The Barabar Caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, mostly dating from the Mauryan period (322–185 BCE), and some with Ashokan inscriptions, located in the Jehanabad District of Bihar, India, 24 km north of Gaya.
These caves are situated in the twin hills of Barabar (four caves) and Nagarjuni (three caves) – caves of the 1.6 km distant Nagarjuni Hill sometimes are singled out as Nagarjuni Caves.
These rock-cut chambers date back to the 3rd century BC, Maurya period, of Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC.) and his son, Dasaratha.
Though Buddhists themselves, they allowed various Jain sects to flourish under a policy of religious tolerance.
These caves were used by ascetics from the Ajivika sect, founded by Makkhali Gosala, a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, and of Mahavira, the last and 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. Also found at the site were several rock-cut Buddhist and Hindu sculptures.
Source : British Library