Kushinagar, one of the principal center of Buddhist pilgrimage, is the place where Lord Buddha left his corporeal self and attained Mahapranirvana or the freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Kushinagar was previously known as Kushnara, which was the capital of Malla dynasty. It was one of the famous sixteen Mahajan padas of ancient India. The Chinese travelers Fa-Hien and Hieun-Tsang have also mentioned Kushinara in their travelogues. The credit for bringing this ancient site to light goes to General A. Cuningham and C.L. Carlleyle who, after excavation, the site in 1861, established its antiquity for the first time. Later, between 1904 and 1912, several excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India at Kushinagar confirmed its identity. The monuments of Kushinagar are clustered in the three distinct groups comprising the main site at the Nirvana Temple, the Central Stupa and surrounding monasteries, the Mathakuar Kot to the southwest and the Rambhar Stupa, a kilometer to the east.