Barabar Caves, India.

These rock-cut chambers date back to the 3rd century BC. Most caves at Barabar consist of two chambers, carved entirely out of granite, with a highly polished internal surface and exciting echo effect. Reverberation continues for several seconds and initial sound is continuously changing.

Polished walls of caves

Most likely the walls were polished exactly for attainment of this echo effect. Barabar Hill contains four caves, Karan Chaupar, Lomas Rishi, Sudama and Visva Zopri.

Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Mounts.

Coordinates: 25.0054 N 85.0628 E

Address: Asia, India, Bihar, Jehanabad district, 24 km north of Gaya
Age: Oldest cave – 261 BC
Alternate names: Barābār, Satgharva, Satgharwa, Haft Khan, Gorathgiri
Religion: Ajivika

Caves were discovered to Western world by Alexander Cunningham in 1868.

These caves seem to be mentioned in “Mahabharatha” under name “Gorathgiri” – the same place name has been identified on cliff inscriptions at Barabar as well.

More recent and famous work where these caves take significant role, is a novel by E.M.Forster “A Passage to India”.

Most likely Barabar caves were hewn in the monolithic granite cliff during the reign of the great Mauryan king Ashoka (Asoka) – at least inscriptions on the walls of caves tell that king Ashoka dedicated some cave chambers to Ajivika followers.

Name Satgharwa means “seven houses” – some consider that this refers to seven rooms in Barabar Caves, but some – that this refers to seven caves of this area – four in Barabar and three – in nearby Nagarjuni Hills.

The granitic (rather – quartzite gneiss) monolith of Barabar cliff north from the Punpun River near its mouth in Phalgu River resembles a dark, sinister submarine rising from the soil. It is located at the base of the 300 metres high Siddheshwar mountain – interesting place with a later Shiva Temple and remnants of fortification on its top and some ancient cliff carvings as well.

Aerial view of the Barabar Caves in 1993

Barabar cliff is approximately 200 metres long and contains several very interesting monuments of history, notably – four rock-cut caves. These caves are hewn out in the very hard monolithic stone and only one – Lomas Rishi has masonry details at the entrance portal. Interesting peculiarity of caves is their highly polished surfaces (famous “Mauryan polish”) and high degree of symmetry – in fact it is not quite clear how people 2,200 years ago did this.

The Barabar Caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India

Posted by Xissufotoday on Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Barabar Caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, mostly dating from the Maurya Empire
The Gopika rock cut caves in the Nagarjuna Hill

Interior of the Lomas Rishi Cave, looking towards inner sanctum

Inscriptions at Barabar Caves

Stone Circle, a very strange construction in the area, probably later construction.

stone henge in India
The platform of stone, and vertical blocks of rectangular shape, form a circular wall.

Barabar Caves, India.Read more

Posted by Xissufotoday on Sunday, December 25, 2016