The Road to Bodhgaya

The road to Bodhgaya from Ranchi is long: an 8-hour bus ride, then a 30-min bus ride, then a 10-min rickshaw ride.  But I rarely get bored of looking out the window.  Just when I think my giddiness over the colorful trappings of India has faded, the country finds new sights and sounds to throw at me.

IMG_5934 road to bihar men walking small IMG_5938 road to bihar women ctyd small IMG_5939 road to bihar houses small IMG_5947 road to bihar tree red string small

Everywhere there were women winding red string around big trees on this day.  June 8, it was.  A Saturday.  I don’t know if this is a routine prayer or if it was a special day.  The women left with huge stripes of red painted from their hair parts down their noses, and some were wearing leaves in their hair.IMG_5956 road to bihar countryside small

We crossed out of Jharkhand (the state where I’m living) over a small ridge of hills and then the state of Bihar just sprawled out in front of us.  My jaw dropped a little.  It was like descending into the floodplain that time forgot.  Just flat, flat, flat, and villages of straw and mud that look like they haven’t changed much since the Raj.

IMG_5964 road to bihar mud houses small IMG_5965 road to bihar roadside view small


2 responses to “The Road to Bodhgaya

  1. Seshu says that red strings are used to represent the person’s prayers (e.g., for children. healing of a sick person, etc.), not done every day, maybe once a month. Bihar does look lost in time!

  2. Great pictures!

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