Saru Maru is the archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex and Buddhist caves.
The site contains a number of stupas as well as natural caves for monks.
In the caves many Buddhist graffiti have been found (swastika, triratna, kalasa ...).
In the main cave were found two inscriptions of Ashoka: a version of the Minor Rock Edict n°1, one of the Edicts of Ashoka, and another inscription mentioning the visit of Piyadasi (honorific name used by Ashoka in his inscriptions) as Maharahakumara (Prince).
Religious buildings in the form of the Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, started to be used in India as commemorative monuments associated with storing sacred relics of the Buddha.
The earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of Buddhist stupas dates to the late 4th century BCE. In India, Sanchi, Sarnath, Amaravati and Bharhut are among the oldest known stupas.
After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried .
In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance.
Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or to a shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith.
Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.
Among the four major Buddhism sites of pilgrimage one is in Nepal:
- Lumbini, where Buddha was born
and the three .
The Buddhist caves in India form an important part of Indian rock-cut architecture, and are among the most prolific examples of rock-cut architecture around the world.
There are more than 1,500 known rock cut structures in India, out of which about 1000 were made by Buddhists, 300 by Hindus, and 200 by Jains.
Many of these structures contain works of art of global importance, and many later caves from the Mahayana period are adorned .