Viratnagar- Ancient Capital Of Matsya Mahajanapada Kingdom Is Significant Because Of Rich History!

Bairat earlier known as Viratnagar is a town in northern Jaipur district of Rajasthan, Situated 90 km from Jaipur, in the picturesque Aravallis, Bairath was once the capital of the Matasya king Virat, dating back to the time of the Mahabharata. The Pandavas spent a year of their exile here, and Bhim killed Keechak in Virat.

Chinese traveler Fa-Hieun Tsang mentioned Bairat as a great seat of Buddhist pilgrimage. The fact is corroborated by two rock edicts found at Bhimsen Doongari and Bairath. These edicts are from the 84,000 rock edicts and pillar inscription said to have been engraved during the period of Emperor Ashoka to propagate the teachings of the Buddha.

It was also a part of the Mauryan Empire. Viratnagar has ruins of Bijak-ki-Pahadi, a Buddhist Chapel from 3rd Century BC. It once had a flourishing Buddhist culture and the town is home to a Buddhist monastery, a rock and wood shrine, and a rock-cut edict from the Emperor Ashoka. There are also the remains of an old Buddhist Stupa.

The remnants of circular stupas are situated on top of the hill and a stone path cut out of the rocks leads to it. There are also the living quarters of the monastery and rock cut caves. Chunar stone has been used to build the stupa. The diameter of the stupa is approximately 27 feet. An upper platform was created by cutting rocks. There are cave dwellings cuts into a hill that are large and were probably used as assembly halls.

Early Chaitya halls are known from the 3rd century BCE. They generally followed a circular or apsidal plan, and were either rock-cut or freestanding. Temples built on elliptical, circular, quadrilateral plans were initially constructed using brick and timber.

Today, only the foundation of the temple remains. The circular temple was located inside a rectangular enclosure wall, and had an outer diameter of 5.6 meters. It was built around a small stupa at the centre, with a diameter of 1.6 meters. There was also an internal circle of 26 wooden octagonal columns surrounding the stupa. The layout created two pradaksina circular paths. The global shape of the temple has been inferred from more or less contemporary reliefs of such buildings from Bharhut, or from rock-cut temples at Kondivite, Tulja Caves or Guntupalli Caves.

Virat Nagar or Bairat is also known for Great cow lover Mahatma Ramchandra Veer’s birthplace. The only Hindu saint who did anshan to stop the killing of animal in the Temples of India. He had established the Panchkhand Peeth on the top of hill. He was a devotee of a well known shasthra pandit named Hanuman and their caste was named Vanar. He had also written the Hindu epic Ramayana in Hindi language the named “Ram katha Amrit”, ” Vijay Pataka” “Vinash ke Marg” & “Humare Hutatma”.

Bairat has some very strange and naturally formed rocks and boulders which resemble animals or human skulls. More research may be needed to determine if there is no human intervention in  the formation of rocks.

Sharanya Alva


Related Articles