Mahastangar Travel Guide

Mahastangar Travel Guide


Mahastangar that belongs to Shibganj Thana of Bogra district at the present time is a fortified area, dated from the 3rd Century, used until the 8th century, an ancient settlement called Pundrangara or Paundravardhanapura. It was the earliest urban archaeological site in Bangladesh discovered in 1931. 

The word ‘Mahasthan’ means a place that has got the excellent sanctity and ‘Garh’ refers to the fort (high land). The extensive remains of Mahasthangarh showcase a glorious past of about two thousand and five hundred years of an old ancient civilization called Pundranagar which is the ancient capital Pundra Vardhan Bhukti. 

Mahasthangarh which is a distance of 5 hours of journey from Dhaka across the mighty Jamuna River, scattering along the western bank of Korotoa river, is situated about 13 km north of Bogra town. This region of Bangladesh is almost 36 meters (118 ft) above sea level, whereas the capital of Bangladesh, is only around 6 meters (20 ft) above sea level. the earliest and largest city of the entire Bengal is fortified by mud and brick wall. It is 1,525-meter long North-South, 1,370 miters broad to the East-West, and 5 meters high above the surrounding level and The elevation of 15 to 25 meters above the surrounding areas makes it a flood-free physiographic unit. A profound moat on the west and the river in the east and, south, and north served as additional defense apart from the citadel wall.


History Of Mahasthangarh

Archaeologically it is already proven that Mahastangarh was the provincial capital of the Mauryans, the Guptas, the Palas and later on the Feudal Hindu king and the ancient ruins found under the citadel within a radius of 7/8 km in a half-circle in the north, south, and west are the clear existence of extensive suburbs of the then time.  

The whole Mahasthangarh area is full of rich archaeological sites of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim. The Buddhists made the settlement in this area until at least the 11th century. The most glorious period was the 8th to the 11th centuries when the Buddhist Pala emperors of North-Bengal ruled this region. It was the Mauryan empire in the 3rd Century B.C constructed the citadel and most the visible relics replicates that. The famous Chinese Pilgrim, Yuen Chwang, visited the Pundra Vardhana in between 639-645 A.D and Sir Alexandar Cunningham, the famous British archeologist,  rightly identified the current Mahasthangarh as Pundranagar back in 1879 following the description left by Yuen Chwang long time before.


Antiquities found during the excavation

Inscriptions: A 4.4 cm x 5.7 cm limestone slab, revealed accidentally by a day laborer in 1931, bearing six lines in Prakrit in Brahmi script. 

Coins: Silver punch-marked coins from a period between the 4th century BC and the 1st–2nd century AD. 

Ceramics: Mostly signified by a vast number of shards.

Sculpture: A Buddha stone sculpture which is from the 5th century recovered from Vasu Vihara, and numerous other pieces. 

Terracotta Plaques: Several terracotta plaques have been revealed.


Highlights of some excavated sites (Inside the citadel)

Bairagir Bhita: This was Constructed in four periods: 1. 4th–5th century AD, 2. 6th–7th century, 3. 9th–10th century, and 4. 11th century. Excavations have revealed impoverished base ruins similar to temples. Two sculptured stonework pillars have been recovered from this site. 

Khodarpathar Bhita: There were some pieces of stone carved with supreme Buddha along with devotees in Anjali recovered. 

Parasuramer Prasad: It encompasses remains of three occupation areas – 8th century AD findings that includes stone Visnupatta from Pala period, the findings 15th- 16th century that includes some glazed shreds of Muslim origin, and the third period has discovered two coins of the British East India Company issued in 1835 and 1853. 

Mankalir Dhap: the terracotta plaques, bronzed Ganesha, bronze Garuda and so on were discovered. There was also a base ruin of a 15-domed mosque (15th–16th century) was discovered. 

Bangla-Franco joint venture: Excavations revealed 18 archaeological types of layers, till virgin soil at a depth of around 17 m, extending from 5th century BC up to 12th century AD. 


Highlights of some excavated sites (Outside the citadel)

Govinda Bhita: Situated 185 meters north-east of Jahajghata and opposite direction to the Mahasthangarh site museum. This was probably dated from 3rd century BC to 15th century AD and base remnants of two temples have been exposed.

Totaram Panditer Dhap: It is located about 6 km north-west of the citadel in the village Vihara. Structural relics of a ruined monastery have been exposed.

Narapatir Dhap: Two monasteries and a temple have been uncovered and it is situated in the village Basu Vihara which is 1.5 km north-west of Totaram Panditer Dhap. 

Gokul Medh: It is also known as Behular Basar Ghar or Lakshindarer Medh and it is situated in the village Gokul that is a distance of 3 km to the south of the citadel connected by a narrow motorable road about 1 km off the Bogra-Rangpur road. 

Skandher Dhap: It is located 3.5 km to the south of the citadel in village Baghopara on the Bogra-Rangpur road. A stonework Kartika was found, and structural vestiges of a scratched building were discovered. 

Khulnar Dhap: Just 700 m west of the north-west corner of the citadel, it has revealed the remnants of a temple Situated in village Chenghispur and this mound is named after Khullana who the wife of Chand Sadagar was.


Traveling to Mahasthangarh

Mahasthangarh museum is situated at the Mahasthangarh of Shibganj of Bogra. It is only just 15 kilometers away from the main town. After reaching Bogra, you can take CNG or local buses to reach mahasthangharh. The timing of Mahasthangarh museum timing as below: 


Summer timing  ( April – September ) 

Tuesday - Saturday: 10. 00 AM - 01. 00 PM and 01 . 30 PM - 06. 00 PM 

Friday: 10. 00 AM - 12 . 30 PM  and 02 . 30 PM – 06 . 00 PM 

Sunday: Weekly Holiday 

Monday : 02 . 30 PM - 06 . 00 PM 


Winter timing ( October – March ) 

Tuesday - Saturday : 09 . 00 AM - 01 . 00 PM  and 01 . 30 PM - 05 . 00 PM 

Friday : 09 . 00 AM - 12 . 30 PM and 02 . 00 PM - 05 . 00 PM 

Sunday: Weekly Holiday 

Monday : 01 . 30 PM - 05 . 00 PM 


During Eid Holidays: Mahasthangarh museum will remain closed for visitors during Eid day and the previous day of Eid but It will remain open as usual from the next day of Eid day. 

Timing during Ramadan: Mahasthangarh museum will be closed just at 04. 00 PM during the holy month of Ramadan.

All Govt. Holidays:  Mahasthangarh museum will remain closed during any govt. holiday. 


Check out our 1-6 days archaeological tour and Holiday Package tours to that region to visit the archaeological site in Bangladesh.  

=>Prehistoric Civilizations Tour

=>Popular Archaeological Sites Tour

=>Heritage Tour of North-Bengal

=>Archaeological Tour of Bangladesh

Our Day Tours

Full-Day Tour At Sonargoan (Old Capital)

National Parliament Building Tour

Full-Day Photography Tour

Tour To Old Dhaka and Sonargoan

Brass and pottery tour

Excursion to ManikGanj Baliati palace

Full-Day River Cruise