At a time in history when cities in Europe were growing around a core of military fortification, the 27 acre World Heritage site at Paharpur in Rajshahi Division of North Bengal in Bangladesh was a city growing around South Asia’s largest Buddhist monastery and centre of learning and study.
There is increasing archaeological evidence that it was far from alone in the area: nearby Mahasthangar was certainly also a major centre of Buddhist teaching and learning, and as a city developing even earlier than the study of Buddhism itself may well have been amongst the earliest centres of urban Buddhism.
Other such cities are also emerging from the alluvium of the soils of Bangladesh. Here is, in fact, increasing evidence that the area of what was to become Bengal, before evolving into East Pakistan, and finally, Bangladesh, was one of the earliest and greatest centres of Buddhist study and worship.
For the devotee or student, this is becoming a’ must visit’ place, and such tours are easy to arrange by such sustainable Tourism companies as the Social enterprise of Tiger Tours.