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Home >> Buddhist Caves in India >> Barabar Caves, Bihar

Barabar Caves, Bihar


The Barabar caves, which is a group of small caves on the Barabar hills located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Gaya in Bihar, comprises numerous temples constructed from black granite stones. Built for the first time during Ashoka's reign with contributions in the later period also, these caves look like wood from a distance.

The Barabar caves consist of mainly three types
1. Nagarjuna caves,
2. Cave of five Pandavas, and
3. Hut Caves


The Nagarjuna caves, large in size, depicts the Jataka tales. An excellent work of architecture, these caves includes bow shaped arches at the entrance, circular halls and mini caves, all polished from inside. The Sudama cave, a two chambered structure with polished interiors, is the perfect example of this type of cave. Towards the north of the Sudama cave lies Karan Choper or Supriya cave, which is a single chambered structure with a vaulted roof and small gate. Secondly, the caves of the five Pandavas form another part of the Barabar caves. THese caves, used by five brothers, the Pandavas in their exile in the Mahabharata period, are small in size.

The Barabar caves, generally found in the shape of a cottage or hut, open on one side with other three sides walled with stone. With their interiors smooth and soothing, these caves also served as retreats for the Jain and Buddhist monks. Among the Buddhist caves, the Lomas Rishi cave is the finest example of the world famous Indian Buddhist Chaitya arch style.

Accessibility

By Air : The nearest airports are at Patna(105 km) and Gaya(20 km). The Gaya airport is a domestic airport but at the same time is connected to international cities of Colombo and Bangkok.
By Rail : The nearest rail heads are at Gaya(20 km) and Bela(8 km).
By Road : The Barabar caves, 20 kilometers away from Gaya, are well connected by roadways to other major places such as Patna(105 km), the state capital of Bihar, Bodh Gaya(12 km).

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