If you are a student of history then you must visit the excavations at kumhrar (also spelled as Kumrahar) in Patna, the capital of Bihar. The capital of the eastern state of Bihar was once the capital of ancient India. Patna was once known as Patliputra and was the capital of the mighty king ‘Ashoka the Great’ of the Mauryan dynasty. Ashoka was one of India’s most powerful rulers during 269 BC to 232 BC whose empire stretched from the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan to today’s Bangladesh in the east and from Indian state of Assam to the South of India.
Archaeological excavations have been found at Kumhrar of the Mauryan period dating around 322-185 BC. I recently visited this place and took some photographs. Although the site appeared nothing more than a lover’s hangout and was not able to make out if any of the people knew what it was. In addition, I thought that the place had not been preserved to a high standard. However, the government of Bihar do promote school trips to this site to encourage students to learn about the ancient history and culture of India.
One striking piece of excavation was one of the pillars of the King Ashoka’s assembly hall that was supposed to have 80 pillars. Some historians have suggested that this was the very hall where the “Third Buddhist Council” was held in 250 BC under the patronage of Emperor Asoka.
Although I haven’t seen many foreign tourists here, but I highly recommend it to those interested in the history and culture of India. Other places to visit in Bihar include Bodh Gaya where Buddha lived and preached, Pawapuri and Rajgir where both Buddha and Mahavira (founder of Jainism) lived and preached. Large number of tourists especially from Japan and other Buddhist countries come to Bihar for pilgrimage particularly Bodh Gaya and Rajgir, they might find this place interesting. You can find more about Bihar at my social networking site YouBihar.
The excavations of Kumhrar are located about 5 km of east from Patna Railway Station and entrance fees are 5 Rupees for Indian tourists and 100 rupees from foreign tourists.