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Old 16th October 2011, 23:31   #1
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Default Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Gentlemen,
Did not go anywhere out of West Bengal for last few months, so decided to visit Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya. My daughter's school was closed for the Durga Puja, so it was possible to make a short trip for four days. Train connectivity between Calcutta and Rajgir is poor and one has to get down at Bakhtiyarpur Junction for a further one and half hour's drive by car (55 KM). So decided to go by car instead. I was the only driver in my Tata Indigo (2005, 67000+ KM) car, accompanied by my wife and daughter. Left my home in north Calcutta at three in the morning, as I was told that congestion at Panagarh in NH2 may cause unwanted delay. On the way did not stop anywhere before reaching the Barakar river, except for a brief stop to fill the flask with coffee. And there was no traffic jam at Panagarh. Crossed Asansol in three and half hours. Though the road had little traffic, I could see that unfortunately NH2 has deteriorated a little between Panagarh and Jharkhand border, with slightly broken surface at places. And the drive through Jharkhand by NH2 was great.
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Wife pouring coffee.
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Almost reached a place called Barhi (in Jharkhand), where Google map asked me to leave NH2 and turn right towards Jhumritilaya lake.Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir-022.jpg
The lake looked great in the morning.
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Reached Koderma quicker than I anticipated, at around half past nine.
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The road through Koderma forest is beautiful, although is very bad at five or six places and I had to struggle not to scrape the bottom of my car.
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After some more time I approached Bihar border. Drove one KM further and the road improved like it was just a magic. Good roads, proper signs showing distances. I read somewhere that road accidents in Bihar has increased drastically due to better roads and higher speeds, so drove carefully. But I also found that the truck drivers there drove their vehicles very responsibly.
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Me and my daughter somewhere before Nawada, at a break for some food.
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Google map and Wikimapia asked me turn left at a place called Sadbhabna Chawk in Nawada town.
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The beautiful road goes to a small town named Hissua.
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The Hissua-Rajgir Road (24KM) also gives pleasure to drive.
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Entering Rajgir town, at around half past eleven.
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Driving within Rajgir town limits.
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Me and my daughter overjoyed after reaching Rajgir.
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Thanks for reading.
Regards,
Rahul Biswas
Calcutta
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:43   #2
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Thanks for sharing. Nice pictures

What was the total duration of the trip ?
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:59   #3
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

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What was the total duration of the trip ?
Almost eight and half hours, with a very sedate driving. And my car was more than six years old. With a better car and a little faster driving you may reach earlier.
Regards,
R Biswas
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Old 17th October 2011, 01:49   #4
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Hi Rahul,

This is one of the first threads I have read on TLs in the East parts of our country.
And it does inspire me to witness these drives first hand .

The roads, in most parts, do seem well laid.
Nice description. It would be nice to get further details, and maybe some more pictures.

How about an ownership thread on the Indigo?

Cheers and drive safe.
Sam
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Old 17th October 2011, 02:16   #5
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Could you please elaborate on Rajgir and other places that you have visited? I am interested in knowing more about the place and history and other things. I have never heard of this place called Rajgir as it is a lesser known place for people like me who stay in south.
Excellent pics of the lake. What is the name of the lake?
Also you have mentioned that you went to Nalanda and Bodhgaya. So, if possible, could you please post pics of Nalanda and Bodhgaya. I have heard / read about Nalanda and Bodhgaya during my schooling in history books but never have seen them in Pictures.

Also those roads look good and extremely inviting for me to drive on those.

OT: your car looks in great condition.
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Old 17th October 2011, 09:19   #6
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Good to see interior roads in Bihar looking so good. I guess you did not face any delays due to traffic jams at the border check posts. How were the facilities (petrol pumps, restaurants) en route after turning off NH2? Villages and towns bypassed?

Request that you share with us info on hotels that you stayed at.
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Old 17th October 2011, 09:53   #7
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
This is one of the first threads I have read on TLs in the East parts of our country. The roads, in most parts, do seem well laid.
Thank you Sir. The roads are indeed nice in Bihar. However, I was told that the Saranath-Bodhgaya-Rajgir section was covered by an excellent road, as it falls in the Buddhist tourist circuit. I did not go up to Saranath but the Bodhgaya-Rajgir Road (it almost touches Gaya) was short of my expectations. Actually the road was not so bad but a lot of speed breakers were bound to slow you down. What were worse that at many places the road had been deliberately dug up with the intention of reducing speed. There were several (almost one foot wide and six or seven inches deep) cuts on the road, at least two of which would seriously test the suspension of your car on an otherwise beautiful road before you slow down in caution. And these are less visible than the speed-breakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Could you please elaborate on Rajgir and other places that you have visited? Excellent pics of the lake. What is the name of the lake? Also you have mentioned that you went to Nalanda and Bodhgaya. So, if possible, could you please post pics of Nalanda and Bodhgaya. I have heard / read about Nalanda and Bodhgaya during my schooling in history books but never have seen them in Pictures.
There are several places near Rajgir which is really worth seeing. Pawapuri, an important place for Jainism, the place where Lord Mahabir died is very close (about 30 KMs only). Then there is a very famous hot spring in Rajgir, the water of which is said to have medicinal values. There is also a "Bishwa Shanti Stupa" (World peace mound) atop a hill which gives breathtaking view of Rajgir and the surrounding places.
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There is a rope-way to take you to the top, although it may be a little scary for some people.
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This is an archaeological place, a temple more than 2000 years old. The corrugated tin roof covers the top.
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This is called Sonebhander, a place where lots of treasure is rumored to be hidden.
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This is the wheel marks reportedly caused by the chariot of Lord Sri Krishna, when he arrived at Rajgir.
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This is the remains of the jail (prison) in which King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatashatru.
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This place has been discovered by the archaeological department only a few years ago, I was told. No proper identification of the place is found yet.
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Nalanda, covered by an excellent road, 12 KMs away.
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Views of the road leading to Bodhgaya.
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This is the bridge on river Phalgu. Straight ahead is the town of Gaya. I turned left to take a bypass road to Bodhgaya.
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I was told that this was the oldest temple in Bodhgaya.
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The tree under which Lord Buddha obtained Bodhi (Divine Knowledge).
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The tank near which Lord Buddha meditated.
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Regards,
Rahul Biswas

Last edited by rahul4640 : 17th October 2011 at 09:57. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 17th October 2011, 20:44   #8
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I guess you did not face any delays due to traffic jams at the border check posts. How were the facilities (petrol pumps, restaurants) en route after turning off NH2? Villages and towns bypassed? Request that you share with us info on hotels that you stayed at.
Respected H V Kumar Sahab,
It is an honour to reply to any of your queries. No Sir, there was no delay due to any border check post at all. Several petrol pumps were present on the roads at decent intervals and advance signs indicating their presence were available on the side of the roads. But I did not need any fuel as a full tank enabled me to reach Rajgir from Calcutta. At Rajgir I noticed two pumps, one from Indianoil and the other from HP. I filled up petrol from the later as I tend to avoid the Indianoil pumps outside of my locality.

I am afraid that I did not find big restaurants anywhere in my entire trip. But small restaurants like this were present and I was satisfied with their food. Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir-181.jpg
Most of the major towns like Jhumritilaya, Koderma and even Rajgir have bypass roads. Only at Nawada I did not see any bypass road but the road there was wide enough to pass you through. But Gaya-Rajgir Road had too many speed breakers and roads were extremely narrow at places.

I stayed at Hotel Tathagat Vihar, Rajgir. A double bedded room was made available for Rs 800/- only but I had to pay Rs 100/- extra as I had to accommodate my daughter in the same room. It also has car parking facilities.
Hotel Facility :: Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation
Regards,
Rahul
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Old 17th October 2011, 20:52   #9
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

@ Rahul

I did a similar trip in 2009 (I have a travelogue from my trip on teambhp). It was summer then, hot and dry. I can see it is much greener in your log (just after monsoon). Just beautiful places. Thanks for sharing

Last edited by akbaree : 17th October 2011 at 20:55.
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Old 18th October 2011, 08:56   #10
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Nice travelogue and photos. The roads in Bihar seems to have improved drastically in last few years. Could you please share the triplog with distances traveled and stops one should take to make this trip.
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:58   #11
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantanu Sarkar View Post
Could you please share the triplog with distances traveled and stops one should take to make this trip.
Sorry I did not keep a log or a note of the point to point distance covered. But I did set my trip meter to zero while leaving home, primarily to calculate the fuel economy of my car on highways. I found that the total distance traveled by me was 1394 KM, after returning my home at Cossipore in north Calcutta. And the places I visited were Rajgir (with local sight seeing made by car), Nalanda, Pawapuri and Bodhgaya. If you cover both Pawapuri (The place where Lord Mahabir died) and Nalanda in a single trip, the distance will be slightly less.

I am afraid I did not give myself too many brakes during the entire nine hour journey. I stopped at the Khalsa restaurant at Govindpur near Dhanbad for breakfast and toilets. I also stopped once again before entering Nawada town for some cold drinks, water bottles and toilets. There were also two five minute coffee breaks. Please remember that the hotels on the road serve very bad quality tea, something which you will possibly refuse to drink at Calcutta. So either ask for coffee (if it is available), or carry a loaded vacuum flask.
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Old 21st October 2011, 22:30   #12
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Very nice report and photographs. Thoroughly enjoyed the thread. These destinations are not written much about. Thanks for sharing the details. Might bug you next year when I follow your tyre marks.
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Old 21st October 2011, 22:54   #13
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Very nice photographs.
Thanks a lot for the information. The pics of Nalanda look really good

Could you please let me know what is the name of the oldest temple that you have in your pic? Also What is the age of the temple?
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Old 22nd October 2011, 08:27   #14
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Quote:
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Could you please let me know what is the name of the oldest temple that you have in your pic? Also What is the age of the temple?
This temple is known as Mahabodhi temple. It was reported to be originally built by a Buddhist monk named as Upagupta, with the assistance of Rs one lakh donated by Emperor Ashoka in the year 289 BC. This is the idol of Lord Buddha inside the temple.
Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir-140.jpg
This is the place beside the temple where Lord Buddha used to have a daily walk during his stay of one week at Bodhgaya. It is also said that roses started to bloom here after his visited this place.
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Once again, the very beautiful road which will take one from Rajgir to Bodhgaya.
Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir-040.jpg
Thanks and regards,
Rahul
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Old 19th November 2011, 01:21   #15
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Default Re: Short trip from Calcutta to Rajgir

Good trip report and nice pictures. A very good destination you have chosen, what was the total duration of your stay? Did you book the hotels in advance?
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