Archaeological Site of Mainimati in Bangladesh
Just outside of the town of Comilla is one of Bangladesh’s most significant and important historical sights. Excavations and studies of the archaeological site of Mainimati have uncovered many other sites and insights into the Bangladesh’s past culture. It is an attraction that is visited frequently by tourists and locals whom seek to relive a part of Bangladesh’s history that lay buried and forgotten for centuries.
The archaeological site of Mainimati is scattered with the remains of Buddhist sights and religious ruins. Amongst them, there are three sites that stand out from almost fifty. Those sites include the Kotila Mura, the Charpatra Mura and the Salban Vihara. Mainimati is also famous for being home to the Somapuri Vihara monastery, which has been dated back to the 8th century. Most of the ruins that have been excavated at the archaeological site of Manimati originate from approximately the 7th century to the 12th century. Interestingly, the buildings were constructed from brick, which has preserved most of the structures.
Kotila Mura is the location of the “Three Jewels of Buddhism”. The “Three Jewels of Buddhism” are beautiful stupas that were crafted to resemble Dharma, Buddha and Sangha. A very fascinating archaeological find was made of the site of Charpatra Mura. Here, royal decrees were excavated that were made from copper plate, and are still visible today. The decrees once belonged to three of the rulers of Chandra, and the fourth to a Hindu King named Sri Viradhara Deva.
The Somapura Vihara was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1985, in honor of the Pala Dynasty. This generation of leaders controlled Bihar and Bengal from the 8th century for approximately three centuries. The monastery consists of a courtyard, a shrine and 177 monastic cells. The walls were constructed from brick, with terracotta plates, Buddhas and flower motifs decorating the fortification. The monks that inhabited this monastery, eventually fled after numerous invasions and attacks during the 12th century. With no-one living in the monastery, the buildings fell into disrepair.
Some of the sights fall within the local military cantonment. Visitors will have to request special permission from authorized military personnel to gain access to the ruins. To view the many fascinating artifacts that were excavated from the Mainimati site, tourists and guests can visit the museum that is located near the archaeological site. The museum has a wonderful exhibit of statues, plaques made from terracotta, coins, stupas, jewellery and other items. The bronze casket that is on display also sheds light on burial rituals and traditions of the time. As part of the history of Bangladesh, the archaeological site of Mainimati uncovers a lost world of forgotten leaders and a magnificent civilization.