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Somapura Mahavihara is one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in South Asia, and the most important archaeological site in Bangladesh
. It is located in the north-west of the country, near the town of Paharpur. Somapura Mahavihara was built in the 8th century AD. It consists of a large number of stupas and hollow cells for the monks. The whole complex includes as many as 177 cells. These cells are basically excavated chambers used for the accommodation of the monks and for meditation. This entire network of cells together with the adjacent shrines created the monastery Somapura Mahavihara. The whole complex covers an area of 27 acres. In the past, when it could hold up to 2 000 students it served as an educational centre. It enjoyed great popularity until the 12th century AD, when it became deserted due to Islamic invaders. In the 19th century it was rediscovered. In 1985, Somapura Mahavihara was registered on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
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Last update: Nov 10, 2012 6:44:54 AM