Friday, May 23, 2014

Vanga to Magadha: Part VI – Rajgir, The Royal House

Roads of Rajgir
We used autos to reach Rajgir from Pawapuri. More than a comfortable vehicle for transportation those hollow metal tubes felt more like a pressure cooker. By evening, we reached Rajgir in a highly compressed form J

We got down at one end of the city and walked towards railway station. Both of us didn’t know that, reaching railway station by walk means crossing the city through its diameter. Otherwise we would have used an auto. We two souls – tired and hungry – finally got a room in hotel next to railway station. Sleeping was the next natural choice, but no. We need to book return ticket to Patna as well. After that lengthy, shaky, time consuming journey we completed in the morning both Antony and me didn’t have the stomach to suffer a repetition of the same. Finally we found a train full of chair cars.

On the way to Shanti Stupa
In the morning our first job was to go to the railway station book tickets to Patna. We went there and searched for a person in the counter to collect money. There was none. There was no point in waiting for more time. Hence we came back to the street and had a strong tea. A heavy political debate was going in a group sitting next to us. I won’t say it’s a debate, one guy was talking and others are trying to reason with him.
Saloon at road side

Rope Way to Shanti Stupa

After having breakfast we walked towards Rajgir bus stand in search of a tam tam (horse drawn cart) to Rajgir. The first one we enquired quoted 200, we simply walked away from there and approached another one. 250 for going to ropeway, waiting there and bringing us back.

Journey was interesting – a lot of colourful tam tams were moving here and there, one guy was running a saloon at the road side – only using stool, mirror and shaving equipments. As we go further, both sides of the road became more deserted and light forest started dominating the environment. After crossing some historical sites we reached Ropeway – a money generating machine for Bihar Tourism Department (60INR/person).

Another long queue. Finally we got a chance to sit on the seats attached to ropes and to reach the hill to see Japanese Pagoda.

While coming back, we thought of getting down at hot water springs. Our tam tam driver asked for another 50. We saw the board for hot water spring while coming, what we don’t know was how far the springs are from road side. I almost felt cheated when I realized that,  the spring is on the road itself and the driver charged extra 50 to wait on the road side for some 15 minutes J After coming back from the springs, I did express my displeasure.

Water was semi hot. It’s the novelty of naturally boiled water and feel good factor. By the way, let me remind you that the place looked more like a public bath room.

Rajgir Express

This train was full of surprises. In IRCTC this train had very good characteristics, but on the ground, i.e. in railway station, train looked different. It didn’t even has a number or board indicating source and destination. After waiting for another one hour our train finally started moving. I thought finally we were on track!!! However, the happiness didn’t last long. Train stopped at one station and it became a station itself. Many trains came and went; many from our compartment moved to Vikramshila Express and other train. After waiting for a long time we started moving again.
Add caption

Our train stopped again at the outskirts of the city, next to a polluted water body. Waiting there was not free of cost, mosquitoes heavily taxed us.


Me standing in front of Stupa

Add caption


No comments:

Post a Comment