ANCIENT REMAINS, BOXANAGAR


SHIPAHIJALA
Boxanagar (Lat 23° 37’ N; Long. 91o 10’ E)
Airport: Agartala; Railway Station: Kumarghat; Bus Station: Agartala

Boxanagar is located about 46km away from Agartala and 22km from Sonamura Sub-Division. The mound is spread over three acres of land. Successive excavations have enabled to expose a massive brick built stupa, Chaityagriha, a monastery and burnt brick structure. The discovery of massive Buddhist stupa, chaityagriha, a monastery and other associated burnt brick structures at Boxanagar has reflected the art and architecture and religious aspects of ancient Tripura hitherto unknown. The brick built stupa exposed through archaeological excavation is of square plan having a dimension of 15.40X15.40m. The basement of the stupa is arranged in eight moldings in diminishing order over which the tapering medhi is set with mud mortar and burnt bricks of different sizes.

The ruin of the chaityagriha has been exposed on the eastern side of the stupa which is rectangular on plan and is aligned in east-west direction. The superstructure of the chaityagriha is completely damaged except the side walls which are survived up to 1.60m. The brick-built monastery is having a long corridor between rows of five cells on each side.

The excavation of another mound at Boxanagar has exposed a fully burnt-brick structure with triratha projections having a square sacred chamber which appears to contain the extant remains of three spokes. These spokes are found radiating out from a semi-circular structure located in the eastern side of the sacred chamber. In front of this structure there is a rectangular hall enclosed by a wall all around. A brick rammed floor is provided inside this hall probably for facilitating the congregation of devotees. A wide pradakshinapatha is also provided around these structures. Notable antiquities found from the excavation of Boxanagar include three bronze images of Buddha, moulded bricks, miniature votive stupas, sealings, silver coins etc. The available archaeological evidences suggest that the Buddhist establishment at Boxanagar might have sprang up during 6th century A.D. and continued till 12th century A.D. and during this period this Buddhist center might have played a significant role in spreading the Buddhist religion. It is also noteworthy to mention here that several Buddhist establishments had sprang up contemporary to Boxanagar in this region and the adjoining areas like ShyamSundarTilla in South Tripura District, ‘Somapura’ of Paharpur in Rajashahi District and Mainamati in Comilla District of Bangladesh.

As stated earlier the architectural style of the ancient temples which bears the pan-Indian traits are assimilated in a new style of terracotta chala temples with votive stupa finials. In sphere of sculptural art the share of Tripura is not less significant as amply proved by the recent discoveries. It is therefore our prime duty to keep these priceless monuments free from encroachments and preserve them for posterity.

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