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Old 4th August 2013, 15:43   #1
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar

I had been contemplating on visiting Kushinagar for a long time, since I joined my job in Lucknow. I had heard about Kushinagar from school history books, as the place where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana in 483 BC. There are indeed very few places known for events that old here, with of course the exception of Lumbini, Buddha's birth place.

Getting a car two years back, my plan has been there on a more immediate agenda. Opening of the bypass in Gorakhpur gave the relieving news that one can avoid entering Gorakhpur city while proceeding eastwards further from there. My plan was to go and visit Kushinagar, and return on the same day to Lucknow. Though we wanted to come back on the same day, we were well-prepared to stay there, if there was a need.

With my wife and daughters, finally I decided to drive towards Kushinagar in the last week of April 2013. I also roped in a rail-fan companion of mine, who invariably likes travelling of all sorts. Most of the photos I use here are taken from his camera while a few are from mine only. Long drive is never a problem, as I have driven to Jamshedpur from Lucknow, and once to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri last year. Moreover, we wanted an outing badly, as we did not go anywhere from Lucknow for quite sometime.

We left Lucknow at 5.40 am on 20 April 2013. A kilometer away from home, I picked my companion, and we were on NH 28 on the Faizabad road.

All the outskirts of Lucknow are becoming part of the city with upcoming residential projects. Faizabad Road, NH 28:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8062.jpg

I took only 2 hours exactly from Lucknow to Ayodhya town last two times I went there. And those trips were in the afternoon, when moving out of Lucknow is not that easy due to traffic. But this time, on our trip to Kushinagar, I took 2 hours and 10 minutes despite no traffic in the morning. I was slow. After Ayodhya at 7.50 am, before crossing the mammoth bridge across Sarayu river.

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An early ORVM shot, but from the other side:

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My plan was to reach the Gorakhpur bypass point from Faizabad side at least by 10.30 am. I took the break-fast stoppage after Sarayu bridge, at Amrapali dhaba, a decent place with decent aloo parathas and curd, our favourite breakfast while travelling in northern India. I tried to make the stoppage brief however, and it took only 40-45 minutes. My younger daughter, only one and half years old woke only from this dhaba, and could not realize what was happening. Still she enjoyed all that.

We reached the bypass at 10.30 sharp, and we were very happy to do so. The bypass is excellent four-lane 34 kilometer stretch, with of course no facilities across. I was informed by Mr. hvkumar about it on another thread. A view from the Gorakhpur bypass:

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At 11.00 am, Kushinagar was another 28 kilometers to go:

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The other places indicated on the board, of course, remain for another trip, beyond Kushinagar, to Siliguri, Darjeeling and Gangtok! That's how we resist our temptation. Then Kushinaagar was another 10 kms to go. The structure welcoming you to Kushinagar is Buddhist, in the middle of the highway:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8076.jpg

I parked my car outside the UPTDC hotel, entering Kushinagar and traversing a little on its no-crowd main road. Surprised to see a clean and small UP town, with small shops:

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It was 319 kilometers covered in 5 hours and 20 minutes, excluding the break-fast stoppage, and when I parked my car exactly at 11.40 am there. We took a look at the tariff at Pathik Niwas, UPTDC, though we decided we will return in the evening itself:
One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8077.jpg

Last edited by Vipin Kumar : 4th August 2013 at 15:56.
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Old 4th August 2013, 16:56   #2
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar

A couple of more views of the Nirvana Temple:

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There was a well outside. My daughter was keen to peep and see what is there.

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The roof:

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Last edited by GTO : 15th August 2013 at 18:07. Reason: As requested
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Old 4th August 2013, 17:24   #3
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar

And then there was this bell outside:

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The stupa outside the Nirvana Temple. I think this is taken as the memorial.

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By then, my elder daughter became keen to know more things and stories about Siddhartha Buddha. We moved to the neighboring pagoda, a Myanmar monastery. The entrance of this temple:

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The following are pictures of this temple/monastery:


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Old 4th August 2013, 19:03   #4
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar

Mods: could you remove post # 2 above and the first part of post # 3. I am attaching the pictures again.
__________________________

Kushinagar was quite and a serene place. One must ideally spent a day there. As soon as we reached there and took a look at Pathik Niwas, we aimed the Nirvana Temple. It is said that the temple is located exactly at the spot where Buddha had nirvana. It is a very open and vast expanse of land, and in the middle of the green place is the Nirvana temple. More pictures of the temple here:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8086.jpg

Inside the temple was the much-heard Buddha in the lying posture:

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One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04111.jpg

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Outside the temple, there was a small vessel on which something undecipherable was inscribed. Is it the Ashokan Brahmi script?

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8093.jpg

This was the whole of it. One can see devotees praying here.

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8094.jpg

Last edited by Vipin Kumar : 4th August 2013 at 19:06.
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Old 4th August 2013, 19:09   #5
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar

I learned that Kushinagar memorials and many monuments are preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India only. Thus there were those typical informative engravings.The historian's account:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8103.jpg

The order by the Archaeological Survey of India:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8102.jpg

A couple of more views outside the Nirvana Temple:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04117.jpg

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8104.jpg

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8105.jpg

I have already posted the pictures of Lord Buddha's stupa.
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Old 4th August 2013, 19:26   #6
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar

Outside the Myanmar monastery, my friend came across this idol:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04154.jpg

This was the other gate of the Myanmar monastery:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04173.jpg

Buddha Sarovar was just adjascent to this monastery:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04186.jpg

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04187.jpg

Inside the Buddha Sarovar:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8142.jpg

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There was this small temple too:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dsc04147.jpg

Buddha's idols were draped elsewhere:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8130.jpg

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The Chinese temple was the most splendid, almost close to the entrance to Kushinagar town. One expects such beautiful temples here, seeing this one. And one is never disappointed as there is a Japanese one, and a couple of other ones, extremely beautiful. Since there was a sudden plan that we visit a nearby village which happened to be my wife's parents' ancestral place, we had to avoid rest of it, and keep them for another day-trip. The pictures of the Chinese temple, which was at that time unfortunately closed:

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We came across a chameleon:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8159.jpg

Then the lunch: It was already decided that we go to Pathik Niwas. It was moderate, neat and good. Least crowded, this place was almost a place to take rest also for a while. We had very good, and spicy food over there. We ate like anything. And took rest under a tree in the Nirvana temple compound. My daughters could play there. The second one particularly ran a lot everywhere on the lawn. I let her do so, so that she would sleep while travelling in the car.

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8188.jpg
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Old 4th August 2013, 20:05   #7
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Default One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

Around 3.15 pm, we decided to proceed to a place called Mundera, probably in Deoria district. We did not have to come back to NH 28 from Pathik Niwas. The same road in the town will take you to the junction from where you can turn rightward to Deoria. It is probably Padrauna - Deoria road. Inside Kushinagar town, we had to proceed by crossing a few other stupas and temples, very beautiful, and of course, the hotel Imperial Kushinagar. The road was like this:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8221.jpg

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After covering 8 kilometers, we entered the village, leftward.

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There was something like an old granary:

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These are typical scenes:

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There was this temple too, in the village:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8239.jpg

This was the place we wanted to visit. I parked my car amidst the rural objects. We enjoyed the time we spent here:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8251.jpg

And then, the return journey. I wanted to hurry by 4.15 pm, so that I thought a running visit to the other stupa would be possible. But in UP villages, you can never maintain time, since you do not want to dishonour your hosts. People at my wife's ancestral place are fine hosts. Hailing from Kerala, I am there first time, and my wife visited this place after 22 years! Thus, we thought it does not matter even if we get late, and even if we skip the remaining monasteries. We started homeward to Lucknow at 5.20 pm from Mundera, and touched Kushinagar at 5.40 pm sharp. I was not confident of making the Kushinagar - Lucknow drive as smooth as our morning upward journey, mainly due to night driving. Yet it did not matter.

Lucknow was a clean 320 kilometers. Outside Kushinagar town, the destination signage:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8263.jpg

The destination signage for the opposite direction:

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The highway NH 28 was smooth, but there was some traffic here and there, around Hata, between Kushinagar and Gorakhpur:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8265.jpg

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My aim was to cover the Gorakhpur bypass in the day-light itself, as there was no facility anywhere around, for anything. I could do that, with precision. The moment we crossed the toll-gate near Gorakhpur, it was dark, and we were on the Gorakhpur - Faizabad highway (NH 28). The Hata town and Hata flyover on NH 28, before reaching the bypass from Kushinagar side:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8270.jpg

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I stopped for evening tea, and dinner together only at Trimurthi restaurant, after crossing Faizabad, at 9.05 pm! My wife and friend were worried whether I won't allow them to take tea at all!

I had taken toll only for one direction in the morning. Thus I had to take it again everywhere, which must have cost me a around 120 rupees more. At a toll gate in the night:

One-day trip to Kushinagar-dscn8278.jpg

We took both evening tea, and our dinner soon after Faizabad. Again good place. Again we took only 40 minutes. We were back on NH 28 at 9.50 pm. I reached Lucknow near my home at 11.35 pm. The schedule was ditto, as of the morning. I dropped my friend another 10 kilometers away from there, and came back home.

It was a neat 667 kilometers, altogether that day. We spent a full 6 hours in Kushinagar and the other place together. I spent 1870/- on diesel (as per the rate then), and around 690/- as toll. The average my Fiesta gave me that day was a satisfying 19+ kms. I never exceeded 100 kms/hour. It was almost consistent at 85-90 kms/hour only. And many kms, I drove the vehicle in the fourth gear only, for it gives a sheer pleasure of a sedate and planted ride, though Fiesta is fine and pliant at any speed. The only problem was that earlier, soon after we entered Kushinagar my car's AC stopped working though blower was giving hot air!. When I tried it after half an hour, it was fine, and relieving.

Vipin.

Last edited by Vipin Kumar : 4th August 2013 at 20:31.
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Old 12th August 2013, 11:22   #8
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
...
It was a neat 667 kilometers, altogether that day. We spent a full 6 hours in Kushinagar and the other place together. I spent 1870/- on diesel (as per the rate then), and around 690/- as toll.
...
Vipin.
Hi Vipin,

Nice travelogue!!
The place looks very serene and peaceful from your pics/details.
Good for a day's outing from Lucknow, or is it worth extending for two??

-Deepankar
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Old 18th August 2013, 11:34   #9
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

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Good for a day's outing from Lucknow, or is it worth extending for two??
Thanks. Sorry for the delayed reply. I was on another trip to Jhansi-Orchcha and Barua Sagar!

Kushinagar can be covered well in a day itself. I could not cover 2-3 temples, perhaps more beautiful, and a couple of stupas because I had to go elsewhere in the afternoon.

One can stay there for a day more if one wants to go to Lumbini or so, though while going to Lumbini from Lucknow side, you don't have to touch Kushinagar. For a combined trip, of course.

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Old 19th August 2013, 13:11   #10
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

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Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
One can stay there for a day more if one wants to go to Lumbini or so, though while going to Lumbini from Lucknow side, you don't have to touch Kushinagar. For a combined trip, of course.
If I am not mistaken, Lumbini is in Nepal. Is it doable so easily? What are the paperworks required and any idea on the timings of the offices and typical time to be spent on those.
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Old 19th August 2013, 16:42   #11
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
If I am not mistaken, Lumbini is in Nepal. Is it doable so easily?
No doubt, Lumbini is in Nepal, and must be around 25 kms from Sonauli border. It is very much doable, and is easy. Yes, sometimes it takes a little while for getting clearance at the border, for paperwork, etc. You have to make payment for the number of days you would take inside Nepal.

But Lumbini needs two days minimum, if you plan a trip from Lucknow. From Gorakhpur, it may require just a day for the whole visit.

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Old 19th August 2013, 22:59   #12
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Default Re: One-day trip to Kushinagar - Afternoon ride to Deoria side

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Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
...
One can stay there for a day more if one wants to go to Lumbini or so, though while going to Lumbini from Lucknow side, you don't have to touch Kushinagar. For a combined trip, of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
...
But Lumbini needs two days minimum, if you plan a trip from Lucknow. From Gorakhpur, it may require just a day for the whole visit.

Thanks Vipin, that sounds a good piece of advice!!!
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