Patna

Famous For: Kumrahar, Golghar, Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Gandhi Ghat, Patna Museum, Agam Kuan, Chhoti Dargah, Jalan Museum, Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden, Sri Krishna Science Centre, Patna Planetarium, Khuda Baksh National Library, Nalanda University, Buddha Smriti Park, Mahavir Mandir, Jalmandir Temple, Sun Temple, Begu Hajjam’s Mosque, Jain Temple Of Pawapuri, etc.

Major Attractions: Above all of the places are very interesting and enjoyable. But yet Golghar, Mahavir Mandir, Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Jalan Museum, Patna Museum, Nalanda University, Gandhi Ghat, Chhoti Dargah, Jain Temple of Pawapuri, Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden are one of them.

Ideal Visit Time: 4-5 days. Winter (October-March) is the best time to visit Patna. Summers are extremely hot and sightseeing and activities won’t be possible. Even the monsoons should be avoided as it is quite hot and humid out there. A great time to visit Patna is during the Chhatth Festival which is only celebrated by Biharis. It occurs on the 7th day after Diwali and is a festival to pray to the Sun God. This festival is celebrated throughout the state with high enthusiasm and the celebrations are worth seeing and experiencing.

About Patna

Patna is the capital city of Bihar, the eastern state of India. It is also the second largest city in eastern India (after Kolkata). As per 2011 census, the population of Patna metropolitan area is 2,046,652. It is the 19th largest metropolis in India. On the other hand the population of the municipality of Patna is 1,683,200. It is the 18th largest municipality in India. The Patna High Court is located in this city. The modern Patna city is located on the southern bank of the Ganges. The Son, Gandak and Punpun rivers also flow along this city. The city is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) in length and about 16 to 18 kilometers (9.9 to 11.2 miles) in width. On June 27, the World Bank awarded Patna the second place in India (after Delhi) as a suitable place to start a business. In 490 BC, the king of Magadha established the city of Pataliputra, the ancient Patna, one of the oldest cities in the world. Ancient Patna The city of ‘Patliputra’ was the capital of the Magadha Empire under Haryank, Nanda, Maurya, Shunga, Gupta and Pala dynasties and an ancient center of education and art. Let’s talk about some interesting places of Patna-

Golghar

Golghar, the undisputed architectural landmark of Patna, evokes marvel and a lot of curiosity. This unique domed structure to the west of the Gandhi Maidan was built by Captain John Garstin in 1786, as a granary for the British Army. The engineer was probably inspired by Stupa architecture and surprisingly made no use of pillars to support its 29m of height and 125m diameter. Climbing the spiral staircase around the Golghar, once used for loading and unloading, promises wonderful panoramic views of the city and the Ganges River. The Golghar was built on the banks of the Ganga in 1786, east of the Gandhi Maidan, in 1786, for the purpose of preserving music for the army in the horror of Manbantar in the 1770s. It can store 140000 tonnes of food grains. Fancy architecture, 145 steps up the arched staircase, it is nice to see the city of Patna. See its Whispering Gallery and the Gandhi Museum in contrast. Take a look at the lights and sound show at Golghar premises in the evening.

Golghar
Golghar

Mahavir Mandir

Long winding queues can be seen at the temple on Saturdays and Tuesdays, the traditional worshiping days of Lord Hanuman. Thousands of people visit Mahavir Mandir on every Ram Navami and New Year celebration. On every Ram Navami waiting queues grow up to some kilometer long. Just outside Patna Junction, Mahavir Mandir, also known as Hanuman mandir is many visitor’s first taste of religious culture in Bihar. It was once a nondescript little structure and gained popularity with incoming Hindu refugees following the partition of India in the forties. The present structure was erected in 1987 with a distinct modernist take on traditional motifs. Architecture however is not the measure of its greatness as much as the devotion it attracts. Winding queues of faithful on Saturdays and Tuesdays, the worshiping days of Lord Hanuman are a sight not worth missing.

Mahavir Mandir
Mahavir Mandir

Takht Sri Patna Sahib

Sri Harmandir Sahib or Patna Sahib was established at the birth place of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in Patna Jhauganj. Its place immediately after the Golden Temple. Architecture is also beautiful. The footwear, rock and other memorials of Guru Gobind Singh. Navigating through the narrow streets and congested traffic of Patna’s city center, you’ll eventually reach this stately 18th century meditative palace of white marble on the banks of the Ganges, welcoming pilgrims and secular visitors alike. If a couple hours of serenity aren’t enough, visitors are invited to stay the night, as is the custom with Sikh temples, in an adjacent housing complex.

Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Takht Sri Patna Sahib

Patna Museum

Made in Mercury, Mughal and Rajput style. See the world’s largest (17m) tree-fossil. It is rich in Mauryan, Gupta and Kushan-era architecture, various statues, terracotta, coins, bronze and miniature paintings. Various collections of Bodhgaya and Nalanda have also been seen. Purposely built in 1917 by the British following an eclectic style incorporating elements. Patna Museum houses a collection of over 20,000 historical and archaeological artifacts discovered in the vicinity of the city. The grand building is worth a visit in its own right. The real treasures of the collection, however, include a fossil of a tree said to date more than 200 million years, a casket excavated from the Stupa of Vaishali allegedly containing the ashes of Gautama Buddha and the museum’s most prized artifact.

Patna Museum
Patna Museum

Jalan Museum

Jalan Museum is one of the private museums in Patna. Jalan Museum, was constructed in English and Dutch style of architecture near the banks of the Ganga. The extraordinary home to Bihar’s ancient heritage, this museum was established by Diwan Bahadur Radha Krishna Jalan who also took care of the exhibits. Captivated by the beauty of the place, Jalan acquired a part of the Quila Fort in order to set up the museum. The edifice was damaged in an earthquake but later it was transformed into a museum. It’s a gem of a place, overflowing with objects d’art and antiques acquired by Radha Krishna Jalan. The collection includes elaborate Mughal-period silverware, Sèvres porcelain once belonging to Marie Antoinette, and the wooden bed of Napoleon-III. Full of surprises round every turn, it is well worth the time to call 48 hours ahead and make an appointment. Since the house is not a public institution, this is the only way to secure a visit.

Jalan Museum
Jalan Museum

Gandhi Ghat

Gandhi Ghat is one of the main ghats on the Ganga River in Patna. It is named after the leader of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi. The ghat is famous for its Evening Ganga Aarti. It is also associated with the immersion of ashes of Mahatma Gandhi in the river Ganga. Ganga Aarti on Gandhi Ghat is performed with 51 lamps, by a group of priests, dressed in saffron robes. The Aarti starts with the blowing of a conch shell and continues with the movement of incense sticks in elaborate patterns and circling of large burning lamps that create a bright hue against the darkened sky. Ganga Vihar is a River Cruise ship with restaurant on-board also known as the floating restaurant. It runs Sunset Cruise and Leisure Cruise/Corporate Cruise with boarding for tourists from the ghat. Another vessel MV Kautilya was added in 2016 which is a cruise boat for tourist rides on Ganga river from Gandhi Ghat. Couples hang out here occasionally, kids play and bathe and if you look vaguely like a tourist you’ll be offered a short boat ride after negotiating the price.

Gandhi Ghat
Gandhi Ghat

Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden

Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan (also known as Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and Zoological Garden or Patna Zoo) is located off Bailey Road in Patna, Bihar, India. The park was opened to the public as a zoo in 1973. The park is Patna’s most frequented picnic spot. Since 1973, this park has been a biological park, combining a botanical garden with a zoo. The land acquired from the Public Works Department and the Revenue Department was declared protected forest by the state government on 8 March 1983.

The zoo is currently home to over 800 animals of about 110 species, including tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, hippopotamus, crocodile, elephants, Himalayan black bear, jackal, black bucks, spotted deer, peafowl, hill myna, gharial, python, Indian rhinoceros, chimpanzee, giraffe, zebra, emu, and white peacock.

Having started as a botanical garden, the park currently houses more than 300 species of trees, herbs and shrubs. Plant exhibits include a nursery for medicinal plants, an orchid house, a fern house, a glass house and a rose garden.

The park also includes an aquarium which is the largest revenue generator after the general admission fee. The aquarium has about 35 species of fish, and the snake house has 32 snakes belonging to 5 species.

Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden
Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden

Jain Temple Of Pawanpuri

Despite being one of the oldest of the ancient Indian religions, Jainism remains shrouded in obscurity to many visitors. Pawapuri or the sinless city is a major pilgrimage spot for Jains from all over the country. Here, they believe all sins are absolved. Lord Mahavira, founder of Jainism, breathed his last at this place around 500BCE. A beautiful marble temple, the Jalmandir, was later built at the center of a large water body.

Jain Temple Of Pawanpuri
Jain Temple Of Pawanpuri

Begu Hajjam’s Mosque

Begu Hajjam Mosque is on the eastern end of Khajekalan Ghat. It was constructed under the Husain dynasty, under the orders of Alauddin Hussain Shah in 1489. The mosque has been named after its renovator Begu Hajjam, who renovated it in the year 1645. The mosque is one of the oldest in the country. The mosque is built using glazed tiles and features a unique architectural style that was prevalent during the Gaur rule. The intricate carvings on the doorway and gaur glazed tile work adds a unique appeal to the mosque typical of the grand architecture of that era. One can spot an inscription affixed in the entrance that record details of its construction. The holy place attracts hordes of visitors throughout the year, but it is during the season of Ramadan that this place turns into a sea of celebration.

Begu Hajjam's Mosque
Begu Hajjam’s Mosque

How To Reach

By Road: The district of Patna is well served by the good conditions of roads. National Highway No.31 passes through Danapur, Patna and Patna City. While one branch goes to Barauni via Barh & another proceeds to Nawada via Bihar. All the sub-divisional headquarters of the district are situated on this National Highway which provides the road link between North and South Bihar. Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Ranchi, Siliguri are conveniently located by road to Patna. Intra-city road transportation is also good in Patna.

By Train: The main line of the East Central Railway passes through the entire length of the district running parallel to the Ganga. There are three railway lines running across the district from north to south. The Patna-Gaya Branch line the Fatwah-Islampur Light Railway and the Bakhtiarpur-Rajgir Branch line. Patna Junction is the principal railway station which is located in the town and links all the key cities of India through the network of express and super fast trains. The various cities connected with Patna are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Varanasi, Amritsar, Bangalore, Lucknow and Chennai.

By Air: Patna has excellent air connection to many important Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata. Several Airlines serve this airport with regular flights. Patna Airport is known as Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport. It is named after “Lok Nayak” Jayaprakash Narayan, an Indian independence activist and political leader.