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Mountain Man Dashrat Manjhi: A Love Story That Moved A Mountain

dashrath manjhi the mountain man
The world knows Taj Mahal as an eternal symbol of love, since it was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. But how many of you have heard about Dashrat Manjhi - the mountain man who carved a path through the Gehlour Hills in Bihar using only a chisel and hammer.







His efforts reduced the distance between his village Atri and Wazirganj blocks in Bihar's Gaya from 55 km to 15 km. Quite an achievement to talk about!!!!

Now you must be wondering why are we talking about this man and comparing his efforts with the Taj Majal?

Well, Dashrat Manjhi did this only for his beloved wife, whose death in 1959 due to lack of medical care in the village inspired Manjhi to carve out a path in the mountains to make commuting easier for people of his village. His wish was that nobody else has to meet the same fate as his wife and lose their life due to the mountainous distance between them and the nearest medical facility.

Since the mountain was a barrier to commuting to and from the village, Manjhi decided to sacrifice his life for the village after his wife's death.

People say she died when she was being carried to a hospital 70 km away from their village, sitting at this side of the mountain. It was then that the Mountain Man, a poor laborer, decided to take his aisle and hammer in his hands and break the barrier between his village and the nearest hospital. Manjhi had to face extreme hardships, as is depicted in the movie Manjhi- The Mountain Man, which is a clear portrayal of all the difficulties this frail man had to undergo to do something nobody could dare to think of.

Undying Spirit Despite Criticism From Locals
manjhi mountain man
When he started hammering the hill with his tools, people started calling him a lunatic who had gone mad after his wife's death, since what he was doing was beyond anybody's imagination.

Some even said that he was suffering from hysteria in the gloom of his wife's death. But nobody thought of his willpower and determination and eternal love that inspired him to sacrifice 22 years of his life, hammering the mountain day and night to ease the distance between the village and the hospital.

His unrelenting courage, resolve, undying spirit, and determination helped him move a mountain that he blamed for his wife's death.  The poor laborer from Bihar, whose love story and matchless courage has inspired Indian film industry to make a biopic on him, single-handedly sliced through a 360-feet-tall hill to improve his remote village's accessibility.

While everybody cursed the village remoteness and still criticized him for his lunatic efforts, he continued to toil tirelessly to remove the 360 feet long and 30 feet wide mountain barrier with his chisel and hammer.

The Poor Man's Taj: From 1960-1982
The Taj Mahal was not built in a day and took over 20,000 laborers to build the mammoth building, which later became one of India's most cherished places of tourist interest.

But it took Manjhi 22 years to carve out his Taj all by himself, without help or assistance from friends, relatives, or villagers.Rather, he was an object of great fun and scorn in the village, where he seen as a mad man trying to do the impossible.

Manjhi dedicated the pathway to his deceased wife Falguni Devi. Today, the mountainous pathway is used by villagers to move to and from the village.

The Poor Man's Taj: A Love Story That Compares With Taj Mahal
Some real life stories of heroes who have done it big in their lives often go unnoticed, but the Mountain Man's valorous efforts acclaimed fame only after he had hammered the hill without any public or private help. Unfortunately, the man continued to live in penury until his death from gallbladder cancer in 2007. Though he was given a state funeral, his entire life was spent struggling hard to make ends meet.

This poor Mahadalit's story has inspired a movie 'The Mountain Man" by Ketan Mehta, which captures this diminutive man's extraordinary courage and devotion. The man, known as Dashrath Baba in his village, is now a legend and may find a place in history books in Bihar, and his unrelenting determination and outpouring of love for his deceased wife continue to amaze and inspire us all.

Does his valorous efforts and indomitable spirit has a match anywhere? Is there a more powerful and stronger power than love?

True, love can move the biggest of barriers on earth. This poor man's Taj may not be the equivalent to the epic Taj Mahal in aesthetics and wealth, but it is certainly one of the biggest symbols of love, devotion, and sacrifice today.

What are your views?

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