Mainamati is a historical, archaeological site not far from Comilla district town in Bangladesh. Mainamati is located 6 km west of Comilla town. Mainamati is one of the oldest civilizations in the Lalmai region. The ruins that can be seen in the area today are actually the ruins of an ancient city, Jayakarmantabasak, and a Buddhist monastery. It was the capital of the medieval Buddhist kingdom. It is believed that this hilly area was named Mainamati after Rani Manamati, the wife of King Manik Chandra. At one time, it was hidden from public view. Later archaeological excavations revealed many places. Most of the archaeological sites of the Comilla district are located here. Shalban Bihar and Ananda Bihar are the main archaeological sites here. There are 54 dibis and Buddhist monasteries, including Lalmai Hills, Shalban Bihar, Ananda Bihar, Kutila Mura, Itakhola Mura, Rupban Mura, Chandi Mandir as silent witnesses of the ancient settlements. The artefacts discovered here bear the memory of ancient Bengal, Samatat, from the 6th century to the 13th century. In the eighties, the Department of Archeology and Jahangirnagar Univerity conducted research and identified 23 of the 50 mounds of culture as archaeological antiquities. These antiquities are always attracted to knowledge seeker.
Shalban Bihar is the most popular in Mainamati. Its real name is Bhavadeva Mahavihara. This archaeological site, which looks like a Buddhist monastery in Paharpur but is small in size, was known as the home of the Shalban king. Excavations in the area at different times to collect various information and antiquities. Every wall of the Shalban Vihara is a chamber built with extraordinary construction style and unprecedented planning. Each arm of Shalban Bihar is 550 feet long. There are a total of 155 rooms. There are a total of 115 monastic chamber on four sides, with an elevated temple in the middle and a huge archway in the middle of the north arm.
On the south side of Shalban Bihar, there is a museum facing west facing Shalban. It has been named Mainamati Museum. The museum collects many valuable artefacts from the Mainamati archaeological site. The entire museum building has a total of 42 reservoir. Various metal inscriptions, ancient coins, ruins, landscapes, terracotta plaques, bronze sculptures, stone sculptures, iron nails, ornaments, pottery etc., are displayed in the museum. Every year many tourists from home and abroad come here to see the history with their own eyes.
There is a ticket counter next to the gate of Shalban Bihar and the museum. Each ticket costs 20 TK per person. However, tickets are not required for children under 5 year of age. Tickets cost TK 5 for students, TK 200 for foreigner and TK 100 for SAARC foreigner.
The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm Winter from 9 am to 5 pm. There is a half-hour break (1: 00-1: 30) at noon. It is usually closed on Sundays except for public holidays and is open from 2 pm on Mondays.
How to go:
The distance from Dhaka to Comilla city is 101 kilometer. There are two types of buses, AC and non-AC. BRTC, Tisha Service, Asia Line, Prince Service, Prime Service, Cordoba Service, Royal Coach etc. buses leave Dhaka for Comilla. It takes 2 hour and 30 minutes. Rent from TK 160 to TK 400. Comilla can be reached by many trains going to Chittagong. Comilla can be reached by trains like Mahanagar Prabhati, Mahanagar Express, Chittagong Mail, Karnafuli Express etc. Rent from TK 90 to TK 250. You can go to Mainamati by reserving CNG from anywhere in Comilla city. You can also go directly to Mainamati in Comilla from Dhaka by CNG private car.
How to go at low cost:
You can go to Comilla by non-AC buses from Dhaka’s Sayedabad. Rent from 180 to 200 TK. There is local CNG to go to Kotbari in Kandirpara of Comilla. From there you have to go to Kotbari. The rent is 30 TK per person. You can go to Mainamati by autorickshaw from Kotbari. Rickshaw fare is 10 TK.
How to go luxuriously:
From Dhaka’s Sayedabad you can go to Comilla by Royal Coach, Upakul, Starline, BRTC’s AC bus. Rent 300 to 350 TK. You can go to Mainamati by reserving CNG from Comilla city. Rent 200 to 250 TK.
Where to stay:
There are many hotels in Comilla city where you can get luxury flats starting from 300 TK for an overnight stay.
How to stay low cost:
You can stay at Hotel Chandrima, Hotel Shalban, Hotel Abedin, Hotel Sonali, Hotel Nidrabagh, Ashiq Rest House, Hotel Nurjahan etc., in Comilla city for 200 to 600 TK.
How to stay luxurious:
You can rent Hotel Q Palace, Red Roof Inn, Hotel Ishita, Amania Rest House, Hotel Dreamland, Hotel Melody, Green Rest House, Hotel Midtown etc., with AC room rent up to 3000 TK.
Where to eat:
You will find many food hotels in Comilla city. You will find all kinds of food in all these hotels. Diana Hotel, Idris Mia Food Hotel, Al Arafat Hotel, Hotel Bismillah, Jannat Hotel & Restaurant, Hotel Bhai Bhai, Mazar Hotel, Khwaja Hotel, Indrajith Ghosh Cabin Hotel, Jahanara Hotel, Shahjalal Hotel . Musician Asif Akbar’s Bengali Restaurant brings a new dimension to the food and food environment of Comilla. Comilla is famous for Rasmalai, so never forget to eat it.
How to eat at low cost:
You will get good quality food at a low cost in hotels like Idris Mia Food Hotel, Al Arafat Hotel, Hotel Bismillah etc.
How to eat in a luxurious way:
Diana Hotel, Jannat Hotel and Restaurant, Bangla Restaurant etc. serve high-quality food in hotels.
Advice to do that!
The archaeological heritage of any country carries the heritage of its country so go ahead and learn a lot about it. Keep food with saline and an adequate amount of water. Bus fare, bargain for the hotel stay. Don’t forget to eat the famous Rasmalai of Comilla. If necessary, call 999.
Advice not to do those things!
Do not do any work that damages archaeological resources. Don’t get involved in any chaos. Don’t throw dirt anywhere.