The Nirvana Statue of Buddha-Kushinagar, utter pradesh

About Buddha


"A unique being, an extraordinary man raised in this world for the benefit of the many, for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, the benefit and happiness of gods and men. Who Being unique is this? is the Tathagat, the Exalted, fully illuminated. "

 

 

Birth

On the full moon day of May, in the year 623 B.C. he was born in  Lumbini Park at Kapilavastu, on the Indian borders of present Nepal. A noble prince who was destined to be the greatest religious teacher of the world.


His father was King Suddhodana of the aristocratic Sakya clan and his mother was Queen Maha Maya. As the beloved mother died seven days after his birth, Maha Pajapati Gotami, her younger sister, who was also married to the King, adopted the child, entrusting her own son, Nanda, to the care of the nurses.

 
 Great were the rejoicings of the people over the birth of this illustrious prince. An ascetic of high spiritual attainments, named Asita, also known as Kaladevala, was particularly pleased to hear this happy news, and being a tutor of the King, visited the palace to see the Royal babe. The King, who felt honoured by his unexpected visit, carried the child up to him in order to make the child pay him due reverence, but, to the surprise of all, the child's legs turned and rested on the matted locks of the ascetic. Instantly, the ascetic rose from his seat and, foreseeing with his supernormal vision the child's future greatness, saluted him with clasped hands. The Royal father did likewise.
 
The great ascetic smiled at first and then was sad. Questioned regarding his mingled feelings, he answered that he smiled because the prince would eventually become a Buddha, an Enlightened One, and he was sad because he would not be able to benefit by the superior wisdom of the Enlightened One owing to his prior death and rebirth in a Formless Plane (Arupaloka).
 
Naming Ceremony
On the fifth day after the prince's birth he was named Siddhartha, which means, "wish fulfilled". His family name was Gotama. In accordance with the ancient Indian custom many learned Brahmins were invited to the palace for the naming ceremony. Amongst them there were eight distinguished men. Examining the characteristic marks of the child, seven of them raised two fingers each, indicative of two alternative possibilities, and said that he would either become a Universal Monarch or a Buddha. But the youngest, Kondanna, who excelled others in wisdom, noticing the hair on the forehead turned to the right, raised only one finger and convincingly declared that the prince would definitely retire from the world and become a Buddha.
 
Plough - Festival
A very remarkable incident took place in his childhood. It was an unprecedented spiritual experience, which later, during his search after truth, served as a key to his Enlightenment.


To promote agriculture, the King arranged for a plough festival. It was indeed a festive occasion for all, as both nobles and commoners decked in their best attire, participated in the ceremony. On the appointed day, the King, accompanied by his courtiers, went to the field, taking with him the young prince together with the nurses. Placing the child on a screened and canopied couch under the cool shade of a solitary rose-apple tree to be watched by the nurses, the King participated in the plough festival. When the festival was at its height of gaiety the nurses too stole away from the prince's presence to catch a glimpse of the wonderful spectacle.


In striking contrast to the mirth and merriment of the festival it was all calm and quiet under the rose-apple tree. All the conditions conducive to quiet meditation being there, the pensive child, young in years but old in wisdom, sat cross-legged and seized the opportunity to commence that all-important practice of intent concentration on the breath-on exhalations and inhalations -- which gained for him then and there that one pointedness of mind known as Samadhi and he thus developed the First Jhana (Ecstasy). The child's nurses, who had abandoned their precious charge to enjoy themselves at the festival, suddenly realizing their duty, hastened to the child and were amazed to see him sitting crosslegged plunged in deep meditation. The King hearing of it, hurried to the spot and, seeing the child in meditative posture, saluted him, saying-- "This, dear child, is my second obeisance".
 
Education
As a Royal child, Prince Siddhattha must have received an education that became a prince although no details are given about it. As a scion of the warrior race he received special training in the art of warfare.

Married Life
At the early age of sixteen, he married his beautiful cousin Princess Yasodhara who was of equal age. For nearly thirteen years, after his happy marriage, he led a luxurious life, blissfully ignorant of the vicissitudes of life outside the palace gates. Of his luxurious life as prince, he states:

 
 "I was delicate, excessively delicate. In my father's dwelling three lotus-ponds were made purposely for me. Blue lotuses bloomed in one, red in another, and white in another. I used no sandalwood that was not of Kasi. My turban, tunic, dress and cloak, were all from Kasi."
"Night and day a white parasol was held over me so that I might not be touched by heat or cold, dust, leaves or dew."


"There were three palaces built for me -- one for the cold season, one for the hot season, and one for the rainy season. During the four rainy months, I lived in the palace for the rainy season without ever coming down from it, entertained all the while by female musicians. Just as, in the houses of others, food from the husks of rice together with sour gruel is given to the slaves and workmen, even so, in my father's dwelling food with rice and meat was given to the slaves and workmen."


With the march of time, truth gradually dawned upon him. His contemplative nature and boundless compassion did not permit him to spend his time in the mere enjoyment of the fleeting pleasures of the Royal palace. He knew no personal grief but he felt a deep pity for suffering humanity. Amidst comfort and prosperity, he realized the universality of sorrow.

 
Renunciation
Prince Siddhattha reflected thus:
"Why do I, being subject to birth, decay, disease, death, sorrow and impurities, thus search after things of like nature. How, if I, who am subject to things of such nature, realize their disadvantages and seek after the unattained unsurpassed, perfect security which is Nibbana!" "Cramped and confined is household life, a den of dust, but the life of the homeless one is as the open air of heaven! Hard is it for him who bides at home to live out as it should be lived the Holy Life in all its perfection, in all its purity."

One glorious day as he went out of the palace to the pleasure park to see the world outside, he came in direct contact with the stark realities of life. Within the narrow confines of the palace he saw only the rosy side of life, but the dark side, the common lot of mankind, was purposely veiled from him. What was mentally conceived, he, for the first time, vividly saw in reality. On his way to the park his observant eyes met the strange sights of a decrepit old man, a diseased person, a corpse and a dignified hermit. The first three sights convincingly proved to him, the inexorable nature of life, and the universal ailment of humanity. The fourth signified the means to overcome the ills of life and to attain calm and peace. These four unexpected sights served to increase the urge in him to loathe and renounce the world.


 
 Realizing the worthlessness of sensual pleasures, so highly prized by the worldling, and appreciating the value of renunciation in which the wise seek delight, he decided to leave the world in search of Truth and Eternal Peace.

When this final decision was taken after much deliberation, the news of the birth of a son was conveyed to him while he was about to leave the park. Contrary to expectations, he was not overjoyed, but regarded his first and only offspring as an impediment. An ordinary father would have welcomed the joyful tidings, but Prince Siddhattha, the extraordinary father as he was, exclaimed "An impediment (rahu) has been born; a fetter has arisen". His grandfather accordingly named the infant son Rahula.


 
 The palace was no longer a congenial place to the contemplative Prince Siddhattha. Neither his charming young wife nor his lovable infant son could deter him from altering the decision he had taken to renounce the world. He was destined to play an infinitely more important and beneficial role than a dutiful husband and father or even as a king of kings. The allurements of the palace were no more cherished objects of delight to him Time was ripe to depart.

He ordered his favourite charioteer Channa to saddle the horse Kanthaka, and went to the suite of apartments occupied by the princess. Opening the door of the chamber, he stood on the threshold and cast his dispassionate glance on the wife and child who were fast asleep. Great was his compassion for the two dear ones at this parting moment. Greater was his compassion for suffering humanity. He was not worried about the future worldly happiness and comfort of the mother and child as they had everything in abundance and were well protected. It was not that he loved them the less, but he loved humanity more.
Leaving all behind, he stole away with a light heart from the palace at midnight, and rode into the dark, attended only by his loyal charioteer. Alone and penniless he set out in search of Truth and Peace. Thus did he renounce the world? It was not the renunciation of an old man who has had his fill of worldly life. It was not the renunciation of a poor man who had nothing to leave behind. It was the renunciation of a prince in the full bloom of youth and in the plenitude of wealth and prosperity -- a renunciation unparalleled in history.


It was in his twenty-ninth year that Prince Siddhattha made this historic journey.
He journeyed far and, crossing the river Anoma, rested on its banks. Here he shaved his hair and beard and handing over his garments and ornaments to Channa with instructions to return to the palace, assumed the simple yellow garb of an ascetic and led a life of voluntary poverty.



The ascetic Siddhattha, who once lived in the lap of luxury, now became penniless wanderers, living on what little the charitably minded gave of their own accord.
He had no permanent abode. A shady tree or a lonely cave sheltered him by day or night. Bare-footed and bareheaded, he walked in the scorching sun and in the piercing cold. With no possessions to call his own, but a bowl to collect his food and robes just sufficient to cover the body, he concentrated all his energies on the quest of Truth.

JAIPUR (Pink City), Rajsthan, India

Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs

Humayun Tomb, Delhi


The first Mughal Emperor, Babur, was succeeded by his son, Humayun, who ruled in India for a decade but was expelled. Eventually he took refuge with the Safavid shah of Persia, who helped him regain Delhi in 1555, the year before his death. Humayun's Persian wife, Hamida Begum, supervised the construction from 1562-1572 of her husband's tomb in Delhi. 

The architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, was Persian and had previously designed buildings in Herat (now northwest Afghanistan), Bukhara (now Uzbekistan), and elsewhere in India. The location chosen for the building on the bank of the Yamuna river adjoins the shrine of an important Sufi Chistiyya order saint, Nizam al-Din Awliya. 

The Chistiyya was particularly venerated by the Mughals; Humayun's son, Akbar, would build his new palace at Fatehpur Sikri next to the shrine of another saint of the Chistiyya order.









The tomb established some of the important norms for later Mughal mausolea. It is set in a geometrically arranged garden criscrossed by numerous water channels and probably representing symbolically a paradise setting. 

Such typical Persian gardens had been introduced into India by Babur; later they would be found in the Red Fort in Delhi and at the Taj Mahal in Agra. The architectural form of the building is Persian and especially in its main chamber shows some familiarity with the tomb of the Mongol Ilkhanid ruler of Persia, Oljeytu, at Sultaniyya. It is one of a long line of Mughal buildings influenced by Timurid architecture, notably the tomb of Timur (Tamerlane) in Samarkand. 

Babur was proud of his Timurid heritage and deeply regretted his inability to hold Samarkand. His successors continued to dream of regaining Samarkand and would interrogate visitors about Timur's tomb. Humayun's tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome; it is noteworthy for its harmonious proportions. 

As with later Mughal tombs, that of Humayun is set upon a podium orplatform (see another example in the Taj Mahal). The most obvious Indian features of the architecture are the small kiosks or chhatris on the roof. The building is also noteworthy for its inlaid tile work, carving embodying both Indian and Persian decorative elements, and its carved stone screens.

Surajkund Crafts Mela


The Surajkund Crafts is an annual event that highlight some of the finest handloom and handicraft traditions of the country. From 1st to 15th February rural India basks in the warmth of admiration at Surajkund mela village that lies some 8 km from South Delhi. The Mela also celebrates the rhythms of folk theatre- and a theme State that makes each visitor marvel.

The fortnight long celebrations also come as a food festival. Some of the popular food traditions from Punjab come at the Punjabi 'Rasoi'. South Indian delicacies come in from South Indian Section. Popular Chinese and snack foods also arrive for the event along with a special stalls where patrons are introduced to the traditional foods and sweet meats of the selected theme State.
The Surajkund Crafts Mela has grown equally famous for the rhythms of folk theatre: It resonates with the formal notes of the classical genre: The heady rhythms of percussion instruments: The ballads of singing minstrels: The clebration of the simple joys of rural life and reverence of epic traditions all mingle well. All these colourful events are also presented before the audience in the open-air-theatre named Natyashala.

Some of the most deligtful crafts collections of the Mela arrive from practically all over the country. In wood and cane come inlay work, rose wood carving, sandal wood from Punjab and South India. Chiki wood craft of Kashmir and some very fine cane craft come from West Bengal and North Eastern States. Delcate sholapith and shital patti work come from Assam and West Bengal. The phulkari of Punjab, the Banjara and Banni embroidery of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Kantha traditions from West Bengal and Tripura, lace and crochet from Goa, the Suzni of Kashmir and Mirror encasing work along with the traditional chikan work of Lucknow delight.Oxidized jewellery, sea shell decorations and agate stone work delight as also do delicate gold work and chunky silver jewellery. 

Toys in wood and cane, ply and mud make the young thrill with joy. Some of the fine phad paintings of Rajasthan, the kalamkari of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, temple paintings of Orissa, madhubani of Bihar, fascinate. In the metal section tribal dhora work, classical south Indian metal work, glittering brass ware, bell metal and iron craft delight collectors. In the field of woven textiles some of the finest silk work of Orissa, Patola, Bandhini of Gujarat and Rajasthan, Ikat, Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram and temple silks of South India vie for attention with the most simple cottons of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and tribal textiles of North East India as also do the handloom of Haryana. The Various Crafts participated in the Mela every year.





JAIPUR (Pink City)


Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. At present, Jaipur is a major business centre with all requisites of a metropolitan city.  For more pic CLICK HERE
The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets 111 ft (34 m) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses a sprawling palace complex, (Hawa Mahal), formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites.[1] Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who ruled from 1699–1744 and initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally under the architectural guidance of Vidyadar Bhattacharya, (initially an accounts-clerk in the Amber treasury and later promoted to the office of Chief Architect by the King) Jaipur came into existence on the classical basis of principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatise.

After waging several battles with the Marathas, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was keen on the security aspect of the city. Being a lover of Astronomy,Mathematics and Astrophysics, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him to design many other buildings including the Royal Palace in the center of the city.

The construction of the city started in 1727. It took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, of which two consist the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built along with seven strong gates.
For the time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1853, when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him during the regime of Sawai Ram Singh. Today, avenues remain painted in pink, provide a distinctive appearance to the city.[2] In the 19th century the city grew rapidly; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The city's wide boulevards were paved and lit.
The city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city also had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) initiated under the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, particularly the Jain,Marwaris and the administrators Kayastha. Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur is the current Maharaja of Jaipur.
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who ruled from 1699–1744 and initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally under the architectural guidance of Vidyadar Bhattacharya, (initially an accounts-clerk in the Amber treasury and later promoted to the office of Chief Architect by the King) Jaipur came into existence on the classical basis of principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatise.
After waging several battles with the Marathas, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was keen on the security aspect of the city. Being a lover of Astronomy,Mathematics and Astrophysics, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him to design many other buildings including the Royal Palace in the center of the city.
The construction of the city started in 1727. It took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, of which two consist the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built along with seven strong gates.
For the time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1853, when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him during the regime of Sawai Ram Singh. Today, avenues remain painted in pink, provide a distinctive appearance to the city.[2] In the 19th century the city grew rapidly; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The city's wide boulevards were paved and lit.
The city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city also had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) initiated under the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, particularly the Jain,Marwaris and the administrators Kayastha. Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur is the current Maharaja of Jaipur.



National Rail Musium, New Delhi, India

National Rail Museum is the focus of Rail Heritage of India a source of fascination and interest in Railways for all. Formally inaugurated on the Ist of February. 1977, this one-of-its-kind museum in Asia has an interesting collection of history, heritage, romance, nostalgia, fun, leisure and entertainment, all at one place. Sprawling over 11 acres, it comprises an indoor gallary devoted to the display of various exhibits, models, records, photographs, coat of arms, documents etc. over 100 real size exhibits display the glory of the bygone era. The Museum promises to take the visitors on an exciting journey into the Railway history and heritage and depict their contribution to the industrial and economic progress of the country. For more pics Click here


Main Exhibits

Fairy Queen: Fairy Queen is the oldest running steam locomotive in the world. It was built in 1855.

Patiala State Monorail System at National Rail Museum, New Delhi
Patiala State Monorail: This unique steam monorail was built in 1907. This unusual train is based on the "Ewing System", and connected Bassi with Sirhind (6 miles). This was designed by Col. Bowles. The unique train system consists of a track of single rail. This mono track, the load-carrying wheel are run while one big iron wheel at other side to balance it and to keep the train upright. This train as built by Orenstein & Koppel of Berlin. This train ran till October 1927. In 1927 the line was closed with advent of better and faster modes of transportation such as cars and buses. Somehow, an engine and Chief Engineer's inspection car escaped being sold as scrap and remained in railway's scrap yard. In 1962, the remains of Patiala State Monorail Trainways was discovered by a railroad historian Mr. Mike Satow. Thereafter, one engine was restored to full working order by the Northern Railway Workshops at Amritsar. They also reconstructed the Chief Engineer's private inspection car on an old underframe. The two are now in running condition after being restored and are on display at National Rail Museum, New Delhi. [1]
Fire Engine: Morris Fire Engine was built by the famous fire engineers M/s. John Morris and Sons Ltd of Salford, Manchester in 1914. Only two Morris-Belsize fire-engine are known to exist in world today. Apart from the one with National Rail Museum, New Delhi, a 1912 model is preserved by the Enfield and District Veteran Vehicle. The fire engine preserved at the Enfield and District Veteran Vehicle, Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, Clay Hill, London, has been converted to use pneumatic tyres by Dennis Bros. Thus, the fire engine at National Rail Museum is the only one left in the world running on solid rubber tyres.
Saloon of Prince of Wales: this saloon was built for Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) for his visit to India.

Haridwar, Utterakhand, India


Haridwar

Evening prayers at Har ki pauri

Haridwar (also spelled Hardwar, Hindi: हरिद्वार) pronunciation (help·info)) is an important pilgrimage city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. The River Ganga, after flowing for 253 kilometres (157 mi) from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India for the first time at Haridwar,[2] which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára. For more pics of Haridwar CLICK HERE

 Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus.[citation needed] According to the Samudra manthan,[3] Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nasik and Allahabad is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbha Mela being celebrated every 3 years in one of the 4 places, and thus every 12 years in Haridwar. Amidst the Kumbha Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganga to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. Brahma Kund, the spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally, "footsteps of the Lord") and is considered to be the most sacred ghat of Haridwar.



Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district. Today, the city is developing beyond its religious importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCUL),and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited in Ranipur, Uttarakhand as well as its affiliated ancillaries.Contents

Chhath Festival : A colourful Festival of Bihar

CHHAT FESTIVAL




THE COLOURFUL FESTIVAL
Though there are many festivals that are celebrated by the Hindus of Bihar, but there is one Hindu festival that is uniquely Bihari, and that is the festival of ‘Chhath’. Observed mostly by the people of North Bihar, it is dedicated to the worship of the Sun God and therefore, is also known as ‘SuryaShashti’. Chhath is considered to be a means to thank the Sun for bestowing the bounties of life on earth, as also for fulfilling particular wishes.

The word ‘Chhath’ denotes the number ‘six’ and thus the festival begins on the sixth day of the Hindu month of ‘Kartik’ in the Hindu lunar calendar, corresponding to late October and mid November, depending on the year. It is one of the holiest festivals for Biharis and extends for four days.

Beliefs :
There is a popular belief that all the desires of the devotees are always fulfilled during Chhath. Also, an element of fear is present among the devotees who dread the punishment for any misdeed during Chhath. The city remains safe and experiences peace during this time when criminals too prefer to be a part of the good.

The Days Of Festivity :
The festival of Chhath is unique to Bihar and is marked by 4 day long celebrations and rituals.

Day 1 :
To wash away their sins, the devotees take a dip, preferably in the holy river Ganges and bring the river water to prepare the offerings.

Day 2 :
The devotees observe a fast for the whole day, which is broken in late evening, after performing worship at home. The offerings - typically a porridge of rice, puris (deep-fried puffs of wheat flour) and bananas - are distributed among family and visiting friends and relatives.

Day 3 :
It is spent preparing the offerings at home during the day. In the evening the devotees move to a riverbank or a pond. There, the offerings are made to the setting sun. At nightfall, the devotees along with the family and friends return home where another colorful celebration takes place. Under a canopy of sugar cane sticks, clay elephants containing earthen lamps, and containers full of the offerings, are placed. There the fire god is worshipped.

Day 4 :
On the final day of the festivities of the grand festival, again the devotees, family and friends, move to the riverbank. Offerings are made to the rising sun, this time. At the completion of the offerings, there is great celebration. The devotees break their fast and the rich offerings are made to all the people around.

The Festivities And The Rituals :
Chhath is a very joyous and colorful festival. All the people dress up in their best and new clothes are a must. Clothes have to be unstitched and people sleep on the floor.
Loud and devotional music reverberates in the air, purifying the whole atmosphere. Folk songs are sung both at home and on the riverbank. Millions of people throng the banks of river Ganges, In Patna. All the people are busy merry making.
The streets are kept spotlessly clean by bands of volunteers, who also decorate all streets leading to the river with colorful festoons, ribbons, and banners.

The offerings of deep fried and sweet rolls of stone ground wheat flour, grapefruit, whole coconuts, bananas, and grains of lentils are also very peculiar. These items are contained in small, semicircular pans woven out of bamboo strips.
Strict saltless vegetarian menu is observed (even onions and garlic are considered unwanted during the entire festival period), all earthen vessels are reserved for the period only and all possible purity of food is adhered to.

The Places Of Activity :
Renowned for their sun temples, Deo in Aurangabad and Baragaon near Nalanda, are abuzz with activity. These are the places where the Chhath in Bihar can best be seen.
The temple at Deo faces west, unlike other sun temples in India that face East, and during the festival time it is the most crowded place. Forgetting all the barriers of caste, creed and colour, all the devotees throng the banks of the river to offer their prayers to the Sun god.
Bringing to the fore the jubilation and festive gaiety of the people of Bihar that transcends all the artificial social and economic barriers, the festival is more of a sacrifice which entails purificatory preparation. Click here for More photos of Chhat festival.

RED FORTE (Lal Quila)

RED FORTE (LAL QUILA), New Delhi, India

Shah Jahan shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad and laid the foundation of Red Fort, or the Lal Quila, on 16th April 1639. It took nine years to build this mighty citadel and it got completed on 16th April 1648. It is said that about one crore rupees, an astronomical sum in those days, was spent on its construction. Half of this sum was spent to build the exotic palaces within the fort. Built of red sandstone, it is octagonal in shape, with two longer sides on the east and west.

The perimeter of its strong ramparts is about 2.41 km. Red Fort rises to a height of 33.5 m on the town side and 18 m along the river. A wide moat surrounds the fort, which was originally connected with the river and was always filled with water. The two main gateways, known as Lahori Gate and Delhi Gate (named so, as they face Lahore and Delhi respectively), are three storeys high and are flanked by semi-octagonal towers. They are situated on the centre of the western and southern sides respectively.


The main entrance to the Lal Quila is through the Lahori Gate. Beyond the gate, there is a roofed passage, flanked by arcaded apartments leading to the palaces, known as Chhatta Chowk. These apartments are now used as shops. Besides these, there are three more gates on other sides, which are kept closed now. The master builders of the Red Fort were Hamid and Ahmad. Visitors are allowed only in a part of Red Fort, as the army occupies the rest of it. Some of the main buildings within the fort are:


Diwan-i-Am
Diwan-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience is situated in the Red Fort of Delhi. It originally had a courtyard on its front and was richly ornamented with gilded stuccowork. Heavy curtains graced the main hall, which were three bays in depth.



Hamam
Accompanying the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Selective Audience, the Hamam (bathroom set) consists of three apartments interconnected by corridors. The marble floors and dados are inlaid with beautiful floral patterns of multi-colored stones.

Moti Masjid
The personal mosque of Aurungzeb, Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque lies to the west of Hamam. Situated on a higher level than courtyards, the prayer-hall of the mosque has inlaid black-marble outlines of 'musallas' (small carpets for prayers) and is surmounted by three bulbous domes.

Mumtaz Mahal
One of the original six main-palaces situated along the river front, Mumtaz Mahal was also known as 'Chhoti Baithak'. A beautiful water channel called 'Nahr-i-Bihisht' (meaning Stream of Paradise) flew through these palaces. However, this palace has been removed, probably because it was totally in ruins.



Naubat Khana Naubat Khana, or Naqqar Khana (meaning the Drum House), is situated at the entrance of the palace area. Here music was played five times a day at the appointed hours. It housed a gate known as 'Hathi Pol' (Elephant Gate), where visitors dismounted from their elephants.

CULTURE OF BIHAR (Bihari People Culture & Clothing)

The Biharis are an ethnic group originating from the state of Bihar in India with a history going back three millennia. Biharis speak Bihari languages such as Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, amongst other local dialects, as well as Hindi or Urdu. In addition, the ethnic group shows some admixture with the early Munda inhabitants[citation needed] of the region as well as Indo-Aryan.

Besides the state of Bihar, Biharis can be found throughout North India, West Bengal, Maharashtra and also in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh. A large number of Biharis traveled to various parts of the world in the 19th century to serve as indentured labour on sugarcane and rubber plantations in Guyana, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Mauritius and Natal-South Africa. During partition of India in 1947, many Biharis of the Islamic faith migrated to East Bengal (later East Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh).[5][6] Bihari people are also well represented in Pakistan's (formerly West Pakistan) Muhajir population as a result of the partition of India,[7] as well as the recent repatriation of some Bihari refugees from Bangladesh to Pakistan.[8]


Pre-history
Mythological stories claim that Bihar was the place where King Satyavrata (सत्यव्रत) of the Pandya Dynasty resided after the flood in his kingdom, with the help of Vishnu-Avatar Matsya.[9] A king of the Yadavas, nicknamed "Mahabali" ruled over this last in the very ancient times. He was impotent. His guru was Maharishi Dirghatamas. Mahabali had many wives and so Maharishi Dirghatamas with the permission of his king impregnated Mahabali's chief queen Sudeshna.[10] Queen Sudeshna bore five children or "Kshetrajas" (rulers of lands), one of them was King Anga, which is modern-day Bihar. From Anga sprang Anapana Anapana.[11]

According to the historian Asim Maitra, the history of Magadha from the earliest times to the dawn of the Buddhist age is not well known. The entire Vedic literature displays open hostility and disgust towards Magadha, because Magadha was a great stronghold of the pre-Aryans and refused to be absorbed in the stereotyped Brahmanical pattern.[12] Before the discovery of the ruins of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, the cyclopen walls on the hills of Rajagriha were an ancient archaeological remains in India.[12]

History

Bihar was called "Magadha" in ancient times. From Magadha arose two traditions, Jainism and Buddhism. The first Indian empire, the Maurya empire, originated from Magadha, with its capital at Patliputra (modern Patna) in 325 BC. The Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, is believed to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of India and the world. After seeing all the carnage that war causes he was placed on the path of Lord Buddha by his spiritual guide Manjushri.[13]

According to indologist A.L. Basham, the author of the book The Wonder that was India,

The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganga Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha, when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
—[14]
Bihar remained an important place of power, culture and education during the next one thousand years. The Gupta Empire, which again originated from Magadha in 240CE, is referred to as the Golden Age of India in science, mathematics, astronomy, religion and Indian philosophy. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. Historians place the Gupta dynasty alongside with the Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and Roman Empire as a model of a classical civilization. The capital of Gupta empire was Pataliputra, present day Patna. The Vikramshila and Nalanda Universities were among the oldest and best centres of education in ancient India. Some writers believe the period between the 400 CE and 1000 CE saw gains by Hinduism at the expense of Buddhism.[15][16][17][18] Although the Hindu kings gave much grants to the Buddhist monks for building Brahmaviharas. A National Geographic edition[19] reads, "The essential tenants of Buddhism and Hinduism arose from similar ideas best described in the Upanishads, a set of Hindu treatises set down in India largely between the eighth and fourth centuries B.C."


A depiction of Emperor Ashoka the GreatThe Buddhism of Magadha was finally swept away by the Islamic invasion under Muhammad Bin Bakhtiar Khilji, during which many of the viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramshila were destroyed, and thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred in 12th century C.E.[20][21][22][23] The region saw a brief period of glory for six years (1540 -1546 CE) during the rule of Sher Shah Suri, who built the longest road of the Indian subcontinent, the Grand Trunk Road. The economic reforms carried out by Sher Shah, like the introduction of Rupee and Custom Duties, are still used in the Republic of India. He revived the city of Patna, where he built up his headquarter.[24][25] During 1557-1576, Akbar, the Mughal emperor, annexed Bihar and Bengal to his empire.[26] With the decline of the Mughals, Bihar passed under the control of the Nawabs of Bengal. Thus, the medieval period was mostly one of anonymous provincial existence.

The 10th and the last Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna.


Coin of SamudraguptaAfter the Battle of Buxar (1764), the British East India Company obtained the diwani rights (rights to administer, and collect revenue or tax) for Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. From this point, Bihar remained a part the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj until 1912, when the province of Bihar and Orissa was carved out as a separate province. In 1935, certain portions of Bihar were reorganised into the separate province of Orissa.

Babu Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur and his army, as well as countless other persons from Bihar, contributed to the India's First War of Independence (1857), also called the Sepoy Mutiny by some historians. Resurgence in the history of Bihar came during the struggle for India's independence. It was from Bihar that Mahatma Gandhi launched his pioneering civil-disobedience movement, Champaran Satyagraha. Raj Kumar Shukla drew the attention of Mahatma Gandhi to the exploitation of the peasants by European indigo planters. Champaran Satyagraha received the spontaneous support from many Biharis, including Sri Krishna Sinha, the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Rajendra Prasad, who became the first President of India and Anugrah Narayan Sinha who ultimately became the[27] first Deputy Chief Minister Finance Minister of Bihar.

In North and Central Bihar, a peasant movement was an important side effect of the freedom movement. This movement aimed at overthrowing the feudal (zamindari) system instituted by Britishers. It was being led by Swami Sahajanand Saraswati and his followers Pandit Yamuna Karjee, Rahul Sankrityayan, Pandit Karyanand Sharma, Baba Nagarjun and others. Pandit Yamuna Karjee along with Rahul Sankritayan and a few others started publishing a Hindi weekly Hunkar from Bihar, in 1940. Hunkar later became the mouthpiece of the peasant movement and the agrarian movement in Bihar and was instrumental in spreading the movement.

Bihar's contribution in the Indian freedom struggle has been immense with outstanding leaders like Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Sri Krishna Sinha, Dr.Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Brajkishore Prasad, Mulana Mazharul Haque, Jayaprakash Narayan,Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha, Ram Dulari Sinha, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Basawon Singh, Rameshwar Prasad Sinha, Yogendra Shukla, Baikuntha Shukla, Sheel Bhadra Yajee, Pandit Yamuna Karjee and many others who worked for India's freedom relentlessly and helped in the upliftment of the underprivileged masses.[28]

The state of Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in the year 2000.[29] 2005 Bihar assembly elections ended the 15 years of continuous RJD rule in the state, giving way to NDA led by Nitish Kumar. Bihari migrant workers have faced violence and prejudice in many parts of India, like Maharashtra, Punjab and Assam.[30][31][32] verma has been converted in to khursheed

Cuisine

The cuisine of Bihar for the Hindu upper and middle classes is predominantly vegetarian, although some of the Hindu classes do eat meat. The Muslims in Bihar however do generally eat meat as well as vegetables. The staple food is bhat (boiled rice), dal, roti, tarkari and achar. It is prepared from rice, lentils, wheat flour, vegetables, and pickle. The traditional cooking medium is mustard oil. Khichdi, a broth of rice and lentils seasoned with spices and served with several accompanying items, constitutes the mid-day meal for most Hindu Biharis on Saturdays. The favourite dish among Biharis is litti-chokha. Litti is made up of sattu and chokha is made of smashed potatoes, tomatoes, and brinjals.

Chitba and Pitthow, which are prepared basically from rice, are special foods of the Anga region. Tilba and Chewda of Katarni rice are also special preparations of Anga. Kadhi bari is a popular favorite and consists of fried soft dumplings made of besan (gram flour) that are cooked in a spicy gravy of yoghurt and besan. This dish goes very well with plain rice.

Bihar offers a large variety of sweet delicacies which, unlike those from Bengal, are mostly dry. These include Anarasa, Belgrami, Chena Murki, Motichoor ke Ladoo, Kala Jamun, Kesaria Peda, Khaja, Khurma, Khubi ki Lai, Laktho, Parwal ki Mithai, Pua & Mal Pua, Thekua, Murabba and Tilkut. Many of these originate in towns in the vicinity of Patna. Several other traditional salted snacks and savouries popular in Bihar are Chiwra, Dhuska, Litti, Makhana and Sattu.

There is a distinctive Bihari flavor to the non-vegetarian cuisine as well, although some of the names of the dishes may be the same as those found in other parts of North India. Roll is a typical Bihari non-vegetarian dish. These are popular and go by the generic name Roll Bihari in and around Lexington Avenue (South) in New York City.

Islamic culture and food, with Bihari flavor are also part of Bihar's unique confluence of cultures. Famous food items include Biharee Kabab, Shami Kabab, Nargisi Kufte, Shabdeg, Yakhnee Biryanee, Motton Biryani, Shaljum Gosht, Baqer Khani, Kuleecha, Naan Rootee, Sawee ka Zarda, Qemamee Sawee, Gajar ka Halwa, Ande ka ZfraniHalwa etc.


Clothing
The traditional dress of Bihari people includes the dhoti, kurta-pyjama, and sari.[33] Nevertheless, Western shirts and trousers are becoming popular among the urban population.[33] Muslim, Christian, and Sikh Biharis use attar, a perfume. Jewelry such as rings for men and bangles for women are popular.[33]

Language & literature

Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, whilst the majority of the people speak one of the Bihari languages - Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili or Angika. It has to be mentioned that out of these languages, Maithili has the richest literary, grammatical and cultural heritage. More than 12.7 million people speak Maithili. By the Constitution Ninety-second Amendment Act,2003 Maithili has been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Bihari languages were once mistakenly thought to be dialects of Hindi. However that does not hold true as they have been more recently shown to be descendant of the language of the erstwhile Magadha kingdom - Magadhi Prakrit, along with Bengali, Assamese, and Oriya.

The number of speakers of Bihari languages is difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name Hindi as their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language.[34]

Despite of the large number of speakers of Bihari languages, they have not been constitutionally recognized in India. Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters in Bihar.[35] These languages was legally absorbed under the subordinate label of HINDI in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments.[36] The first success for spreading Hindi occurred in Bihar in 1881, when Hindi displaced Urdu as the sole official language of the province. In this struggle between competing Hindi and Urdu, the potential claims of the three large mother tongues in the region - Magahi, Bhojpuri and Maithili were ignored. After independence Hindi was again given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950.[37] Urdu became the second official language in the undivided State of Bihar on 16 August 1989.

Bihar has produced a number of writers of Hindi, including Raja Radhika Raman Singh, Shiva Pujan Sahay, Divakar Prasad Vidyarthy, Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', Ram Briksh Benipuri, Phanishwar Nath 'Renu', Gopal Singh "Nepali" and Baba Nagarjun. Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, the great writer and Buddhist scholar, was born in U.P. but spent his life in the land of Lord Buddha, i.e., Bihar.Hrishikesh Sulabh is the prominent writer of the new generation. He is short story writer, playwright and theatre critic. Arun Kamal and Aalok Dhanwa are the well-known poets. Different regional languages also have produced some prominent poets and authors. Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, who is among the greatest writers in Bangla, resided for some time in Bihar. Of late, the latest Indian writer in English, Upamanyu Chatterjee also hails from Patna in Bihar. Devaki Nandan Khatri, who rose to fame at the beginning of the 20th century on account of his novels such as Chandrakanta and Chandrakanta Santati, was born in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Vidyapati Thakur is the most renowned poet of Maithili (c. 14-15th century).

Religion

Hinduism is the majority religion of the Bihari people although a large Muslim and a smaller Christian minority exists among the ethnic group.[38]

Among the Hindus:Brahmin, Rajput, Kurmi, Bhumihar, Yadav, Banias, and Kayastha castes are well represented.[39] In India, Bihari Muslims are found in the Kishanganj, Katihar, Araria, Sivan, Purnia, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Champaran districts of Bihar.[40] The Bihari population living in Pakistan and Bangladesh is also predominantly Muslim as well.[6] Christian Biharis are significant in the Ranchi, Singhbhum, and Santhal districts of the Indian state of Bihar.[41]


..........................................................................................................................................................................

References


1.^ Destination Bihar the land of Buddha
2.^ "The Muhajirs of Pakistan". One World South Asia. http://southasia.oneworld.net/opinioncomment/the-muhajirs-of-pakistan. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
3.^ Joshua Project - Bihari Muslim of Bangladesh Ethnic People Profile
4.^ a b http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/mauritians-will-be-able-to-track-bihar-roots-more-easily_10019052.html
5.^ "Bangladesh: Stateless Biharis Grasp for a Resolution and Their Rights". Refugees International. http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/article/detail/8245. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
6.^ a b "Stateless in Bangladesh and Pakistan". Stateless People in Bangladesh Inc.. http://www.statelesspeopleinbangladesh.net/home.php. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
7.^ "Pakistan under attack!". The Tribune. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20000920/edit.htm#1. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
8.^ "Assessment for Biharis in Bangladesh". Center for International Development and Conflict Management. http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/assessment.asp?groupId=77103. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
9.^ P. 1543 Encyclopaedia of Hinduism By Nagendra Kumar Singh
10.^ Chakravarti, P. 99 The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through the Ages
11.^ Political History of Pre-Buddhist India By Asim Kumar Chatterjee
12.^ a b Maitra Asim, Magahi culture, Cosmo Publication, 1983, pp. 45
13.^ A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, by Fa-hsien (chapter27)
14.^ Bashan A.L., The Wonder that was India, Picador, 2004, pp. 46
15.^ Online BBC News Article: Religion & Ethics - Hinduism, BBC News, 2 January 2007
16.^ Pathak Prabhu Nath,Society and Culture in Early Bihar, Commonwealth Publishers, 1988, pp. 134-140
17.^ Thakur U., Studies in Jainism and Buddhism in Mithila, pp. 150
18.^ Chaudhary R. K., Bihar the Home-land of Buddhism, Patna, 1956, pp. 87
19.^ January 2008, VOL. 213, #1
20.^ Gopal Ram, Rule Hindu Culture During and After Muslim, pp. 20, "Some invaders, like Bakhtiar Khilji, who did not know the value of books and art objects, destroyed them in large numbers and also the famous Nalanda ..."
21.^ The Maha-Bodhi By Maha Bodhi Society, Calcutta (page 8)
22.^ Omalley L.S.S., History of Magadha, Veena Publication, Delhi, 2005, pp. 35, "The Buddhism of Magadha was finally swept away by the Muhammadan invasion under Bakhtiyar Khilji, In 1197 the capital, Bihar, was seized by a small party of two hundred horsemen, who rushed the postern gate, and sacked the town. The slaughter of the "shaven-headed Brahmans," as the Muslim chronicler calls the Buddhist monks, was so complete that when the victor searched for some one capable of explaining the contents of the monastic libraries, not a living man could be found who was able to do so. "It was discovered," it was said, "that the whole fort and city was a place of study." A similar fate befell the other Buddhist institutions, against which the combined intolerance and rapacity of the invaders was directed. The monasteries were sacked and the monks slain, many of the temples were ruthlessly destroyed or desecrated, and countless idols were broken and trodden under foot. Those monks who escaped the sword flied to Tibet, Nepal and southern India; and Buddhism as a popular religion in Bihar, its last abode in Northern India, was finally destroyed. Then forward Patna passed under Muhammadan rule."
23.^ Smith V. A., Early history of India
24.^ Omalley L.S.S., History of Magadha, Veena Publication, Delhi, 2005, pp. 36, "Sher Shah on his return from Bengal, in 1541, came to patna, then a small town dependent on Bihar, which was the seat of the local government. He was standing on the ban of the Ganges, when, after much reflection, he said to those who were standing by - 'If a fort were to be built in this place, the waters of the Ganges could never flow far from it, and Patna would become one of the great towns of this country. The fort was completed. Bihar for that time was deserted, and fell to ruin; while Patna became one of the largest cities of the province. In 1620 we find Portuguese merchants at Patna; and Tavernier's account shows that a little more than a century after its foundation it was the great entrepot of Northern India "the largest town in Bengal and the most famous for trade..."
25.^ Elliot, History of India, Vol 4
26.^ Omalley L.S.S., History of Magadha, Veena Publication, Delhi, 2005, pp. 37
27.^ Indian Post. "First Bihar Deputy CM Finance Minister; Dr. A N Sinha". official Website. http://www.indianpost.com/viewstamp.php/Alpha/DR.A.N.%20SINGH. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
28.^ Kamat. "Great freedom Fighters". Kamat's archive. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/freedom/congress/c127.htm. Retrieved 2006-02-25.
29.^ [1]
30.^ Kumod Verma. "Scared Biharis arrive from Mumbai". The Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2781266,prtpage-1.cms. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
31.^ WASBIR HUSSAIN. "30 Killed in Northeast Violence in India". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/11/AR2007081100464_pf.html. Retrieved 2006-02-25.
32.^ Patnadaily. "40 Bihari Workers Killed by ULFA Activists in Assam". Patnadaily.com. http://www.patnadaily.com/news2007/jan/010507/biharis_killed_in_assam.html. Retrieved 2006-01-06.
33.^ a b c "Bihari Clothing". Web India 123. http://www.webindia123.com/bihar/people/language.htm#O. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
34.^ Jain Dhanesh, Cardona George, The Indo-Aryan Languages, pp500, "..the number of speakers of Bihari languages are difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name Hindi as their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language."
35.^ History of Indian languages, "Bihari is actually the name of a group of three related languages—Bhojpuri, Maithili, and Magahi—spoken mainly in northeastern India in Bihar. Despite its large number of speakers, Bihari is not a constitutionally recognized language of India. Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters."
36.^ Verma, Mahandra K. "Language Endangerment and Indian languages: An exploration and a critique". Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=tcfJY7kANo8C&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=awadhi+and+magahi+languages&source=web&ots=CXhEbrAUH5&sig=e3GeSyfuGmTbRXtRK-vT100cFAQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA3,M1.
37.^ Brass Paul R., The Politics of India Since Independence, Cambridge University Press, pp. 183
38.^ "Religion of Biharis". Web India 123. http://www.webindia123.com/bihar/people/people2.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
39.^ "The People". Web India 123. http://www.webindia123.com/bihar/people/people.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
40.^ "Muslim Biharis". Web India 123. http://www.webindia123.com/bihar/people/people2.htm#musl. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
41.^ "Christian Biharis". Web India 123. http://www.webindia123.com/bihar/people/people2.htm#chri. Retrieved 2007-02-16.

National Highway 28



National Highway 28

Length 570 kilometres (350 mi)
Terminal 1 Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Major destinations Lucknow - Barabanki - Faizabad - Basti - Gorakhpur - Gopalganj - Muzaffarpur - Barauni
Terminal 2 Barauni, Bihar
States Uttar Pradesh: 311 km
Bihar: 259 km
National Highways Development Project EW: 512 km (Lucknow - Muzaffarpur)

< NH 27 NH 28A >
NH - List - NHAI - NHDP - MORTH

National Highway 28 is a National Highway in India that links Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Barauni in Bihar. It crosses into Bihar about 20 km from Kushinagar. It joins National Highway 31 at Barauni north of river Ganges. The total length of NH 28 is 570 km. It traverses 259 km in Bihar and 331 km in Uttar Pradesh.


 Span

 Start
 End
 Other important locations
 See also
 External links


Span
National Highway 28 links the industrial town of Barauni in Bihar with the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, via Gorakhpur. It spans across the districts of Begusarai, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, East Champaran and Gopalganj in Bihar and Kushinagar, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Basti, Faizabad, Barabanki and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and touches some major cities and towns on the way.

Start
National Highway 28 starts at the junction with National Highway 31 near Barauni and passes north-west through Samastipur, Muzaffarpur and Chakia, turns westwards about 10 km before Motihari, again becomes north-west bound near Gopalganj and leaves the state past Kuchai Kot to enter Uttar Pradesh. National Highway 28 is 259 km-long in Bihar.

End
In Uttar Pradesh, Kasia is the first major settlement that lies along the National Highway 28. Kasia is 58 km north-west of Gopalganj. The highway then touches Gorakhpur, Basti, Khalilabad, Faizabad and Barabanki, before terminating at Lucknow. National Highway 28 is 331 km-long in Uttar Pradesh.

Other important locations
Lauria Areraj, the historic town of Ayodhya and Tanda - renowned for its handloomed cotton cloth industry - are some tourist places situated near the National Highway 28, at various points on the way.

BEAUTY OF SIMLA

Beauty of Simla
Shimla, was the Summer capital of India under British rule . Presently, it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, with its population around 1.6 lacs (Shimla town only). Shimla has seen many important historical events such as the famous Shimla Pact between India & Pakistan which was signed here. The place is also famous for its natural beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples .