Tag Archives: bihar

A journey from the land of Mahatma in 20th Century to the land of Mahatma in 18th Century

Saint Mahavir & follower saints of 18th century were born in Bihar of today and M.K. Gandhi born in Gujarat of today! We discovered few places during our journey from far West in India to far East of India – from Ahmedabad Junction to Durg (and further) Junction!

Durg in Chhattisgarh was a main station from where eastern journey began.

Nagpuraa a.k.a. Uvasaggaram is a holy place, 18 KM away from Durg – is famous for typical footprints of Lord Parshwanath.

Maadhupur Junction, a station of Bihar state is connected by train to Durg. Riju Vatika is a next place in the journey – is a place where Lord Mahavira did penance, is little away from Maadhupur.

Shikharji a.k.a. Madhuban is just 15 to 20 KMs away from Riju Vatika. This is a major landmark in the journey.
This is the most important temple for the Jains. Unfortunately the overall architecture of buildings at the base – Madhuban jain campus started giving glimpses of peaks!

The very next day – from the day we reached there, we started walking on the mountain range in early morning.

The climbing cum walking cum rolling – whatever you call was a real challenge. It’s great that we all (except my mom!) reached on our (own) feet to major peaks – Gautam Swaami’s peak, Jal Mandir, Paarasnaath’s peak.

Climbers - "Mountaineering"

Climbers -

Of course, we did not go up to last peak which is the toughest of all, and is risky.

Generally, as per the tradition, a peak on the mountain range is famous for one or other saint – living ascetic life. I was expecting quite quiet and cleanliness as per Jainism. The lack of management (actually some dispute between the Shwetambars, the Digambars & the Government as inactively-acting management authority) totally disappointed me. Even there was no place to sit a side due to heavy rush of a pilgrims, forget cleanliness!

The distance is as under:
From base to Jal Mandir – appx. 9 KMs
From Jal Mandir to Paarasnaath’s peak – appx. 3 KMs
From Parasnath’s peak to base – appx. 12 KMs

Hats off to those local laborers pulling Dolis.
A funny talk that we listen during this pilgrimage – if a Doli is pulled with 2 bamboos, it is called as 4 wheeler, since 4 persons required and if is pulled with single bamboo stick, it’s 2 wheeler!!!!

4 Wheeler Doli

4 Wheeler Doli

Bhaagalpur was a town next in the journey. Roads up to the station were giving us feelings as if they were built in 20th century – or never built!

Champaapuri next to Bhaagalpur is known for another Jain temple.

Lachchhavaad, one of tribal villages of Bihar has another Jain temple. Next, was Guniyaaji a.k.a. Nawaadaa – again a Jain temple.

Paavaapuri was another famous place in our route. Of course, I had been to replica of Paawaapuri in Rajasthan before this. So I did not find it much pleasant!! However, compared to most of previous stations, it was like a modern town for us!! There, situated few places important in Jianism.

Next, in sequence was a worldwide famous – a historic place, I was much awaiting for. It was Naalandaa. The meaning is ‘the one gives knowledge, a university’. It means in Sanskrit – Naalam (lotus, a symbol of knowledge) + Daa, to give. What a great meaning it carries!
It is famous for dilapidated building of the ancient university and Buddhist statues. The university was built thrice in 3 centuries, according to the guides. And of course, as it happened in Indian history, later destroyed. The site presently available for visitors is the result of a lot of minute digging work, which has been carried out since a long.

Nalanda

Nalanda

It was quiet funny, to observe that this historic place was much developed if we compare ratio of Bihar’s overall development v/s Naalandaa. The hidden reason is that the site is developed and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, Indian Government!
In short, few points about this knowledge city in ancient times really impressed – what a rich knowledge Indian carries since past. A sentence that I heard (since it’s hard to believe) was that, when the university was destroyed, the books (of course, typical hand-written notes in that time) were burning for six months!
The museum is also very good.

Last destination of journey was Raajgir a.k.a. Raajgruhi. It appeared quiet congested because of heavy rush of pilgrims.

We boarded train for return journey from Kodarmaa a.k.a. Jhumri-Telaiyaa, Telaiyaa from Jharkhand.

Food:

Litti-Chauka – a mixture, a traditional and healthy food.

Litti-Chauka – a mixture, a traditional and healthy food.

Sattu Paraathaa, made from Sattu

Sattu Paraathaa, made from Sattu

Litti

Litti

Orange

Orange

Yes, it’s orange left side and lump of pulp orange!

I also agree that roots of Jainism and Buddhism are similar. Philosophy of both are driving to similar way, perhaps in different fashion.

In short the journey was good as we did not need to fight any major difficulties.
The lifestyle of Bihari villagers taught me why they can fit to any place in India – whether its Mumbai or Surat! Worst style of living in Mumbai Chalis / huts may be better (and perhaps luxurious, too) then Bihari villager’s normal living. Plus, there isn’t any significant development in almost any area (except politics!!) in Bihar. So educated people from Bihar do not stay or settle at their hometown – and they prefer to move to developing cities / towns. The only developed occupation is labor – be it pulling Dolis or any contract based work!
Also, quality of internal roads in Bihar is quite bad – rather there were no roads! In short, all above is the result of lack of development – interest for development.

A tribal village & hut

A tribal village & hut

Another hut

Another hut

Another important requirement for development – electricity has not reached many villages, yet. Or at most places, it’s very less as compared to consumptions. So load shedding is there almost everywhere!

Jharkhand, a departed state from Bihar found to be little developed then Bihar. Quality of road was better then of Bihar!

A general opinion that we heard during return journey from Bihar was quiet amazing – any train originating / passing through Bhiar always gets late – due to chain pulling and feeling like home of Railway Department!!!

I strongly favor for implementing DST – Daylight Saving Time. The approximate difference between West and East India is 1 hour & 30 minutes, which costs a lot to the nation.

I am sorry if I discouraged you since I haven’t written much details related to places and Jainism.

More photos are here
If you liked photos, congratulate my dad, not me!!!!

11 days vacation

After almost 15 years, my family has planned a very long tour – to Jain’s holy place situated in Jharakhand. Along with that, we will also visit few other surrounding places with holy and historical values in states Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

Since Diwali is passed, we hope to enjoy the trip in our own way – with less crowded places.

Sammet Shikharji in Video

Probably, I will not write details about the route that we will follow; but yes, I shall make an attempt to note traditional names (holy names) and their popular (as per political map) names.

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