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.
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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.
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First cave entry door in the Barabar group of caves[/caption]