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Renovated Somapura Mahavihara in Naogaon

  • Published at 03:02 pm June 22nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:52 pm June 25th, 2017

Some renovation works at the archaeological site of Somapura Mahavihara has damaged some designs as well as ingredients of the original structure, observe experts. The original terracotta surface of the Vihara's flight of stairs has been covered by woods used in its renovation. Officials concerned explain that they have done this to prevent the terracotta from decay. However, the experts are of the opinion that using new types of materials instead of those used in the original construction will ultimately weaken the infrastructure. Besides, the terracotta surface has been one of the major attraction of the archaeological site, they point out. Prof Dr Shufi Mostafizur Rahman of Jahangirnagar University said, "Every time they take renovation initiative for a certain archaeological site, they destroy something. This has been the case for all the archaeological sites including Sompur Vihara." "Despite teaching archaeology for the last 24 years, sometimes I make mistakes during the excavation. How on earth the government deploys officials who do not have the knowledge on the subject!" exclaims Prof Mostafizur. A director of the Department of Archeology, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune, "A lot of mistakes as well as damages have taken place in Somapura Vihara just because of the ignorance and inexperience of the officials and workers." Somapura Mahavihara is believed to be built by the second Pala king Dharmapala (781-821 AD) of the Pala dynasty. It is located in Paharpur area under Badalgachhi upazila of Naogaon district. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site in 1985.