Kushinagar is one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, around 52 km from the town of Gorakhpur.  It was earlier called Kusinara and was the capital of Malla kingdom. It is the place where Buddha attained parinirvana at the age of eighty. The followers of Buddhism wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime.

When Buddha was eighty years old he announced at the Capala shrine in Vaishali that his time was nearing the end. He announced that the time has come for the cessation of his existence on this earth and it was time for his parinirvana.

Buddha passed away on the full moon day of Wesak month, near the river Hiranyawati.  Buddha was lying on his right side between two sal trees with his head facing north when he was taking his last breath. The ruler of Kushinagar arranged for the cremation, and the last rites were carried out in accordance with the honor of a Chakravarti king. Buddha was cremated at the shrine of Mallas now called Ramabhar stupa, originally called Makutbandhana Cetiya. After his cremation, the relics were divided into eight equal parts and given to eight different clans who were in attendance to take their share. These relics were kept in eight relic stupas in different parts of the country.

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