Originally Known as : Pataliputra.
Best Time To Visit : October To March.
Languages : Bhojpuri, Maithili, Hindi and English.
THE PRE-EMINENT CITY - PATNA
Patna, the capital city of Bihar, is a historical city, which has like Delhi, experienced the trauma and pain of being conquered. The heritage of Patna or Pataliputra as it was known, goes back to two millennia. This city was the seat of administration for many rulers and each of them ascended with a new name for their capital.
Kusumpura became Pushpapura, Patliputra, Azeemabad and now Patna. Pataliputra was the capital of Magadha, a kingdom, which dominated and influenced the politics of India for a long time. Located on the banks where rivers Sone and Ganga merge, this city has witnessed the rules of Chanakya, Chandragupta, Ashoka and the Nanda rulers.
PRIME SITES IN PATNA
Situated on the banks of river Ganga, Sadakat Ashram is a memorial, dedicated to our first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He had spent few years here, after vacating the presidential post. In the memorial, are kept many things, which Rajendra Babu used or were gifted to him. This is also the headquarters of Bihar Vidyapeeth, which was the organisation that started the Independence movement in Bihar.
The tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh was born at Patna Sahib. Maharaja Ranjit Singh built a beautiful Gurudwara, which is also known as Patna Sahib. It is one of the main pilgrim places for the Sikhs.
A very peculiar and interesting structure in the centre of the city. It is said that the structure was built some 200 years ago by the Britishers to store grains. The 150 ft high building appears like one half of a coconut and has got stairs to reach the top. From the top one can get a good view of Patna.
The Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden:
Situated on the famous Baily road, the botanical garden has numerous Birds and animals to be seen. This Zoo attracts children a lot. It has also got an artificial lake where boating can be enjoyed. A wooden house built on a tree attracts visitors too.
Established in 1917, it is the oldest museum in Bihar. The museum houses about 57,000 items of archeological importance. It also has a collection of 22,000 old coins. The museum unfolds a long history of the region. The museum is located in Dedarganj. The sculpture of a Yakshni is a special attraction for visitors.
One of the largest planetariums in Asia, the Patna Planetarium attracts a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists. The planetarium has regular film shows on subjects related to astronomy. It also holds exhibitions, which attracts lots of visitors.
Khuda Baksh Library:
Known as the 'world of manuscripts' in India, the library treasures thousands of Arabic, Persian, Mughal and Rajputana style paintings and manuscripts.
Stone Mosque: This mosque was built in 1621 by Parvezshah, son Emperor Jahangir. Also known as 'Sanji Masjid', the structure is a marvel of architecture.
Agam Kuan: It said that this well was made by Ashoka. Once many motors were put to empty the well but even after days, the well could not be dried so it was presumed that the well has endless source of water.
Six kms from the railway station, it was at this place that the remains of Pataliputra were found during excavation. The place is very scenic and is surrounded by greenery.
EXCURSION FROM PATNA
The fabulous Dargah- the Sufi mausoleum, on the road to Varanasi is the prime attraction on the outskirts of Bihar.
The Sonepur Cattle Festival:
25 km north of Patna, at the confluence of rivers Gandak and Ganges, an enormous month-long cattle fair is held, across the huge Gandhi Bridge. All kinds of cattle, elephants, camels, parakeets and other animals are sold and bought and it is the biggest such fair in the whole of Asia.
TRAVEL INFORMATION ON PATNA
HOW TO GET THERE
Patna has got an Airport of its own with all the major Airlines having air services to and fro from the place.
Patna is well connected by trains from all over the country. Superfast and mail trains are available from Patna to other cities in India.
This place is also well connected by roads. Bus services are available for places within the state as well as to other states.
WHERE TO STAY IN PATNA
Hotel Maurya Patna, Fraser Road, South Gandhi Maidan,Tel. # 0612-222061.
Hotel Chanakya, Beer Chand Patel Marg, Tel. # 0612-223141.
Hotel Samrat International, Fraser Road, Tel. # 0612-220560.
Hotel Amrapali, a Bihar Tourism Hotel.
There are numerous lodges amd dharamshalas that offer reasonable accommodation to suit shoe-string budgets.
SHOPPING IN PATNA
As such Patna does not have any special item to offer but the markets are good for shopping. Shops offer local handicrafts from all over Bihar. One can buy decorative pieces made out of stone and 'lac'. Jewellery made of beads is quite popular. One can also buy 'Tilcoot'- a sweet.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information Centre, Patna Tel: 225295
Tourist Information Centre- Indian Airlines, Tel: 223199
Foreign Exchange: State Bank Of India, West Gandhi Maidan, Tel. # 0612-226134. GPO: Buddha Marg.
Climate: Moderate with cold winters and hot summers.
Altitude: 53 metres.
Rainfall: 120 cms.
Clothing: Summer: cottons. Winter: woollens.
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