(Last Updated on : 09-04-2015)
Baibhar, also spelled as Vaibhar, is a mountain
which has both historical and religious significance. The name of the mountain is sometimes written Baibara and sometimes Vyavahara in the inscription on the Jain temple
. Baibhar is famous for two caves namely Peepal and Saptaparni.
Historical Significance of Baibhar
According to the opinion of General Cunningham, it is the Web-haro Mountain of the Pali annals. On one side of this hill was located the far-famed Sattapanni Cave, in front of which was held the first Buddhist synod, in 543 B.C. It is believed that this cave still exists under the name of Son Bhandar, or "Treasury of gold
," in the southern face of the mountain. However, as per Hwen Thsang's description, it should rather be looked for in the northern face.
Ratnagiri Mountain is situated one milo distant from the Son Bhandar Cave
. This description of the location matches exactly with Fa-Hians's position of the "Pippal Tree
Cave" in which Lord Buddha
after his meals used to meditate. It was situated approximately 5 or 6 li to the east of the cave of the first synod.
Thus, it is opined that the hill of Ratnagiri
is identical with the Pandao Mountain of the Pali annals, in which, in the Lalita-Vistara, is always styled the "King of mountains". Now, there is a paved zigzag road which leads from the eastern side of old Rajagriha. This is frequently visited by the Jains. The hot springs of Rajagriha
are found on both banks of the Sarsuti rivulet. One half of the springs are found at the eastern foot of the mount Baibhar, and the other half at the western foot of mount Vipula. The springs on the eastern slope of Baibhar hill are mostly visited as there are many Hindu temple
structures. Presently, it is very popular amongst Hindu pilgrims.
Landforms in Baibhar
It is surrounded by rugged area. In the vicinity of the mountain, there are sedimentary rocks and deciduous forest mountains.
Attractions of Baibhar
The main attractions of these hills are the two famous caves including Peepal and Saptaparni. The Peepal caves are nestled on the eastern slope of the Vaibhar Hill and are said to be one of the oldest cave architectures
in India. The Saptaparni Caves have mythological significance. According to many, these caves were the venue of the First Buddhist Council
which was held to compile the teachings of the Buddha in its authentic form, after his death.