293 Kms from Chunar
Lucknow or the City of Nawabs sitting on the banks of the Gomti river, is regarded as North India’s cultural capital. Uttar Pradesh’s capital, Lucknow is replete with historical elements dating back to the colonial era that are known over the world for their Awadhi-style architecture. But Lucknow’s ethos lies in its delectable cuisine and its unique Chikankaari (shadow-work embroidery) garments that are must-buys if you are in the city. Lucknow is also known for its sweeping gardens and pure Kathak dance-forms that are showcased in numerous events held across the city. The city is also thriving with a lovely Urdu poetry scene. The ginormous tomb complex of Bara Imambara is home to a stunning labyrinth and neighboured by the equally popular mausoleum of Chhota Imambara, the Husainabad clock tower and a fantastic art gallery. And while in Lucknow, feast on its delightful assortment of Awadhi and Mughlai food that comprises of everything from kebabs to the makhan malai (a saffron-flavoured local ice-cream).
258 Kms from Chunar
I reached Patna around 1:00 pm and got down at the Mithapur bus stand. From there I took an auto to the railway station and from there another auto to Patna Sahib. By the way, if you want to know how I found out about the right autos and buses, I did what every clueless person would do; ASK. I asked my fellow bus travelers, auto drivers, locals as well as the supreme ‘Google’ and they were all happy to guide me.I had to rush as my train, although expected to be late, was set to arrive at 6:00 pm on the Patna Junction and I was yet to retrieve my suitcase from my friend’s house. It was simply a race against time. From Patna Sahib, one can either walk to the gurdwara or take another auto. The final road resembles any crowded old city such as Sadar bazar in my home town of Meerut or Chawri Bazaar in Delhi. There are all kind of shops and a great many tea stalls.Takht Shree Harmandir Sahib ji is one of the five holiest sites in Sikhism, as it is here that the tenth sikh guru Gobind Singh was born. It isn’t as majestic as Golden temple in Amritsar but is worth visiting once. It is undergoing a major makeover and once that is finished, it will be able to match upto the golden temple in its grandeur. Still, the white main building is beautifully constructed and the inside sanctum was open to devotees to pray.
122 Kms from Chunar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,December
Allahabad enjoys the prestige of being one of the four holiest spots of India and thus host Maha Kumbh in every 12 years, Ardh Kumbh in every 6 years and Magh Mela once a year. The fact that it encompasses the confluence of the most sacred rivers of India- Ganga and Yamuna makes it all the more special. It has its own culture of religious and literary overtones. You not only find a number of famous temples around the city of Allahabad but also places of historical significance like Anand Bhawan having produced 5 consecutive generations of able politicians of the nation, Akbar’s fort built following the common Mughal tradition of fort construction by riverside, Khusro Bagh housing some other Mughal remains. One can't miss the famous Allahabad museum! You could take with you, religious paraphernalia, books on local literature and vintage handicrafts as mementos of the lovely city. From taking a dip in its holy waters , to enjoying a boat ride in Prayag, from throwing away coins to pay visit to Patalpuri temple, to roaming in Mughal era monuments, there are certain things unique to the city!
331 Kms from Chunar
Best time to visit - November- March
This is a town in the Chhattarpur District of Madhya Pradesh. Mainly known for the ancient Khajuraho Temple Complex, this is the main attraction of this place apart from other small temples and old monuments. The temples in this complex are not just beautiful and grand, but each one of them are different from one another. The temples here represent royalty, culture, taste of the early kings and their devotion towards gods and goddesses. Most of the temples and monuments you will see here were built by the Chandela Dynasty rulers and their religious secularism is evident from the presence of Buddhist and Jain temples in which they had supported along with the famous Hindu Temples. The main temples of this temple complex are the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Brahma Temple, Varaha Temple, Lakshmana Temple and others.
240 Kms from Chunar
However, next day I packed my backpack and leaving my suitcase and comfort behind, boarded the bus to Bodhgaya from the Mithapur bus stand in Patna at 8:15 in the morning. I enjoy bus rides as it gives a chance to look at the inner cities and towns of new states and absorb the land as a whole instead of looking at some isolated sites.
172 Kms from Chunar
Best time to visit - January,February,June,July,August,September,November,December
Home to the world famous World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is on every traveller's list. The city is located on the banks of the Kham River and is known as one of the most historically significant cities in Maharashtra. The Ajanta caves represent stories of Buddhism spanning from the period of 200 B.C. to 650 A.D. The Ellora caves were carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. and represent the three different faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Aurangabad sees a lot of tourists from across the world and it is a great place for like-minded tourists to meet. A history lover's delight, the museums here will keep you super busy. Some of the more popular ones are Sunehri Mahal Museum, University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You must also visit Lonar – it is said to be the site where a meteor crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater in the ground. The cafes and restaurants here are warm, welcoming and offer world class cuisines. Colourful, intriguing and vibrant, Aurangabad is a traveller's delight so if it's not on your list yet, add it.
241 Kms from Chunar
Best time to visit - N/A
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peepal tree. The original name of the place is Gaya and the Bodhgaya is the combination of the two words Bodhi and Gaya. This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and became Buddha- The Enlightened one. The main attraction of this place apart from the history of the Mauryan Empire is the Mahabodhi Temple. This is the oldest seat of Buddhist worship and dates back to the 2nd or 3rd Century. The initial temple structure was built by Emperor Ashika when he visited this place after he had left violence and adopted the path of peace and love. What we see at present is not at all the temple the Chinese Ambassador Fa Hien had mentioned in his account. This is a beautiful ornate temple and monastery with a beautiful spire and a large complex. What Fa Hien had mentioned was just the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. No doubt this was the forst brick Buddhist temple in the country, but presently it is much more beautiful and the magical sense of inner peace you recieve on visiting this place cannot be explained in words.
323 Kms from Chunar
Our first stop.