Travel to Bairat - an archaeological site preserving its legacy of age-old monuments, monastery and ruins of a 3rd century BC chaitya (chapel. In fact, Bairat town around Jaipur district also boasts of having the oldest freestanding Buddhist structure in India, one of the major tourist destinations in Jaipur Rajasthan.

India - Rajasthan - Jaipur - Bairat Archaeological Site

Bairat Archaeological Site

¤ Bairat Town

Distance : 52kmnorth of Jaipur on Churu Road
66km from Alwar

¤ Bairat Town

Bairat, Jaipur Bairat or Viratnagar has a remarkably rich past, boasting of monuments and legends of very old. In fact, this forgotten little town in Jaipur district boasts of having the oldest freestanding Buddhist structure in India – the ruins of a 3rd century BC chaitya (chapel) – perched on a low hill. Among rocks are the remains of a monasterytoo. Archaeological excavations from a hill in Bairat have revealed more from the 3rd century BC, this time belonging to the great Mauryan rule.

¤ Other Attractions

There are the rock-cut edicts of Emperor Ashoka, and a circular brick-and-timber shrineof this period. The temple has lime plastered panels of brickwork, alternating with 26 octagonal pillars of wood. The entire structure was enclosed within a large rectangular compound containing an open ground for an assembly in front of the entrance.

¤ The Glorious Past

However, the history of Bairat goes even further – to the times of the Mahabharata, some 3500 years back. It is said that it was in the kingdom of King Virat that the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi spent their thirteenth year of exile in incognito. But nothing remains of this ancient city, though archaeological findings like coins and pottery do indicate its antiquity. The Mughals, too, left their stamp in this amazing city of Bairat. The 16th century chhatri (cenotaph) bears some interesting murals. They are among the oldest in Rajasthan, and had probably served as a model for the tradition of painting murals. The Shekhawatiregion, which is famous for its astonishingly large number of frescoed havelis (mansions), probably took the cue from Amber's wall paintings which in turn were influenced by those of the Mughal court. Anyway, the lodge in Bairat was where Emperor Akbar is said to have hunted and stayed overnight en route on his pilgrimage to Ajmer. The Temple of Parasvanath, Bhimji-ki-Dungariand Bijak-ki-Pahari are worth seeing too.

¤ Viratnagar Museum

The Viratnagar Museum here, although not very large, has a good collection of artefacts which lay claim to Bairat’s rich past. The excavated material like pottery, old coins, seals, metallic pieces, weapons and sculptures have been exhibited here.

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