Dashrath Manjhi

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Dashrath Manjhi
दशरथ मांझी
Dashrath Manjhi.jpg
Dashrath Manjhi
Born Dashrath
Gehlaur, Bihar, India
Died 17 August 2007(2007-08-17) (aged 77–78)
New Delhi, India
Cause of death Cancer, food deficiency
Nationality Indian
Other names Mountain Man
Occupation labour
Known for Carving a mountain with only a hammer and a chisel, to make a path to the city from a rural village in Bihar.
Spouse(s) Faguni Devi

Dashrath Manjhi (c. 1929[1] – 17 August 2007[2]), also known as Mountain Man,[3] was a labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path 110 m long (360 ft), 9.1 m (30 ft) wide and 7.6 m (25 ft) deep through a 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 55 km to 15 km.[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 Faguni Devi.[1]

Faguni Devi died after an accident due to not receiving immediate medical care, as there were no nearby hospitals.[7][5][8] Thinking that no one else should suffer this fate, he resolved to build the road to make his village more accessible.[5][9] Manjhi felt the need to do something for society and 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 110 m long, 7.7 m deep in places and 9.1 m wide to form a road through the rocks in Gehlour hill. He said, "When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve."

He completed the work in 22 years (1960–1982). This path reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj sectors of the Gaya district from 80 km to 3 km. Though mocked for his efforts, Manji's work has made life easier for people of the Gehlour village.[9] 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."[7][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.[5] He was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.[8]

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.[11] A stamp was released by India Post [12] in the "Personalities of Bihar" series on 26th December 2016.

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 August 2015, a Hindi movie Manjhi - The Mountain Man was released and well received. The movie was directed by Ketan Mehta. Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Manjhi along with Radhika Apte as Falguni Devi.[13]

Manjhi's deeds are referred to in the 2011 Kannada movie Olave Mandara directed by Jayatheertha.[14] A supporting character in the 1998 Kannada movie Bhoomi Thayiya Chochchala Maga was based on Manjhi.[15]

The first episode of Season 2 of the Aamir Khan hosted TV Show Satyamev Jayate, aired in March 2014, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjjhi.[16][17] 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.[18] However, Basanti Devi died due to inability to afford medical care on April 1, 2014.


  1. ^ a b c d "Love's labour brings down hill". The Indian Express. 24 May 1987. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Mountain man Dashrath Manjhi dies in Delhi". Hindustan Times. 17 August 2007. Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  3. ^ Society (29 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. ^ a b c d Santosh, Singh. "the man who made way for progress". Indian Express. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dashrath Manjhi, rock star and film muse". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Man in India Carved 360 feet". 
  8. ^ a b "Movie about India's 'Mountain Man' hits screens". Gulf News. 22 August 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b ABP NEWS (2014-02-25), ABP News special: Aamir visits Mountain Man's village, meets his family, retrieved 2018-04-20 
  10. ^ "How A Man Built A Road on the Mountain Without Support". Be A Light to the World. 22 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Man who moved a mountain". Hoax or Fact. 22 August 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Better Philately on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  13. ^ "Nawazuddin to play lead in Ketan Mehta's Fountain Man". Bollywood Hungama. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "A fairy tale on the road". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "Manjhi featured in Kannada film". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Dasrath Manjhi's family awaits Aamir Khan to tell his glorious Tale". news.biharprabha.com. Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  17. ^ Kumar, Ruchir. "I am trying to be like Manjhi". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Helping Mountain Man's family". Retrieved 4 March 2013. 

External links[edit]