Mahasthangarh ( মহাস্থানগড় )
written by – Labanaya Barua
Mahasthangarh (মহাস্থানগড়) is one of the oldest and the most important buddhist archaeological attractions in Bangladesh. It is called the “oldest known city” of Bangladesh. Each of its bricks represents the history of ancient and medieval Bengal.
‘Mahasthan’ means ‘great sanctity’ and ‘garh’ means fort. So Mahasthangarh was named for its sacred fort. Mahasthan was first mentioned in a Sanskrit text of the 13th century entitled ‘Vallalcharita’. It was also mentioned in another book ‘Korotoa Mahatta’, circumstantially written in 12th–13th century.
Mahasthangarh is the remains of the ancient city of Pundranagar. It was the capital of the Maurya, Gupta and Sen kingdoms. This earliest and largest city, fortified by mud and red bricks, measures 1,525 metres long to north-south, 1,370 metres to east-west and 5 meters high from the soil level. Mahasthangarh is located in the Mahasthan village in Shibganj upazilla, 13 kilo metres north to Bogra town.
Mahasthangarh was declared as the cultural capital of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on November 24, 2016, by a SAARC Cultural Centre team, led by its director Wasantha Kotuwella from Sri Lanka.
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