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Day Long Trip to Goutam Buddha’s shrine in Paharpur, Naogaon With Yamaha FZS V1

Arif Raihan opu
February 15, 2018

I am Ariful Islam from Rangpur, a bike devotee, but, it has never been my intentions to push the bike to its speed limit or to over- take with unbelievable moves or show how daring I am to do stunts. Sorry readers, I am not that kind of super biker and have no interest to become one. All my focus is on travelling with my beloved bike to the edge where I set my destination, no matter, how far it is. Keeping the will of touring in my soul, I have already made few tours which include going to Dinajpur two times riding Dayang 80 cc, Riding TVS Metro 100 cc for Bogra and Rajshahi, travelling to Shirajgonj, Bogra and Char areas of Vurungamari in Kurigram district with Yamaha SZR 153 cc, touring to Banglabandha, Panchagarh, Tetulia with Yamaha FZS V1 and few more memorable short tours.

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But, I have never written on any of these, though, each of them has equipped me with great memories, emotions and thrilling experiences. Especially, how I can forget the tour of Rajshahi with my father riding TVS metro 100 cc during the country-wide strike by BNP in 2014 to accomplish a major departmental task.

It is hard to imagine that a person aged above 65 years has made more than 200 km sitting on a normal 100 cc bike in a single day and returned the same distance!! It is a bunch of memories and experiences I have gathered in that tour during severe cold of February. Moreover, we started in February 14th, in the morning of the first Valentine’s Day after my marriage!!

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I have not written before as I did not know about Bikebd, otherwise, who does not want to share beautiful memories? So, this time, I will, may be, it is nothing compared to the records of Bikebd’s famous riders. On 22nd of July, along with my bosom friend Zion, I have made a tour of Goutam Buddha’s shrine in Paharpur of Naogaon district also known as Somapura Mahavihara which is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Bangladesh and very close to Joypurhat district.

It was a short tour of above 260 km round trip from Rangpur, but to me it was very refreshing as it came after a long period. Actually, I was not finding the proper prospect for making a tour and at last I asked for it to Zion. I was lucky this time that Zion was also seeking for a break to get rid of boredom of job. We planned to go to Hilli actually, but, decided to move to Joypurhat after reaching Hili.

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The day before the journey, Zion and I made the tour plan at Robertsongonj School’s field. Zion lives in Mondolpara which is near Robertsongonj, my grandfather’s home. That is why our “adda” always becomes fantastic there! Whatever, we decided to start from Rangpur by 7.00 am in the morning.

I have already mentioned that I love to travel but smash the road with speed. So, we made it early in the morning so that we could come back from destination riding in a moderate speed all the way and could relax during the whole journey and take snapshots.

After finalizing all the plans, we took tea and returned home. I loaded my yamaha fzs v1 with fuel at night and checked the brakes, tire pressure and gravity of lube-oil. All were fine except that the lube-oil was little thinner, but, it would not trouble during the journey.

I told my wife about the journey after dinner and got the reaction exactly what I thought. So, avoiding too much talking, I moved to bed and called Zion as per our plan after I had wake up at 5.00 am in the first light, but, Zion did not pick up the phone.

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So, I thought that something wrong might. whatever, I got refreshed and called my wife. Though she was not interested at all (this was clearly visible through her facial expression), I asked for her help to get things ready for me. After wearing a casual dress I got phone call from Zion and felt relieved. My baby was sleeping then and so I faced no problem in getting out from my house.

I came to my baby girl, touched her and moved out without making further delay. I had to come across four steps security measures (!!). Then I started my bike, warmed it up and came to Mondolpara and just after 5-6 minutes Zion came. Then we took few pictures and started our journey to Hili.

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It was 6.15 am in the morning. The weather was very comfortable (it rained heavily the day before our journey). Our journey started with my yamaha fzs v1 just as per our plan. Coming across through Mondolpara and Robertsongonj, crossing railway line at Babupara we moved to Ashrotpur turning right and then came directly to the Dhaka-Rangpur highway. After crossing Modern Mor I throttled my bike towards Mithapukur. The road condition was very poor due to the pits and cavities on the high way due to heavy rainfall this year.

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So, I was riding very carefully to avoid holes. Yet then, I was driving at 60-65 km/hour speed as there was no traffic in the morning. As the lube-oil was little old, I was trying to maintain a low RPM. We were in light mood and within 7.00 am we reached Mithapukur. We had a break there for 10 minutes and then we started riding along the Fulbari high-way.

Now, it is called the thrill of a real bike tour with a moderate speed and a fantastic weather. This high way is among the well carpeted roads of Bangladesh. Normally, there is not enough traffic in this high-way. Moreover, the road was totally clear in the morning. So, I was riding at 75-80-85 km/hour.

Actually, I don’t feel good riding bike at top speed. So, I was trying to keep the speed around 85 km/hour and enjoying the green fields and surroundings. It was quiet pleasing to ride in such a fresh weather with a cheerful mind.

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Breakfast had not been taken and Zion was feeling bad. He told me to take a break after Maddhapara Kothin Shila Prokolpo (MADDHAPARA GRANITE MINING COMPANY LIMITED), but, I just continued riding and reached Fulbari. The distance between Mithapukur and Fulbaria is 33 km and it took us about 25 minutes to reach. The clock was still below 8.00 am. We stopped my yamaha fzs v1 beside road. We entered Milon Hotel beside high-way. It was not well-decorated, but, looked good enough to have a nice breakfast.

Just in front of the entrance well cooked and nicely looked (everybody would say it delicious at the first look) beef was on a large dish and just beside that fresh Parata was being prepared. OH!! FINE!!! Our hunger just jumped to twice.

We quickly got refreshed and order exactly what you would order in such a situation, Parata with beef. Though it was a roadside restaurant, but, the taste was fine and amount of food given was enough for us. Compared to the costly high-way restaurants like Food Village, High-way Villa or Aristocrat we were quiet satisfied having the breakfast there.

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The bill was little high, close to 300 taka. Anyway, we took tea outside the restaurant and had some pictures and started journey again. This time we changed rider. Zion was to drive my bike. I was little confused as Zion was feeling problem in shifting gears due to irregular riding.

We were headinga towards Birampur with yamaha fzs v1 . The first 2-3 km road to Birampur was very bad and we got few ups and downs. Then the road became well again. The fresh weather of morning was still there and we reached Birampur. We turned right towards Hili and just then, slightly cold wind started to blow. Zion stopped the bike and had few pictures and then we started again. This time I took the wheel. Just after few minutes we came to Hili.

It was about 9.35 am. So, the hurriedness of Hili Port was yet to begin. We directly moved to the border where immigration is done. We were feeling quite happy to stand beside the last border of one of the most famous and busy land port in Bangladesh. As it was early in the morning, we were even happier.

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We noticed that BSF had already started their activities in India’s border, but, we did not see any activities of BGB inside the border of Bangladesh. There were two or three check post by the side of the railway track and there were BGB members.

The two neighboring countries – so close to each other, two different nations and their cultures – we were enjoying all these standing by the border. Though we had no passports, we took the chance of light supervision and came across the railway track to the very last point of the border. Normally, it is prohibited to come closer to the last point, but, we came as we mentioned.

We just stood comfortably and kept watching the migration-immigration of people between two countries. We noticed some differences between the natures of activities of two nations even standing so close to each other. Especially, the old building of Patiram Petrol Pump and two old ambassador cars just reminded us the British India.

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We spent about an hour there and decided to go to Joyputhat. As we had plenty of times and Joypurhat is just 25 km away from Hili, we felt no hesitation to take the decision. We just had some pictures near the border and then I throttled my bike for Joypurhat.

Pachbibi comes first from Hili before Joypurhat which is a very busy sub-district of North Bengal. As it is a local road from Hilli to Joypurhat I dropped my speed to 55-60 km/hour. There were green fields and tall trees on the both sides of the road and it was very relaxing to ride in such a situation. By 11.00 am we came to Pachbibi and had a tea break of 10 minutes and then we directly came to Joypurhat. The clock showed about 11.45 am.

We decided to roam around the city. Joypurhat is a big and busy city and we were riding through the main road of the city. We came to the large play ground behind SP office in the aim of taking a rest. Zion leaned against a tree for sleep of around 20 minutes while I was watching school boys playing cricket in the field.

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Zion was badly in need of a sleep as we came out early in the morning and he was feeling sleepy. Anyway, spending few times there, we roamed around the government offices and came to Joypurhat Government Degree College to meet a brother of Zion.

He is a teacher of English in the college and a gentleman. He greeted us with a bright smile and without making any delay took us to his house near the college. His wife entertained us with fruits, snacks and tea and we had a nice chat there. He told us about the Goutam Buddha’s shrine in Paharpur. Though he insisted us for lunch, but, it was 1.30 pm already and so we happily denied that and came out for Paharpur.

Paharpur is 15 km away from Joypurhat, but, as the road is quiet bad it took about 1 hour to reach Paharpur. I put my bike in the garage and entered the large area of the monument. It is nicely decorated and well-planned. We went to the museum and spent few times there.

We were tired a little and the sun was quiet hot that time. So, we moved to the shed and just lay down on the bench. We rested for a while and then moved around the central shrine. It was already late and so we got out from the area.

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Zion told me for dinner, but, I denied as the road was bad. So, we started our return journey at 3.30 pm. Zion was feeling problem in his foot muscle and so we were stopping at 10-15 km interval and so it took enough time to reach Hili. At 5.30 pm we reached Hili and entered into the market.

We got disappointed there and came out and took late dinner with chicken. The food tasted good. Then we came to Fulbari passing Birampur and had a tea break.

Already darkness was coming down and we heard the announcement of Magrib Prayer from mosque. So, we did not stay anymore and started my yamaha fzs v1 once again. Now, I felt problem with my bike. The battery fuse was not working and so the headlight was very low and the horn was not working almost.

There were people, tractors, cattle and bags full of crops on both sides of the road. So, I had to drive very carefully. Due to Zion’s foot muscle problem, we had to stop 2-3 times. I could not ride the yamaha fzs v1 above 60 km/hour as I could not see very well in such a low light. Moreover, the horn was not working well.

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So, when we reached Mithapukur it was 8.00 pm!! Zion was feeling very bad and so we took a break of 15 minutes. I was quiet sure that riding would be very difficult now as the road from Mithapukur was very bad and my yamaha fzs v1 was little unfit.

Keeping all these things in mind, I started the engine for the last time of the day. Oh Yah!! Zion had to push the bike as the power was down due to the fuse.

My prediction was right. I realized the toughness of riding just as I came on the high-way. My yamaha fzs v1 was jerking heavily in a regular interval.

I could not see well and moreover, the vans, auto rickshaws were creating problem as the horn was not working at all. The only way to alert these unwanted things was to use long-deep switch. But, my head-light was almost gone.

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Rather, I was taking help from other vehicle’s headlight!! On the other hand, there was too much pressure of heavy vehicles, especially, night coaches in. Good to inform you that, the high-way from Mithapukur to Boldipukur is accident prone. Normally, the night coaches are too speedy and the drivers are reckless to take risk for over taking.

Besides, heavy vehicles coming from behind often suppress small one by coming left for avoiding gaps on the road and collision from the trucks or buses coming from font which, in these situation, are over taking also.

These are normal scenarios and I was facing very difficulties in this condition. I had to come down from the road two times for the suppression of night coach.

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I had to ride about 10 km this way and then got relieved after reaching Boldipukur. Though the low light and horn were creating problem, I was able to run the bike at a higher speed as the road was little good from here. At last, at 8.45 pm we reached Rangpur Modern.

Now this is the time to go to home after a day-long tour with yamaha fzs v1 . Zion was really feeling pain in his leg and he was not in a condition to sit on the bike anymore. So, he took a rickshaw and went to home. I, too, came home without making any delay.  I felt happy if I could take Zion to his home.

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How was our journey? I would say, we both have enjoyed the journey very much. Riding in the cool weather of morning, excellent road from Fulbari to Joypurhat, awesome breakfast, Scenarios of Hili border and Goutam Buddha’s shrine in Paharpur – we enjoyed them all very much. We actually made fun in our return journey too, except, that Zion was feeling pain in his leg.

If he was okay, we could enjoy it far better. But, it was good what we got. I hope Zion will get early recovery from his pain and in near future, inshallah, we will make tour of Rajshahi, Nator, Jamuna Resort etc. AND, I wish I will make a 7-8 days tour from Rangpur to Teknaf with my yamaha fzs v1 .

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I have not said about my bike, which is excellent now. I have drained the old lube-oil and changed the fuse already. My bike is ready for another tour. Now, just waiting for time, chance and buddy.

 

Written By Ariful Islam

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