Around 66 km north of Jaipur, in Rajasthan is the site of Bairat or Viratnagar which is home to one of the oldest known remains of a freestanding Buddhist chaityagriha or prayer hall found in India.
Located high above a rocky hill known as Bijak-ki-Pahadi, these ruins are quite striking. But this is not the only thing that makes Bairat so fascinating. It was the capital of the Matsya Mahajanapada that emerged as a powerful republic in the Indo Gangetic plains, between 700–300 BCE. But what made Bairat so significant in those times? Through a film, author and historian Rima Hooja tells us how the Matsya Mahajanapada was born and how its legacy lives on even today!