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The Muchalinda Vihar, located near the confluence of the Ang or Ong and Nagar rivers at Ganiapali in Samablpur district was not only the earliest of its kind in Odisha, but even in India. A structural monastery of this magnitude was rare during the fourth-fifth century A.D according to the report on the archaelogical excavation of the ruins at Ganiapali, submitted by late historian Dr. N.K. Sahu.The Vihar at Gganiapali was most likely built after the designs of the Parimalagiri Monastry which had five storyes and lofty towers with four big halls with life size images of Buddha (made in solid gold), according to Hiuen Tsang’s account. The Muchalinda monstery, which covers an area of 1.5 acres, was multi-storyes structure of wellburnt 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 foundations wall was quite massive, about 0.9 meters in width, containing 12 large layers of bricks placed on strong earth mixed with small stone chips and sandy clay. Small brick walls having foundation on stone boulders run on form the main wall. These were apparently meant for dwelling of holly beggars.The ground floors seems to have contained a large numbers such small ells., which are 1.8 meters by 2.4 meters. 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. The northern area showed evidence of some dormitories like building and the southern sector gave clear evidence of a number of small chambers clustered together.
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