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Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a country considerably rich in archaeological wealth, especially of the medieval period both during the Muslim and pre-Muslim rules, though most of it is still unexplored and unknown. In archaeological fieldwork and research this area was very much neglected for a long time for various reasons, not the least of which is its difficult geography and climate and remoteness from the main centers of the subcontinent.  With the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the Government has undertaken a number of field projects including a comprehensive survey and exploration of the hitherto unexplored areas and a fairly ambitious scheme of excavations on selected sites. Though work at present is carried out on a limited scale, the discoveries already made have been significant, while new information and fresh evidence are coming out gradually. These fresh explorations are likely to add substantially to our knowledge of the history and chronology of ancient Bangladesh and various aspects of her life and culture. Paharpur is a small village 5 km. west of Jamalganj in the greater Rajshahi district where the remains of the most important and the largest known monastery south of the Himalayas has been excavated. This 7th century archaeological find covers approximately an area of 27acres of land. The entire establishment, occupying a quadrangular court, measuring more than 900 ft. externally on each side, has high enclosure- walls about 16 ft. in thickness and from 12 ft. to 15 ft. height. With elaborate gateway complex on the north, there are 45 cells on the north and 44 in each of the other three sides with a total number of 177 rooms. The architecture of the pyramidal cruciform temple is profoundly influenced by those of South-East Asia, especially Myanmar and Java.

A small site-Museum built in 1956-57 houses the representative collection of objects recovered from the area.The excavated findings have also been preserved at theVarendra Research Museum at Rajshahi.The antiquities of the museum include terracotta plaques, images of different gods and goddesses, potteries, coins, inscriptions, ornamental bricks and other minor clay objects.

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