Shalban Vihara is one of the major archeological sites excavated at Mainamati in Comilla. The monastery is located in the middle of Lalmai hill near Bird in Kotbari. The monastery was named Shalban Bihar as there was once a dense forest of Shal-Gajari around the monastery.
The name of the adjoining village is Shalbanpur. There is still a small forest there. Although similar to the Paharpur Buddhist monastery, the monastery is small in size.It is believed that Srivavadev, the fourth king of the Deva dynasty, built this Buddhist monastery from the end of the 7th century AD to the first half of the 8th century AD.
There are six phases of construction and reconstruction of Shalban Bihar. The central temple was built in the third phase between the 8th century AD and the overall renovation of the monastery is assumed. The fourth and fifth stages of construction and renovation were completed in the ninth-tenth centuries.
It is square in shape. Each arm of Shalban Bihar is 167.7 meters long. The walls on all four sides of Bihar are five meters thick. The rooms are built on the back walls of the Bihar. There was only one way to get in or out of Bihar. This path or door is in the middle of the north block. Each room has a 1.5 meter wide wall in the middle.
The central temple was right in the middle of the courtyard of Bihar. There are a total of 155 rooms in Bihar. In front of the room is a 8.5 feet wide porch and low walls at its end. There are three niches on the wall of each room. Goddesses, oil lamps, etc. were kept in the niche. These rooms were occupied by Buddhist monks. He used to study and practice religion there.
There is a hall in the south-east corner next to the entrance outside Bihar. Built on four walls and four huge round pillars in front, the hall is believed to have been a dining room for monks. The size of the hall is 10 meters multiplied by 20 meters. There is a wide brick road on all four sides of the hall.
Archaeological excavations have uncovered eight copperplates, about 400 gold and silver coins, numerous burnt earthen plates or terracotta, seals, bronze and clay statues from the ruins of the monastery. These bear the signature of the ancient archeological heritage of Bangladesh.
How to get to Comilla –
By train – Comilla station can be reached by train from Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Chandpur, Noakhali etc., get off at Comilla and come to Kandirpar by auto-rickshaw or rickshaw, then go to the following location and will charge 10 taka per person. Learn about train fares from the railway station’s own website.
You can come by bus from Dhaka to Comilla –
From Dhaka Jatrabari you can come by Asia Transport, Asia Line or Tisha Transport (there are both AC, non-AC), Royal Coach from Kamalapur with air conditioning. Royal Coach is very comfortable but slow. Ride up on any of them, on your way to Comilla you will see Buriganga Bridge, Meghna Bridge, Daudkandi Bridge and the morning sun on both sides of the road will amaze you. You will not need anything else to please a nature-loving eye.Enjoying the view you will come to Comilla Cantonment or also you can get off at kotbari main road.Rent will be up to 200-250 taka. It will take 2 to 2.5 hours.
CNG to Kotbari from Kotbari main road will cost 20/30 per person .
From Chittagong to Comilla-
By Saudia Transport (AC, non-AC) come to Comilla’s Paduar Bazar main road and go down to Jangalia, the fare will be 200-250 taka. It will take 2.5 to 3 hours. For the Chittagong residentsthere’s nothing to describe the view around the Comilla-Chittagong road, the two sides of this beautiful road. Anyway, after coming to Jangalia, come Tomcham bridge by Auto rent 5 taka.
Kotbari from Comilla town – 10 km from Comilla town and 3 km west of Comilla bypass Nandanpur on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at the foot of Lalmai and Shalban hills Kotbari is located .
From Comilla Tomchambridge Chaumuhani, you can go to Kotbari by CNG. Rent 20 taka. It will cross from Daulatpur.
Get down from the CNG and ask auto, It will take u Shalban bihar rent 5/10 taka.
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