- Imperial city of Patna sprawling on the banks of the sacred river Ganga is among the world’s oldest capital cities with a continuous history of over two millennia.
- It remained the seat of power of many dynasties and was known by different names like, Kusumpura, Pushpapura, Pataliputra and Azeemabad.
- Ajatshatru, the Magadha king first built a small fort in Pataligram, on the banks of the Ganga in 6th century BC.
- Pataliputra, one of the greatest cities of Asia dominated the political fortunes of the whole of north India between 6th century B.C. and 5th century A.D.
- City regained its lost glory in 16th century, under the Afghan king Sher Shah Suri, who is said to have established the present day Patna.
- With the decline of the Mughal power, the region fell into the hands of British, who made Patna a regional capital and built a modern extension to this ancient city known as Bankipore.
- Today, Patna is a fine blend of ancient traditions and modernity and is an important business centre in eastern India.
- It is also the gateway to the Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Vaishali, Rajgir and Pawapuri.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport, Patna (PAT), 17 kms away from Patna city centre.
- Rail: Patna Railway Station, Patna, 25 kms away from Patna city centre.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
FORT & MONUMENTS
Har Mandir Takht Pathar Ki Masjid Sher Shah Suri Masjid Ara Maner
PARK & GARDEN
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Patna Museum Khuda Baksh Oriental Library Jalan Museum, Qila House Modern Planetarium
Martyr’s Memorial Agam Kuan or the Unfathomable well Kumhrar
Sadaqat Ashram Gandhi Setu
ATTRACTIONS OF PATNA
- Huge beehive shaped granary is the ‘icon’ of Patna and was built in 1786, by Captain John Garstin for the British army after the famine of 1770.
- Massive structure is 125 metres wide at the base and gradually tapers up to a height of 29 metres.
- Its walls are 3.6 metres wide at the base and have two external stairways that spiral upwards around the monument.
- Top of the dome affords a fine view of the city and the river Ganga flowing nearby.
- Martyr’s Memorial:
- Commemorates the seven freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives during the Quit India Movement of August 1942.
- Har Mandir Takht:
- Sacred Sikh shrine (Gurudwara) is regarded as one of the five ‘Akal Takhts’ of Sikhism.
- Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born here in 1660.
- Original structure was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab.
- Patna Museum:
- Exhibits splendid metal and stone sculptures dating back to the Maurya and Gupta periods as well as archaeological finds recovered from Nalanda.
- Pathar Ki Masjid:
- Beautiful mosque near Har Mandir Takht was built by Parwez Shah, the son of Mughal emperor Jehangir.
- Khuda Baksh Oriental Library:
- Magnificent library was established in 1900 and is one of the national libraries in India.
- It has excellent one man collection of rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal paintings, 25 mm wide Koran and books from the Moorish University of Cordoba, Spain.
- Jalan Museum, Qila House:
- It was built on the foundations of Sher Shah Suri’s fort and houses an impressive private collection of antiques.
- Sher Shah Suri Masjid:
- It was built in 1545, by Sher Shah Suri in the Afghan architectural style.
- Sadaqat Ashram:
- It is the headquarters of Bihar Vidyapeeth, a national university.
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, resided here after his retirement.
- A small museum here exhibits some of his personal belongings.
- Agam Kuan or the Unfathomable well:
- Important archaeological relic is believed to be associated with Mauryan emperor Ashoka, the great.
- Gandhi Setu:
- 7.5 kms long bridge over river Ganga is one of the longest roadway bridge in the world.
- Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park:
- It was established in 1969 and is now one of the 16 largest zoos in the country, housing more than 70 species of animals.
- Modern Planetarium:
- Excellent planetarium at India Gandhi Science Complex is one of the most important attractions of Patna.
- Archaeological site has relics of Patliputra, the glorious capital of Ajatasatru, Chandragupta and Ashoka.
- Excavations have revealed the rich historical legacy of Patna, dating between 600 BC to 600 AD.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND PATNA
- 55 kms away from Patna city.
- This home of ancient Jain temples is well known as the ‘Jain City’.
- 30 kms away from Patna city.
- Beautiful site is well known for the Dargah of the 13th century sufi saint Hazrat Makhdoom Yahiya Maneri.
- Tomb of his disciple is located nearby.
- A large number of devotes visit the shrine during the annual Urs celebrations.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS OF PATNA
- Chhath Festival:
- One of the most important festivals of Bihar and a good harvest of paddy is celebrated during October/ November.
- Offerings are made to Sun God and a day long fast is observed as thanksgiving to the Lord of Crop and the creator of the seasons.
- Devotees walk barefoot in the penance to the venue of the colourful celebrations.
- Illuminated earthen lamps floating down the river at evening time is a visual spectacle.
- Sonepur Mela:
- Cattle fair held at Sonepur, about 22 kms from Patna during the Kartik Purnima (October/ November), is one of the largest in Asia.
- Fair lasts for a fortnight and all kinds of domestic and farm animals are bought and sold during this time.