his eightieth year the Buddha and a group of monks arrived
in this small place. Ananda described it as 'a wattle
and daub town'. Exhausted and sick the Buddha was unable
to go on and he laid down to rest between two sal trees.
His final hours and the events that filled it are movingly
described in the last part of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta
which you will find in the Long Discourses. The Nirvana
Temple and stupa later built over the site of the parinivana
as well as the ruins of several monasteries are set
in attractive and well maintained gardens. The tall
slender trees on the right of the path as you enter
are sal trees.
Stupa: The Buddha's creamation place, Kusinara.
A little further down the road is the ruins of the stupa
marking the place where the Buddha's body was cremated.
A new museum had recently been built in Kusinara but it
has a very modest collection of exhibits. Of late pseudo
monks hassling visitors for money had become a real problem
at Kusinara. Don't make it worse by encouraging them. The
Tourist Bungalow opposite the ruins offers Indian standards
at western prices so you might prefer staying at Burmese,
Thai or Tibetan monasteries. Alternatively you can stay
in Gorakhpur which you have to pass through to get to Lumbini.
Try the Hotel Elora near the railway station or the nearby
Standard Hotel. When you are ready to move on head for the
India-Nepal at Sonauli via Gorakhpur and Nautanwa.