Kushinagar district, a part of Gorakhpur division is a district of Uttar Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Padrauna town. The district got its name from the sacred place of attainment of Mahaparinirvana of Buddha in 483 BC. The name of the district Kushinagar is similar to the two terms such as Kushawati means ‘in pre-Buddha period’ and Kushinara means ‘in Buddha period’. This district has some mythological touch as well, according to the Valmiki's Ramayana, the Mallas was a part of Kosala Janpad in the earlier times. It is believe that Kushwati capital was established by King Kush, son of Lord Ram. But Ram’s renunciation of the world compelled Kusa to leave Kusavati for Ayodhya. So, ChandraKetu, son of Lakshman and cousin of Kush took this region under his control. On the other hand as per the Buddha Pali literature, the region was known as Kushawati prior to the king Kush. The district was named as Kushwati because of the abundance of Kush grass in this region. From the very beginning period it was an integral part of the prominent empires likewise empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta and Harsha dynasties. In medieval period, there was the rule of Kultury Kings in this region. Kushinagar was came into limelight in the 19th century when some archeological excavations were carried out by A.Cuningham, the first Archeological Surveyor of India. Later some more archeological excavations were followed by C.L. Carlleyle. After India got its independence, Kushinagar became the part of Deoria district. Finally, Kushinagar was emerged as a separate district in the map of Uttar Pradesh on May, 1994.
Geographically, the district lies at 26074'N latitude, 83089'E longitude and 79 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 1.20% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,905 sq. km. and it is bounded by Bihar state on the east, Deoria district on the southwest, Gorakhpur district on the west and Maharajganj district on the northwest. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summers and fairly cold during the winters. The actual rainfall in the district was 226.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is composed of 6 tehsils including Tamkuhi, Kasia, Padrauna, Hata, Khadda and Captainganj. These tehsils are further divided into 14 Development blocks. There are one Lok Sabha seat and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 35,64,544 including 18,18,055 are males and 17,46,489 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 961 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 23.20% out of which 23.37% were males and 23.03% were females. The population density in the district is 1,227 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 81,428 including 42,054 were males and 39,374 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 2,804 out of which 1,629 were males and 1,175 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 82.16% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 99.49%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of district. Most of the lands in the district are under the agricultural use. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production level of various agricultural items. Some of its chief agricultural products are sugarcane, paddy, wheat, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products grows in the district. Almost all people of the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. Only a few sugar mills are found in it. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Kushinagar as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product of the district was Rs. 13,76,655 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,99,169 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 13,73,077 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,30,031 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the year 2017-18 was Rs. 34,363 at Current Price and Rs. 23,275 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
In the recent times, the district has adopted various progressive steps in the field of education. Some of its reputed educational institutions are Buddha Intermediate and Postgraduate College, Gyanlok College for Government Services, Buddha Central Academy, St. Joseph’s School, St. Xavier's High School, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 65.25% including 77.71% are males and 52.36% are females.
Ram Nagina Mishra, an eminent Indian politician and a member of Lok Sabha for five terms i.e. 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th Lok Sabha from Padrauna constituency was born on 1st January, 1928 at Sikata village in the district. He is a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party.
During the year 2018, there were 8,97,546 domestic tourists and 80,147 foreign tourists who visited these places of the district. The district has some wonderful centres of attraction which allures traveller from parts of the country as well as world. Mahaparinirvana Temple in the district has the reclining Nirvana statue of Lord Buddha which is made of monolith red-sandstone and its length is around 6.10 metres long. Nirvana Chaitya, a significant stupa is situated just behind the Mahaparinirvana Temple. In the year 1876 Carlleyle excavated it and found many antique items of Kumar Gupta, emperor of Gupta Empire in India. Ramabhar Stupa popularly known as Mukutbandhan-Chaitya is situated at 1.5 km. east of the main Nirvana Temple. It is the cremation place of Lord Buddha with a huge circular drum with a diameter of near about 34.14 metres on the top consisting of two or more terraces and is 47.24 meters in diameter at the base. Matha Kuar Shrine is a huge statue of Lord Buddha in which he seated under the 'Bodhi Tree' in a pose called 'Bhumi Sparsh Mudra' (Earth touching pose). Some other notable places of interest are Meditation Park, Indo-Japan-Srilanka Temple, Wat Thai Temple, State Museum, etc.