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Kushinagar (Kusinara), India
Creative Commons AttributionKushinagar - Credit: Prince Roy, Flickr

Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana (passed away), and was cremated, near the Hiranyavati river in Kushinagar (कुशीनगर). In ancient times, it was known as Kushavati and was a small city, "a branch-township with wattle-and-daub houses in the midst of the jungle."



The Mauryan emperor Asoka contributed to significant construction at this site.  After Buddha's cremation, the ashes were collected and relics of the Buddha, including the skull bone, teeth and inner and outer shrouds were distributed into eight shares amongst the representatives of the other eight Kingdoms which constituted ancient northern India. King Asoka further divided these relics today these are enshrined them in stupas, across Asia.



The present temple in Kushinagar was built by the Indian Government in 1956 as part of the commemoration of the 2,500th year of the parinivana). The temple houses the famous Reclining Buddha gold plated sculpture, lying on a stone couch. 


Image of Buddha attaining Parinirvana
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeImage of Buddha attaining Parinirvana - Credit: Bpilgrim, Wikimedia Commons