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Naogaon District

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Naogaon District is located in north-eastern Bangladesh, within the Rajshahi Division. The District is perhaps most well-known for being home to the Paharpur Vihar.

Cities[edit]

Understand[edit]

Naogaon is an important farming region, with extremely fertile soil and one of the highest cultivation rates of rice than any other district. 90% of the population is Muslim and majority live a simple, farming lifestyle.

Get in[edit]

Three major highways lead into the Naogaon District, from Bogra, Natore and Rajshahi.

The ruins at Paharpur are situated just off the Naogaon-Jaipurhat Road. There are regular buses from Jaipurhat between 7am and 4pm to Paharpur for Tk 10. The journey is 9km, taking about 25 minutes.

Another option is to catch a train to Jamalganj Railway Station, located only 4.5km down the road (about 10 minutes). A rickshaw can be waved down for the short trip from the station to the Paharpur ruins.

Get around[edit]

Buses can be used to get between major towns, or else rickshaws for small distances.

See[edit][add listing]

Somapura Mahavihara at Pahapur.
  • Balihar Royal Palace, Sadar.  edit
  • Dubalhati Rajbari, Village of Dubalhati (about 6km west of Naogaon City). An ancient mansion built sometime during the Pala Dynasty (8th-11th centuries). It is a three-building that stands on tall, wide columns at the front. Although it has fallen into disrepair, the mansion is still occasionally used for events and seminars.  edit
  • Dudulhati Royal Palace, Sadar.  edit
  • Kusumba Mosque, Rajshahi-Naogaon Hwy, Kusumba. Located on the bank of the Atrai River, this 16th century mosque was built by an Afghan ruler of Bengal. The building itself is circumvented by an elaborate wall and entrance gate, with sentry boxes for guards. It is in the style of most traditional Bengali mosques, with three domes on a square building made of stone and bricks. Elaborate carvings adorn many of it walls.  edit
  • Mohadevpur Rajbari. Built sometime in the early 1600s by a wealthy Hindu ruler, this mansion is located about 24km west of Naogaon City in the town of Mohadevpur.  edit
  • Village of Patisar, (12km south-east of Atrai Railway Station). Patisar is a small village that was the home of famous poet, Rabindranath Tagore, the writer of the Indian and Bangladeshi national anthems. A ruined zamindari mansion is still located in the town. During the birth and death anniversaries of Tagore, festivals and events are held in the village to celebrate the occasion.  edit

Paharpur[edit]

Probably the most renowned monument in the region is the ruins of a major Buddhist vihara: Somapura Mahavihara. Also known as Paharpur Vihar, it is located in the tiny town of Paharpur, 5km west of Jamalganj. The shrine is estimated to have been built sometime during the 7th or 8th century. It formed part of a network of five major monasteries across the Indian subcontinent, and scholars would regularly travel between the sites as part of their lifelong learning. The monastery was destroyed by fire during a conquest, but rebuilt about a century later. When the area came under Muslim occupation in the 13th century, Paharpur went into decline until it was finally abandoned in the 13th century when the Buddhist population fled the region. It's ruins today are not the result of any conquest, but of centuries without maintenance or use.

The architecture is not particularly Indian, but influenced by similar sites in Myanmar and Java. To the north is an elaborate gateway complex, with other sites surrounding the temple. The temple is raised upon a pyramid structure, which is all that really remains of the original building. On the walls, various pictures and script can be observed.

A site museum is located right near the structure. It houses a collection of interesting objects collected from excavations in the area. Some valuable artefacts are housed at the Varendra Museum in Rajshahi, while others are on what seems like a permanent world tour. Artefacts on display include terracotta plaques, images of various gods and goddesses, Buddha heads, pottery, coins, ornamental bricks and other clay items. Admission to the museum is Tk 50. Opening hours from April to September are: Mon 2:30-6pm, Tue-Thu & Sat 10am-1pm & 1:30-6pm, Fri 10am-12:30pm & 2:30-6pm. From October to March: Mon 1:30-5pm, Tue-Thu & Sat 9am-1pm & 1:30-5pm, Fri 9am-12:30pm & 2-5pm.

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