Tour the Buddhist site of Mainimati Ruins in Bangladesh
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The Mainimati Ruins are a selection of more than fifty scattered Buddhist sites that enjoy special significance as a center of Buddhist culture. Many of the ruins date back to between the 7th and 12th centuries. Most of the buildings that have been excavated were completely constructed of hand-made baked bricks – something which must have taken much time and dedication and which has certainly lasted longer than other, less important structures that were commonly built at the time. The three most important of the various religious ruins are Salban Vihara, Kotila Mura and Charpatra Mura.
Salban Vihara is an impressive structure that measures approximately 170 square meters in size. The building features a monastery that faces onto a temple situated in the centre of the courtyard. Excavations at Salban Vihara have revealed a wealth of different artifacts, including coins, jewelry, terracotta plaques, bronze statues, a bronze casket and votive stupas that have been embossed with Buddhist inscriptions. The various finds are on display to the public at a nearby museum.
Kotila Mura is just as interesting. The structure is dedicated to the ‘Three Jewels of Buddhism’, namely Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Three large stupas representing each of these deities are contained within the ruins at Kotila Mura. Charpatra Mura is seen as an important site because it was here that four royal copper-plate decrees were discovered. Three of these belonged to Chandra rulers while the fourth is associated with Sri Viradhara Deva, a Hindu king that lived sometime later.
Almost all the ruins of Mainimati can be reached via taxi. However it is important to note that since some of the major ruins fall within the confines of a military camp, you will need to gain special permission from military officers in order to visit them. The ruins are situated approximately 70 kilometers southeast of the city of Dhaka. Make sure that you don’t miss them.