The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has detected cracks in the caves. "The blasting of rocks for making stone chips has been causing damage to the Barabar caves," ASI superintending archaeologist P.K. Mishra said.
Mishra said the ASI had sought the local administration's help to protect the caves. Soon after the cracks were detected, the ASI sought a ban on the blasting of rocks in the nearby hills.
"The ASI will install a special clock housed in a glass case at the site to monitor the stability of the caves," Mishra said.
ASI officials said the caves date back to emperor Asoka's time and were used by Jain monks as a retreat. The caves, carved out of a huge piece of granite, represent one of the earliest examples of rock-cut architecture in India. The caves also find a mention in E.M. Forster's book "A Passage To India".
Source: India E-news