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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A HERITAGE SITE OF BANGLADESH MAINAMATI

MAINAMATI: 
  Location: 
  Mainamati is an isolated low, dimpled range of hills, dotted -with more than 50 ancient Buddhist settlements of the 8th to 12th century A.D. It is extended through the centre of the district of Comilla. Mainamati is located almost 8 miles from the town of Comilla, Bangladesh. It is the home of one of the most important Buddhist archaeological sites in the region. There are a number of Buddhist sites in this region, dating approximately from 7th to 12th centuries CE. Comilla Cantonment is located nearby and houses a beautiful colonial era cemetery. Mainamati is named for the Candra queen of the same name, mother of the Govindachandra. Mainamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka city and is just a day's trip by road on way to Chittagong.
Site: -11 miles long from north to south. -1~1.5 mile wide from east to west. -At the north side is the Mainamatihill and at the south is Lalmaihill.
mainamati image



 Height : -Average height is 50 ft. -In some places it is 100 ft. 04. Range: The whole range is composed with red soil. 05. Nomenclature: -Mainamatiwas named after the name of MainaBibi. -From a thousand year old bronze inscription the name Lamimbais found. 6. History: -Existence of 99 kingdoms were described here. -Presence of 6 dynasties and 30 kings were recorded. 07. Archeological evidence : Principal evidence. a) ShalvanVihara. b) KotilaMura. c) CharpatraMura d) RanirBanglaPahar e) AnandaRajarVihara f) BhojrajaMound g) ChandiMura  
History: - During 2ndworld war an army outpost was supposed to be built here and when the construction started this site was discovered. Others: -50 hills (pahar) -30 lakes (dighi) -30~40 structures
mainamati images

MAINAMATI: SHALVAN VIHARA Location 01. : In the central area of the LalmaiPaharat the Eastern side. 02. History: -First survey in 1951. -Regular excavation started in January 1955. 03. Name:Thesite is full of Shaltress, the name Shalvanis taken from here.Inscriptionalname is Sri-Bhavadevamonastery. 04. Plan: -Square Buddhist monastry, not at 90 degrees but at a tilt. -Dimensions are 550X550 ft. -115 monastic cells. -Spacious courtyard with a cruciform temple at the center. 05. Phases: There are 6 distinctly rebuilding phases. 06. Gateway: -Only gateway at the north. -It had two guard rooms of 12 ft square. -Cruciform temple at the center of the courtyard. -6 rebuilding phases.  
1stand 2ndphases:
1. Underground 2. Cruciform in plan.
3rdphase:
  . Plan: Cross shaped. Arm: Each arm 170 ft long. Passage: 7 ft wide ambulatory passage around a shrine. Approach: From north Wall: Entire basement wall wasdecorated with terracotta plaques. Mondopa: There is a Mondopaat each of the four projecting arm of the cross. Staircase: A broad staircase at the north, which gave access to the hall. TEMPLE
4th phase:
 Plan: Cross spaded and transformed into rectangle. Dimension: 168X110 ft from north-south to east-west. Hall: 30 ft square hall in the center with 3 pillars at each corner. Path: 5 ft processional path around the façade. Staircase: At the corner.
 5thphase 
 Plan: Rectangular in a reduced size. Staircase: Access to the hall room from a grand staircase at the north. A small Mandopawith 12 pillars surrounded by the prayer chamber with the statue.
 6thphase  
Building of this phase is dismantled now.  
mainamati terracota

MAINAMATI: MONASTERY 
1.Wall: Wall was 16’6”thick later was reduced to 10’0”. 2.Cell: monastic cell 12’X12’in dimension and 115 in number. Partition wall 5”thick. 3.Verandah: Cells were connected by 8’6”wide inner verandah. On each side a flight of steps led down from the middle of the verandah to the courtyard. 4.Niche: Corbelled niche to lit the three walls. 5.Founder: BhavaDeva, the 4thruler of the Dev dynasty constructed this monastery probably at the beginning of the 8th century. This fact is known from inscription of copper ceiling, coins and seals.  
OTHERS: 
 1.Kitchen: At the south-east corner of the courtyard there was a hall room associated with two small rooms probably it was the kitchen. 2. Temple: At the west there were two temples. Longer one was quadrangular with a door at the east while the smaller one had three pillars at each corner. 3. Outer temple: There was an outer temple 60 ft north from the north-west side. 4. Copper Plates: 8 copper plates were found at the shalvansite, from the first plate we get evidence of another Buddhist dynasty the Devadynasty.
sculpture mainamati

  KOTILA MURA 
 1.Location: Situated on a hillock about three miles north from ShalvanVihara. 2.Stupa: Consists of a row of three brick built stupason a oblong platform. 3.Dimension: 280X225 ft platform. 4.Trinity: The three jewel represents the Buddhist Trinity: -Buddha (knowledge) -Dharma (virtue) -Sangha(discipline) 5.Plan: Erected on a square plan with circular drums and hemispherical domes. 6.Central stupa: The base of the central stupahad a height of 10 ft and the circumference is 120 ft. 7.Dharmachakra: In ground plan the central stupais in the shape of Dharmachakrarepresented by a circular room and 8 blind cells around it. 8. Sculpture: From the cells a number of Buddha and other sculptures found made of soft laminated clay stone. 9.Other stupas: -There were other two stupason the either side. -Built probably of brick. -Consisted of a sealed central relic. -Chambers of hundreds of votive stupaswith inscribed seals 10. Processional path: In front of the three stupasare a number of oblong halls circumvented by processional path. 11. Boundary wall: The entire site is enclosed by a massive boundary wall with recessed panels. 12. Staircase: 3 grand staircase on the eastern side formed approach to the area of the shrine. 13. Phases: 3 rebuilding phases.
mainamati image

 MAINAMATI: CHARPATRA MURA
  1. Discovered: Excavated in 1956 by the military contractors. 2. Location: 1.5 miles north-west of KutilaMura. 3. Type: Basically a Buddhist shrine crowned on a flat hillock. 4. Height: 35 ft above the ground. 5. Plan: Strong rrectangle. 6.Dimension: 105X55 ft. 7.Approach: Approach from the east through a gateway and a spacious hall. 8.Roof: Roof supported on 4ft thick brick columns in form of a pier. 9.Covered chamber: A covered chamber led to the prayer chamber at the west. 10. Re-building phase: 3 re-building phases. 11. Relics: A bronze relic. 4 very important royal copper grantsof Devaand Chandra dynasties were found here.
visitor visit mainamati images

MAINAMATI: ANANDA VIHARA MOUND
  1.Location: -About 1.5 miles to the north of ShalvanViharaand nearly 1 mile to the south of KutilaMura. -Largest of the ancient sites: 900 sq. ft. 2.Plan: -Square plan 625X625 ft -Central cruciform temple having recessed corners. 3. Grandportal: -In the middle of the north wing is a grand portal. -Consisting 100X46 ft projecting fronton and a gateway complex. 4.Approach: -17’6”X7’6”entrance passage opens on to the interior. -Through a 5ft wide doorway. -Give access to a rectangular hall of 30X15 ft. 5. Smaller hall: -Behind the front hall lies a second smaller hall 24’X8’6”. 6. Cell: -Series of uninterrupted monastic cells occupy the inner face of the enclosure wall. 7.Built by: -AnandaDeva. 8.Excavation: -Excavation was started on 1976. 9. Found: -Various statues, seals, terracotta plaques, ornamental bricks, weapons of stone or petrified wood are found here.
mainamati museum

 MAINAMATI’S PALACE  
Manamatiwas a name of a queen. 1. Location: Lalmai, Manamatirange, it is the most important palace structure near the Gomtiriver. 2. Height: 40 ft above ground. 3.Style: Like a brick bungalow. 4.Excavated: 1966~67. 5.Wall: 11’6”massive enclosure surrounded the palace and the brick wall for defensive purpose. 6.Dimension: 510X550 ft from north-south to east-west. 7.Passage: 14 ft broad with a complicated series of structure remains on either side. 8. Others: -First evidence of circular building in Bengal. -It is mentioned that by the side of the palace there were also Maharaja Kumar BirKishoreand ManikyaBahadurof Agartala’sbungalows. -In the early phase the whole area was under Tripura state.