Remembering a man who moved a mountain – alone.


People are made of flesh and blood and a miracle fibre called courage. – McLaughlin

On Friday, 17th of August, after prolonged battle with cancer, a man breathed his last inDelhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was Dashrath Manjhi, the 78 year old legend who has now become the part of folklore in Gaya District of Bihar, India.

The courage and will of this man is one of those rare real life incidents which will continue to inspire mankind for ages to come. This simple man from Gayahad the fortitude and conviction to move mountains and he made it happen by his sheer perseverance and faith in his efforts to move the mountain. He is an inspiration for all us and just when you feel chips are down and the road ahead seems insurmountable, put yourself in his shoes and imagine the courage it would take to move a mountain.

Yes, this man literally moved a mountain! Alone, just by his sheer will and perseverance.


Over four decades ago, a frail, landless Dashrathgot hold of a chisel and a hammer and decided to change the face of his village nestled in the rocky hills ofGaya. He almost tore open a 300-feet-high hill to create a one-km passage. Instead of endlessly waiting for the apathetic administration to do something for those formidable hills that virtually cut his village off from civilization, Manjhi, then in his early 20s, took up a chisel and hammered at the rocks for 22 years.

It all started from Manjhi’s love for his wife. For, when she slipped off the rocks while getting food for him as he worked in a field beyond the hill and broke her ankle, it became a burning passion to tame the formidable hills. And he completed this Herculean task — creating a short-cut which reduced a long and arduous journey from his village Gahlor Ghati to Wazirganj to a walkable distance.At that time people called him mad. They ridiculed him.Even his wife and parents were against this “adventure,” especially when he sold his goats to buy a chisel, a hammer and rope.

But, by then, Manjhi was a determined man. He shifted his hut close to the hill so he could work all day and night, chipping away, little by little. May times he did not even bother to eat. With most of the cultivable land and shops across the hill, villagers had to cross it many times a day, braving dangers. It was after 10 years that people began to notice a change in the shape of the hill. Instead of a defiant rockface, the hill seemed to have a depression in the middle. Climbing it became a little easier. All those who had called him mad began to quietly watch him work. Some even chipped in.

Then in 1982, twenty-two years after he had started out, that day came when Manjhi walked through a clear flat passage — about 16-feet wide — to the other side of the hill. But his victory was tinged with sadness. His wife, who inspired him to take on this task, was not by his side. She had died of illness. They could not take her to a hospital on time.

But, the villagers were there to celebrate with him. They got him sweets, fruits and all that they could afford. The young generation in that area had grown up hearing stories of the man who wanted to move a mountain. Now that dream had become a reality and a boon for them.

This formidable task, single handedly performed by Dashrath Manjhi, resulted intoa 1.5 kilometer long road through the Gahlaur Mountain thus reducing the distance to cross the mountain from a grueling 50 kilometer to a much-easier 8 kilometer.

This hand-carved passage through the hill still remains the only sustainable change his village has ever chanced upon. Tubewells were installed, but they ran dry. Electric poles were put up, but the cables never came. And a five-acre plot given by former CM Lalu Prasad to Manjhi for a hospital still lies barren.

Septuagenarian Manjhi hadn’t given up though. In a recent interview he had said “I met CM Nitish Kumar recently. He has promised to develop the passage so that even a car can pass and will connect my village toGaya. And, he told me that I will lay the foundation stone.”


Manjhi died on Friday at AIIMS inDelhidespite top care provided by the nation’s premier health facility.The state government of Bihar, in honor of Manjhi, has announced its decision to name the road built by the mountain man as Dashrath Manjhi Road and that hospital in Atri village in Gaya (which is yet to be built),to be named after him. He will not be there to lay the foundation stone when that passage will be developed fully, however, his story will continue to be the source of inspiration for many in the nation

I pay my humble tribute to Dashrath Manjhi. May his soul rest in peace!



  1. Remembering a man who moved a mountain – alone.

    The inspirational story of Dashrath Manjhi who literally moved a mountain by working alone for 22 years !. Manjhi died on friday at AIIMS.

  2. Thank you for sharing the story of this incredible man. When I get discouraged that I am not accomplishing something in the hours, weeks, and months of the modern day’s expectation, I will remember him to help myself keep going.

  3. Talk about unfailing commitment. Wow. This reminds me of the story about the turtle and the hare. Dashrath Manjhi being the slow, determined turtle whose perserverance, determination and unwillingness to be side-tracked allows him to win the race. And perhaps the government plays the part of the hare. Their willingness to make all kinds of promises without fulfilling them detours them from crossing the finish line. Meanwhile the humble turtle outdistanced them over a period of decades.

    Thanks for the write-up of this man’s life.

  4. Thanks Sanjay for your comments. For all those who don’t know Hindi let me describe what Sanjay has said in his comments :

    “ek ishk sahjaha ke parelle” means ‘A love story equivalent to that of Shahjahan the great Mughal Emperor who built the Tajmahal in the memory of his belove wife.’

    Well said really 🙂

  5. Mai is mahaan person ko dil se namaskar karta hun. Ye prerna aur aadarsh hai un logon ke liye jo life main sankat mai hain aur life ki problems se fight kar rahe hain aur ye answer hai un kaam choron ke liye jo redlight par bagging kartey hain ya night ko choriyan kartey hain. Aik baar phir dashrath manghi ko mera charan sparsh.


  6. man like dasrath majhi is inspiration to all of us indian people.and other’s also if one’s will is so pathbreaking then thousand of same will’s people can make our india in top position

  7. iam lakshminarasimhan belongs to tamilnadu working in lucas tvs i had readen the achivement of dhasrath manji in tamil magazine i weeped out i want to learn more from him if i heard this news a year before i will met him and i fel in his legs such a great man i had missed him i cant express my feeling in words

  8. Hi,

    i met this person two years back and spoke to Him. i had also covered it in :

    but i thought his name was Dasaratha Das instead of Dasaratha Majhi.

    anyways if you have some more photos of his, do post it to me.

  9. on hearing about dashrath manjhi, the famous words of swami vivekananda came to my mind…..

    Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached

  10. a nondescript man with a cadaverous physique armed with a chisel,a hammer, a rope n perseverance…
    he’s a pinnacle of human spirit..
    brilliantly carved in a story eklavya.
    May DM RIP

  11. One feel so inspirited to learn and see someone so patrioit all alone moving a mountain. Where did such a vigour and spirit has come from. We must follow the foot-step of such a great personlity. We must irridicate selfishness and personal honour. Let us learn from him, God bless everyone and our country

  12. People like Dashrath Manjhi deserve the reward like Padmashree….
    Just think what did Akshay did even after being rewarded Padmashree…no offences

  13. truly an inspirational story

    it is said as proverb in hindi tat if u r determined u can move a hill. he has shown tat wat a person can do wen he is determined, physical barrier is nothing front of it

  14. Awe inspiring stuff. Hats off to this legend. He sure has moved a mountain and drilled in lots of inspiration into me. Proves , the smallest of efforts persisted over a long period can bring about a big change. :-). May his soul rest in peace.

  15. Manghi people say you died but i think you never died. you live in my heart this time,next time, life time and for ever. We proved of you. you told us “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE”. Jay Hind Jay Bharat

  16. I had read about this great man couple of years ago and it was back of my mind all the time. Then I have been looking for this article and this inspiring news item for months and finally got it. Thanks for the post.

  17. Really great men like Dashrath Manjhi are rare on this earth. They do their job honestly and with dedication and say good-bye to this wounderful world. Their deeds are inspiration for the humanity. Let every village in India should have atleast one Dashrath Manjhi to inspire young generation. I bow my head in respect to this great son of India. May God bless his soul.

  18. A great piece of article, actually people remember Shahjahan and flock to see his creation Tajmahal, Shahjahan fathered a dozen babies, the brunt bore by his wife, he taxed, flogged people to build the Taj,and people say he made it for the love of his wife. As compared Swargiya Dashrath Majhi, with his own money, own sweat and love for his only wife, chiselled day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decades on he carved out his road – this road is much more than the TAJ, this is what should symbolize – love for your wife, this is what people who love should visit not the Taj.I salute the maestero!

  19. Dasrath Manjhi was a rare of rarest man as a imposible work he makes possible with the preservation of level of confidence for 22years. This inspiring story should we added in our shcool syllabus to boost kids.

  20. It’s a Awesome Story. A great tribute to a man who truely loved his wife. I would rate this as better than Shahajahan’s Tajmahal Efforts.

    We must learn that he felt there is some purpose in life when his loved one was lost…. I salute Manji….

  21. I had the good fortune of meeting him when he happen to visit Puttaparthy. We had wonderful satsang with him. One selfless act and dedication of a life time brings all knowledge without referring to books and going to schools and colleges or by doing penance for decades. He was so simple and child like that every word he spoke was from the heart. We asked him weather he had vision of any God or Goddess? His simple answer was no. As he was Kabir Panthi they do not believe in God with form. But he happend to meet one person six feet tall and well built one day when he was going to adjacent village on a narrow foot path over a canal. The path was so narrow that only one could cross it at a time. The people had understanding and when person is walking over it, other person use to wait for his turn. But Dasarath Das met him all of a sudden midway and was wondering how to go to other side? The six feet tall man asked for his slippers and when put on to his feet it fitted well. In a moments time the person crossed him and disappeared. Dasarath was amazed and kept on thinking about him all through the day. Night when he slept the same person appeared in his dream and said He came to bless him for the noble cause for which he was working. He said he will surely succeed in his task.
    He happend to give a letter to Sri sathya Sai Baba on the same day when we had Satsang. We asked him what did he pray for in his letter? His simply was, I have never seen a place like this where people from all walks of life from all countries gather and sing the glory of God in perfect unison. I prayed to bless me so that when I go back to my place I could build a community hall where people can gather together and sing God’ s Glory.

  22. A perfect example of “nothing is impossible”. Now we must believe that something we determine can be achieved. I salute Dashrath baba. He may inspire many of us to do something unachievable with limited potential.

  23. No words to describe!!! Cheers to Manjhi Maharaj, has done a great job for his village…dedicated his almost his life to chop the hill? Hatsoff to his splendid perseverance towards his belief….and made his soul to rest on peace with no doubt…

  24. ये आदमी एक देवशक्ति वाला इन्सान थे.इनका त्याग को सम्मानित करना चाहिए..पूरा पृथ्वी वासी को ये मालूम होना चाहिए के कौनसा दुनिया में सब जी रहे है.और ये गरीब आदमी जिसका कोई नहीं सुना वोह ऐसा कम कर गए जो की हमारी सर्कार भी न कर सकी..सच में भारत माता के यह सबसे बहुमूल्य संतान थे..तोह दशरथ जी आपको शहसरा प्रणाम ..जय बिहार जय.जय गया डिस्ट्रिक्ट जय..

  25. मैने हमेशा सुना था कि हिम्मते मर्दा मदद्े-खुदा, ये इस कहनि से समज्ह मे आया. चाहुन्गा कि मै भि कुच ऐसा करुन अप्ने देश के लिये.

  26. how much you are deep down in love that much power you always have I really salute him & his determination…………………

  27. I salute this man. He deserve hero of this village. We learn with them, whenever not stop till not reach on our goal. If we have dare, we can do….

  28. dasha kotigalannu suridu kattida THAJ MAHAL andu shahajahana andu adre thanna ardangi gagi dasharathana ekangi dashakagala samara ithihasadalli nijakku romanchaniiya mattu chirasmaraniiya love is great but life is short
    inthi naviloorina NATHADRUSHTA

  29. I have no words to appreciate this real human. he had left a moral for this society. Let all the dirty politicians read this only once in their life time. THANKU DASHRATH MANJHI

  30. Simply great, came to know how mach impatient I am, which make me upset when not getting result. Thank u so much to share it

  31. This makes me think,that most of us human’s,do not have a clue about what we are capable of,until we read a story of someone like
    the “Man Who Moved A Mountain” what an amazing & extraordinary
    expression of LOVE not only for his wife,but for humanity itself.

    I Salute you,& may your soul rest in peace.
    Plus may this be a lesson for all of us.Yet especially for the Politicians who lay on their posh settees,making a name for themselves,& not listening to the needs of the people.


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