Patna is the capital of Bihar located in the eastern part of India in the southern back of the River Ganges. In olden days it was called as Pataliputra and served as the seat of learning and fine arts during the rule of Mauryas. It was ranked as the 21st in the world and 5th in India as the fastest growing city. It was also called as Pushpapur and Kusumpur in ancient times. It was said that this city was founded by Udayana the son of Ajatashatru. Those who are taking land route to Nepal will find it convenient to go through Patna.


Historical Details About Patna


It is said that the name Patna originated from the name of the Goddess Patan Devi. The Greek traveler Megasthenes referred it as Palibothra. The Chinese traveler Fa Hien refers this place as Pa lin fou. The city has a history of three million years and was first mentioned in the Jain and Buddhist scriptures of 2500 years ago. It is said that Buddha made a halt here before heading to his native land Kapilavastu.


Patna served as the capital city of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka. The Greek historian Megasthanes had described this as the greatest city on earth. After Mauryan Empire, Gupta Empire and Pala kings ruled over this place. In 12th century AD during the rule of Bakhtiar Khilji, it lost its importance. In the middle of 16th century, Sher Shah Suri revived Patna. Abul Fazl one of the courtiers of Akbar mentions about Patna in his book Ain I Akbari as a centre of stone, glass and paper industries.


Mughal emperor Aurangazeb renamed Patna as Azimabad after his grandson Prince Muhammed Azim. After the fall of Mughals, the city went into the hands of the Nawab of Bengal. It became a trading centre of saltpeter during the British rule. After the Battle of Buxar in 1964 it came under the rule of the East India Company. In 1912 it was made as the capital of the provinces of Orissa and Bihar.


Geography and Climate of Patna


Patna is located on the southern bank of the River Ganges. Four other rivers namely Ghaghara, Gandak, Punpun and Sone join Ganges near Patna. The longest river bridge in India was built here with a length of 5575 meters and is called as Mahatma Gandhi Setu. The city has a humid subtropical climate. The summers are hot and the temperature rises to as much as 46 degree Celsius and the temperature drops to as much as 3 degree Celsius in winter.


The average rainfall is 120 cm. It is located at an altitude of 53 meters above mean sea level. The best time to visit the city is from October to March. The total area of the city is 209.218 square kilometer. Some of the important areas of Patna are Pataupura Colony, Mainpur, Bans Ghat, Kanthai Ghat, Khwaja Ghat, Makhdhumpur, Ashiana Nagar, Patrakar Nagar, Nauratanpur, Hanuman Nagar, Kankarbagh, Nandlal Chhapra, Jaganpura, Chainpur, Pathar Ghat, Vigraharpur, Sadhanpuri, etc.


People and Culture


According to the 2011 census, Patna has a population of 5,772,804 people with a density of 1803 people per square kilometer. There are 892 females for every 1000 males. The literacy rate of the city is 72.47%. The male literacy rate is 80.28% and the female literacy rate is 63.72%. The official languages of the place are Hindi, Magadhi, Maithali, Bhojpuri, English, Angika and Bajjika. The people of Patna belong to one of the four natives, Bhojpur, Mithila, Vajj and Anga. Families are usually large and joint family system is seen in many places.


The festivals of all the religions are celebrated here. Sonepur Mela starts on the day of Karthik Purnima in November and this cattle fair attracts people from all over India and world. Cows, horses, camels and elephants are sold here. Kite festival is celebrated on 14th January every year during which colorful kites are flown in all sizes. Pitrapaksha Mela is held in the month of September during which pindadaan is offered to the deceased. Chhath and Ram Navami are other festivals celebrated grandly in Patna.


Khichdi is the famous food item here. It is served with curd, pickles, papads and chutney varieties. Chokha made with boiled and smashed potatoes is relished by people. Rice, rotis, lentils and vegetables are the staple food. The sweets famous here are Khaja, Ladoo, Kala Jamun, Khubi Ka Lai, Kesaria Peda, Chena Murki and Poori.


Imroz e Hind, Hindustan Times, Times of India, The Hindu and Patna Daily are some of the newspapers published here. The second largest cricket stadium in India Moin Ul Haq stadium is located in Patna. Rainbow Field is the indoor stadium in Patna and the Patna Gold Club spreads over 165 acres gold course.


The national leaders from Patna are Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Basawon Singh, Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, Sheel Badra Yajee, Sri Krishna Sinha and Sarangdhar Sinha.


Economical and Educational Details of Patna


Agriculture is one of the main sources of income of the city. The important crops are grains, sugarcane, sesame and rice. There are many sugar mills located in the city. The consumer goods industries, the service sectors and the financial sectors contribute to the economy of the place. The per capita income of Bihar being the lowest in India with Rs. 57772 while in Patnait was Rs. 37,737 in 2010 higher than the Indian average of Rs. 22,946. The economy is growing at an average rate of 3.72% per year. The pulses, shoes, scooter, cotton yarn and the electrical goods are the major products and exports of the region. Fishing industry thrives well with a good spawn of rehu, hilsa and catla fish.


The oldest modern university Patna University is located here. Prince of Wales Medical College was established in 1925 which was later renamed as the Patna Medical College. The Central University of Bihar and Aryabhatta Knowledge University are located here. The rich Khuda Baksh Oriental Library with rare manuscripts is also located in Patna.


The schools in Patna are both run by the government and by the private institutions and they follow one of the various patterns like Bihar Board, ICSE, CBSE and NIOS. Some of the schools in Patna are Radiant International School, Delhi Public School, St. Dominic Savio’s High School, Shivam International School, St Anne’s High School, Himalayan International School, Loyola High School, Vidhya Niketan Girls High School, etc.


Some of the educational institutions offering higher education are Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chandragupta Institute of Management, Chanakya National Law University, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna Women’s College, L N Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change, etc.


Infrastructure of Patna


The parks and gardens in Patna include Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Park, Kumhrar Park, Buddha Smriti Park, Manju Devi Park, Eco Park, etc. Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Park is also called as Patna Zoo and was established in 1969 over 30 acres of land. There are 800 animals here including tiger, black bear, white peacock and black bucks. There is a small aquarium and snake house here. Kumhrar Park has archaeological ruins of the city. The lush green vegetation of the Manju Devi Park is attractive. Other parks in Patna are Children’s park in Gandhi Maidhan, Shri Krishnapuri Park of Kidwaipuri, Rajdhani Vatika Smriti Park of Kankarbagh, etc.


Some of the hospitals in Patna are Dr. S. K. Sinha Memorial Hospital, Jai Prabha Hospital, Harsh Hospital, Magadh Hospital, Satyam Hospital, Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Jagdish Memorial Hospital, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, Bihar Heart Hospital, Maa Hospital and Research Centre, Patna Bone and Spine Hospital, Osho Dhara Mother and Child Hospital, Akshat Seva Sadan, Alam Hospital, etc.


Some of the eat outs in Patna are Basant Vihar, Domino’s, Kapil’s Eleven, Kaveri, Mayfair, Soda Fountain, Roti, Moti Mahal, Payal Restaurant, Yo! China, Club City, Smokin Joes, Bansi Vihar, Cloud 9, Mirch Masala, China Garden, Cream Centre, Subway, etc.


Some of the hotels to stay in Patna are Hotel Ashoka, Hotel Maurya, Hotel Chanakya, Hotel Akash, Hotel Anand Regency, Hotel Clark Inn, Hotel Marina, Hotel Magadh, Hotel President, Mamta Regency, Maharaja Inn, Hotel Adarsh, Hotel Kautilya Vihar, Hotel Republic, Hotel Windsor, etc.


The cinema halls in Patna are Mona Multiplex, Ashok Cinema Hall, Elphiston Cinema Hall, Regent Cinema Hall, Veena Cinema, Uma Cinema, Chanakya Cinema, Vaishali Cinema, etc.


Some of the temples in Patna are Patliputra Teerth, Bari Patan Devi Temple, Choti Patan Devi Temple, Har Mandir Saheb, Mahavir Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, ISKCON Temple, Dwarika Mandir, Shiv Mandir, etc.


Details About Patna Transport


Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport is situated in Patna. It is a domestic airport that connects the city with the other major cities of India namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ranchi and Lucknow. The various air transport services Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Light, Kingfisher Airlines, Indigo Airlines and GoAir operate from here. It ranks first in the percentage of growth of the domestic passengers among 46 airports of India.


Patna is connected well with other cities of India through train. There are five major railway stations in Patna namely Patna Junction, Rajendranagar Terminal, Gulzarbag, Danapur Junction and Patna Sahib. The construction of the longest road and rail bridge in India was started in 2009 to connect Patna and Pahleja Ghat. Two metro routes one from Dak Bungalow Square to Saguna Morh and another from Danapur to Patna City have been sanctioned by the Planning Commission of India. Also the ground survey and soil testing have been conducted for the Patna Monorail project.


The national highways NH 19, NH 30, NH 31 and NH 83 pass through the city. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation and Bihar State Road Transport Corporation run regular buses to all major cities. The interstate bus terminus is located at Bankipore and Mithapur. The National Waterway No 1 is located in Patna with a route of 1,620 kilometers from Haldia on the Bay of Bengal to Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.


Places of Interest in Patna


Takht Sri Patna Sahib is the birthplace of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. Apart from this there are five Gurudwaras in Patna namely Gurdwara Pahila Bara, Gurdwara Gobind Ghat, Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh, Gurdwara Bal Leela and Gurudwara Handi Sahib.


Golghar: This is a bee hive shaped round house built in 1986 by Captain John Garstin of Bengal Engineers. The base is 125 m wide and has 3.6 meters thick wall. This is a granary built for the British army.


Saif Khan Mosque: Prince Parvez, the son of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir built this in 1621 and is also called as Pathar Ki Masjid or Chimni Ghat.


Harmandir Sahib Temple: Maharaja Ranjit Singh built this marble temple in the place where the Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666. It is also called as Patna Sahib.


Jalan Museum: One has to get special permission to visit this museum that was built over the ruins of the Sher Shah Suri’s fort. It houses the Chinese paintings and the filigree work of Mughal era.


Patna Museum: There is a 15 meter long fossil tree here and houses many bronze images and antique products of China and Tibet. Coins, terracotta and metal sculptures, relics of the Gupta and Maurya period are seen here.


Kumrahar: This contains the excavations of the ruins dating back to 600 BC to 600 AD.


Khuda Baksh Oriental Library: It has a rich collection of books and some rare manuscripts of Persian and Arabic language. It was started in 1900.


Sadaquat Ashram: It has the personal belongings of Dr. Rajendra Prasad the first President of independent India.


Martyrs’ Memorial: This was established in the memory of the seven Indian freedom fighters that lost their lives in the Quit India movement in August 1942.


Sher Shah Suri Masjid: This was built in 1545 by Sher Shah Suri in the Afghan architectural style.


Other places of interest are Agam Kuan, Patna Zoo, Mahavir Mandir, Gandhi Maidhan and Gandhi Museum, Padri Ki Haveli, Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Vaishali Stupa, Revolving Restaurant, Patna Planetarium, Maner Sufi Saint Shrine, etc.


These details about Patna will create an interest among people to visit this historical city.

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Suhaina Mazhar is a freelance content writer and blogger with five years experience in content writing. is her blog.

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