Kushinagar is celebrated as the place where the Buddha died and was cremated and passed into parinirvana. It was here that the Tathagata, the reciter of truth, breathed his last with the last words. A temple dedicated to the event - the Mahaparinirvana temple today stands amidst a serene 'sal' grove. The huge statue of the Reclining Buddha, excavated in 1876 at the temple, is one of the most momentous of all sights for the devout.
The whole of Kushinagar, since the Mahaparinirvana of Gautam Buddha, was turned into a memorial site with stupas including the relic stupa-Mukutbandhana and Gupta period Chaitayas and Viharas, built by the devout kings. It is one of 4 major Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Monasteries established after the death of Buddha flourished here until the 13th century.
In all there are 8 groups of monasteries, stupas and images, indicating that Kushinagar was a substantial community.
Often called the 'open air art gallery of Rajasthan', the region of medieval Shekhawati in northeastern Rajasthan lies in the ...