Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sankisa Again

The Lord is calling. I got the chance to visit Sankisa again in August 2014 after a wonderful visit in Dec 2013.
This time around the direction was different. Whereas the first time, I went from Sitapur/Farrukhabad, this time I traveled to Sankisa from Agra. Of the two routes, the one from Agra seems to be easier. I reached Agra very early in the morning and waited for the Agra Ljn intercity train. I had thought I would get of at Shikohabad and get a taxi from there. The reason was that I thought I should avoid UP roads as much as possible. As it turned out, it was false economy as the road from Shikohabad to Agra is very good an hardly something to worry about. The road from Shikohabad to Sankisa is bad in stretches especially around Mainpuri. It is probably much easier and cheaper to get a taxi from Agra as well. 
I reached Shikohabad at about 7.30 AM and the taxi was waiting for me ( please message if you want the number). It took a little more than two hours to get to Sankisa. As it was not tourist season, most of the monasteries were closed. I visited a clinic and a school being run by the Youth Buddhist Society. They are doing a great job. The pillar with the elephant pillar is almost ready for installation. 
This time around I was able to explore the places around as well. I had carried an old book by Alexander Cunningham and was able to identify some places he has written about. I was also able to visit the site of Pakhna Bihar which was once an important monastery. Lots of coins and seals are still dug up every year from the mound. The locals make some money selling them off to tourists who get there. I was offered some but I did not buy. 
I was dropped back at the bus stop at Shikohabad. I got on the bus and was back in Agra by the evening.

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