Man Spends 8 Years Carving 400 Stone Steps to Hilltop Temple

An Indian man has gained the admiration of millions of devotees after spending eight years carving over 400 stone steps to a hilltop Hindu temple using only a hammer and chisel.

The Baba Yogeshwar Nath temple in Bihar, Eastern India, was famous among devotees of Lord Shiva, but very difficult to reach because of its location at the top of a steep 1,500-foot hill. Able-bodied people spent hours climbing the hill every day, while the elderly, children and disabled people had virtually no way of reaching it without assistance. Trekking up and down the steep, rocky slopes was risky, and people often injured themselves trying to reach the holy temple. So one day, eight years ago, a local mason decided to make every devotee’s life a little easier by carving stone steps from the bottom of the hill all the way up to the temple.

Ganauri Paswan worked as a truck driver for most of his life, before shifting to masonry. He spent most of his time in the city of Jehanabad earning money for his family back home in Jaru Banwariya, a village at the foot of the hill that many people climbed every day to perform pujas at the Baba Yogeshwar Nath temple. After going up the hill himself one day and seeing what devotees had to go through, Paswan decided that something had to be done, and that he was the man to do it.

Eight years ago, Ganauri Paswan grabbed a hammer and chisel and set about the task of carving an easier path up the 1,500-foot-tall hill. Lacking the funds to have stone brought to the hill, the mason decided to work with whatever stones he found on the hill, and even though it took him a while to make any noticeable progress, after eight hard years, he is close to finishing his stone staircase.

“I don’t know where I got all this patience and energy, it has never felt like a task to me,” Paswan said. “I would happily get lost in the mountain, working all day. I just wanted to make it easier for devotees of Baba Bholenath (Lord Shiva) to reach him easily.”

“I did not care if I lived or died,” the mason added. “I just wanted to carve these stone stairs in any way possible.”

Since 2014, when he first started carving his way up this literal mountain of a challenge, Ganauri Paswan carved over 400 stone steps. In the beginning, he only had the support of his family – his wife and two sons – who sometimes accompanied him, but over the years, he earned the respect and appreciation of thousands of devotees who started using his stairway.


For his impressive achievement, Ganauri Paswan has been compared to Dashrath Manjhi, the “Mountain Man” who carved his way through a mountain and became an international legend.