The states in North East India are famous for their enticing wildlife and natural diversity. However, the heritage and cultural past of these states are no less interesting for the visitors. In various places of North east India, Buddhism flourished in the bygone era and the traces of its growth remain in form of relics and ruins of Stupas. In recent times, more such ancient relics have been discovered in this region – which corroborate the claims of historians. One such notable example is the ancient Buddhist ruin in Boxanagar in Tripura.
The discovery of Buddhist relic in Boxanagar
It was purely by chance that the remains of ancient Buddhist stupa were discovered in this little known village of Tripura, which is adjacent to Bangladesh border. The remnants of a large brick-built building were discovered after the locals dug up a forested region in the village for construction needs. This eventually turned out to be a Buddhist stupa. Thereafter, it became an excavation site and excavation work went on till 2004 from 2001. Discovery of this Buddhist stupa has made Boxanagar more famous than ever before.
The nuances of Boxanagar Buddhist relics
The huge sized red brick structure is of immense archaeological importance and it has earned a place in Tourism map of Tripura too. Initially regarded as a temple of the snake goddess Manasa, the relic was eventually declared as a Buddhist stupa after discovery of a Buddha idol. Later, the site was restored properly with landscaping and barbed wire fencing around. The credit goes to senior archaeologist, Dr Jintendra Das who drew attention of the ASI on this matter.
The Stupa is situated in Boxanagar, close to the market and it is also adjacent to a small river named Harimangal. This stupa has a big basement and there are 8 mouldings. The structure -despite ravages of time stands as evidence of architectural progress of bygone days. Terracotta and brick figurines have been found from the place. The structure possibly had a large prayer hall for the devotees. Exact time of construction of the stupa is not known but it is assumed to be set up in the 7th or 8th century.
Tips for the visitors
After exploring major tourist attractions in and around Capital city Agartala, you can head to the remote village of Boxanagar to witness the Buddhist stupa. The place is now well maintained. From Agartala airport you have to reach Nagerjala Bus Stand- which is approx 10 km and auto rickshaws are there. From the bus stand, you get direct buses to Boxanagar to cover the 34 km stretch. It is advisable that you stay in Agartala and cover this place in a day trip.