It is natural for friends and relatives visiting us expecting them to be taken around to places of interest. We have been religiously fulfilling this obligation to ensure that they also reciprocate , when we return the visit. This is a two way traffic. To give credence to their expectations, I have been visiting Sanchi, a world heritage Buddhist site, around 42 km's North of Bhopal, quite often. Whether I enjoy such visits is any body's guess. A Bhopal visit seems to be incomplete unless they go to Sanchi, to escape being ridiculed when they are back home.
My brother-in-law and his family was once on a visit to Bhopal. They wanted me to plan out visits to several places i.e., Ujjain, Dhar, Mandu, Onkareshwar, Maheshwar and of course Sanchi as well. I nearly fainted but it was a great relief when they requested me to arrange for a hired vehicle, large enough to carry all of us. I was spared of penning a requiem for my poor Maruti.
Within the next two days, we were on the wheels. As a first itinerary, we were on our journey to Sanchi. Many years ago I had heard that few more Stupas were discovered by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) somewhere near the present site. This information was lingering over my head. Before we could reach Salamatpur, short of about 12 km's from Sanchi, there appeared a hoarding on the left side of the road - "Satdhara - Buddhist remains - 5 km's". This was a new board with directions to the new site. Well I thought, this could be some thing of interest to me and worth exploring.
Since we were traveling in a hired vehicle (Sumo), I thought I could afford to ask the driver to take us that way. The driver obliged and took the narrow road towards Satdhara. Soon we discovered that the road was strewn with boulders, but we moved on, notwithstanding the fact that the journey seemed taking us to hell. The jerks were becoming unbearable and the distance was covered in about 1 hour!. By the time we reached the spot, tiredness was writ large on every one's face.
Photo middle one by: Srinath Rao Find a Hindi Version here