The Barabar International Tourist Centre is situated in the hilly area of Makhdumpur in Jehanabad District. It is located at a distance of 50 kms from Gaya and 75 kms from Patna. The place had been popular for its ancient Seven Rock cut Buddhist Caves. This is one of the Buddhist Cave Temples in India. Barabar is also regarded as the origin of Ajivika sect. The scenic beauty and the calm and unpolluted surrounding attract many tourists from different places. In the month of July-August "Sraawani Mela" is organized here. It begins from the 1st day of Hindi "Saawan Month", and observed for one month.
Barabar is one of the oldest places of Indian civilization. It has been related to Mahabharata period. The great warrior of Mahabharata war that is the Battle at Kurukshetra, Ashwathama is said to be wandering even today in the valleys of Barabar. He had become immortal with the grace at Lord Sidhnath i.e. Lord Shiva.
Earlier Barabar was known as "Khalit Parwat" or "Nagarjuni parwat". During Mahabharata period, this was known "Gorthagiri" Vanasur was the Senapati of the king Jarasandha and had constructed a fort on the hills, the remains of which can be seen even today.
The Great Mauryan king Ashoka constructed a number of caves on the request of one of his queens for saints of Ajivak sect. Ashok's grand son, Dashrath also constructed caves for saints of Ajivak sect and Buddhist monks. During his period, Barabar was attacked by the great ruler of Orissa king Kharwel. He demolished the "Gorthagiri Fort". This has been established by his Hanthi Cave inscription, situated at Udaygiri Mountain.
Barabar and Buddhism
Barabar bears a strong relationship with Buddhism in India. According to some historians this is the place where Lord Budha meditated for a long period of 12 Years. Later from here he moved along side "Niranjarna River" towards Bodh Gaya where he got enlightenment.
The Kaua Dol Mountain head resembles a Buddha-Stupa. In the eastern basement of it, a large and beautiful Buddha-Vihar was constructed by Sheel Bhadra. A large statue of Lord Buddha has also been found on a platform here. The figure is about eight feet higher with a breadth of four feet across the shoulder and six feet across the knees.
Banavar Dwar is situated at Mussi on Patna-Gaya International tourist route. The gate has been designed according to Ancient Buddhist traditions and is a fine blend of modern architect and ancient culture and traditions.
Mirabigha village is situated at about 4 km. South-East of Tehta Railway Station. This archaeological site has many temples mostly Shaivite. Most of them are brick-worked with some stone appendage. There are ruins of an ancient tank, which may be associated with the site. The site also has a host of Brahmanical deities, who once would have resided in these temples.