fertile, arched stretch of land along the bank of the Ganga, the history
and cultural heritage of modern day Patna, go back well over two
millennia. Like Delhi, Patna too had been the regal seat of governance for
successive kingdoms, since ancient times. With every significant change in
the ancient political scenario, the city was renamed. Thus, Kusumpura
metamorphosed through Pushpapura, Pataliputra, Azeemabad into the present
day Patna. Patna is the capital of the state of Bihar.
Places to see
Archaeological findings in this area establish Patna's claim to over a
thousand years of political glory - 600 BC to 600 AD. Very little of this
grandeur remains though, except for the remains of a huge Mauryan hall
supported by 80 sandstone pillars dating back to 300 BC.
Alarmed by the famine of
1770, captain John Garstin built this huge granary for the British army,
in 1786. The massive structure is 29 m high and the walls are 3.6 m wide
at the base. The winding stairway around this monument offers a brilliant
panoramic view of the city and the Ganga flowing by.
Har Mandir Takht
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born in 1660, in Patna.
The Har Mandir Takht, one of the four sacred shrines of the Sikhs, stands
at this holy site. The original temple was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh,
and contains belongings of the Guru and Sikh holy texts.
A memorial to seven freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in the
Quit India Movement of August 1942, the Martyr's Memorial is a modern
sculpture facing the Secretariat, where they were shot in their attempt to
hoist the national flag.
Pathar ki Masjid
Adjacent to Har Mandir Sahib, on the bank of the Ganga, is this
beautiful mosque built by Parwez Shah, son of Jehangir, when he was the
governor of Bihar.
Sher Shah Suri Masjid
Sher Shah Suri built this mosque in 1545 to commemorate his
reign. Built in the Afghan architectural style, it is one of the many
beautiful mosques in Bihar, and one of the impressive landmarks of Patna.
Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
A magnificent one man collection of rare Arabic and Persian
manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal paintings and an assortment of old and new
books from the University of Cordoba, Spain, it is one of the national
libraries in India.
The Patna Museum
houses a First World War cannon, metal and stone sculptures of the Mauryan
and Gupta periods, Buddhist sculptures and quaint terracotta figures. A 16
m long fossilised tree is one of its special features.
Built at the old site of Sher Shah's fort, it has an excellent collection
of jade, Chinese paintings, Mughal glass and filigree carvings. It is a
private collection, and prior permission is required for a visit.
The Ashram is the
headquarters of Bihar Vidyapeeth, a national university. India's first
president, Dr. Rajendra Prasad lived here after his retirement, and there
is a small museum here showcasing his personal belongings.
How to get
Patna is airlinked with Calcutta, New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.
Rail: Patna is linked by rail with New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi,
Calcutta and many other major cities.
Road: All - weather motorable roads connect Patna with the rest of
Bihar. There are also regular inter - state bus services.
Where to stay
Hotel Welcomgroup Maurya, Hotel Chanakya, Hotel Republic and Hotel