Travel

Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India ~ Buddhism’s holiest site in the world

Bodh Gaya is popular world over as the place where Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Located in eastern state of Bihar and once a small village, Bodh Gaya today sees international visitors from all over the globe, many of them from the major Buddhist following countries. I visited Bodh Gaya for the second time, some time back on a work trip and this time, I could get some time off to explore this vibrant, spiritual town. 

[caption id="attachment_5442" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Buddha statue at Gaya Airport[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Barabar Caves in Gaya, Bihar, India | Oldest rock cut caves in India

The Barabar caves are the oldest surviving rock -cut caves in India, apparently dating from the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE), located in the Bela Ganj Block in Gaya district, Bihar, India. Earlier this month, I was on a work trip to Gaya region and after a long day of field visits, the site co-workers insisted to take me to these caves. Having no prior knowledge of these caves, I was in two minds to visit. However, the description by the co-worker of the stunning artistry & work from Mauryan times generated enough curiosity in me to finally make the visit. I was glad to visit the stunning Barabar caves, which are an amazing example of sculpting & engineering work in the ancient Mauryan times.

[caption id="attachment_5194" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Flight of stairs leading to Barabar caves[/caption]

The path to the caves is via concrete flight of stairs and it is not a steep climb for healthy adults. On first look, the caves look very average from outside and that is the surprise factor about them. The caretaker came up on our request and opened the first door gate. As we entered and our eyes adjusted to low light, I saw a polished granite hall, it was shining as if it had been just polished a day before.

[caption id="attachment_5204" align="aligncenter" width="300"] First cave entry door in the Barabar group of caves[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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