Travel

Nalanda Vihara (University) Archaelogical site, Bihar, India | Day visit to UNESCO World Heritage site of Nalanda

The remains of Ancient Buddhist Monastery in Nalanda, Bihar, India is famous world over as the remains of an ancient Buddhist Monastery & university during 5th  to 1200 century B.C., which was visited by scholars from world over, most notably Chinese scholar Hiuen Tsnag   I was in Nalanda district some time back on work and did not let go of the opportunity to visit the archaeological site of Nalanda Vihara, which is an UNESCO world heritage site.

[caption id="attachment_5462" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nalanda site - UNESCO World Heritage site[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India ~ Buddhism’s holiest site in the world

Bodh Gaya is popular world over as the place where Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Located in eastern state of Bihar and once a small village, Bodh Gaya today sees international visitors from all over the globe, many of them from the major Buddhist following countries. I visited Bodh Gaya for the second time, some time back on a work trip and this time, I could get some time off to explore this vibrant, spiritual town. 

[caption id="attachment_5442" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Buddha statue at Gaya Airport[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Brahma Kund in Rajgir, Bihar | Bihar Travel Diaries

The Rajgir hills, in Nalanda District of Bihar, located near the city of Rajgir are an important Buddhist, Hindu and Jain pilgrimage site. I visited the Rajgir hills region on my work trip in rural Bihar and while I did not have time to visit all the religious attractions/pilgrimage sites this time around, I was able to visit the Brahma Kund in Rajgir.

[caption id="attachment_5228" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brahma Kund Rajgir, Bihar[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Pawapuri Jal Mandir in Nalanda, Bihar, India | Bihar Travel Diaries

Pawapuri Jal Mandir or Pawa is a holy site and temple for Jainism, located in the small town of Pawa in Nalanda district in Bihar (around 101 kilometers from the capital city of Patna), India. I actually had no idea about this important holy site/temple for Jain religion, until I was passing by Nalanda district on a work tour. I am glad to have made this interesting discovery and sharing my experience of Pawapuri Jal Mandir Visit.

[caption id="attachment_5212" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Entry to Pawapuri Jal Mandir[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Barabar Caves in Gaya, Bihar, India | Oldest rock cut caves in India

The Barabar caves are the oldest surviving rock -cut caves in India, apparently dating from the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE), located in the Bela Ganj Block in Gaya district, Bihar, India. Earlier this month, I was on a work trip to Gaya region and after a long day of field visits, the site co-workers insisted to take me to these caves. Having no prior knowledge of these caves, I was in two minds to visit. However, the description by the co-worker of the stunning artistry & work from Mauryan times generated enough curiosity in me to finally make the visit. I was glad to visit the stunning Barabar caves, which are an amazing example of sculpting & engineering work in the ancient Mauryan times.

[caption id="attachment_5194" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Flight of stairs leading to Barabar caves[/caption]

The path to the caves is via concrete flight of stairs and it is not a steep climb for healthy adults. On first look, the caves look very average from outside and that is the surprise factor about them. The caretaker came up on our request and opened the first door gate. As we entered and our eyes adjusted to low light, I saw a polished granite hall, it was shining as if it had been just polished a day before.

[caption id="attachment_5204" align="aligncenter" width="300"] First cave entry door in the Barabar group of caves[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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