Salban monastery, (near) Mainamati, Chittagong Division, BD

Raw data

"Mainamati once known as 'Samatata' denotes a land lying almost even with the sea-level. An isolated eleven mile long spur of dimpled low hill range known as the Mainamati Lalmai range runs through the middle of Comilla district from north to south. Excavation on this range has revealed over 50 ancient sites dotting the hills, mostly containing various types of Buddhist remains of the 8th to 12th centuries A.D. Excavations at a number of sites, locally known as Salban Vihara, Kutila Mura, Ananda Rajar Badi, Charpatra Mura, Mainamati Ranir Badi from 1955 till todate, besides exposing many Buddhist monasteries, temples and stupas, have also yielded a rich collection of stones and bronze sculptures of various gods and goddesses, coins, reliquaries, royal copper plate grants, terracotta plaques, jewellery, pots and pans and other miscellaneous objects of daily use which eloquently speak of the glorious cultural attainments of the period.
Salban Vihara is an extensive centre of Buddhist culture of 8th to 12th century. The attractions include Buddhist Vihara (monastery) with imposing central shrine, Kotila Mura, another Buddhist establishment 5 km. north of Salban Vihara."

"The Mainamati Archaeological Museum and some of the accessible sites are about six miles (10 km) west of Comilla town. […] Most of the sites contain various types of Buddhist structures dating from between the eighth and 12th centuries, consisting of monasteries, temples and stupas, which have produced a rich collection of archaeological remains.

Close to the site museum is Salban Vihara, a Buddhist monastery which had 115 cells built around a spacious courtyard with a cruciform temple in the middle. Deep excavations have revealed as many as six rebuilding phases, four of which have intelligible plan forms. In the early periods it was very similar to Paharpur, being built of brick and with scores of terra-cotta plaques adorning the circumambulatories. The monastery was probably constructed at the beginning of the eighth century by Bhava Deva, the fourth ruler of the Deva Dynasty.

About three miles (five km) north of Salban Vihara, is a unique group of Buddhist brick monuments known as the Kutila Mura. They consist of three stupas, possibly representing the Buddhist trinity or three jewels Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The Charpatra Mura is about two miles to the northwest, and several of its important finds can be seen in the museum. The largest of the ridge sites, the Ananda Vihara, another Buddhist monastery, is only about a half-mile away. It probably derives its name from Anandadeva, the third and greatest ruler of the early Deva Dynasty. All these sites are out of bounds unless prior permission is received from the army."

"Mainimati Ruins. Famous as an important centre of Buddhist culture from the 7th to 12th centuries, the buildings excavated here were made wholly of baked bricks. There are more than 50 scattered Buddhist sites, but the three most important are Salban Vihara, Kotila Mura and Charpatra Mura. Salban Vihara was a well-planned, 170sq m (182sq ft) monastery facing a temple in the centre of the courtyard. Nearby is a museum housing the finds excavated here, which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues, a bronze casket, coins, jewellery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscriptions. Kotila Mura comprises three large stupas representing Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the 'Three Jewels of Buddhism'. The most important discovery at Charpatra Mura were the four royal copper-plate decrees, three belonging to Chandra rulers, the other to Sri Viradhara Deva, a later Hindu king. Note that some of the major ruins are within a military cantonment and cannot be visited without permission from military officers. The ruins are about 70km (43mi) southeast of Dhaka."

Comilla, Bangladesh Page
Other names: Kumillā,Kumilla
World:Bangladesh:Chittagong Division
Lat 23.4578 Long 91.2044

"Very interesting and important structural complexes have been discovered at Mainamati (Comilla district, Bangladesh). Remains of quite a few viharas have been unearthed here and the most elaborate is the Shalvan vihara. The complex consists of a fairly large vihara of the usual plan of four ranges of monastic cells round a central court, with a temple in cruciform plan situated in the centre. According to a legend on a seal (discovered at the site) the founder of the monastery was Bhavadeva, a ruler of Deva dynasty."

"Hieun Tsang toured India for 16 years from 629 to 645 AD. […] He visited Samatata region in 639 AD in present-day Comilla and recorded in his travel diary as having seen 30 Sangharams or monasteries here inhabited by 2000 monks of Thervada school." Barua (2005)

Buddhist Viharas in Bangladesh
Salban Vihara (W. of border with Tripura)

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 20, 2009

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 12 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Salban monastery, BD.

General location of the Salban monastery, BD.
lat=23.4962 long=91.1072
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20BD)&ll=23.4962,91.1072&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Salban monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Bangladesh:Chittagong Division

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • The nearby Ananda monastery.

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada - Barua (2005)

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag: 0733-66p - tmciolek 12 Jul 2014
0733-66p 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag: 1133-66p - tmciolek 12  Jul 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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