Somapuri Mahāvihāra

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‘The great monastery of Somapuri’, also known as Pāhārpur Vihāra, is the most impressive of the Buddhist buildings of Bangladesh. It is generally believed that the temple was built between the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 9th century ce by Emperor Dharmapāla. Somapuri comprises several buildings, surrounded by ramparts on its four sides. The main building contained 177 cells for the monks.arranged on four floors, together with other halls and rooms. It is therefore thought that Somapuri Vihāra hosted at any time several hundred Buddhist monks. An unusual feature of Somapuri is not just the fine sculptures and terracotta plaques that used to decorate the buildings, but the architectural style of the main temple which stood in the middle of the compound. This brick temple had an unusual base in the shape of a cross, rising from the ground in three stepped terraces which contained several chambers.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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