Paharpur Buddhist Monastery, also known as Somopura Mahavihara is one of the most important ancient sites in our country. It was declared as a World Heritage site in 1985. There were monasteries which were built in Pala period in Bengal and in Magadha. Dharampala Vikramsila was the pioneer in building this monastery. He was the king of Varendi Magadha. It is a large square rectangle which is approximately 920 feet. The entrance is from the north side. The outer walls of monastery point towards the sanctuary area which is designed with rows of walls. The total number of cells are 177. The central sanctuary has a solid ground plan which ascents in 3 terraces above ground level to a peak of 70 feet.
Somapura Mahavihara (Bengali: সোমপুর মহাবিহার Shompur Môhabihar) in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon District,Bangladesh (25°1’51.83″N, 88°58’37.15″E) is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and is one of the most important archeological sites in the country. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
A number of monasteries grew up during the Pāla period in ancient Bengal and Magadha. According to Tibetan sources, five great Mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious; Somapura Mahavihara; Odantapurā; and Jaggadala. The monasteries formed a network; “all of them were under state supervision” and there existed “a system of co-ordination among them … it seems from the evidence that the different seats of Buddhist learning that functioned in eastern India under the Pāla were regarded together as forming a network, an interlinked group of institutions,” and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them.
The excavation at Paharpur, and the finding of seals bearing the inscription Shri-Somapure-Shri-Dharmapaladeva-Mahavihariyarya-bhiksu-sangghasya, has identified the Somapura Mahavihara as built by the second Pala king Dharmapala (circa 781–821) of Pāla Dynasty. Tibetan sources, including Tibetan translations of Dharma Kayavidhi and Madhyamaka Ratnapradipa, Taranatha’s history and Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang, mention that Dharmapala’s successor Devapala (circa 810–850) built it after his conquest of Varendra. The Paharpur pillar inscription bears the mention of 5th regnal year of Devapala’s successor Mahendrapala (circa 850–854) along with the name of Bhiksu Ajayagarbha. Taranatha’s Pag Sam Jon Zang records that the monastery was repaired during the reign of Mahipala (circa 995–1043 AD).
The Nalanda inscription of Vipulashrimitra records that the monastery was destroyed by fire, which also killed Vipulashrimitra’s ancestor Karunashrimitra, during a conquest by the Vanga army in the 11th century, assumed to be an army of the Varman rulers. About a century later Vipulashrimitra renovated the vihara and added a temple of Tara.
Over time Atish’s spiritual preceptor, Ratnakara Shanti, served as a sthavira of the vihara, Mahapanditacharya Bodhibhadra served as a resident monk, and other scholars spent part of their lives at the monastery, including Kalamahapada, Viryendra and Karunashrimitra. Many Tibetan monks visited the Somapura between the 9th and 12th centuries.
During the rule of the Sena dynasty, known as Karnatadeshatagata Brahmaksatriya, in the second half of the 12th century the vihara started to decline for the last time. One scholar writes, “The ruins of the temple and monasteries at Pāhāpur do not bear any evident marks of large-scale destruction. The downfall of the establishment, by desertion or destruction, must have been sometime in the midst of the widespread unrest and displacement of population consequent on the Muslim invasion.
It is located in Badalgachi Upazila of Naogaon district. Sompur Bihar at Paharpur is about 282 km by road from Dhaka. Iit will take about 6.5 hours to reach Paharpur by bus/taxi/private car if no major stops are made along the way. If one starts from Dhaka, the route shall be Dhaka – Savar – Chandra – Tangail – Jamuna Bridge – Bogura – Naogaon – Badalgashi- Paharpur. The best way to tour the site is to first reach Naogaon and stay there or reach Badalgacchi and stay there in Dakbanglo.
Buses can be used to get between major towns, or else rickshaws for small distances. There are two major Bus Stand/ Stop in Naogaon District. The First but small one is “Dhaka Bus Stand” , where usually you will get buses to go to Dhaka, Bogra, Sylhet and Chittagong mainly. The other one is “Baludangga Bus Stand” situated almost at the end of the Naogaon Municipality. At “Baludangga” Bus Stand, you can get buses to travel to Paharpur, and other Sub-division of Naogaon District, such Sapahar, Nazipur, badalgachi etc.
The other most convenient options is the “Bangladesh Railway”, from “Santahar” Railway Station. You can find numerous trains from “Santahar” to various district in Northern & Southern Bangladesh. Using First class ticket is a very convenient way for foreign Tourists, to be safe and pleasant journey, and price is also very reasonable in fact Bangladesh Railway is cheap.
SR Travels has regular routes from Dhaka to Naogaon: (Both AC and Non-AC are available). Counters of SR Travels in Dhaka:
1. Kollyanpur Bus Stand (Counter-1), phone: 02-8013793, 02-8019312,
2. Abdullahpur Bus Stand, Phone: 01711-944023
3. Gabtoli Bus Terminal, Phone: 02-8011226
4. Bijoy Nagar, Kakrail, Phone: 02-9352118
5. Mohakhali Bus Terminal, Phone: 02-8834833, 01552-315831
6. Kollyanpur Bus Stand (Counter-2), Phone: 02-8060876
Some bus services from Dhaka to Naogaon are:
1. Shayamoli Paribahan – TK 350-450
2. Hanif Enterprise – TK 350-450
3. Ekota Paribahan – TK 350-450
There are plenty more services almost similar, but air conditioned services give a little deluxe flavor.
There are a number of luxurious intercity services between Dhaka and Naogaon each day. Railway station in Naogoan is “Santahar Junction”, which is situated at the end of Bogra. However it costs just TK 15-20 to reach Naogaon by rickshaw or CNG-powered auto rickshaw.
From Dhaka to Santahar, Naogaon Intercity trains from BimanBandar: Except “Nilsagar” all the train can be embarked on from “Kamlapur Junction Station, Dhaka” as well. Just add around 35-40 mins prior to the time given for Bimanbandor (Bengali of Airport) time.
Train No Name Off Day From Departure To Arrival
772 Rangpur Express Monday Airport 5:58 AM Dhaka 6:35:00 AM
771 Rangpur Express Sunday Airport 9:33 AM Zamuna Bridge (East) 11:32 AM
705 Ekota Express Tuesday Airport 10:22 AM Dinajpur 7:10 PM
706 Ekota Express Monday Airport 6:43 AM Dhaka 7:40 AM
751 Lalmani Express Friday Airport 10:42 PM Lalmonirhat 8:20 AM
752 Lalmani Express Friday Airport 8:28 PM Dhaka 9:05 PM
757 Drutajan Express Wednesday Airport 8:12 PM Dinajpur 5:00 AM
758 Drutajan Express Wednesday Airport 5:10 PM Dhaka 5:55 PM
765 Nilsagar Monday Airport 8:36 AM Nilphamari 5:30 PM
766 Nilsagar Sunday Airport 7:35 AM Dhaka Cantt 7:45 AM
Note: All the train above touches “Santahar”, destination above are end destination of the train.
1. Hotel Agomoni
Address: Muktir Mor, Naogaon.
Manager: Md. Salah Uddin Parvej,
2. Hotel Obokas
Address: Par-Naogaon, Santahar Road, Naogaon.
Manager: Md. Abdul Azij Chowdhury,
3. Afsar Rest House
Sadar Hospital Road, Naogaon.
Manager: Md. Khayrul Alam Advocate,
4. Archaeological Rest House, Paharpur,
Phone: 0571 89119
There are eating facilities in the guest house in Paharpur. If you from Naogaon it is recommended that you bring your own food. There are some food shops or restaurants nearby but they may not be enough to suffice their hunger.
Apart from the Natural beauties from the island, the "Buddhist Monastery"(Buddha Bihar) is another tourist spot/attraction in Moheshkhali Island. This monastery is near to the dockyard of the island. The exact location of the monastery is at "Boro Rakhaine Para" at "Gorokghata".
Everyday lots of people used to come at this island to visit the monastery. There are several buildings inside the monastery premises. Also inside the boundary, I have found two pagodas are made from brass (or from bronze). Both of them are similar in structure. Also there are several statue of the Buddha too. One is very large brass statue. The Buddhist people (most from Rakhaine Tribe) used to come at here for their regular prayer.
[We need more detail information of this spot. If you have more information and photos, please be advised to add and share in our website. Your name will be published as a Content Contributor])  => Array ( [name] => Dighinala Bon Bihar [post_id] => 22310 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/dighinala-bon-bihar/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Dighinala-Bon-Bihar-01-300x225.jpg [post_content] => Dighinala Bon Bihar, a very beautiful serene place is located on the way to Sajek valley. It is just before entering the Dighinala town (if you are coming from Khagrachhari). This is a place for the Buddhist people. The Buddhist religion is one of the world's most peaceful religion. People are always calm and quiet, and so does their religious places. This place is free from any crowds. Inside there, most of the people talks in a low voice (or you should say modest). After entering inside the main premise through the gate, you can find two temples there. One is having a large statue of the Buddha. And the other one is having two statues (local people say this as the statue of Bhante of Rangamati Bihar (ভান্তে, রাঙামাটি বিহার), and who died recently). In between the two temples, there is a small field like place available which is shaded by a medium sized tree. )  => Array ( [name] => Bikrompur Bouddha Bihar [post_id] => 8281 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/bikrompur-bouddha-bihar/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/bb-1-300x169.jpg [post_content] => Bikrompur Bouddha Bihar(বিক্রমপুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার) is one of the most ancient Buddhist Bihar (Approximately 1000 years old), buried under soil at Rampal union parishad of Raghurampur Village in Munshiganj District. It is assumed that this Bihar was built in late 8th-9th century AD. It was revealed by conducting excavation very recent years. Bihar is a place being used as a Residential Higher Education Center. How it was discovered: Researchers said, from the very beginning they had conducted nine test excavations at Rampal & Bojrojogini Union Parishad, where they found the evidences of pre-medieval human settlement. At the 9th grid they discovered the existence of a brick wall. Depending on that evidence Archaeologist dug a trench measuring 80×60m. Later they discovered this Buddhist Bihar. What can be seen there: In the south-east corner of that structure there are two diagonal brick walls. One is extended from south to north and another one is extended from east to west. Likewise, the other Buddhist Bihar structure the chamber for Buddhist Monk was built beside main brick wall. In the northern side there are five chambers have been revealed. Near to the western there is a another chamber. Dimension of those chambers are nearly three square meter. The side wall dividing the chambers is also being discovered. Observing the architectural strategy and characteristics, researchers had confirmed this feature as a Buddhist Bihar. Similarity had been found in architectural property and design with the Shompur Bihar (Naogaon), Mahasthangarh (Bogra), Shalbon Bihar ( Comilla) and even with Nalonda Bihar of Patna (India). A pancha-stupa (Five stupa) structure is also been discovered at the middle of that Bihar. )  => Array ( [name] => Basabo Buddhist Monastery [post_id] => 7276 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/basabo-buddhist-monastery/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Buddhist-Temple-Bashabo-Dhaka-01-225x300.jpg [post_content] => Dhaka is the city of mosque and we are blessed with myriad of mosques at this compacted town. Comparing to Muslims, there are very few people from Bangladesh are having Buddhist in religion and which reflects to the number of their prayer halls. Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery (ধর্মরাজিকা বৌদ্ধ মন্দির) is such a prayer hall (also known as Bashabo Buddha Mandir) located inside the Dhaka city. It was built during 1962 to conduct their activities for Buddhist community alongside the prayer, teaching, and meditation. This temple has a medium sized pond inside and beside this, you'll find a large golden status of Buddha standing on the Lotus. Also you'll find the teaching (Pali Language) center and the prayer hall inside the premise. [This spot needs more detail. If you have more information and photos, please be advised to add in our website. Your name will be published as a Content Contributor] ) )
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