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BY NEHA HEGDE
The Barabar Hill Caves are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India, since the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BCE), located in the Makhdumpur, Jehanabad district, Bihar, India. It is 24 km north of Gaya. Some of these caves are with Ashokan inscriptions and are the remains of the lost Ajivika sect.
These caves are set of seven rock-cut caves. Their names such as – “Lomas Rishi Cave”, “Sudama Caves”, “Karan Chaupar cave”, and “Vishwamitra Cave” are the names familiar to the epics which are named from the oral folklore through the ages.
The Barabar caves are carved out from granite, each has two chambers and a highly polished surface. The inscriptions on the “Sudama Cave” tell that these four caves on Barabar hill were assigned to Ajvika monks by the great Mauryan King Ashoka in 261 BCE.
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Ajivika is an Indian ascetic sect that emerged about the same time as Buddhism and Jainism, it lasted until the 14th century.
Lomas Rishi Cave
Lomas Rishi Cave is significant because of its elaborately-decorated door consisting of a row of elephants that progress towards the ‘Stupa’ emblems. It constitutes of two rooms. The architecture used on the entrance door characterizes the form of the Chandrashala or the Chaitya arch which are also used in Ajanta and Ellora caves and other ancient architectural structures. Interestingly, the Lomas Rishi cave has no inscription of Ashoka due to it being incomplete. There are several as to why this segment couldn’t be finished. The first says that persistent structural rock slide problems meant that further add to this landmark couldn’t be made. Historians also say that this segment was constructed near the end of the Mauryan Empire, under the rule of the last Emperor, and believed to have stopped after his death.
Karan Chaupar Cave
Confining with a single rectangular room with polished walls, the Karan Chaupar cave contains inscriptions of the 3rd Century BCE. The inscription, which is located at the entrance to the cave, focuses on the Buddhist practice of retirement (Vassavasa) during the rainy season. The scriptures also suggest that this particular segment of the Barabar Caves was reserved for Ajvika monks.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: उत्तर-पश्चिम चीन में 3,500 साल पुराने मकबरे में मिले सूर्य पूजा के संकेत
The Sudama cave has a vaulted chamber with a ‘Mandapa’ within it. In the first cave of the series as per the inscriptions found on its entrance, the ceiling of the cave is arched. The interior walls of this cave create a mirror effect. Also, the surface of the cave re-echoes sounds. This trait is found in all the four caves in Barabar to favor the melodies sung by the Ajvika monks who resided.
Also called the Viswakarma Cave, it is approachable through the steps of Ashoka. The cave consists of two rectangular rooms. The inscriptions at the entrance dedicate this segment of the raising to the Ajivikas. While the cave was declared sacred by the legendary King, it is the only cave out of four caves which are not consisting post-Ashoka inscriptions.
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)