Month: March 2019

Patna: A Photo Essay

Patna or ancient Pataliputra became Magadha’s capital after the Kings realised the importance of Ganges as a mode of transportation. Rajgir, the initial capital was closer to the mines that were located down south. However, with the rise of Pataliputra, it faded away. When modern Bihar was formed, Patna was a natural choice to be the capital. Theses pictures are from my one day roaming around in Patna.

The 80 ft Buddha Statue

In the Land of Enlightenment: Bodhgaya

My guide picked up a leaf that fell from the Banyan tree and handed it over to me. The very tree (albeit descendant) under which Gautama became the Buddha. The value we ascribe to things is proportional to your beliefs only. I remember that when I was a kid there used to be a bottle of water my mom had collected from Ganges and it was held very reverentially. I used to look at it with starry eyes, as if the object in front had some mystical powers. This time during my visit to Ganges, I couldn’t help but think of it only as a polluted water source. Bodhgaya, a mere 15 kms away from Gaya is the city if Enlightenment. While Gaya is out and out a Hindu pilgrims place, Bodhgaya is a Buddhist centre + secular tourist destination. You see school children on tour, monks, foreigners, and the whole spectrum in Boddh Gaya. Bihar’s first world heritage site (2nd being Nalanda), the current temple at the site is largely a modern construct. The …