HOME
The Info List - Somapura


--- Advertisement ---



Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara
(Bengali: সোমপুর মহাবিহার Shompur Môhabihar) in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon
Naogaon
District, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent
Indian Subcontinent
and is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in 1985. It dates from a similar time period to the nearby Halud Vihara
Vihara
and to the Sitakot Vihara
Vihara
in Nawabganj Upazila of Dinajpur District.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Architecture

2.1 Central temple 2.2 Nameable statues found

3 Protection 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] A number of monasteries grew up during the Pāla period in ancient Bengal
Bengal
and Magadha. According to Tibetan sources, five great Mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious; Somapura Mahavihara; Odantapurā; and Jaggadala.[2] The monasteries formed a network; "all of them were under state supervision" and there existed "a system of co-ordination among them ... it seems from the evidence that the different seats of Buddhist
Buddhist
learning that functioned in eastern India under the Pāla were regarded together as forming a network, an interlinked group of institutions," and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them.[3] The excavation at Paharpur, and the finding of seals bearing the inscription Shri-Somapure-Shri-Dharmapaladeva-Mahavihariyarya-bhiksu-sangghasya, has identified the Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara
as built by the second Pala king Dharmapala (circa 781–821) of Pāla Dynasty.[4] Tibetan sources, including Tibetan translations of Dharmakayavidhi and Madhyamaka
Madhyamaka
Ratnapradipa, Taranatha's history and Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang, mention that Dharmapala's successor Devapala (circa 810–850) built it after his conquest of Varendra.[4] The Paharpur pillar inscription bears the mention of 5th regnal year of Devapala's successor Mahendrapala
Mahendrapala
(circa 850–854) along with the name of Bhiksu Ajayagarbha.[4] Taranatha's Pag Sam Jon Zang records that the monastery was repaired during the reign of Mahipala (circa 995–1043 AD).[4] The Nalanda
Nalanda
inscription of Vipulashrimitra records that the monastery was destroyed by fire, which also killed Vipulashrimitra's ancestor Karunashrimitra, during a conquest by the Vanga army in the 11th century. Over time Atish's spiritual preceptor, Ratnakara Shanti, served as a sthavira of the vihara, Mahapanditacharya Bodhibhadra served as a resident monk, and other scholars spent part of their lives at the monastery, including Kalamahapada, Viryendra and Karunashrimitra.[4] Many Tibetan monks visited the Somapura between the 9th and 12th centuries.[4] During the rule of the Sena dynasty, known as Karnatadeshatagata Brahmaksatriya, in the second half of the 12th century the vihara started to decline for the last time.[4] One scholar writes, "The ruins of the temple and monasteries at Pāhāpur do not bear any evident marks of large-scale destruction. The downfall of the establishment, by desertion or destruction, must have been sometime in the midst of the widespread unrest and displacement of population consequent on the Muslim invasion."[5] A copperplate dated to 159 Gupta Era (479 AD) discovered in 1927 in the northeast corner of the monastery, mentions donation of a Brahmin couple to Jain Acharya Guhanandi of Pancha-stupa Nikaya[6] at Vata Gohli, identifiable as the neighbouring village of Goalapara[7] Architecture[edit]

Site map

The quadrangular structure consists of 177 cells and a traditional Buddhist
Buddhist
stupa in the centre. The rooms were used by the monks for accommodation and meditation. In addition to the large number of stupas and shrines of various sizes and shapes, terracotta plaques, stone sculptures, inscriptions, coins, ceramics etc. have been discovered. The site houses the architectural remains of a vast Buddhist monastery, Somapura Mahavihara, covering 27 acres (11 ha). It was an important intellectual centre for Dharmic Traditions
Dharmic Traditions
such as Buddhists
Buddhists
(Buddha Dharma), Jains (Jaina Dharma) and Hindus
Hindus
(Sanatana Dharma) alike.[8] The 21 acre (85,000 m²) complex has 177 cells, viharas, numerous stupas, temples and a number of other ancillary buildings.[9] The outside walls with ornamental terracotta palques still display the influence of these three religions. In acreage, Somapura was the largest of the mahaviharas.[10] Its architecture was unusual. As one scholar described, the complex was dominated by a temple, which was not typical, and further, the temple had "none of the characteristic features of Indian temple architecture, but is strongly reminiscent of Buddhist
Buddhist
temples of Burma, Java and Cambodia, reproducing the cruciform basement, terraced structure with inset chambers and gradually dwindling pyramid form ... during the age of the Palas some sort of intercourse between eastern India and south-east Asia existed ... but how this temple type, represented in India by this solitary example, became the standard of Buddhist
Buddhist
temple architecture is not known."[11] Another commented, "there can be no doubt that this style of architecture has most profoundly influenced that of Burma, Java and Cambodia. The nearest approximation to the plan and the superstructure of the Paharpur temple is afforded by the temples known as Chandi Loro Jongrang and Chandi Sevu of Prambanam in Central Java."[11] Central temple[edit] The purpose of this central structure at the midst of the courtyard remains unsolved since its discovery. Hence, most of the debates generated hitherto on the architecture of Sompur Mahavihara are cantered on the identification its missing superstructure. The reason may be manifold, but the most important one is the non-availability of substantial amount of first-hand resource including a comprehensive architectural documentation at the disposal of the researchers. There are different arguments regarding the terminating top of the central structure of Sompur Mahavihara.[example needed] Consequently, most of works done so far are mainly based on the findings of the archaeological excavation and studying the artefacts from the archaeological perspective. The first study on this monument with documentation was by archaeologist K.N. Dikhist in his Paharpur, Memoirs of Archaeological Survey in India (1938). Dikhsit was concerned with documentation of the archaeological findings and concentrated on their interpretation and analysis. He attempted to suggest a probable architectural treatment of the missing parts of the structure through studying the archaeological remains. Till today, this study is considered as the most authentic record of the Sompur Mahavihara. Prudence R. Myer published the first of such studies in 1969 as a journal paper, in which he proposed the missing superstructure as a stupa and illustrated the possible three-dimensional articulations.[12] Myer embarked on his proposal through a diachronic study of the stupa and stupa shrines in India. He took Sompur Mahavihara as an example to elaborate his study and did a conjectural restoration of the central structure in support of his analysis. The second work was published around thirty years after Myer's proposition. A team of architects[note 1] from Khulna University
Khulna University
led by Mohammed Ali Naqi has proposed another theoretical reconstruction of the central structure as well as some parts of the peripheral block (mainly the entrance hall) in 1999. This work was also presented in the "International Seminar on Elaboration of an Archaeological Research Strategy for Paharpur World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
and Its Environment" jointly organised by UNESCO
UNESCO
and Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
in 2004. Muhammad Ali Naqi proposed a temple-like spire at the top by considering the central mound as a 'Stupa-Shrine' with a 'Shikhara' type stupa in his reconstruction.[13] popular Media By Paharpur Bihar Many videos Documentary have been Paharpur Bihar, 2016 Eid special Teli film Chader shohor] Onair By Channel i. directed By Razib Hasan Cast By Satabdi owudut, mithila, tarq shopon, full of stories and cinematography of around Paharpur Bihar. Nameable statues found[edit] The statues are reserved in the adjacent museum for display. Some nameable statues are:

'Chamunda' Statue of Clay Stone Standing 'Seetala' Statue of Red Stone Broken Parts of 'Visnu' Statue of Krishna Stone 'Keerti' Statue of Clay Stone Damaged 'Haargouri' Statue Broken Statue of Laxmi Narayan of Krishna Stone 'Uma' Statue of krishna Stone 'Gouri' Statue of Clay Stone 'Visnu' Statue of Clay Stone Nandi Statue 'Visnu' Statue of Krishna Stone Sun Statue 'Mansha' Statue of Clay Stone

A few metal images have been found. An image of Hara-Gouri, a standing naked Jaina and the bronze figures of Kubera and Ganesha were discovered at Paharpur from pre- Bangladesh
Bangladesh
period excavations. During post-liberation excavation (1981–82 precisely) the torso of a large and important bronze Buddha image was found. Protection[edit] Somapura was designated a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in 1985. Since then, a series of UNESCO
UNESCO
missions has regularly visited the site and helped with the project. Moreover, the UN body prepared a master plan, involving US$5.6 million.[14][15][16] The terracotta artworks in the site have suffered from serious damage as a result of "lack of proper maintenance, shortage of manpower, fund constraint and heavy rainfall And the major problem is the corruption of Bangladesh."[17] Furthermore, poor water drainage accompanied by high levels of salinity in the soils has contributed to decay the terracotta sculptures.[18] Other threats include uncontrolled vegetation, vandalism, climate conditions, and public trespassing and encroachment. Gallery[edit]

Structures in Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara
complex

Bottom of Central Shrine

Model by Prudence R. Myer

Model by Mohammed Ali Naqi

See also[edit]

List of World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh Ancient Universities of India List of colossal sculpture in situ Bikrampur Vihara Wari-Bateshwar ruins Bhitagarh

Notes[edit]

^ Team members were Md Ali Naqi, Ziaul Islam, Md. Shoeb Bhuiyan and Catherine Daisy Gomes

References[edit]

^ Rahman, SS Mostafizur (2012). "Sitakot Vihara". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.  ^ English, Elizabeth (2002). Vajrayogini: Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms. Wisdom Publications. p. 15. ISBN 0-86171-329-X.  ^ Dutt, Sukumar (1988) [First published 1962]. Buddhist
Buddhist
Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 352–353. ISBN 978-81-208-0498-2.  ^ a b c d e f g Chowdhury, AM (2012). "Somapura Mahavihara". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
(Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.  ^ Dutt, Sukumar (1988) [First published 1962]. Buddhist
Buddhist
Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 376. ISBN 978-81-208-0498-2.  ^ Asher, Frederick M. (1980). The Art of Eastern India: 300 – 800. University of Minnesota Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-4529-1225-7.  ^ Dutt, Sukumar (1988) [First published 1962]. Buddhist
Buddhist
Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 371. ISBN 978-81-208-0498-2.  ^ Singh, Sheo Kumar (1982). History and Philosophy of Buddhism. Delhi: Associated Book Agency. p. 44. OCLC 59043590.  ^ Alam, A. K. M. Masud; Xie, Shucheng; Saha, Dilip Kumar; Chowdhury, Sifatul Quader (2007). "Clay mineralogy of archaeological soil: an approach to paleoclimatic and environmental reconstruction of the archaeological sites of the Paharpur area, Badalgacchi upazila, Naogaon
Naogaon
district, Bangladesh". Environmental Geology. Springer. 53 (8): 1639–1650. doi:10.1007/s00254-007-0771-1.  ^ Dutt, Sukumar (1988) [First published 1962]. Buddhist
Buddhist
Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 375. ISBN 978-81-208-0498-2.  ^ a b Dutt, Sukumar (1988) [First published 1962]. Buddhist
Buddhist
Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 373. ISBN 978-81-208-0498-2.  ^ Myer, Prudence R. (1961). "Stupas and Stupa-Shrines". Artibus Asiae. 24 (1): 25–34. doi:10.2307/3249181. JSTOR 3249181.  ^ Naqi, Md. Ali; Islam, Ziaul; Bhuyan, Md. Shoeb; Gomes, Catherine Daisy (1999), "The virtual reconstruction of Paharpur vihara", Khulna University Studies, 1 (1): 187–204, ISSN 1563-0897  ^ Ruins of the Buddhist
Buddhist
Vihara
Vihara
at Paharpur, UNESCO. ^ UNESCO
UNESCO
Dhaka Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Article on Somapura Mahavihara, from Encyclopædia Britannica. ^ Bilu, Hasibur Rahman (25 April 2009). " World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
Left in Ruins". The Daily Star.  ^ Bilu, Hasibur Rahman (15 December 2007). "Salinity and Neglect Ruin Paharpur Terracotta". The Daily Star. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Somapura Mahavihara.

Pharapur Buddhist
Buddhist
Vihara
Vihara
from Department of Archeology, Government of Bangladesh World Heritage Site More info,images, videos, 360degree panoramic views and more

v t e

Ancient Dharmic centres of higher learning

Early centres of learning

Taxila Nalanda Somapura Vikramashila

Further centres of learning

Bikrampur Vihara Jagaddala Mahavihara Kanchipuram Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics Manyakheta Nagarjunakonda Odantapuri Pandit Vihara Ratnagiri Shalban Vihara Sharada Peeth Sunethradevi Pirivena Vallabhi Varanasi Vidyalankara Pirivena Vidyodaya Pirivena Vikramashila

v t e

Places in Bengal
Bengal
that no longer exist

Betor Bikrampur (Bikrampur Vihara) Chaityabhumi (Pandit Vihara) Chandraketugarh Devkot Dihar Gaur (Lakhsmanabati) Gobindapur Kalikata Karnasubarna Mahasthangarh Mainamati
Mainamati
(Shalban Vihara) Moghalmari Paharpur (Somapura Mahavihara) (Halud Vihara) Pandu Rajar Dhibi Pandua Saptagram Sonargaon Sutanuti Tamralipta Varendra
Varendra
(Jagaddala Mahavihara) Wari-Bateshwar

v t e

Buddhism
Buddhism
topics

Glossary Index Outline

Foundations

Three Jewels

Buddha Dharma Sangha

Four Noble Truths Noble Eightfold Path Nirvana Middle Way

The Buddha

Tathāgata Birthday Four sights Physical characteristics Footprint Relics Iconography in Laos and Thailand Films Miracles Family

Suddhodāna (father) Māyā (mother) Mahapajapati Gotamī (aunt, adoptive mother) Yasodhara (wife) Rāhula
Rāhula
(son) Ānanda (cousin) Devadatta
Devadatta
(cousin)

Places where the Buddha stayed Buddha in world religions

Key concepts

Avidyā (Ignorance) Bardo Bodhicitta Bodhisattva Buddha-nature Dhamma theory Dharma Enlightenment Five hindrances Indriya Karma Kleshas Mind Stream Parinirvana Pratītyasamutpāda Rebirth Saṃsāra Saṅkhāra Skandha Śūnyatā Taṇhā
Taṇhā
(Craving) Tathātā Ten Fetters Three marks of existence

Impermanence Dukkha Anatta

Two truths doctrine

Cosmology

Ten spiritual realms Six realms

Deva (Buddhism) Human realm Asura realm Hungry Ghost realm Animal realm Hell

Three planes of existence

Practices

Bhavana Bodhipakkhiyādhammā Brahmavihara

Mettā Karuṇā Mudita Upekkha

Buddhābhiseka Dāna Devotion Dhyāna Faith Five Strengths Iddhipada Meditation

Mantras Kammaṭṭhāna Recollection Smarana Anapanasati Samatha Vipassanā
Vipassanā
(Vipassana movement) Shikantaza Zazen Kōan Mandala Tonglen Tantra Tertön Terma

Merit Mindfulness

Satipatthana

Nekkhamma Pāramitā Paritta Puja

Offerings Prostration Chanting

Refuge Satya

Sacca

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Sati Dhamma vicaya Pīti Passaddhi

Śīla

Five Precepts Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
vow Prātimokṣa

Threefold Training

Śīla Samadhi Prajñā

Vīrya

Four Right Exertions

Nirvana

Bodhi Bodhisattva Buddhahood Pratyekabuddha Four stages of enlightenment

Sotāpanna Sakadagami Anāgāmi Arhat

Monasticism

Bhikkhu Bhikkhuni Śrāmaṇera Śrāmaṇerī Anagarika Ajahn Sayadaw Zen
Zen
master Rōshi Lama Rinpoche Geshe Tulku Householder Upāsaka and Upāsikā Śrāvaka

The ten principal disciples

Shaolin Monastery

Major figures

Gautama Buddha Kaundinya Assaji Sāriputta Mahamoggallāna Mulian Ānanda Mahākassapa Anuruddha Mahākaccana Nanda Subhuti Punna Upali Mahapajapati Gotamī Khema Uppalavanna Asita Channa Yasa Buddhaghoṣa Nagasena Angulimala Bodhidharma Nagarjuna Asanga Vasubandhu Atiśa Padmasambhava Nichiren Songtsen Gampo Emperor Wen of Sui Dalai Lama Panchen Lama Karmapa Shamarpa Naropa Xuanzang Zhiyi

Texts

Tripiṭaka Madhyamakālaṃkāra Mahayana
Mahayana
sutras Pāli Canon Chinese Buddhist
Buddhist
canon Tibetan Buddhist
Buddhist
canon

Branches

Theravada Mahayana

Chan Buddhism

Zen Seon Thiền

Pure Land Tiantai Nichiren Madhyamaka Yogachara

Navayana Vajrayana

Tibetan Shingon Dzogchen

Early Buddhist
Buddhist
schools Pre-sectarian Buddhism Basic points unifying Theravāda and Mahāyāna

Countries

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan Cambodia China India Indonesia Japan Korea Laos Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar Nepal Pakistan Philippines Russia

Kalmykia Buryatia

Singapore Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Tibet Vietnam Middle East

Iran

Western countries

Argentina Australia Brazil France United Kingdom United States Venezuela

History

Timeline Ashoka Buddhist
Buddhist
councils History of Buddhism
Buddhism
in India

Decline of Buddhism
Buddhism
in India

Great Anti- Buddhist
Buddhist
Persecution Greco-Buddhism Buddhism
Buddhism
and the Roman world Buddhism
Buddhism
in the West Silk Road transmission of Buddhism Persecution of Buddhists Banishment of Buddhist
Buddhist
monks from Nepal Buddhist
Buddhist
crisis Sinhalese Buddhist
Buddhist
nationalism Buddhist
Buddhist
modernism Vipassana movement 969 Movement Women in Buddhism

Philosophy

Abhidharma Atomism Buddhology Creator Economics Eight Consciousnesses Engaged Buddhism Eschatology Ethics Evolution Humanism Logic Reality Secular Buddhism Socialism The unanswered questions

Culture

Architecture

Temple Vihara Wat Stupa Pagoda Candi Dzong architecture Japanese Buddhist
Buddhist
architecture Korean Buddhist
Buddhist
temples Thai temple art and architecture Tibetan Buddhist
Buddhist
architecture

Art

Greco-Buddhist

Bodhi
Bodhi
Tree Budai Buddharupa Calendar Cuisine Funeral Holidays

Vesak Uposatha Magha Puja Asalha Puja Vassa

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Kasaya Mahabodhi Temple Mantra

Om mani padme hum

Mudra Music Pilgrimage

Lumbini Maya Devi Temple Bodh Gaya Sarnath Kushinagar

Poetry Prayer beads Prayer wheel Symbolism

Dharmachakra Flag Bhavacakra Swastika Thangka

Temple of the Tooth Vegetarianism

Miscellaneous

Abhijñā Amitābha Avalokiteśvara

Guanyin

Brahmā Dhammapada Dharma
Dharma
talk Hinayana Kalpa Koliya Lineage Maitreya Māra Ṛddhi Sacred languages

Pali Sanskrit

Siddhi Sutra Vinaya

Comparison

Bahá'í Faith Christianity

Influences Comparison

East Asian religions Gnosticism Hinduism Jainism Judaism Psychology Science Theosophy Violence Western philosophy

Lists

Bodhisattvas Books Buddhas

named

Buddhists Suttas Temples

.

Time at 25408872.816667, Busy percent: 30
***************** NOT Too Busy at 25408872.816667 3../logs/periodic-service_log.txt
1440 = task['interval'];
25409906.466667 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.466667 = task['last-exec'];
daily-work.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.

10080 = task['interval'];
25418546.516667 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.516667 = task['last-exec'];
weekly-work.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25409906.55 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.55 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicStats.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25409906.566667 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.566667 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicBuild.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25409906.566667 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.566667 = task['last-exec'];
cleanup.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25409906.75 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.75 = task['last-exec'];
build-sitemap-xml.php = task['exec'];
25408872.816667 Time.