Sompur Bihara is one of the most important archeological structures in Bangladesh. Situated in the heartland of Varendra, in the present-day Naogaon District of
Bangladesh, the extensive ruins of Paharpur, originally known as the Sompur Vihara, is
a wonder of Buddhist architecture in the country.
The great king Dharmapala of Bengal, in the 8th century, built the monastery as a famous Asian seat of learning and pilgrimage. The 21 acre (85,000 m?) complex has 177 cells, viharas, numerous stupas, temples and a number of other ancillary buildings.
Later in 1985, the UN included the site in the world Cultural Heritage list; and since then, a series of UNESCO missions has regularly visited the site and helped with the project. Moreover, the UN body also prepared a master plan, involving 5.6 million dollars.