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The central shrine at Somapura.

Somapura was a prominent monasitic university that was located in near the modern town of Ompur, in northern Bangladesh. The site was most likely founded by the Pala dynasty ruler Devapāla in the early ninth century.[1] The monastery was known as the Dharmapāla Mahāvihara Somapura.[1]

The Pāhāpur Temple at the monastery had a unique architecture that was unlike the other temples (Buddhist or Hindu) in India at that time. This temple "has a cruciform base, a terraced structure with inset chambers, and a pyramid form, quite similar to Buddhist temples in Burma, Java, and Cambodia."[1]

Somapura was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Further reading