Barabar Caves of Bihar, oldest rockcut cave of India

Barabar Caves 1

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.

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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.

Barabar Caves Interior

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.

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Though Buddhists themselves, they allowed various Jain sects to flourish under a policy of religious tolerance.

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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.

Barabar Caves

 

Source : British Library

Subhikhya
Not from Bihar, heard a lot about the state. Always interested in exploring the art culture and politics of the state. So here I am, writing and doing PR for AaoBihar.com
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