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Mainamati (Bengali: ময়নামতি Môynamoti) is an isolated low, dimpled range of hills, dotted with more than 50 ancient Buddhist settlements dating to between the 8th and 12th century CE. It was part of the ancient Samatata division of Bengal. It extends through the centre of the district of Comilla in Bangladesh. Mainamati is located almost 8 miles from the town of Comilla. It is the home of one of the most important Buddhist archaeological sites in the region. Comilla Cantonment is located nearby and houses a beautiful colonial era cemetery.[1] Mainamati is named for the Chandra queen of the same name, mother of Govindachandra. Mainamati is 114  kilometers from Dhaka city through National Highway 1 and is nearly 162 kilometers from Chittagong. Also, there is a Buddhist temple beside it.


Buddhist MonumentsEdit

  • Shalban vihara: The centre piece of the Buddhist sites at Mainamati is the Shalban vihara, almost in the middle of the Mainamati-Lalmai hill range consists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with a cruciform temple in the centre, facing its only gateway complex to the north, resembling that of the Sompur Bihara. It is clearly a Vihara, or an educational centre with residential facilities.
  • Kutila Mura: situated on a flattened hillock, about 5 km north of Shalban Vihara inside the Comilla Cantonment is a picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here, three stupas are found side by side representing the Buddhist "Trinity" or three jewels, i.e. the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
  • Charpatra Mura: is an isolated small oblong shrine situated about 2.5 km. north-west of Kotila Mura stupas. The only approach to the shrine is from the East through a gateway which leads to a spacious hall. Here a number of shrines can be found.
  • Ananda Rajer Badi
  • Mainamati Ranir Badi: The Mainamati site Museum, situated next to Shavian Vihara, houses a good collection of artifacts found at these sites. The Museum has a rich and varied collection of copper plates, gold and silver coins and 86 bronze objects. Over 150 bronze statues have been recovered mostly from the monastic cells, bronze stupas, stone sculptures and hundreds of terracotta plaques each measuring on an average of 9" high and 8" to 12" wide.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Susan L. Huntington (1984). The "Påala-Sena" Schools of Sculpture. Brill Archive. p. 164. ISBN 9789004068568.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 23°25′34″N 91°08′16″E / 23.4261°N 91.1378°E / 23.4261; 91.1378