Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur


Paharpur Buddhist Bihar, c. 8th century, in Naogaon, Bangledesh

Evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in Bengal from the 7th century onwards, Somapura Mahavira, or the Great Monastery, was a renowned intellectual centre until the 12th century. Its layout perfectly adapted to its religious function, this monastery-city represents a unique artistic achievement. With its simple, harmonious lines and its profusion of carved decoration, it influenced Buddhist architecture as far away as Cambodia.

Cite this page as: UNESCO, "Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur," in Smarthistory, May 26, 2021, accessed May 24, 2024,