Barabar Caves in JehanabadWhile traveling to Jehanabad do not miss out to visit historical Barabar caves which were once inhabited by Jain munis . Barabar Caves are actually collection of rock-cut caves located on Barabar cliff near Makhdumpur village in Jehanabad district. These rock-cut caves are, however, no ordinary caves. They are world’s oldest surviving caves and hence they are amongst the most priceless archeological collections of India. This also invariably means that if you’re a local resident or a tourist staying in Jehanabad district, then you simply cannot afford to miss this historical place.
And now a sneak peak into history of these caves and what was the true purpose behind building these caves. These caves are actually rich heritage of one of the greatest ever dynastic empires that ruled India, ‘Mauryan Empire’. The various inscriptions on these caves clearly prove that they were built as a monastery on the instructions on King Ashoka. These caves were mainly built for Jain monks. This fact surely needed to be mentioned. As King Ashoka was himself a Buddhist and hence by constructing caves for Non-Buddhist monks he amply demonstrated his tolerance towards other religions. Nonetheless, over the decades many historical facts have been unearthed that do indicate that Gautama Buddha had himself meditated in these very caves before his historical visit to Gaya where he eventually achieved Nirvana (enlightenment).
Caves at Barabar HillThere are actually four caves at Barabar cliff. Each one of them carved out of granite. And even today they are known by their historical names, which are as follows:
- Lomas Rishi Caves
- Sudama Caves
- Karan Chaupar
- Visva Zopri
- There are no restaurants and eateries near this place. Hence you’ll have to carry your own food and water bottle here
- Visit only during daytime. As this is a little secluded place and hence visiting during late evening should be avoided
- Follow the instructions of your guide
- Do not venture out to nearby hills alone
How to Reach Barabar Caves ?Barabar Caves remains open during daytime and is located at a distance of 75 kms from Patna. Being located on Patna-Gaya Main road , towards south of Jehanabad at 16th k.m. there is "Mussie More". From Mussie More towards east at 10th K.m. it is situated. November to February is the best time to visit this famous location.
Overall, visit to Barabar Caves would prove to be enlightening and enriching experience, especially if you’re interested in exploring rich history of India. And if anything else, to witness caves that are widely considered as oldest in the entire world and place where even great man like Gautama Buddha is believed to have spent some moments would be lifetime experience. And before we do rap up, we also advice you to visit the neighboring Nagarjuni Hill (1.3 kms away from Barabar Caves) where there are historical caves. Although these caves are not as famous as Barabar Caves. The nearest railway station is Belaganj Station, which is actually in Gaya district and not Jehanabad District. If you’re planning to travel anywhere from Jehanabad District, then its better to travel via private vehicle.