When you in Gaya or Nalanda which are part of Bihar you will hear people shouting ‘Bihar, Bihar’. They are actually announcing the bus to Bihar-Sharif, a town with Muslim history.
I have came here because there is a famous dargah popular with Muslim pilgrims. I take a rickshaw to Bari Dargah. Apparently there are other dargahs but I believe Bari Dargah is the one I should be visiting. On the way, through crowded streets and busy market town scenes, I look at distant hills. There is a mausoleum on one of these hills with a circular dome. It looks interesting as well but I probably give it a miss.
I arrive at the dargah. I pass a row of beggars on either side as I walk the passage leading to the inner shrine. There is nothing fascinating about the architecture here but I can say that the dargah has been painted colourfully. I visit the dargah. Touts are helpful as ever. Two of them fight over me. Finally one of them wins. He leads me inside.
‘This is the saint’s tomb and that’s his mother’s,’ he explains. He then picks up from a grubby carpet a dried flower and tells me to eat it. I quietly palm it for later. Then he leads me to other rituals I ought to do here such as lighting a lamp but I pay him off and make an early exit. The tomb is quite simple and it is sheltered under a mosaic of mirror work.
As I leave the dargah, the pleas of the expectant beggars are more earnest than before. India is a wonderful place to quickly earn good karma. I pay one of them. Others start to voice their pleas louder than ever before. I ignore, take a couple of snaps of the buildings and move on.
I had thought of staying here for the night but I think I am going to move on to Patna.