Historical, archeological, natural, religious and cultural spots
Mainamati is located only 8 kilometers away from Comilla town. There lie innumerable archeological relics of the 8th century. On the north-south of Mainamati there lies Lohitogiri, that is, red-soil hill of the ancient period, and this red-soil hill is about 18 kilometers long and about 2 kilometers wide. That place was named after the name Mainamati the queen of King Manikko Chandra of Devo dynasty in the tenth century.
02. Shalvan Vihara (monastery)
This Buddhist Vihara (monastery) is located in between the Lalmai-Mainamati hill-range. The length of each wing of the monastery is 550 ft. and there are in total 115 monk-cells in its four wings. The Buddhist monks dwelt in those cells/ rooms. In the middle of it, there lies a large and wide entrance and the main temple with cruciform shape is on the open terrace. The main monastery was founded by the 4th ruler Bhavadeba of the Deva dynasty in about eighth century. It was the then institute for religious practice and acquiring learning. This great monastery, made of a mixture of lime and brick-dust of thin brick, appears to be a fort from outside. Innumerable archeological artifacts have been discovered from the excavation of Shalvan Vihara. Of those discoveries, there are 8 copperplate inscriptions, 18 gold and 350 silver coins, gold ornaments, statues of various sizes and shapes, baked clay blades, seals and daily useful goods.
03. Kotbari Vihara (monastery)
This monastery is located almost on the plain land of the valley about one kilometer on the west from the main gate of the office of the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development at Kotbari in Comilla. This Kotbari monastery was a great Buddhist monastery. There were two buildings that encircled its entrance. The middle of the monastery is about eight feet higher than its side land and from this; one may guess that the central temple of the monastery was located there. Based on the central temple, you can realize the existence of the entrance of the Vihara. An elevated path in between two outer buildings crosses the north wall and leads to the central temple located in the middle of the monastery. There goes a hearsay that Harical Dev’s copperplate inscriptions of 1220, which were discovered in 1803, were also found on the north-east corner of the Vihara.
04. Lalmai Pahar (hill)
This hill starts from Mainamati and covers the extensive area up to Lalmai hilly land. Many Bengali and ethnic families live in the valley. You will find there various shrubs and jhum cultivation. Apart from that you will find Banroi, porcupines, rabbits or jackals.
05. Rupaban Mura
It is an archeological site which was built in seventh century A.D in the rage of Lalmai and Mainamati hills. In this archeological site one monastery, one shrine, one small Buddhist monument, 34 cells including a sculptural relic were discovered. An upright/ erect image/statue of Buddha was also found in Rupaban Mura.
06. Kotila Mura
This Buddhist monastery was built in about seventh century at the foot of the low hills 5 kilometers away from Shalvan Vihara. Here three stupas (Buddhist monument, tope or dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shrine) which have been discovered were built in the traditional fashion / way. Perhaps the stupas (Buddhist monument) are the three jewels e.i images of Buddha (knowledge), Dharma (morality), and Sanggha (discipline). The foundation and the assemblage of the three adjacent stupas (Buddhist monument) together at one place are rare in the subcontinent of Pakistan and India. The platforms of these Buddhist monuments are of four corners. Circular dram was fixed on the foundation of the platform, and on the dram remains semi-circular dome and upon which stand the hamika and mina rate. There is a small round-shaped cell around which there are circular walls made of brick. There are 8 small cells all around outside the walls. It is thought that the influence of the Chandra dynasty was potential till thirteenth century.
07. Charpatra Mura
This shrine is situated on top of a 35 ft. high hill adjacent to the garrison mosque in the cantonment area 1.5 kilometers away from the north of Kotila Mura. This shrine has been given the name Charpatra Mura after receiving the four copperplate grants. This temple was founded during about 1000-1020 AD. This is also known as Madhava (Visnu) temple. Here a Buddhist temple 105 ft. long on east-west, and 55 ft. wide on the north-south was discovered.
08. Ananda Rajar Bari
During the rule of Maharaja Bhava Dev in 8th century, Ananda Rajar Bari was built by Ananda Vihar-Maharaja-Anandadev. The Vihara which stands on the low and plain land is situated on the east of the Lalmai-Mainamati hills. The Buddhist monastery was constructed in square shape. It is the second biggest in Bangladesh and biggest in Lalmai-Mainamati region. The length of each wing outside was 624 ft. In the middle of the north wing inside the monastery, there was an open area on which the central temple was located. The temple was very spectacular because it had a plate with painting of baked clay. The remarkable archeological discoveries are—weapons, valuable stone gravels, coins, copperplate inscriptions, Buddhist bronze monument, plates with paintings of baked cay, ornamented bricks, terracotta seals, iron nails, utensils etc. of Neolithic Period. There is a marsh known as Ananda Bazar Dighi about 90 meters on the east.
09. Rani Mainamatir Prasad (queen Maninamati’s palace)
Various archeological achievements of Rani Mainamati Prasad (queen Mainamati’s place) and ruins of palatial buildings have been discovered in Lalmai-Mainamati hilly area. During conducting excavation 1996-97, some plates with paintings of baked clay, and ornamented bricks were found.
A good number of paintings are imprinted on the surface of the plates of backed clay. Of the paintings, some of them are– four cubit long lionesses in human shape, swans, peacocks, demi-goddess of music and dance in heaven, women riders on the ploughing (plowing) buffalos are important. And there are also rose petals on the surface of the ornamented bricks and stratified pyramids etc. From this evidence, it appears that the Rani Mainamati Prasad (palace) was a well decorated religious palatial building.
10. Mainamati War Cemetery
Mainamati World War II Cemetery is located in Comilla. Abut 45 thousand soldiers of the Common Wealth died during the World War II that broke out in Burma. To commemorate them Myanmar (Burma), Assam and Bangladesh raised 9 cemeteries, out of which two of the Common Wealth Cemeteries are in Bangladesh—one is in Comilla and the other is in Chittagong. The Mainamati War Cemetery was raised in 1945 mainly to bury the British and the Indian soldiers who died in the World War II (1939-1945). This cemetery is located very close to the Comilla Cantonment but about 9 kilometers away from Comilla town. This cemetery was raised by Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Still this cemetery is managed and maintained by them. There are 736 graves in the cemetery of which 3 sailors, 567 soldiers, and 166 air pilots’ graves are there. At the entrance of the cemetery, lies a gatehouse and on the inside walls of the gatehouse the history and description of the cemetery are written in Bengali and in English. Inside the cemetery on either side of the wide path, there are grave plates which contain the names of the soldiers, date of death, positions and the religion. According to their religions, the religious signs /symbols are painted there. In the frontage of the cemetery by the roadside, there lies a discriminating grave which has been surrounded by 23 grave plates together.
11. Gunaighar Baitul Azgar Jami Mosque
‘Gunaighar Baitul Azgar Seven-Domed Mosque’ is a heritage of Debidwar. From the construction-style point of view, it is a noted mosque in the country. The mosque is situated in the village Gunaighar 2 kilometers on the west-south corner from Debidwar Sadar and on the north-west corner from Comilla Sadar after the Comilla-Sylhet High Way. There have been engraved innumerable distinctive construction-paintings of calligraphy on this seven domed mosque by blending the new and old construction techniques. There are four minarets in four corners. This mosque is thought to be the first kind of mosque with four minarets. The height of the minarets is 80 ft. The mosque is 48 ft. long and 36 ft. wide. The original structure of this mosque can accommodate about one hundred Muslims to say their prayers. But its veranda, that is, in front of the tiled open place, double the number of the Muslims can say their prayers. Besides, there are a lovely orchard and a flower garden on the west side of the mosque. In addition, there is a large pond carpeted with marble including its banks. There are 5 domes in the original part of the mosque. There are many graffiti such as, the moon and stars on the outer wall of the mosque. For its construction, bricks, cement, and sand including porcelain and tiles have been used. Ornamental work has been done in line with Mogul, Turkey and Persian blending.
12. Shah Suja Mosque
Shah Suja Mosque has been surviving in Comilla for 352 years. Though there is difference of opinion about the naming, founder’s name, date of founding of the mosque, yet there is no doubt about it that this mosque is one of oldest mosques in Pak-Bharat subcontinent. This mosque was raised at Mughaltuli of Comilla town close to the river Gumti. Though this mosque is not a big one in size, yet its culture, history, tradition and its whole of the structure upholds its signs and symbols of aristocracy and nobility. It is assumed that this mosque was constructed in 1658. The central dome is bigger in size than the two other adjacent domes. Recently two rooms measuring 22 ft. at its two ends and in its front side a veranda measuring 24 ft. wide have been raised. As a result, the original shape of the mosque has been changed to some extent. A towering minaret has been raised on the north-east corner of the mosque. At present there is no stone inscription of the mosque. The front part of the mosque was well decorated and beautified with panel ornamentation and on the cornice was a battlement and on which there was a cupola/ dome.
13. Noor Manikchar Jami Masjid (mosque)
Noor Manikchar Jami Mosjid (mosque) is as old as 500 years, and it is situated in Debidwar Upazila. Late Sayed Noor Ahmed Quadery Pir Saheb built this mosque even before 15th century. From this historic mosque, you can easily assume that the Muslim civilization of this place is very old.
14. Mainamati Museum
Mainamati Museum is located near Shalvan Vihara. This museum was established in 1955. Innumerable antiquarian and archeological relics/ artifacts collected from different places of Mainamati-Lalmai hilly area are conserved here. Some of the archeological finds are royal edict/ inscription on copper plates, gold and silver coins, ornaments, bronze-made image of Buddha, incarnation of Gautama, and statues of other gods and goddesses, innumerable paintings of baked clay plates, ornamented bricks, stone sculptures, copper vessels, innumerable small sized Buddhist monuments ( stupas) and other various ancient useable things used in daily life. Out of all these archeological finds, especial mention can be made about the Statue in Bajrasatto meditation, and a big bell made of bronze. While excavating the mound of the house of Voj Raja, this bronze statue was found. This seated meditative Bajrasatto statue measures 4 ft. wide and 4ft. 7 inches high. While preparing the playground of the cantonment, a big bronze bell weighing about 10 maunds was found in 1978. The diameter of the bell is 2 ft. 9 inches, and its height is 2 ft. 5 inches.
15. Kabitirtho Daulatpur
(the place full of associations of the national Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam)
Kabitirtho Daulatpur is the place full of associations (place related to memory) of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and his wife Nargis. In 1921 ( Bangla calendar year 23 chaitra,1327 ), Nazrul Islam came to Muradnagar via Comilla and stayed there for 71 days. Nazrul composed 160 songs, and 120 poems while in Daulatpur. Cmilla was glorified because of the proud roam of the poet. The poet came to Comilla 5 times from 1921 to 1924. He passed more than 11 months in Comilla town, and Daulatpur of Muradnagar Upazila. In November, 1921 the poet sang songs against the British rule and was arrested. The poet was arrested for the second time on November 23, 1922 from Jhautola of the town. To commemorate the rebel poet, the then Deputy Commissioner of Cmilla Kabi Abu Jafar Obydullah in 1962 renamed Kandirpar-Dharmapur Railstation as Nazrul Avenue.
16. Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD)
Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) is located at Kotbari 8 kilometers away from Comilla town. This academy stands on 156 acres of land in a congenial atmosphere. It has five hostels, four conference rooms, one mosque, one rich library, one health complex, one sports complex, two cafeterias and a primary school. This autonomous body conducts training programs for officials and non-officials, and for the purpose of rural development, makes significant contribution to overall development of the country through various researches and experiments. It is an international standard autonomous body under the Rural Development and Cooperatives Department. This body first on May 27, 1959 came into being as Pakistan Village Development Academy. Its founder was the then ICS officer, eminent philosopher and sociologist Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan. After the independence it is named as Bangladesh Rural Development Academy (BARD).
17. Nawab Faizunnesar Bari (house)
Pachimgaon Nwab Bari was established on the bank of the streaming river Dakatia at the then Homnabad in Laksham Police Station by the pioneer of women’s liberation in the subcontinent, land owner administrator, and philanthropic Nawab Faizunessa. This two-stored building (Bari ) to a great extent is destroyed and one of the rooms of the building contains her old belongings. The sculptural art of every building is superbly beautiful and the attractive designs are produced on the walls of the main building, doors and windows. The successor of the Nawab in front of the building established Faizunnesa Memorial Library and Research Centre in 1998. The books written by Nawab and other valuable books including Rupjalal and a medal spangled with beautiful stars and very costly pieces of diamond given by Maharani Victoria ( queen consort) as a mark of the appellation of ‘Nawab’ in 1889 are preserved in the library. Before and behind the Bari (building) there are many ponds with paved ghats, a mosque with 18 domes and unique artistic designs, and close to the mosque lies the tomb of Nawab Faizunnesa.
18. Zamindar Atul Krisna Roy’s Bari (house)
The house which was built about two hundred years ago is the last memorial/ commemorative of the the Zamindary of Amullo Krisna Roy Chowdhury adopted son by Atul Krisna Roy Chowdhury, the Zamindar of Luksham. Before the house, there are a Kachhari and a Puja-house (place of worship). During the liberation war, the house was damaged; the descendants raised semi-constructed tin-house and have been living there. People gather here from different places to enjoy the beauty of the design, artistic sculpture, construction style and foundation of bricks of the house. In front of the house, there are a big field, and a paved pond.
19. Jagannath Temple
Jessoda Roy wife of Krisna Roy Chowdhury the descendant and devotee of Zamindar Atul Krisna Roy Chowdhury founded Sri Sri Jagannath Temple on Agrahain 7, 1311 Bengali calendar year for puja rituals of the followers of the Hindu traditional religion. Since the raising of the temple, every year at the temple a great festival, including religious and social, big and small ones, in all 13 festivals are observed. There is a vast Dighi by the side of the temple where an angling competition is held every year. At present, the beauty of the temple has been enhanced by its reformation.
20. Dharmasagar Dighi
This Dighi was excavated by the Mog Raja Dharmamanikka (1714-1732) of Tripura to meet the need for water of the local people. This Dighi covers an area of 23.18 acres on the north part of Kandirpar area, the heartland of Comlla town. Establishments like Municipal Park, traditional Comilla Zila School, Ranir Kutir, Kazi Nazrul Hall etc. have been set up. In winter season, a good number of migratory birds come here, as a result, this place become attractive to the visitors.
21. Utkhara Mazar
It is located at the village Alahabad 7 kilometers on the east-south from Debidwar Sadar. In the thirties of thirteenth century, two followers Hazrat Shah Kamal(R) and Hazrat Shah Ismail (R) of Hazrat Shah Jalal(R) preached Islam here.
22. Comilla Victoria College
Roy Bahadur Sri Ananda Chandra in 1899 founded this prestigious college in the Kandirpar area, the heartland of Comilla.
23. Satara Ratna Mandir (temple)
This octagonal temple bearing the sculptural style of the Mogul Period is located at Jagannatpur village on the south bank of the Gumti in Luksham Upazila. The construction of the temple was initiated by the Ditio Raja Rantnamanikya of Tripura and the construction was completed in 1761 by Moharaj Brincha Kishore Manikya.
24. Khadi Bostro (a hand-woven coarse cotton cloth)
The hand-woven coarse cotton cloths in Comilla are very warmly and cordially received at home and abroad. During British rule at the time of no-cooperation triggered by Gandhi, the khadi industries flourished very quickly and gained much popularity.
Milk-product sweetmeats, ‘rasomalai’ of the Matribhandar, Bhagabati, Porabhandar, Shital Bhandar etc. of Comilla are famous. It may be mentioned here that the production of this rasomalai began here by the Ghose community of Tripura. In the early stage, the two brothers Fani Sen and Mani Sen of Manaharpur area in Comilla set up a shop of the name of Matri-bhandar for selling rasomalai
26. Mritshilpa (pottery)
Comilla has its old heritage. From the old times various earthen utensils such as – a kalsi (pitcher), hari (urn shaped pot), jala (large fat-belled earthen jar), sarai( a shallow earthen lid ) shanki (earthen dish), thala (earthen plate), badna (a small pitcher/ pot with a slender spout), dhupdani (incense burners) and various showpieces, statues, sanitary things including various playthings.