First Visit to Bihar: Gerabari

I have earlier travelled through Bihar few times but never stepped on its soil. I got my first opportunity to visit Bihar last month. I had already booked flight tickets from Kolkata to Bagdogra in West Bengal. On the travel date boarded a GoAir flight which took around 50 minutes. From Bagdogra Airport, I was picked up. Bagdogra airport is a military airport. One can see many jet fighters and helicopters in action or standby. On the highway I was first greeted by the unmissable tea estates of North Bengal. As we traveled we crossed Bengal and entered Bihar at Kishanganj and then Bengal again at Dhalkhola / Islampur. The highway is in good shape and took around 3.5 hours to cover the distance of 180 kms. It was soothing to the eyes to see greenfields on both side of the highway and then the sun setting down the horizon.

Gerabari is a nondescript highway village in Korha block of Katihar district, Bihar. Located around 21 km from Purnea and 23 km from Katihar. By the time I reached there it was evening and was time to relax. Next morning went for morning walk towards Phuldobi road. It was a nice break to see the peaceful countryside with various crops like wheat, maize, rice, mustard seeds etc. I was told in the marshy waters Makhana is cultivated and is harvested in September / October. Around 90% of Makhana production in India happens in Bihar. The districts which popularly cultivates Makhana are Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purnia, Katihar, Sitamarhi, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria and Kishanganj.

The country side road to Phuldobi was narrow but was decent. Till now the roads I had seen in Bihar looked decent. The sparsely used road had occasional riders, auto or people walked past by. However, did see girls going to schools on cycle.

The fields were in full bloom with various kind of crops. This invited various local and seasonal birds like egrets, myna etc. It is for the first time I have seen wheat or maize crop so close. It is an wonderful feeling to be close with nature. On the way back saw a BSRTC mini bus which seemed to be in pretty good shape. Gerabari seems to be pretty decent in terms of amenities like a primary health center. It has many government offices like BSNL, ITBP etc. This brings various kinds of people through government postings. It is a peaceful place but you have nothing much to do in terms of city life. However, I liked its peaceful and laid back nature. One can have a good break of few days here to relax and recharge.