Gehlaur village: the rise of Manjhi, the Mountain Man

  • Gehlaur village: the rise of Manjhi, the Mountain Man

    Not just faith, but love too can move mountains!

    Till lately, we all thought Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower were the only epitomes of love, didn’t we? But, there is an addition and that too a touching one, which is the Gehlaur village in Bihar. Single-handedly, Dashrath Manjhi, created history by carving a path through a huge mountain in the Gehlaur Hills.

    The Inspiration

    Deep love for his wife, Phaguni Devi, and the willingness to benefit the larger masses inspired him to undertake this impossible task. Armed with a chisel, hammer and loads of confidence, he broke the rocks and eased the arduous journey of the villagers from Gehlaur to the Wazirganj town.

    The Background

    The people living in the Gehlaur village had to climb across or travel round the rocky mountain to reach Wazirganj which proved fatal and many lost their loved ones. One of the victim was Phaguni Devi, the wife of Dashrath Manjhi. While she was getting lunch for him, crossing this massive mountain, she slipped. With no access to nearby medical facilities, she died with severe injuries. Manjhi was devastated by this huge loss.

    The Big Action

    To prevent such mishaps and sufferings in the future, Manjhi came up with a brilliant idea. He took up the responsibility, started to hammer the rocks and carved a road through it. It wasn’t a cakewalk for him. People abused him, even called him a lunatic, but he didn’t lose patience, stuck to his plan with persistence, and made the impossible possible.

    The Outcome

    It took him 22 years of strenuous labour to come out with a 360 feet long path, 25 feet deep in places and 30 feet wide. The distance was reduced from 55km to 15km.

    2011 updates

    A metalled road to Gehlaur was built by the Government in 2011.

    Interesting right? You can watch the movie ‘Manjhi: The Mountain Man.’ If you want to experience this man-made marvel for real, book your flight tickets and travel to Bihar. While in Bihar, do explore the Nalanda University, the Patna Museum, Muchalinda Lake and the Bodhi tree.

    Author : Vijaylaxmi Thakur