History is a very integral part of any culture, which tells us about our roots and origin. With the help of history, we have been able to learn about our great ancestors, learn from their mistakes and move forward to build a better world. How do we know about our great past without the evidence?
So, let's learn about the great yesteryears of the country through these archaeological sites in Bihar, which have been attracting tourists since their discovery during the excavation. From ancient universities to caves, these sites hold everything, which definitely surprise their visitors, compelling them to think about the profound history of the country.
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Nalanda is believed to be one of the oldest universities in the world with its history dating back hundreds of years. It is said that Nalanda was a centre of learning for thousands of teachers and students who taught and studied respectively, to gain knowledge on subjects of medicine, astrology, science and grammar.
It was built under the reign of Shakraditya, during the 5th century, and was a prominent learning centre in the ancient world, where students from all over the world came to grasp and absorb knowledge on different subjects.
With numerous large halls, massive rooms, the biggest library and several laboratories, Nalanda was one of its kind in the ancient world. Today, you can only find its ruins and damaged buildings as it was destroyed during the attack of Bakhtiyar Khilji.
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Located in the Jehanabad district of Bihar, Barabar Caves are believed to the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, which have their roots buried in the Mauryan period. Located atop rocky hills, Barabar Caves are made out of granite with their interiors polished.
Barabar Caves were used by ascetics who had withdrawn themselves from the world and lived a life of retirement in seclusion. You can also find several Buddhist and Hindu rock-cut sculptures and inscriptions in and around these gloomy yet beautiful caves.
Kumhrar is a prominent archaeological site in Patna where the remains of the ancient city, Patliputra, were found. Several relics from the period of the Mauryan Empire have also been found at Kumhrar.
During the excavation, a pillar dating to the period before Christ has been found which is believed to be the part of the assembly hall which had 80 pillars during its formation. Even though today you cannot find things other than the ruins, you can still explore the history of the town by examining its damaged structures.
Located in Patna, Agam Kuan is an ancient well which dates back to the period of the Mauryan dynasty before the Christ Era. This ancient well is also popular for its nearby Shitala Devi Temple, which is greatly considered in curing smallpox and chicken pox.As per legends and historians, the well was built by Ashoka for the purpose of torturing the convicts by throwing them into this well, which used to burn like a hell with fire. It was also called hell on earth.
Today, it is a tourist destination which attracts several history lovers and explorers. Agam Kuan is also considered auspicious as this well was also used for several religious ceremonies. Hence, you can also spot numerous devotees throwing coins into the well as offerings.
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Another ancient university which was also destructed under the attack of Bakhtiyar Khilji, Vikramashila, was built by Dharmapala of Pala dynasty and is located in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar. Vikramashila captured the frame when the quality of scholarship at Nalanda declined.
It was one amongst the major universities in the ancient world which was home to more than 1000 students and over 100 teachers. Unfortunately, the galleries of Vikramashila were not spared by the invaders. Even though the site holds nothing more than the ruins of Vikramashila, it is still a stoppage for historians on account of its greatness and glorious past.