Dashrath Manjhi

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Dashrath Manjhi
दशरथ मांझी
Dashrath Manjhi.jpg
Dashrath Manjhi
Born 1934
Gehlaur, Bihar, British India
Died 17 August 2007(2007-08-17) (aged 72–73)
New Delhi, India
Cause of death Gall bladder cancer
Nationality Indian
Other names The Mountain Man
Known for carving a path through a mountain
Spouse(s) Phalguni Devi

Dashrath Manjhi (c. 1934[1] – 17 August 2007[2]), also known as "Mountain Man",[3] was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path through a 360 ft long, 30 ft wide and 25 ft high hillock using only a hammer and chisel.[1][4][5] After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55km to 15km.[6]

Early life and work[edit]

Dashrath Manjhi ran away from his home at a young age and worked at Dhanbad's coal mines. He returned to his village and married Phalguni Devi. While crossing Gehlour hills to bring him lunch, she slipped and seriously injured herself that eventually led to her death. Manjhi was deeply disturbed and that very night decided to carve a path through the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical attention. [1] He carved a path 360-feet-long (110 m), 25-feet-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-feet-wide (9.1 m) to form a road[7] through the rocks in Gehlour hill. He quoted that, When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve.

He completed the work in 23 years (1960–1983). This road reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj sectors of the Gaya district from 55 km to 15 km. Though mocked for his efforts, he has made life easier for people of Gehlour village. Although he had cut a protected mountain, which is an offence under Indian wildlife protection act, his exemplary determination remains an inspiration.[2][8] Later, Manjhi said, Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools.[9][10]


Manjhi died on 17 Aug 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer in All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), New Delhi.[11] He was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.[12]


For his feat, Manjhi became popularly known as the 'Mountain Man'. The Bihar government also proposed his name for the Padma Shree award in 2006 in social service sector.[13]

In popular culture[edit]

Films Division produced a documentary directed by Kumud Ranjan named The man who moved the mountain based on Manjhi's life in 2011. In July 2012, director Ketan Mehta announced a film Manjhi, based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. While on his deathbed, Manjhi gave "exclusive rights" to make a film on his life.[14] Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Manjhi along with Radhika Apte as Phalguni Devi.[15] The film released on 21 August 2015. Manjhi's deeds are referred to in the 2011 Kannada movie Olave Mandara directed by Jayatheertha.[16] A supporting character in the 1998 Kannada movie Bhoomi Thayiya Chochchala Maga was based on Manjhi.[17]

The first episode of Season 2 of the Aamir Khan hosted TV Show Satyamev Jayate, aired in March 2014, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjjhi.[18][19] Aamir Khan and Rajesh Ranjan also met Bhagirath Manjhi and Basanti Devi, son and daughter-in-law of Manjhi and promised to provide financial help.[20] However, Basanti Devi died due to inability to afford medical care on April 1, 2014.[21]


  1. ^ a b c "Love's labour brings down hill". The Indian Express. 24 May 1987. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Mountain man Dashrath Manjhi dies in Delhi". Hindustan Times. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  3. ^ Society (28 September 2007). "The Mountain Man". The Viewspaper. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  4. ^ "Tax rebate to Manjhi biopic raises eyebrows". Times of India. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "The man who made way for progress". The Indian Express. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  6. ^ "Dashrath Manjhi, rock star and film muse". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Location of cut-through: 24°52′38″N 85°14′35″E / 24.877093°N 85.242956°E / 24.877093; 85.242956
  8. ^ "CM visits ailing Dashrath Manjhi". The Times of India. 23 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Man in India Carved 360 feet". 
  10. ^ "How A Man Built A Road on the Mountain Without Support". Be A Light to the World. 22 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Santosh, Singh. "the man who made way for progress". Indian Express. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Movie about India’s ‘Mountain Man’ hits screens". Gulf News. 22 August 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Man who moved a mountain". Hoax or Fact. 22 August 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Never underestimate the power of one". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Nawazuddin to play lead in Ketan Mehta's Fountain Man". Bollywood Hungama. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "A fairy tale on the road". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Manjhi featured in Kannada film". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Dasrath Manjhi's family awaits Aamir Khan to tell his glorious Tale". news.biharprabha.com. Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  19. ^ Kumar, Ruchir. "I am trying to be like Manjhi". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Helping Mountain Man's family". Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Mountain Man's daughter-in-law dies as Aamir Khan fails to keep his promise". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 

External links[edit]