Paharput Buddha Bihar(পাহাড়পুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার) is one of our prides from Bangladesh. According to some scholars, this can be the largest Buddhist Bihara from the world. This is located at the Paharpur union(পাহাড়পুর ইউনিয়ন) of Bodolgachhi Upazila(বদলগাছী উপজেলা) of Naogaon district(নওগাঁ জেলা) from Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ). This place is also known as Sompur Buddha Bihar(সোমপুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার). People called this as Pahar(পাহাড়) as it looks like a hill(in bengali it means Pahar), from there the place is known as Paharpur(পাহাড়পুর).
This massive Buddhist Bihara was probably built during the 8th or 9th century by the second king Sree Dhormopaldeb(শ্রী ধর্মপালদেব) of Paal dynasty. It was active around 300 years for learning and religious researches. Our great Atish Dipankar(অতীশ দীপঙ্কর) was the chancellor of this Bihar during the 10th century. People from around the glob used to come here for sharing and learning knowledge.
The central temple of the Bihar was the biggest one and now in dilapidated condition. It has several stores around the temple. From my observation to the other temples around the globe, I believe the people used to walk clockwise around the temple on those as their prayer(I can be wrong). And I also believe, the top of the central temple might have a shrine or similar object there. May be that is ruined while it was having a vie with the time.
How to Go:
There are several ways to visit this place. We have visited this Paharpur Buddha Bihar(পাহাড়পুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার) after visiting the Hinda-Koshba Shahi Mosjid(হিন্দা-কসবা শাহী মসজিদ). And to minimize the cost, we have used the public transportation(changed several times). So it was cheap, but time consuming.
This place is accessible both from Naogaon(নওগাঁ জেলা), and Joypurhat district(জয়পুরহাট জেলা). So whatever is easier for you(according to your tour plan) you can take. After visiting the Paharpur Bihar(পাহাড়পুর বিহার), we have reached at the Naogaon district(নওগাঁ জেলা) using a Public bus service. It has dropped us at the Baludanga(বালুডাঙ্গা) bus stand of the town with a cost of 40 Taka per person. It was nearly around a two hours of bus journey. So, if you wish, you can reverse the path to reach this place if want.
For your information, the GPS coordinate of the Paharpur Buddha Bihar(পাহাড়পুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার) is (25° 1'52.50"N, 88°58'36.40"E)
Where to Stay:
It has a guest house at the Bihar premise, so if you are lucky, you can make your reservation over there. We almost made it. But unfortunately couldn't for few officers(are really they?) over there. It would be awesome for us cause it was the moon light night that time. So after crestfallen we had to return back to the Joypurhut town to find for a hotel.
We have stayed at the Hotel Prithibi and took a cheaper room after a bargain. And at the next day, we returned back to the Paharpur bihar again to explore. We couldn't do it yesterday as it was already dark that time. And unfortunately enough, we couldn't manage the room too. But best of luck for you. I believe you can.
Paharpur Buddha Bihar(পাহাড়পুর বৌদ্ধ বিহার)/Sompur Bihar(সোমপুর বিহার),
Union: Paharpur(পাহাড়পুর ইউনিয়ন),
Upazila: Bodolgachhi(বদলগাছী উপজেলা),
District: Naogaon(নওগাঁ জেলা),
GPS: (25° 1'52.50"N, 88°58'36.40"E)
This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/