Kushinagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh is an important Buddhist Pilgrimage centre. The two places most frequently visited in Kushinagar are the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which is built on the place of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana (Great Nirvana or passing away), and the place of his cremation, which is 1.6 km away. Close to the Mahaparinirvana Stupa is located a 1500 year old Buddha-image of the Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries.
The remains of the Parinirvana Stupa and Parinirvana Temple, when rediscovered, were covered in a 40 foot high mound of bricks surrounded by a dense thorny forest. After E. Buchanan, an officer of the East India Company, arrived in Kasia in the course of his survey-work, H. H. Wilson, in 1854, made the suggestion that ancient Kushinagar and Kasia were the same. Work resumed around 1861–1862 when General Alexander Cunningham, an archaeological surveyor, would prove the site to be that of Gautama Buddha’s passing. A British officer named Mr. A.C.L. Carlleyle followed suit. Excavations began in the late 19th century and many important remnants of the main site such as the Matha Kuar and Ramabhar stupa were unveiled.