Hello friends, when you cross a tourist spot on the way to your destination and couldn’t find time to visit it, and suddenly, you got a chance to go there, it feels really great. Same thing happened to us as we got the opportunity to visit Bounsi, a small but very beautiful and peaceful place, quite famous for its Mandar Hills, which we happened to cross so many times while going to Bhagalpur. It lies just beside the Dumka Bhagalpur Highway in Bihar. The majestic view of the hill always drew us, as we yearned to see and feel it’s ambience up close.
The Mandar, according to Hindu Mythology (Vishnu Puran) is said to be the tool used by Gods and demons to churn the ocean (samudra manthan) for the eternal drink (Amrita ) as I mentioned in my previous post-an Off the grid Getaway.
Bounsi is one hour’s drive from Bhagalpur, my youngest brother in law’s place. A perfect getaway to spend the day quietlap of nature. We visited the place during the Durga puja holidays. The Mandar hill is located a few kilometers away from the locality of the town, so remained untouched by the puja revelry . When we reached there, the breathtaking natural beauty and calm surroundings, welcomed us with open arms. The serenity and soothing effect of the place was particularly endearing to us, city dwellers.
A beautiful lake with a Lakshmi Narayan temple in the middle, is situated at the base of the hill. A venerated Jain Temple is there at the top of the ancient hill. There are countless, unsurmountable steps (as far as my capabilities are concerned! ) to reach at the top of the hill. It was more like pilgrimage for the followers of Jain religion. So a large number of tourists were belonging to the community.
We were informed that a ropeway had been recently built by the state government, and it was the chief attraction for my son and his younger cousin brother. But unfortunately we visited the place on an off day of the week, for the ropeways. So an adventurous and easy ride to the top was out of the picture right at the beginning of the trip.
My husband, brother in law and his son wisely excused themselves from attempting to climb the stairs to reach the top of the hill. Therefore me, my sister in law and my son were left to try for the arduous expedition! We decided that we’d take one step at a time and proceed further.
By the halfway mark our (the ladies’) energy level, gave in and my son was also forced to abort the attempt, as I refused him permission to try it alone (my nerves). We sat on the steps and looked around. We saw many elderly people going up in palanquin like ride, being carried by two bearers. As for the natural view, I just can’t explain what a beautiful sight it was all around. It felt as if we’re transported to another world. Mesmerized, we sat there for some time relishing the sight, than it was time to return.
Getting down we rounded the lake which seemed so placid and divine and then visited the temple at the centre. We sat at the temple and enjoyed the cool breeze, a respite from the suffocatingly hot afternoon. A pair of pristine white swan swimming merrily on the lake was an absolute eye catcher! As they where tourist friendly, soon a motley of crowd gathered around including our offsprings too!
As the trip was planned in a hurry we couldn’t pack a lunch for us. When we searched there was no decent eateries to be found, so we had to make do with snacks and cold drinks available there. They tasted good as we ate it together sitting on wooden benches. The Sun God was about to set for the day so we decided to call it a day, and return home.
Friends we can’t assess the success of a tour by its length, if one thoroughly enjoyed then it is successful.
We just can’t believe our eyes when we saw the two swans coming our way. We gave them biscuits, and they happily obliged. When we drove away we saw the two swans flapping their wings as if seeing us off!