2,000) located on Buddha Marg. All have restaurants.

Courtesy Wikipedia
Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar
Buddha’s cremation stupa, Kushinagar

When to go October-March Location Town and district in eastern UP Air Nearest airport: Gorakhpur Rail Nearest rail: Deoria Sadar

THE INFORMATION

Tourist/ Wildlife Offices

Department of Tourism

UP Tourism

Rajarshi Purshottam Das Tandon Paryatan

Bhawan

C-13, Vipin Khand

Gomti Nagar

Lucknow

Tel: 0522-2308017, 2308916

W up-tourism.com

Tourist Office

UP Tourism

36, Chandralok Building,

Janpath

New Delhi

Tel: 011-23350048, 23711296, 23322251

Sardhana

Regional Tourist Office

UP Tourism

Vikas Bhawan, Meerut

Tel: 0121-2656164

STD code 0121

Dudhwa NP

Deputy Director

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

Palia, Kheri

Tel: 05871-233485

W dudhwatigerreserve.

STD code 05871

Bateshwar

Tourist Office

UP Tourism

64, Taj Road, Agra

Tel: 0562-2226431

STD code 0562

 

THE INFORMATION

National Chambal Sanctuary

Deputy Conservator of Forests

Chambal Wildlife Division

Agra

Tel: 0562-2530091

Divisional Forest Officer

Social Forestry Division

Agra

Tel: 2331297

STD code 0562

Chitrakoot

Tourist Office

UP Tourism

Tourist Bungalow Campus

Chitrakoot Dham. Tel: 05198-224218

STD code 05198

Kushinagar

UPSTDC

Pathik Niwas, Buddha Marg

Kushinagar. Tel: 05564-273045

STD code 05564