Kushinagar is an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre. However, it has a negligible population of Buddhists.
According to the Census of India 2011, out of the 35.64 lakh population of Kushinagar district, the majority were Hindu (29.28 lakh), followed by Muslim (6.20 lakh), and Christian (5,006).
The Buddhist population of the district was just 4,619, or 0.12 per cent of the total.
Ten other districts of UP — Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Sultanpur, Basti, Mainpuri, Jaunpur, Pratapgarh, Hardoi, and Azamgarh — have larger Buddhist populations than Kushinagar.
Kheri, which has been in the news for the deaths of eight people including four protesting farmers on October 3, had the largest Buddhist population (18,454) across all districts of UP in 2011.