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Bangladesh > Pictures and travelogues > Bangladesh Pictures: Buddha Dhatu Jadi and Paharpur Buddhist Monastery

Bangladesh Pictures: Buddhist Temples - Buddha Dhatu Jadi (Bandarban Golden Temple) and Paharpur Buddhist Monastery. 

Paharpur Buddhist Monastery, North Bengal, in Bangladesh
Paharpur Buddhist Monastery (Somapura Mahavihara) , North Bengal, in Bangladesh - World heritage.       

Paharpur
is an important archaeological site in Bangladesh. It is a small village located in Badalgachi Upazila, 5 km. west of the nearest railway station of Jamalganj, 10 km away from Jaipur, and 270 km by road (about 7 hours) from Dhaka.

Paharpur is famous for the ruins of Somapura Mahavihara, a Buddhist monastery which was the most important and the largest monastery south of the Himalayas. It was an important intellectual centre for Dharmic Traditions. It is now a World Cultural Heritage (Unesco).

 
Somapura Mahavihara was built by Dharmapala (781-821 AD), the second ruler of the Pala dynasty, and reconstructed at least twice by his descendants. The monastery has a quadrangular structure (281m. on each side) and a traditional Buddhist stupa in the center. With an elaborate gateway complex, there are a total number of 177 cells. The architecture of the pyramidal cruciform temple is profoundly influenced by those of Myanmar and Java.  


As many as 63 stone sculptures were found fixed in the basement of the monastery. There are more than 2000 terracotta plaques that still decorate the faces of the walls of the temple.

An amount of cultural objects, incl. sculptures, terracotta plaques, pottery, ornaments, coins, seals, sealings, and votive stupas have been salvaged from Paharpur. Some of them have been housed in a small on-site museum built in 1957. The other one’s may be found in various museums in
Bangladesh such as the Bangladesh National Museum and the Varendra Research Museum at Rajshahi.

Buddha Dhatu Jadi (Bandarban Golden Temple) near Balaghata in Bangladesh
Buddha Dhatu Jadi (Bandarban Golden Temple) near Balaghata in Bangladesh.                                     

The Buddha Dhatu Jadi, also known as the Bandarban Golden Temple, is a Theravada Buddhist temple located 4 km from Balaghata town (about 3 h by road from Cox's Bazar), in the Bandarban district (Chittagong Hill Tracts), Bangladesh. The relics in the temple belong to Buddha. The Bandarban Golden Temple is the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple with the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh.

 

The construction of the temple set atop a 60 metres (200 ft) high hill was completed in 2000. The temple attracts pilgrims and visitors from all parts of the world. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is a part of the Buddhist Circuit Tour promoted by the SASEC (South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation) Tourism Development Project.


 

Links

Somapura Mahavihara, in Paharpur
comprehensive guide to the ruins of somapura mahavihara, the famous buddhist monastery in paharpur (information from the national encyclopedia of bangladesh).

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Bangladesh Pictures: Buddha Dhatu Jadi (Bandarban Golden Temple) and Paharpur Buddhist Monastery, images from Bangladesh and travel guide to Bangladesh.