Blogs from Bihar, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Bihar » Bodh Gaya October 2nd 2018

Gaya and Varanasi are two holy cities which all Hindus wish to visit at least once in their lifetime. Gaya and surrounding areas like Nalanda, Pawapuri are sacred to three important religions of humanity, i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Distance between Gaya and Varanasi are roughly 260 kms. When we planned to travel this region, our basic objective was two fold : i. To perform religious rites (called Pindadaan) our forefathers as per Hindu traditions by myself and my sister. As per Hindu mythology, this ritual is a homage to the ancestors and mandatory for a Hindu to release the departed soul of his forefathers after death, to the ultimate world of nirvana or happiness. ii. To enlighten ourselves of the immense significance of this land, from where three sects of religion flourished and ancient scholars ... read more
Little monk on the way for worship - Mahavodhi Temple, Bodhgaya
Pindadaan offering at Vishnupaad Temple, Gaya, our second place of pindadaan offering
Bodhisatta - Mahavodhi Temple, Bodhgaya

Asia » India » Bihar » Bodh Gaya December 7th 2017

Day 6 (Thursday 7thDecember) A Temple and a Cave I waited outside reception until 6.05 but none of the others appeared so I set off alone. I walked to the security gate (they had a bombing a few years back, by radical Hindu’s) but was told that as I had a camera I had to pay at the counter 500 yards back, so had to retrace my steps, pay my Rs300 for a camcorder and return to security going through the metal detector and frisking that is involved (I hadn’t taken my mobile as they are not allowed, or a bag as not needed). Temple entry was free. Inside the Mahabodhi Temple grounds the pillars were covered in flowers and prayer flags flew across the paths. The steps leading down to the main temple were framed ... read more
Temple & Moon
Buddha on Lake
Cave Sign

Asia » India » Bihar December 6th 2017

Sorry for the delay, here is by blog up to 2 days ago.... Day 1-2 1st December 2017 What a journey! Started and ended badly with some bad bits in between…. It all began when the taxi, which I had booked the night before, failed to show up for at 6:15, eventually arriving 25 mins late….Needless to say I missed my train. Luckily they run every half hour… So late at airport, took ages to find the hidden check-in desk, only to be told my softbag cannot go with other bags and I had to wait in another que for the people with skis and golfclubs. Got through security relatively OK although they made me remove my (money) belt and then stand with legs akinbo and arms outstretched. You can imagine the result, like a Brian ... read more
View from Hari Piorko
At 1st Hotel
All at Old Fort

Asia » India » Bihar December 6th 2017

Day 3 (Monday 4thDecember) Last Day in Delhi So we had an early breakfast and packed all our bags as we had to check out at high noon and had a 2 hour walk pre-booked. I checked if we could leave our bags at the hotel as our train doesn’t leave until 7.45pm. The hotel was great and allowed us to leave our bags in a secure place for free. After breakfast we grabbed a tuk-tuk to the Railway Reservation Office on the main road and lurked around until approached by a guy who showed us a small chai shop in a side street where a few others waited and we all had some chai. Eventually the last couple turned up & we set off down the side street which was full of rubbish and rat ... read more
Esmee Riding Lion
Hotel Shelton Paharganj
Rocco Esmee & Street Walk Guy Best

Asia » India » Bihar December 6th 2017

Day 5 (Wednesday 6thDecember) A Day Around Our Hotel Lazy start to today, for me & Mal anyway. Reedies up early and off for a walk-about. Met up later at our rooftop restaurant & drank lots of coffee which delayed our departure until the Mad Dogs & Englishmen hour (midday). It is quite warm today after the coldest night this year (apparently) so we started walking slowly towards the Great Buddha Statue, refusing all the rickshaws who hussled us for a ride. I wanted to visit a Tibetan Monastery on the way which was a sister monastery to the one I stayed at in Kathmandu a few years back. Couldn’t find it, maybe not built yet? As we got near the Great Buddha Statue we saw a camel in full Rajasthan regalia (coloured beads & mirrors ... read more
Esmee & Baby 2
Do Not Clumb
Great Buddha Sign

Asia » India » Bihar November 11th 2017

What could have induced Buddha to settle in a spot as unprepossessing as what was to become Bodh Gaya is not easy to fathom. Even 2,500 years ago, it couldn't have been less dry, dusty, windswept in the cold season, and scorching hot before the arrival of the soothing monsoon. The landscape is relentlessly flat, and water is hard to come by. Barely two months after the close of the rainy season, the Falgu River, which marks the eastern boundary of the town, seems to have vanished. A quarter of a mile wide, it is no more than a vast expanse of yellowish sand with clumps of grass growing here and there and a trickle of silty water a few feet wide meandering hesitantly down the middle. To Hindus and Buddhists, this is a sacred river, ... read more

Asia » India » Bihar November 11th 2017

Train number 12371, the Jaisalmer Express, pulls into Gaya Junction. It is 45 minutes late. Not bad for the first leg of a 1,400–mile run from Kolkota to the east to the Pakistan border to the west. The first local I run into on the platform is a cow: light brown, bony, young short-horned. It ambles along aimlessly, looking bemused, as if wondering what it’s doing here and what possessed it to listen to its friends when they suggested this might be a fun place to while away the afternoon. Outside the station is the official rickshaw stand, which is no stand at all but a tangle of sputtering yellow and black three-wheelers, their drivers competing vociferously for customers. One particularly enterprising operator agrees to take me to Bodh Gaya, my destination today, where devotees gather ... read more

Asia » India » Bihar » Rajgir May 12th 2017

An explorer trail to travel rugged Do things remain at the place? Do talks and conversations put on hold when you left the place? Naha….. I believe, when you travel, you elucidate by your own. Some previous experiences stay back and some savories and quirks of the place you travelled pop up within you. Today’s Youth, full of desires to travel. Just to motivate and be motivated, I want to reel off an episode of some memorable moments of my life in Rajgir City, Bihar. Within 33Km distance from Nalanda, a town named Rajgir, an ancient capital of Magadha Kings around 5th century B.C. Promptly, a tourist spot, I was not bewared about. As an Archaeologist, it was just a curiosity to walk within the past. I always prefer local travelling just to interact with locals, ... read more

Asia » India » Bihar April 1st 2017

•Women with bundles of firewood on head• This was a shot I took in 2013 at Balia district of Utter Pradesh in India.That was a fine Sunday afternoon and I was going to Balia town,the nearest town of UP in my Bolero with wife . Balia is famous for *Bhrigu Muni Ashram* of Ramayan era on the banks of River Ganga. While on the way I saw some #Women returning with bundles of #firewood on their head and it was so impressive . Women in most parts of #Rural #India always lay their helping hand in running the family but their contribution to the economic affairs of the family is un-accounted for. Over the years since independence , Govt of India is laying utmost priority for educating #Girlchild and even there are so many incentives given ... read more

Asia » India » Bihar » Rajgir March 1st 2017

Parli di Bihar e subito pensi al Buddha, che in questo stato dell'India settentrionale ha trascorso gran parte della sua movimentata esistenza; qui il buddismo e' diventato un vero e proprio movimento religioso ed il nome stesso del paese deriva dal sanscrito "Vihar", cioe' monastero. Potrei allora dedicarmi per ore a parlare di templi e stupa, rovine di monasteri e tombe dimenticate, tra immagini sacre e monaci quasi sempre sorridenti, ma non qui, non adesso, perche' forse non tutti sanno che il Bihar e' anche il luogo di nascita di Vardhamana Mahavira, il 24esimo Tirthankara, fondatore del Jainismo, una delle tante religioni semisconosciute che ancora vengono praticate nel subcontinente indiano; cerchero' allora di raccontarvi brevemente come funziona il tutto. Mahavira nasce nello stesso periodo (quinto secolo prima di Cristo) e vive negli stessi luoghi del principe ... read more
Sasaram - tomba di Sher Shah Suri
La fertile pianura del Bihar
Nalanda - le rovine del grande stupa




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