Dashrath Manjhi

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Coordinates: 24°52′38″N 85°14′35″E / 24.877093°N 85.242956°E / 24.877093; 85.242956

Dashrath Manjhi
Dashrath Manjhi.jpg
Dashrath Manjhi
Born Gehlaur, Bihar, India
Died 17 August 2007(2007-08-17)
New Delhi
Cause of death
Cancer of gall bladder
Nationality Indian
Other names Mountain Man
Occupation worker
Spouse(s) Falguni 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 mountain using only a hammer and chisel.[1] [4] He carved the path in the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical attention, after his wife Falguni Devi died from lack of medical care in 1959. The nearest town with a doctor was 70 km away traveling around the hills, or along a treacherous pass through the hills. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km[5]

Mountain Man[edit]

When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve.

Dashrath Manjhi

Dashrath Manjhi carved a path 360-foot-long (110 m) through-cut, 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) to form a road[6] through a mountain in the Gehlour hills, working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. His feat reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the Gaya district from 80 km to 13 km, bringing him national acclaim. Though initially mocked for his efforts, this only served to strengthen his resolve. But as time went by, the unfazed farmer continued to split the troublesome hill in half, he started getting some help. "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," he remembered. Now all the people of Gaya district have nothing but gratitude of the "Mountain Man" who made their lives so much easier.[2][7][8][9]


For his glorious feat, this Bihari old man became popularly known as the 'Mountain Man'. He died on 17 August 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.[10] He was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar. Later, Nitish Kumar, the then Chief Minister of Bihar proposed to build a 3 km metalled road from Gahlaur to Amethi, naming the project as Dashrath Manjhi Road. A hospital in his name is also proposed for serving the villagers. Noted filmmaker Ketan Mehta portrayed him as the poor man's Shah Jahan (Taj Mahal). The Bihar government also proposed his name for the Padma Shree award in 2006 in social service sector.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

On July 2012, director Manish Jha announced a film, Manjhi, based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. While on his deathbed, in ICU, he had put his thumb impression on an agreement, giving away "exclusive rights" to make a film on his life.[12] The film is produced by Sanjay Singh, who previously produced Udaan (2010). Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been cast in the lead role in the film 'Mountain Man', which is based on Manjhi's life.[13] In Olave Mandara, a Kannada film by Jayatheertha, Manjhi's deeds are referred to in the story, which inspires the young hero's love.

The First Episode of Season 2 of Aamir Khan hosted TV Show Satyamev Jayate, aired in March 2014, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjhi.[14][15] Aamir Khan, who visited Gehlaur in Gaya district on Tuesday to pay homage to Dashrath Manjhi (also known as the Mountain Man) said he was truly inspired and moved by Manjhi's achievement. "I am trying to be like him (Dashrath Manjhi). He has shown that nothing is impossible. His story is one of conviction and courage. I draw immense inspiration from him."[16] He also met Bhagirath Manjhi and Basanti Devi, son and daughter-in-law of the man who single-handedly carved a mountain, who were living in deep poverty. Aamir Khan and Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, MP came forward to provide financial help to Bhagirath and Basanti. Pappu Yadav provided Rs.100,000(1 lakh) in cash to them and also promised to provide Rs.10,000 every month. He said monthly financial help would be provided to Bhagirath and Basanti by Maa Maati, the voluntary organisation of his wife Ranjita Ranjan, also an MP.[17] However, despite all these promises of help Basanti Devi died due to lack of medical care on April 1, 2014 [18]


  1. ^ a b "Love's labour brings down hill". Expressindia.com. 24 May 1997. 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. ^ "The man who made way for progress". Indian Express. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  5. ^ "Dashrath Manjhi Mountain Man". Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Location of cut-through: 24°52′38″N 85°14′35″E / 24.877093°N 85.242956°E / 24.877093; 85.242956
  7. ^ "CM visits ailing Dashrath Manjhi". The Times Of India. 23 July 2007. 
  8. ^ "Man in India Carved 360 feet". 
  9. ^ "How A Man Built A Road On The Mountain Without Support". Be A Light To The World. 22 April 2014. 
  10. ^ santosh, singh. "the man who made way for progress". 
  11. ^ "Dashrath Manjhi". Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Never underestimate the power of one". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Nawazuddin to play lead in Ketan Mehta's Mountain Man". Bollywood Hungama. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Dasrath Manjhi's family awaits Aamir Khan to tell his glorious Tale". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "amir khan". 
  16. ^ Kumar, Ruchir. "I am trying to be like Manjhi". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Helping Mountain Man's family". Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  18. ^ http://ibnlive.in.com/news/mountain-mans-daughterinlaw-dies-as-aamir-khan-fails-to-keep-his-promise/469353-8-66.html