Thursday 18 October 2018 ,
Thursday 18 October 2018 ,
Latest News
  • Legendary singer Ayub Bachhu passes away
  • Dhaka, Riyadh sign 5 MoUs
  • Govt forms taskforce for physical arrangements
  • NBR rolling out e-fiscal devices to check VAT evasion
  • Bangladesh moves down in global competitiveness index
  • 2 female ‘militants’ surrender at Narsingdi hideout
8 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Sitakot Bihar

M Mahmud Ali
Sitakot Bihar

According to historical records, around 84,000 stupas and pillars were built throughout the Indian Subcontinent during the reign of Emperor Ashoka. Many religious and educational institutions and Buddhist monasteries were developed up to the 11th Century in Bengal. Thus, there are many Buddhist monasteries scattered across Bangladesh. Sitakot Bihar is one of them. This monastery was built during the Gupta period from 6th to 7th Centuries.

Sitakot Bihar is located at Fatehpur Marash village under Nawabganj upazila in Dinajpur district, on the northern side of Birampur-Pirganj road, some 55 km southeast of Dinajpur town. According to local legend, the site is associated with the Goddess Sita, the consort of Lord Rama. There are several stories centering the monastery. One says a kutir (hut), which is also known as ‘kot’, was built for Sita in the Panchabati forest, where she lived during her banishment. That is why the site is known as ‘Sitakot’, though there is no connection of Sita with this monastery.  

According to another local story, one Taleb Ali lived on the northern side of the monastery. One day, he found a cutting tool while tilling the land nearby. He took the tool home and used it for household work. Later, he started using it for felling trees. Any big log could be chopped up with only one or two strokes of its blade. One day, Ali was caught red-handed by the forest officials. They interrogated him and found the cutting tool. They sent it to the forest office for investigation, and found the blade was made of diamond. Hoping to find more valuable items, the Dinajpur Zila Parishad started digging at the site in 1968 and 1972. At the time, Ali was given a job as a guard at the monastery.

The site was excavated by the Department of Archaeology (DOA) in 1984 and 1993. The excavations revealed the remains of a monastery, with 41 small and large cells. The central entrance is at the centre of the north wing. Another sub-entrance is at the east wing. A central shrine was found in the middle of the south wing. No shrine or structure has been found in the open courtyard. During the excavation, different earthen objects, including two bronze idols of Bodhisattva Padmapani and Bodhisattva Manjusri, broken pieces of pots, inkpots, models of fish, decorated bricks, iron nails, rings and rods, and some diamond-edged blades were found. But no terracotta plaque or ornamentation has been found in the structure.

The DOA listed the monastery as a protected site. But without restoring the site, they just put up a notice board. They have not yet done any development work there. If the monastery could be renovated properly, it would become an attractive site for visitors from home and abroad.n

References: Eastern Bengal District Gazetters-Dinajpur, FW Strong, 1912; Archaeological Survey Report of Greater Dinajpur District, DOA, 1995; Bangladesher Protnoshompod, Abul Kalam Md Zakariya, Dibboprokash, 2007; History in Pictures- Greater Rangpur and Dinajpur, Area HQs, Rangpur, 2008; Viharas in Early Medieval Eastern India, Amit Jha, India, 2015.

Photos: Writer.

Comments

Most Viewed
Digital Edition
More story
Amazing Trip to Tanguar Hoar, Niladri

Amazing Trip to Tanguar Hoar, Niladri

Bangladesh is a darling site of nature. Many natural sites, like the longest beach at Cox’s Bazar, the Sundarbans, Sajek Valley in Bandarban, Kaptai…
Kamrunnessa Government Girls High School

Kamrunnessa Government Girls High School

Kamrunnessa Government Girls High School is a historic school of our country as it is part of the first ever educational institution established for girls…
Award Ceremony for HSC Students

Award Ceremony for HSC Students

Canadian University of Bangladesh (CUB) organised an award ceremony to recognise the success of students in their HSC exams on September 26 at its Banani…
CHOOSE YOUR WORDS

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS

Breech or Breach Breech and breach are pronounced in the same way but have different meanings. Breech is used to refer to the back end of something, for…
Our Senior Citizens

Our Senior Citizens

Looking after our elders is one of our utmost responsibilities. How a society treats and takes care of its senior citizens says a lot about that particular…
Was your food a little too spicy?

Was your food a little too spicy?

No matter how much we love a good, spicy curry, we could just kick ourselves when we take a bite and realise we’ve been a bit too generous with…
Goosebumps 2

Goosebumps 2

SANDY SCHAEFER It's (finally) official: Jack Black will return as Goosebumps author RL Stine in this month's sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.…
Star Control: Origins

Star Control: Origins

Star Control: Origins begins with the human race donning its crisp and immaculately tailored Star Control uniform and making first contact with alien…
Lifestyle, Street, Conceptual

Lifestyle, Street, Conceptual

Name:         Kazi Arifujjaman age:        23 Years Occupation:      …
Maheshwarpasha Temple

Maheshwarpasha Temple

Of the late medieval temples of Bengal, the hut-type is an important variety. The style is further sub-divided into do-chala or ek-bangla, jor-bangla…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting