पटना से समाचार

भागलपुर से समाचार

Typical Bihari lunch

It does not get better then this. This is as Bihari as you can get. You have everything on the plate. Rice, daal (lentils), mater paneer, manchurian and naan.

Typical Bihari lunch
Source. A CC image, 

Travelling to Bihar

Bihar is one of the major Buddhist destinations. Destinations mainly Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Nalanda is on the top list for pilgrims not just from India but across the world. People from all over the world particularly from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Japan travel to Bihar for their annual pilgrimages. However when they do visit Bihar, they get a huge shock. In fact, up to Delhi and Patna is just about fine but when they reach Gaya and Rajgir then they realise the reality of Bihar and the real India. They find poverty, backwardness and shear lack of proper services on all fronts. One of the major issues I find in these places is that the places are ridden with mosquitoes, flies and street dogs.

I can understand people from Sri Lanka or Burma may not find it that different compared to their own countries but as for tourists from Japan and Thailand, they will find that Bihar is lacking even bare essentials. Here's a book that covers health issues for those considering travelling to Bihar. 

Bihar is lagging behind all fronts - don't risk your health. Many of the pictures in this book are from Bihar. Those travelling to Bihar must consider getting this book which is available in all Amazon stores.

Happy Diwali to all YouBihar readers

This is the first Diwali where YouBihar is a blog and less of a social networking site. Although the Bihar social networking still exists on Facebook. Click here to become a member of the Social Networking Site of this website.

I would like to wish all readers and members a Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year. 

Litti at Maurya Lok in Patna

This is Manoj selling littis in his stall in Maurya Lok in Patna. Littis are basically "atta" or flour filled with "sattu" or ground pulses cooked over coal. Litti is a speciality of Bihar. Although it was considered as a poor man's food but it has come off that backward label and is considered as something that is worth trying. Not only its nutritious but also very tasty particular with the choka especially if its made of "baigan".

I remember as a child we used to visit our ancestral village in Munger district and have litti chokha. My grandfather's cow-herder used to make the best litti chokha in the world. We children used to beg him to make us littis. Even today, I still remember him when I have little chokha.

Manoj Litti Bhandar: Photo by Shaleen: These littis are best cooked on coal. 

Durga Puja in Bihar

Durga Puja is not just India's most popular Hindu festival but that of Bihar's too. I remember as a child going to my "nanighar" in one of the villages near Bhagalpur (I still go there). We used to visit Durgasthan in the centre of the village and hang around the "pandal" with other children. We used to buy cheap sweets (lemon chus), peanuts (or mumfalis), anarsas and whatever was on offer. On Dussehra day, it was the best. There used to be a lot of activity all around the village and at the home. We children would rush to the Durgasthan where the mela used to be held. I was given about 50 Rupees to spend which was quite a hefty sum for a small child to spend. The family from the mother's side used to sacrifice a goat which the rest of the family would have as prasad. In those days, I never questioned about the animal sacrifice but nowadays, I try to refrain from it. Hinduism comes in different shades. My fathers side of the family are pure Vaishnavs and hereditary priests and do not even eat eggs. Here's my book on Hinduism if you are interested in Hinduism.

Dura Puja was great fun and I still cherish those days at my nanigarh. Durga Puja in Bihar is as good as anywhere else in India, if not better.

This is what a typical Durgathan in our village would look like. Photo credit 

Bhagalpur Railway Station

The Bhagalpur Railway Station with 6 platforms is a major railway station in Bihar that connects most of the Indian cities. It is the third busiest line in Bihar and is a major station in the Eastern Railway.

Here's a photo of a Jamalpur based WDM-3A loco - 18957  getting added to another train at Bhagalpur (BGP) Railway Station. (Image source).

Bhagalpur Junction
Bhagalpur Junction

Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran

When Mahatma Gandhi decided to come to India from South Africa, it was Champaran that he decided that he would start his "Satyagraha". It was Pandit Raj Kumar Shukla (a Bhumihar indigo cultivator of Champaran) who had asked Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran and to show him the plight of the poor farmers. It was here that he first saw some of the ills such as untouchability and discrimination that was plaguing Indian society. 
Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran
Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran
Champaran at that time was in pretty bad shape. The farmers were forced to grow Indigo for the British instead of food crops which led to starvation and destitution. In addition, the British imposed heavy taxes.