Day 5: 29th January 2005 - Bhopal and Sanchi
The marriage we had come to attend was happening in a beautiful and spacious hotel, and luckily for us, our host had booked our rooms in the same attractive place. We reached there in the morning after a small rest, went to the house of our host, the bride who was looking pretty with extensive mehandi decoration on her hands. We also went to another of our collegue’s house, who had a very very cute niece who made us forget the whole world with her sweet little smile and glowing eyes, it was no surprise that she was called chiya, a very worthy cute name much like her looks.
We took the bus to Sanchi, a place renowned for the extraordinary stupas. The buses in Bhopal were old, most of them had started rusting, it is a great achievement if you are travel in the bus here without hurting yourself or tearing your clothes. My friend actually had the seeves of his shirt torn when he was negotiating between the tightly packed rows of the battered buses.
Sanchi was like traveling a few decades back to the past, with very old houses and structures, reminiscent of some imaginary village from a very old novel. We had pani puri from one of the many road side vendors, lining the street leading to the Stupas, we had our stomachs full and were surprised at the comparatively negligible price of 25 paisas for a Pani Puri. This place contains stupas of different sizes, built from 3rd BC to 12th Century AD. A Stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, once thought to be places of Buddhist worship, typically the remains of a Buddha or saint.
The greatest of them was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the third century BC. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. The northern entrance gate to his Stupa has extensively carved decorations. One will also be able to see the remains of a Buddhist monastery, which looks like a large central hall surrounded by smaller rooms.
One thing which is still very vivid in my memory is the passion with which my friend was explaining the different aspects of beauty and one particular Sutra, which I will not mention by name, like a veteran with years of practical experience and more realistically artful imagination, from the knowledge of a few famous books he had read. If I could compare one person to the dialogue delivery of Amitabh bacchan, among our friends, he would be the ‘Neo’. It took all of the majestic looks and history of the Stupas, to arrest our attention from his fascinating and unique narration. The train back to Bhopal provided us the much needed relaxation after physical exhaustion of walking around the Stupas and mental exhilaration of our friends stories.
Day 1: 25th January 2005 - Introduction
Day 2: 26th January 2005 - Hyderabad (Charminar, Golconda fort, Birla mandir)
Day 3: 27th January 2005 - Aurangabad (Ellora, Daulatabad Fort, Biwi ka Maqbara)
Day 4: 28th January 2005 - Ajanta Caves
Day 6: 30th January 2005 - Bhopal, Bhimbetka and Bhojpur