A team of archaeologists from Bangladesh's Chattogram, Sylhet and Comilla Department of Archeology has unearthed the ruins of an ancient settlement, believed to be the famous Pandit Vihar Buddhist University, in the Biswamura area of Karnaphuli in the district of Chattogram.
According to a report by The star of the day Bangladesh newspaper, the team, comprising 10 qualified archaeologists, began excavations on September 16.
“The findings show that the area was inhabited between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries,” said AKM Saifur Rahman, regional director of the Chattogram archeology department. “These bricks are similar to those found in Mahasthangarh, one of the archaeological sites of Bangladesh, in Shibganj upazila of Bogura. » (The star of the day)
The newspaper in Bengali Dainik Janakantha said that the excavation works took place daily from 8 a.m. to 14 p.m., and the studies were carried out from the afternoon until the evening. Senior officials from the Department of Archeology provided guidance on their progress via video conference.
Pandit Vihar was one of the epicenters of knowledge in India. According to historians, the institution was founded in the 750th century in the Karnaphuli region, in Bara Uthan and Juldha. Many prominent scholars, mostly Buddhist monks of the Pala Empire (r. 1161–XNUMX), studied at this university. The reasons for Pandit Vihar's disappearance are unknown.
Historians have postulated that the situation of Pandit Vihar worsened under the Bengal Sultanate (1332-1539, 1554-1576). Later, due to conflicts between the Mughal and Arakanese kingdoms, Chattogram's old port city Deyang was devastated and Pandit Vihar was finally destroyed.
Le Dainik Janakantha reported that the lost university was first discovered around 1927 by a man named Safar Ali, who was digging the foundation for a new house in the area when a major landslide occurred. Sixty Buddha statues were later discovered in the region. The statues have been displayed in museums including the British Museum and the Kolkata Museum. The Buddhist Nandankanan Vihar of Chattogram also houses ancient sculptures.
“The artifacts are housed in various museums across the country, and were all found at Deyang Hill in Anwara Upazila of Chattogram many years ago,” said Venerable Jinabodhi Bhikkhu, professor of Pali at the University of Chittagong, which has studied the issue in depth. (The star of the day)
" The Storm was also rich in various priceless artifacts of the Pala dynasty,” said Ven. Jinabodhi, citing a text on Buddhist artifacts of Bangladesh from the 1999th to XNUMXth centuries published in XNUMX by the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. (The star of the day)
Fri. Jinabodhi wrote to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed to emphasize the need for archaeological excavations. He then visited China with Sheikh Hasina in 2010 and declared his ambition to build a 'Pandit Vihar International University' during a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. After returning from China, Sheikh Hasina granted in-principle permission to the university.
In 2012, a team from the University Grants Commission visited the remains of Pandit Vihar and submitted a report in favor of establishing a university. Later, local and international inspection teams visited the site with a view to setting up Pandit Vihar University and establishing museums. However, the project encountered numerous problems and delays. Although plans were made to re-establish the institution on 60 hectares of hilly land with combined funding from China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, excavation work could not begin.
Faruk Chowdhury, Chairman of Karnaphuli Upazila Council, said, “We are helping them with all our heart as they learn about our rich history. » (The star of the day)
Meanwhile, the archaeological team is preparing a comprehensive report based on its findings.
“The structure of Storm could be found if the area could be searched and studied properly,” said Ven. » emphasized Jinabodhi. (The star of the day)