A Trip to Paharpur Monastery

The Buddhist Monastery at Paharpur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located around 260 kilometers North West of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The place is also known as the Somapura Mahavihara (সোমপুর মহাবিহার). This article will cover my recent trip to the historical site. Moreover, I will be covering some of the newer additions to the place in the blog.

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How to Get There

Although it is located in Naogaon District, the fastest way to get there would be through Joypurhat.

The most convenient way to reach Paharpur monastery from Dhaka is to catch an air conditioned bus to Jaypurhat district. From there you can hop on an auto-rickshaw for a 30 minute ride to the main gate of Paharpur Buddhist Monastery.

History

Archaeological evidence suggests that this Monastery was built back in the 8th century A.D by the second Pala Emperor.

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Architectural beauty on the walls of Paharpur Monastery, can be observed along the entire border of the gigantic temple walls.

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The Museum and the Aesthetic Garden

UNESCO has recently spent a lot of money on renovating the entire historical landmark and turn it into a proper tourism destination by adding a few extra attractions. One of the newer additions in the site is the renovated and modernized museum leading to a garden where you can catch a panoramic view of the monastery.

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Paharpur Museum: Located at the Entrance of the Monastery

The garden located between the museum and the monastery is full of plants and bushes cut into shapes of animals. The trimming was done so meticulously that it felt almost as if it was done by Edward Scissorhands in person.

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Bushes pruned to look like a couple of elephants facing each other
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Doorway made out of trimmed bushes

After you finish exploring the museum and the garden, the path will lead to an opening where you can sneak a glimpse at the ruins of Somapura Mahavihara for the first time at a distance.

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Thank you for going through the blog post. Which famous landmark do you think I should travel to/write about next. Let me know in the comments section.

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