5. Bogra Day Tour with Mahasthangarh and Paharpur
Take a private full-day tour of Bogra to get to know the Mahasthangarh and Paharpur incredible history in more intimate detail. The popular 10-hour tour includes all transportation, a personal driver and an English speaking guide throughout the day.
Following a hotel pick-up from Bogra at 8 am, your first stop will be Mahasthangarh. Mahasthangarh is one of the earliest urban archaeological sites so far discovered in Bangladesh. The village Mahasthan of Bogra District contains the remains of an ancient city which was called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura in the territory of Pundravardhana. A limestone slab bearing six lines in Prakrit in Brahmi script, discovered in 1931, dates Mahasthangarh to at least the 3rd century BC. The fortified area was in use till the 18th century AD.
Next, head to explore a large number of monuments, mounds and water reservoirs. A few of them namely Govinda Bhita Hindu Temple, Gokul Medh- Behula Lakshindar Basor Ghor, Vasu Bihar have been excavated in last few decades. There is a small site museum near the northeast corner of the fort.
After lunch at Joypurhat local restaurant Continue to Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur, the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur village was once the biggest Buddhist monastery south of the Himalayas. It is also one of only two historic sites in Bangladesh with UNESCO World Heritage status and one of the most important archaeological sites in the country.
The Somapura Mahavihara, as the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur was known, was once a renowned intellectual centre until its demise in the 12th Century AD. The monastery is unique in that its design was influenced by cultures as far away as Java (Indonesia). Somapura Mahavihara was the largest of the great monasteries of the Pala Empire. Architecturally, it is unusual as it resembles Buddhist temples found in Java, Burma and Cambodia, rather than those typically found in the Indian Sub-Continent.
The quadrangular structure has a cross shaped floor plan. In the centre of the main courtyard of the complex archaeological excavation has evidence of some type of central temple or super-structure. The exact purpose of this building is unresolved, although there is a proposition that it was some kind of Stupa or Buddhist relic shrine. After visiting Paharpur Museum approximately 6:00 pm, you'll arrive back at your hotel in Bogra where the tour will end.