According to the famous legend, Son bhandar or swarna bhandar houses a mysterious gold store behind the strong walls of an ancient caves. it is believed that the treasure of gold hidden inside these caves belong to magadh emperor bimbisar. Although many of them affiliate this to be owned by Jarasandh.
Several attempts have been made to reveal the secret of son bhandar, but of no avail till date. Even during british rule, an attempt was made to blow the wall of the caves but remained unsuccessful. This makes it one of the most mysterious place in entire india. Its also a famous tourist destination of bihar tourism.
Read also : Tourist places to visit in bihar
Son bhandar caves are located in rajgir and situated at the foot of vaibar hills. These are basically a group of caves known as eastern and western caves and are believed to be constructed between 3rd to 4th Century AD. It was British Archaeological Surveyor of India Cunningham, who made serious investigation about these caves for the first time in order to reveal its mystery. After profound study and research based on historical facts and inscription found at different places, He inferred these caves to be related with buddhism. Although it could never be established with unison because different contemporary historians and research scholars associated son bhandar caves with Jainism. This was based on the facts of inscription found on the walls of the caves which read that it was Vair muni who inspired construction of these caves for jain ascetics. Apart from this, view is further strengthen by the carved sculptures of jain monks and teerthankars on the walls of the caves. The Jainism association view of son bhandar caves got further strengthen by chinese traveler Xuanxang who had also written in his book that vaibhar hills of rajgir used to be the meditation place for Jain monks who belonged to digamber sect. it is believed that jains remained associated with these caves for a longer period but after they left the place it got converted as a place for hindus. A sculpture of Lord Vishnu found here confirmed this etymology.
Son Bhandar Caves are few last surviving cut rock caves in india
Son bhandar caves have strong resemblance with barabar and nagarjuni caves located near Gaya constructed during mauryan empire. Its an example of cut rock caves that was very popular during that time.
Every year millions of tourists across the world visit son bhandar to get a glance of its mystery which is yet to be resolved.