Barua (Bangladesh)

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The Barua (Bengali: বড়ুয়া, Boṛua; Arakanese: မရမာကြီး), are an ethnic group native to Chittagong Division in Bangladesh, Rakhine State in Myanmar, where they are known as the Maramagyi or Maramagri, and parts of Assam, West Bengal and Tripura in northeast India.[1][2] According to Arakanese chronology, the Barua Buddhists have lived there for five thousand years.[3] Another derivation of 'Barua' is 'Baru' and 'Arya' meaning great arya. They are commonly identified by their last name, "Barua". Barua is derived from "Baru" meaning "great" and "ua", meaning "noble rulers". In Myanmar, the Barua is classified as one of the seven groups that make up the Rakhine nation. Originally, the Barua title is of Assamese origin.

Quick facts: Total population, Regions with significant po...
Total population
1.2 million[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
Theravada Buddhism
Buddhist temple on Maheshkhali Island in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh

Chittagong was formerly known as "Chaityagrama" or "town with Buddhist shrines".[4] The region attracted Chinese Buddhist visitors in the 7th century. In 1929, in Jhewari village a hoard of 61 Buddhist images from 9th and 10th century was found.[5] It was a centre of Buddhism in the 10th century.[6] Taranatha mentions a monastery named Pinda-Vihara at Chittagong where the custom of wearing pointed caps originated.[7] The scholar Vanaratna (1384–1468 CE) who is considered the last Indian Buddhist Pandit in Tibet,[8] was born in the Chittagong district.[9] He studied in Sri Lanka, parts of the old heartland of Buddhism in present-day Bihar including Bodh Gaya, Tibet and then he settled down in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. He wrote in Sanskrit and Apabhramsha. Chittagong region is one of the two regions of the Indian subcontinent where Indian Buddhism has survived without interruption. They insist that they came from the Āryāvarta or the country of the Āryans which is practically identical to the country later known as Majjhimadesa or Madhyadesa in the Pali texts.[10]

A Magh king, Jaychand, ruled the Chittagong region in the 16th century.[11]