Government Policy

Fifth octagonal mound, dharma chakra found at Munshiganj excavation site

A fifth octagonal mound or stupa and dharma chakra was discovered recently by researchers at the Nateswar Debalay excavation site located in Munshiganj.

A stupa is a Buddhist commemorative monument usually housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintly persons.

The dharmachakra or wheel of dharma is a widespread symbol used in South Asian religions, especially Buddhism.

Md Abul Mansur, secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, on Saturday officially announced the discovery of the attractive pieces of antiquity five meters below the surface during a press briefing in Munshiganj.

During the archeological excavation’s 6-month long ninth phase, at first a part of the wall made of ancient bricks emerged and later the border wall, hall room, and mandap started appearing.

However the walls of the stupa were damaged due to people snatching bricks from it.

Earlier four more octagonal stupas were discovered from Nateswar Debalaya where excavation began in 2013 across a 10-acre area.

The dharma chakra, shaped like the wheel of a bull cart, was seen vertically placed on a square base.

Dr Nuh-Al Alam-Lenin, President of Agrasar Bikrampur Foundation and director of archaeological excavation and research project in the historic Bikrampur region, said: “All the five stupas discovered in the location were built in two phases. The small earlier stage stupa got covered by the larger stupa established in the later phase.”

Dr Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, head of the Archaeology Department of Jahangirnagar University and research director of the project, said the continued discoveries centring Bikrampur, a thriving centre of Buddhist civilisation over 1000 years ago, have enriched the country’s history and opened new doors for tourism.

Cultural Affairs Secretary Abul Mansur said effective measures will need to be taken to protect discovered archaeological assets.

Source: United News of Bangladesh