District - Jahanabad
Location: 11 km from Makhdumpur Block HQ.
Landmark - Vanavar Dwar, Paryatan Information Centre
Circuit – Buddhist
About / Importance - The seven caves (Satgarva) which were created in Mauryan emperor Ashoka’s time for the Ajeevikas (Buddhist monks). These were carved in monolithic hardest granites and have extra ordinary interior polish to reveal the outstanding skills of the period.
Satgharva/ Seven caves
(a) Barabar Caves
(i) Karna Chaupar
(ii) Sudama Cave
(iii) Lamarshi (Lomas Rishi) Cave
(iv) Vishmitra (Vishwa Zopri) Cave
(b) Nagaragunja Caves
(i) Gopi Cave
(ii) Bahayak Cave
(iii) Vaidantika Cave
View & Feel -
Barabar Caves – There is a well-maintained stairway leading to the fantastic caves at the Barabar hill. The inscriptions on the entrance walls and gateways reveal that these were meant for Buddhist monks. These caves also have very highly polished interior which are carved into gigantic monolithic granite that looks like a huge crocodile from outside.
Nagarjuna Caves – Situated at the Nagarjuna hill about 5 minutes’ drive from Barabar hill. The larger cave is tucked at the middle of the hill and a climb of about 5 minutes till the opening base of the cave. Highly polished rectangular walls of the cave are the witness to the technical advancement of the bygone era. The other two smaller caves are located at the base of the hills. A concreted winding path completely surrounded by the grey boulder- hillocks that reaches to the Bahayak cave & Vaidantika cave gives an out of the world experience. These caves are also similarly polished. The serenity of the place is absolutely incredible.
Most of these were made by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka around 250 BCE.