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The meaning of «kushinagar»

Kushinagar is a town in the Kushinagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautam Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana after his death. It is an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre.

According to one theory, Kushinagar was the capital of Kosala Kingdom and according to Ramayana it was built by King Kush, son of Rama, protagonist of the epic Ramayana. While according to Buddhist tradition Kushavati was named prior to the king Kush. The naming of Kushwati is believed to be due to abundance of Kush grass found in this region.[4]

According to 2011 Indian Census, Kushinagar had a total population of 22,214, of which 11,502 were males and 10,712 were females. Population within the age group of 0 to 6 years was 2,897. The total number of literates in Kushinagar was 15,150, which constituted 68.2% of the population with male literacy of 73.3% and female literacy of 62.7%. The effective literacy rate of 7+ population of Kushinagar was 78.4%, of which male literacy rate was 84.5% and female literacy rate was 71.9%. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population was 1,117 (5.03%) and 531 (2.39%) respectively. Kushinagar had 3462 households in 2011.[2]

The present Kushinagar is identified with Kusavati (in the pre-Buddha period) and Kushinara (in the post-Buddha period). Kushinara was the capital of Mallas which was one of the sixteen mahajanpads of the 6th century BCE. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Harsha, and Pala dynasties.

In the medieval period, Kushinagar had passed under the suzerainty of Kultury Kings. Kushinara continued to be a living city till the 12th century CE and was thereafter lost into oblivion. Padrauna is believed to be ruled over by a Rajput adventurer, Madan Singh, in the 15th century CE.

However, modern Kushinagar came into prominence in the 19th century with archaeological excavations carried out by Alexander Cunningham, the first Archeological Surveyor of India and later followed by C.L. Carlleyle who exposed the main stupa and also discovered a 6.10 meters long statue of reclining Buddha in 1876. Excavations continued in the early twentieth century under J. Ph. Vogel.[5] He conducted archaeological campaigns in 1904–1905, 1905-1906 and 1906–1907, uncovering a wealth of Buddhist materials.

Chandra Swami, a Burmese monk, came to India in 1903 and made Mahaparinirvana Temple into a living shrine.

After independence, Kushinagar remained part of the district of Deoria. On 13 May 1994, it came into being as a new district of Uttar Pradesh.[6]

In 1896, Waddell suggested that the site of the death and parinirvana of Gautama Buddha was in the region of Rampurva.[7] However, according to the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, the Buddha made his journey to Kushinagar, died there, and this is where he was cremated.[8][9] It is believed that during his last day he walked into the groves of trees near the city and rejoiced at the blossoms of sala trees (Shorea robusta) before laying himself to rest.[10]

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Kushinagar International AirportKushinagar districtKushinagar Express
Kushinagar (Assembly constituency)Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development AuthorityKushi Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency)
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