We had an early lunch at the local café. It was close to one in the afternoon when we set off for a visit to the Barabar caves Gaya. The caves were famous as one of the many places that Emperor Asoka had visited and there are shrines cut into the mountain where people used to gather in prayer. At one point, it is said that there was a stupa, but it is nonexistent in the present timeline. The caves were a delight and a few of the students at my college had recommended a visit. I wasn’t about to miss out on the chance to see them.
We arrived at the entrance to the caves fairly soon. There were two sets which were separated by a distance of one point six kilometers. The other set was called Nagarjung Caves which were collectively a part of Barabar caves. The entrance was a gaping burrow that sent chills through our spines. It seemed as if we were embarking on some sacred ground which was too complex for us to understand. There were four basic sectors on the inside. The first cave which was named Lomas rishi cave was intricately designed with elephant processions and inscriptions. The façade is an imitation of contemporary timber architecture. The others are named Sudama, Karan Chaupar, and Visva Zopri respectively. They were all equally breathtaking.
The other set of caves that are collectively a part of Barabar caves Gaya are the Nagarjung Caves. Likewise, these were used in the sacred gatherings. These are younger than the other sets, and are divided into three distinct factions. They were named Gopi, Vedathika Kubha, and Mirza Mandi caves. These edifices, we learnt, were a part of the history which included King Dasaratha and the Ajivika followers. These were dated back to two hundred years before the modern calendar and were actual ancient relics. It was an electrifying experience to stand in the presence of a relic that proved the physical existence of legends. We left the caves behind when the sky began to give way to the millions of stars behind.
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