History-The Reverse Kaleidoscope – Part 1

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Hello folks! Hope you are all doing good. Being in a so called “corporate world” one may think travelling is only for releasing stress. But Travelling makes some profound effect on a human mind his/her sense of reasoning, judgment and thought process. You get a clear idea about how others are living what is keeping them sane and as an effect your life philosophy change. From the ancient time people travelled for knowledge. I am not exactly comparing myself to those great traveler, but I feel I am having a slight “good side effect” of travelling.

From childhood history absolutely fascinates me no wonder I get as much excitement seeing a great mountain as seeing a fort in rajasthan. From today I will share my experience about these places with great historical significance that I have visited some are popular some are not. I will follow the flow of history hope you will keep patience.

 

Rajgir (Magadh) : very close to Kolkata. Nearest station is Bakhtiarpur(Bengalis may recognize the name ). Not much famous,tourist infrastructure not that much great. What made me so much excited was the fact whatever you see is at least 2500 years old. Rajgir was capital of Magadha(the most powerful among the 16 mahajanpada) before Chandragupta Mourya shifted to Pataliputra(modern day patna). You can actually see the city wall, court of Ajatsotru(before 500bc ) , the garden where Buddha used to teach his first few disciples. I mean from here the concept of India as a nation started. From here one of the world’s largest religion started its first baby steps. And if this doesn’t excite you enough the two nearby location is Nalanda and Powapuri. Nalanda as you all know at that time was the largest university of the world. And if you go there you will find that the size can still compete with some of the largest and most famous universities. Powapuri, you won’t find much archeological relics but this is the place from where Mahabir jain started his journey. India’s own social revolution started from here. People gets so much moved by Karl Marx. But if you think deeply these were the two people who first thought of communism. So here is a place so close to Kolkata associated with one of the most important historical event of humanity. In my thought it’s a must visit.From rajgir it’s a 3 hour journey to Gaya a place with great mythological significance (I am equally interested in mythology) and from Gaya it’s a one hour journey to Bodhgaya a place of both historical and religious significance. There was a flood of emotions inside me after seeing the papal tree. A tree under which Buddha got his wisdom which inspired Ashoka, who’s sign is our national symbol I mean without this tree India would be void of her soul.

rajgir

Varanasi    India’s heart lives in Varanasi. Sounds exaggerate? Well Varanasi is almost void of archeological evidence. Do you know why? Because It is world’s longest continuously living city. So why I am mentioning Varanasi? Well to me history is not always about how the king ruled or how was his capital. It is also about how people of that time used to live? What they used to do. Mostly we don’t get to see this in any archeological site. But in Varanasi you can actually see their lifestyle live!! Yes this city is still keeping it connection with the old life style. Like the old ways this city is facing ganges. Unlike other great gangetic city. A journey in boat at Varanasi will give you a crystal clear idea about how an old Indian  city used to look like. From Varanasi you have to visit Sarnath.

Sarnath is again related to Buddhism. The Stupa will make you awestruck! Near by is a mughal fort, doesn’t exactly matching the time frame I am discussing today.


Shravanabelagola  This place is near mysore. You can book a car and go there. This place his famous for two reasons. Firstly,  the great statue of Bahubali. World’s largest monolithic statue (height 57 feet). Secondly for Chandragupta Mourya. Well what he was doing far from Patna? After conquering whole india from afghanisthan to tamilnadu. He decided to live life like a monk. And this is the place where Chandragupta, India’s first emperor died! And this has been an irony of Indian history! Most of our great emperor kings left earth without any monument, they always believed in soul searching instead of material life.

sbelagola1

Sanchi  we have reached end of mouryan era! Nearest place is jabbalpur.River narmada with its majestic presence along with marble rock.I am not sayin that I was least interested in marble rock. It is indeed very beautiful, a must watch in a full moon night.But sanchi will excite you more if history fascinates you! We all know ashoka gave instruction on stone about dharma, here you can actually see those instructions. Sanchi is famous for stupa. This stupa was build in memory of Buddha. His little finger is  buried under it. Also there is a whole complex along with it and there you will find lots of pali script.india’s own common mans language at that time.
Sanchi

Another place with great historical significance related to ashoka is dhouli in odissa. You can see the river bank where the famous last battle of ashoka happened. But there isn’t much to see.

In the next post I will try to cover next phase of Indian history.

Samrat Chatterjee

Samrat Chatterjee

Samrat is an software engineer, working with Cognizant Technologies. He travels across the country atleast thrice a year. He loves writing about his travel experiences and quite proficient in that. A jovial guy and a grounded person will be the perfect description of his personality.
Samrat Chatterjee

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Samrat ChatterjeeHistory-The Reverse Kaleidoscope – Part 1

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