Friday, April 29, 2011

Mainamati- Lalmai hill

More than 20 mounds have been listed in the Mainamati- Lalmai hill area on Mainamati. These mounds have been ‘protected’ the existence of more than 50 sites in the area. The details of these additional sites seem to be unrecorded. The location of these mounds is to the west of the Comilla-Brahmanbaria road, a little beyond the crossing of the road with the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. The highest of these mounds is 30’ high from the level of the surrounding plain.Which is only a few feet high from the flat level, lies to its south. Mound no. 1B is a little further to the south and marked only by a scatter of old bricks and potsherds.These two mounds are near the Brigadier’s bungalow in the cantonment, mound no. 2 being to its west and mound no. 2A being to its east. The first one whose height is said to be 100’ including the height of the natural ridge is higher and larger than the second one.This Mound is about a mile to the northwest of kutila mura. A big water tank of the company line lise on the northern fringe of the mound. It is located about 3 miles to the north of salban Vihar and the west of the main road of the cantonment. A big mound 650’ square and about 15’high, this is about a mile to the north of the Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development outside the southern gate of the cantonment. Although unexcavated, the mound, about a furlong to the south of Ananda Raja’s Palace, showed the outline 250’ square of a monastery surrounding a central shrine.This is about half a mile to the south Ananda Vihar orAnanda Raja’s Palace yielded the surface indications of a 400’ square monastery with a central a shrine with massive walls, 6’ square chamber might have been created on the raised foundation and possibly as a part of cellular sub-structure, as at Gokul near Mahasthangarh..This mound is to the north of the Kotbari road and stands on a 60’ high ridge. A fairly large mound about half a mile to the west of Rupban Mura , this has been cut across by the Comilla-Kalir bazar road. This is the first site to have been discovered in the Mainamati-Lalmai complex. The indications of a 300’square monastery enclosing a cruciform temple with about 100’ long sides were noticed here. Situated immediately outside the eastern boundary of the Bangladesh Rifle’s office, this mound stands on a 60’ high ridge. Brick-robbing during the second world war led to the discovery of a 400’ square monastery enclosing a cruciform central shrine with re-entrant angles and recessed corners, embellished further by terracotta plaques and mouldings. Among other things, seven post containing hundreds of bronze votive images were discovered here, but only 13 of them reached the archaeologists. ‘The iconographic details and workmanship of these images are similar to those of the inscribed votive bronzes recovered from jewelry in Chittagong District, assignable to the ninth-eleventh century.This apparently undisturbed mound about 150 yards square is to the west of the Kotbari mound.: This mound is located almost in the central part of the Mainamati-Lalmai village and the name of a neighbouring village is still called Salbanpur.About a mile to the west of salban Vihar, this mound is located on the western fringe of the Mainamati hill. This mound is in the area of Ujirpur Mura , being about half a mile to its south.This mound is situated close to the village of uttar Vijaypuar, about 3 miles to the south of Salban Vihar.About 5 miles to the southwest of salban Vihar , this mound lies on a ridge in the eastern fringe of the Lalmai hills. This mound is located near the crossing of the Comilla-Chandpur and Comilla –Barura roads, about half a mile to the north of Lalmai Railway Station. This marks virtually the southwestern there have corner of the Lalmai ridge. On the top of the hill from where a good view is obtained of the dark and placid water of Daitya Dighi lying at its feet, there are some modern temples. Stone images here : Manjuvara, a variety of Bodhisattva Manjusri, and Surya. These two images are missing these days. It is near the Brigade Headquarters of the Bangladesh Regiment. This is the northernmost mound, also known as Queen Mainamati’s palace.