Barabar caves are located 24 KM from Gaya in Mukhdumpur block. These caves are supposed to be constructed in ancient times during the rule of Mauryan Empire between 322 to 185 BCE. In india, Barabar caves are affiliated as the oldest caves built of cut rocks which have successfully maintained its existence till date. Barabar Caves are one of the major attraction for Bihar Tourism, not only for its historical significance but because of its natural beauty and religious attachment.
Barabar caves are basically a series of seven rock cut caves found on two hills separated by a distance of 1.6 KM. These are known as Barabar and Nagarjuni hills and house four and three caves respectively. Out of these, Caves in barabar hills, although inspired from contemporary cut rock architecture, however differs in their structure. These caves have been carved in big arch shapes and greatly influenced by buddhist form. These caves are known as Sudama Cave, Lomash Rishi Cave, Visva Zopri and Karan Chaupar.
The estimated construction period of Nagarjuni Caves is comparatively after the carving of caves in barabar. The three cave series are smaller in size and their names are Vapiya Ka Kubha, Gopi Ka Kubha and Vadithi Ka Kubha cave.
History of Barabar Caves
According to the history and inscriptions found at various places in proximity, These were constructed to be accommodated by Manthaliputra Goshalak who was an ascetic teacher and contemporary to Lord Buddha and 24th Tirthankar of Jainism, Bhagwan Mahavira.