Description : The Muchalinda Vihar, located near the confluence of the Ang or Ong and Nagar rivers at Ganiapali in Sambalpur district. It was not only the earliest of its kind in Orissa, but even in India. A structural monastery of this magnitude was rare during the 4th-5th century A.D. According to the report on the archaeological excavation of the ruins at Ganiapali, submitted by late historian Dr. N. K. Sahu. The Muchalinda Vihar, at Ganiapali was most likely built after the designs of the Parimalagiri Monastery (200 A.D.) which had five storeys and lofty towers with four big halls with the life-size images of Buddha (made of solid gold), according to Hiuen Tsang’s account. The Muchalinda monstery, which covers an area of 1.5 acres, was multi-storyes structure of well burnt bricks. The extensive floors paved with bricks suggest that there were big halls or dormitories in north, while the site south of the Chaith Hall appeared to have been the residential establishment. The Muchalinda foundation wall quite massive, about 0.9 metres in width, containing 12 large layers of bricks placed on strong earth mixeJ with small stone chips and sand) clay. Small brick walls having foundation on stone boulders run on from the main wall. These were apparently meant for dwelling of holy beggars. The ground floor seems to have contained a large number of such small cells, which are 1.8 metres by 2.4 metres. Traces of only four such cells have been found so far. The excavations reveal that the monastery had structural buildings on the northern and southern sides of the main Chaitya Hall.

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