Click here to skip to content

General view of Lilajan River and Jaru, Barabar Hills

General view of Lilajan River and Jaru, Barabar Hills

Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1872

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(48)

Item number: 100348

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Lilajan River and Jaru in the Barabar Hills in Bihar, taken by Joseph David Beglar in 1872-73. The Barabar and Nagarjuni Hills, which are situated close to one another, contain seven cave-temples. The earliest of these have been both architecturally and epigraphically dated to around 250 BC, when the area was under the rule of the Mauryan king, Asoka. Asoka was a Buddhist who governed almost the whole of what we now call India, in the third century BC. However these caves were used by the Ajivikas, a Jain sect which were allowed to thrive under Asoka's policy of religious tolerance. The sect believed that life was totally predetermined by destiny and practiced asceticism at locations like these caves. The Barabar caves provided a prototype for the larger Buddhist Chaitya halls that are found in Maharasthra such as Ajanta or Karli and are very influential to the tradition of South Asian rock-cut architecture. They are also the setting for the opening of E.M. Forster's 'A Passage to India'.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: