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A Step in the Past: Barabar Caves in Bihar

Barabar Caves goes back to the time of Mauryan Empire.

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Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 15:29 [IST]
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We appreciate the awe-inspiring architecture of caves like Ajanta and Ellora but never think what preceded it. Yes, there must be a beginning for the creation of such rock-cut architecture styles. Of course, we have many ancient cave-structures with complex architectural styles. The Barabar Caves in Bihar is one among the oldest caves in India that has stood the test of times.

A Trip to Barabar Caves in Bihar

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Exploring Barabar Caves!

Barabar Caves are a set of four caves located on a hill named Barabar. The construction of these rock-cut structures take us back to the Mauryan Empire. Though most of them are Buddhist caves, you can also find Jain and a few Hindu sculptures here.

Interesting Facts About Barabar Caves

  • There are four caves at Barabar Hill, namely Lomas Rishi Cave, Sudama Cave, Karan Chaupar and Visva Zopri. Barabar Caves served as residence for Buddhist as well as Jain monks.

A Trip to Barabar Caves in Bihar

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  • All the caves were sculpted out of the giant granite rocks.
  • Each cave has two-chambers: one is a rectangular hall for the purpose of congregation and another a small prayer hall.
  • Another interesting feature is the finishing of the cave walls. Yes, the inner walls of Barabar Caves are smooth and polished. Isn't it amazing that it hasn't lost its shine even after so many years?
  • One distinctive feature of Lomas Rishi Cave is the arch-like entrance with engravings of elephants. The façade of Lomas Rishi Cave looks exotic and beautiful.

A Trip to Barabar Caves in Bihar

PC: Photo Dharma

  • The construction of Barabar Caves dates to the reign of Emperor Ashoka. Hence, several inscriptions relating to Ashoka can also be found here.
  • In fact, there is one more cave complex known as Nagarjuni caves around 2km from Barabar Caves. Both belong to the same time frame and hence they are together known as 'Satghar'.
  • You can find 3 caves in Nagarjuni: Gopi, Vaidhithika Kubha Cave and Vaipiya-Ka-Kubha Cave. These are some of the interesting facts about Barabar Caves in Bihar.

A Trip to Barabar Caves in Bihar

PC: Photo Dharma

How To Reach Barabar Caves

Barabar Caves is located enroute from Patna to Bodh Gaya. It is situated at Jehanabad in Bihar. Barabara Caves is around 42km from Bodh Gaya and it is one of the interesting places to visit near Patna. You can reach here only by private vehicles as no government buses go to this place. Barabar Caves are located on top of the hill and visitors have to climb up through the stairs to explore this heritage site.

So, a trip to Barabar Caves is a must as it is one of the oldest rock-cut caves in India. The influences of Mauryan period can also be seen here. Make a quick trip to Barabar Caves when you visit Bodh Gaya or Patna.

Read more about: caves, bihar, patna
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