Fujiyama, Japan

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Pavapuri

Google Maps: Pawapuri, Bihar Sharif, Bihar, India
Trip: Gaya > Rajgir > Pavapuri > Gaya

Pavapuri was a short while from Rajgir - a drive of two hours. The first glimpse was enough to leave an impression. We parked our car on the roadside and took the only bridge for the majestic marble structure that was visible at the middle of a large lake.

Pond@Pavapuri

The bridge itself was made of carved red sandstone. The fishes in the lake had been allowed to grow large. The     Mahavir Temple, as it grew larger to sight, was a spectacle to watch.

Bridge to Pavapuri Temple

The temple is famous for being the place where Lord Mahavir was enlightened. It is a remarkable coincidence that the two places where Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavir each were enlightened is not more than 50 miles apart.

Marble gates@Pavapuri

Sitting on the cool marble stairs of the temple was pleasant with the lake view in front. The lukewarm winter weather of late November morning was complimenting the overall atmosphere. We simply sat and chatted for a  while before starting back for Gaya.

Rajgir

Google Maps: Rajgir, Bihar, India

  • Rajgir has two major tourist spots apart from ruins of the great Magadh capital that Rajgir once was. One is the Peace Pagoda atop a hill and other is the famous hot water sulphur spring.
  • Rajgir is a one day trip from Patna. Gaya is even closer and with an early start one may cover Rajgir, Pavapuri and Bodh Gaya on the same day.
  • Take or rent your own vehicle. Go on a Monday if possible. Don't miss the ropeway. Don't miss to take a holy dip in the hot water spring.


Early morning drives in the fad end of November under the warmth of rising sun is a luxury that Bihar didn't know of until Nitish Kumar happened. So now the road between Gaya and Rajgir is wide & smooth and only an hour affair. We were in Gaya for a cousin's wedding and decided to take advantage of our location.

Four corners of Shanti Stupa@Rajgir


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Kolkata

Google Maps: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Trip: Delhi > Kolkata > Delhi

Kolkata was a brief official stay but that was never a stopper to explore its riches. From the roadside food to rumbling Howrah Bridge, anything and everything is recommended at Kolkata. More you explore more it intrigues you.

Tram system@Kolkata

The slow tram system, unique to India, fairly represent the casual approach of native Kolkataite. Travel fares are probably the cheapest in world.Our walk to and back from office brought us face to face with the college street area. Poor here are not very poor but their number is significantly more than other cities - an evidence of communist influence in their socio-political life.

Prices are dirt cheap@Kolkata

The other end of this spectrum was Victoria Memorial down south of Hoogly. Placed adjacent to a man-made lake adds to the charm of this massive marble structure. Our early morning expedition (which was an effort given we were around Park Street last night at 12 midnight) bestowed riches here.

Victoria Memorial@Kolkata

Next on list was of course Howrah Bridge and we made sure to cross the entire stretch end-to-end for some experience. The busy cantilever bridge was huge and even shaky. This engineering marvel has stayed the test of times and so we were not to worry.

Howrah Bridge@Kolkata

We were recommended Park Hotel area for dinner plans. Park Street is home to modern food joints and pubs in Kolkata while several areas like Esplanade and College Street have plenty of small restaurants serving local delicacies. We ended up at Barbecue for Chinese and it was worth the money.