The historical region of Bairath is known for the excavated remains of a circular Buddhist temple, one of the earliest known shrines of its kind in India, Ashokan inscriptions and a monastery. Relics of the Mughal, Rajput and Mauryan periods have also been found here. In ancient times, Bairath was called Viratnagar and was the then capital of Matysa king, Virat. Legend has it that the Pandavas, of the epic Mahabharata, spent a year here during their exile. Chinese traveller, Xuanzang, considered Bairath a great place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Other excavations reveal that it was a part of the Mauryan empire and a Buddhist centre from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD. This is proved by two rock edicts found here, which are believed to be among the 84,000 rock edicts and pillar inscriptions that were engraved during the rule of Ashoka to spread and preach the teachings of Lord Buddha. The town was also an important centre during the rule of Mughal emperor, Akbar, who built a coin factory here. 

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