(degree C) : Summer- Max. 43, Min. 21. Winter - Max. 20, Min. 6.
Cottons, Winter- Heavy Woolens.
Best Season :
October to March.
What to See :
(Kumrahar-Golghar,Har Mandir Takht,Martyrs' memorial
Pathar ki Masjid, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
Patna museum, Jalan museum, Sadaqat Ashram, Maner, Padri ki Haveli
Biological Park, Patna Yoga Vidyalaya,
Quila House (Museum) ,Laxmi Narayan Temple ,Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
Rajendra Mueusm ,Gandhi Museum)
Altitude: 53 metres.
Like Delhi, Patna too had been the regal seat of governance for successive kingdoms since ancient times. And to this day, it is the capital city of the state.
As each ruler ascended in power and established dynastic glory, he gave his capital a new name.
Thus the ancient Kusumpura metamorphosed through Pushpapura, Pataliputra, Azeemabad and now into Patna, a continuous history ranging from 6th century BC to present times - a record claimed by few cities in the world.
It was Ajatshatru the Magadha king who first built a small fort in Pataligram on the bank of the Ganga in 6th century BC, which later blossomed into the ancient glory still to be seen in the neighbouring archaeological sites at Kumrahar. Bhiknapahari, Agamkuan, Bulandi Bagh and Kankar Bagh. Pataliputra dominated the political fortunes of the whole of north India between 6th century BC and 5th century AD, a fact established by archaeological excavations.
After a temporary eclipse, in 16th century Sher Shah Suri returned the city to its former glory and established the present Patna. After the decline of the Mughals, the British too found Patna a convenient regional capital and built a modern extension to this ancient city and called it Bankipore. It was in Gandhi Maidan in this area that Mahatma Gandhi held his prayer meetings.
Treasures of Patna
This huge and impressive beehive-shaped structure was constructed in July 1786 by Captain John Garstin following a terrible famine in 1770, to serve as a state granary. A flight of steps winds round this 29m high building to the top from where one gets a fine view of the river Ganga and Patna city.
It contains metal and stone sculptures of the Maurya and Gupta Periods, terracota figurines and archaeological finds from different sites in Bihar. Among its prized exhibit are Ashes of the Buddha, image of Yakshi (3rd century B. C.), and a 16 metre long fossilized tree.
This shrine consecrates the birthplace of the tenth religious preceptor of the Sikh faith, Guru Gobind Singh. Originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a ruler of Punjab, Harmandirji is one of the holiest Sikh shrines. Standing in the Chowk area of Old Patna, this dome-dhaped structure contains Sikh scriptures and the personal belongings of the guru.
Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
Set up at the turn of the century, the library has a distinguished collection of rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal paintings and oddities like an inch wide Quran. It also contains the only books rescued from the plunder of the University of Cordoba in Spain. It is one of the national libraries of India.
Kumrahar, site of the ancient city of Pataliputra, lies 5 km. from Patna Railway Station on the Kankarbagh Road. Excavations here have revealed relics of four continuous periods from 600 BC to 600 AD. The fifth period begins from 1600 AD.
An important find is the 80-pillared huge hall of the Mauryan dynasty.
Life-size statues in front of the old secretariat compound have been put
up in memory of seven brave young men who faced bullets for the freedom
of the country and sacrificed their lives in August 1942 in the historic
struggle for India's independence during
"Quit India" movement.
Constructed at the site of Sher Shad's fort, it preserves a rich private collection of jade, Chinese paintings and silver filigree work of the Mughal period. The museum can be visited only with prior permission, since it is a private collection.
Pathar Ki Masjid
Situated on the bank of river Ganga, this mosque is known variously as Saif Khan's mosque, Chimni Ghat mosque or Sangi Masjid. It was built by Parwaz Shah, son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, during his tenure as governor of Bihar.
Agam Kuan (Unfathomable well) is one of the most important early historic archaeological remains in Patna. It is situated just close to the Gulzarbagh Railway Station, which is proposed to be associated with the Mauryan Emperor Ashok.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
Biological Park, Bihar Institute of Handicrafts and Designs, Birla Mandir, Nawab Shahid-Ka-Maqbara, Pachim Darwaza and Padri-Ki-Haveli
Some centuries ago it was situated on the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Son, and river Saryu joined it from the north. The remains of an old time fortress on the bank of the channel of the Son reminds one that Maner was a strategic point in ancient times. It appears as if it were the western gate of Patliputra in the Mauryan times. It is famous for its Bari and Choti Dargah, sacred to the memory of the Sufi Saint Hazrat Makhdoom yahya Maneri of the 13th century.
The Tomb of yahya Maneri lies in a mosque to the east of a large tank, with masonry walls and ghats, and pillared porticos, which is connected with the old bed of the Son by a tunnel, 400 feet long. The tomb is situated in an enclosure half filled with graves and ancient tress, on the north and west of which are three domed mosque and some quaint little cloisters build by Ibrahim Khan. It has been from a very early date, a place of pilgrimage being visited among others by Sikandar Lodi an Emperor Babar (1520-30).
It is one of the most popular mausoleum in eastern India for pilgrimages.
Regaining of Lost Glory During Mughal Empire
A little from this place is the historic mosque of Sher Shah where there are numerous tombs, including that of Mustafa Khan Rohilla.
The earliest mosque in Patna is dated 1489 and erected by Alauddin Hussani Shah (one of the Bengal rulers). Locally it is called Begu Hajjam's mosque for the reason it was repaired in 1646 by a barber of this name.
It was in August 1574 when Akbar came to Patna to crush the Afghan Chief, Daud Khan. His successful seige resulted in an enormus booty that included 265 elephants and much to the rejoicing of common people, who enjoyed picking up gold coins and other articles on the river bank, through which Daud had fled to Orissa in the cover of darkness.
Akbar's Secretary of State and author of Aini-Akbari refers to Patna as a flourishing center for paper, stone and glas industries. He also attests to the high quality and the numerous varieties of rice grown in Patna that had gained popularity in Europe.
Much later the Venetian traveller, Manucci was impressed by the fine earthen pottery and the cups of clay made in Patna that were finer then glass, lighter than paper and highly scented.
Shah Jahan as a rebel prince visited Patna together with Queen Mumtaz and their architectural pursuit finds reflection in the shape of a beautiful mosque cum madarsa by the side of the Ganga. It was built by Saif Khan, the Mughal constructions include the Idgah and a seraj that was once rented for months to make it easier for foreign traders. Later, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb acceded to the request of his favourite grandson, Prince Muhamad Azim was a young prince who aspired to make Patna, a second Delhi but his ambition was cut short by the patriachal war. With the decline of Mughal power, Patna slipped into the hands of the Nawabs of Bengal, who maintained its commercial prosperity.
Other Attractions of The City
The first Nawab of Oudh, Saadat Ali Khan lies buried at Patna, some distance from the mainl railway station. The surrounding wall and the screen provided by Safdarjung is hardly traceable. Another monument is the Imambara of Imam Bandi Begum whose tomb was once a beautiful piece of latticed wall.
The Government printing press at Gulzarbagh was the European godown for opium and next to it are the ruins of Panini's ashram. Golghar is Patna's granary built in 1786 by Captain John Garstin following a terible famine in 1770, to serve as a state granary. A flight of steps winds roulnd the 29 metre high building leading to the top from where one gets a fine view of the river Ganga and the city of Patna. It is an imposing landmark from where the distances are calculated in Patna.
Takht Harmandir is one of the sacred Sikh shrines, making the birthplace of the 10th Guru, Govind Singh.
The present five storeyed building was completed in 1957 though it was started by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A little distance from the shrine is Mir Ashrf's mosque dating back to 1773 and admired for its beautiful tank just outside the mosque. A unique and Patna's only single domed mosque built during Shah Jehan's period can be seen around the Mangal Talao. Mirza Masoom's mosque, built in 1616 is appreciated for its beautiful black baslt door that possible belonged to a Buddhist shrine as evident from its rich carving.
A decade later was erected Pathar Ki Masjid by Perves, the elder and Paschmi Darwaza.
The Eastern gate is provided with a temple dedicated to Patan Devi the presiding deity of the city)while the Western gate is graced by the Chhoti Patan Devi temple. The temples have been newly constructed and the images are said to have been provided by Raja Mann Sing, the Mughal Governor during the times of Akbar.
Other places of interest in Patna include the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library, famous for its rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts, rich paintings and numerous volumes of rare books. Likewise the Patna Mauryan period and other archaeological finds. Among the stone sculpture special reference may be made of the famous Chouri bearer of the Mauryan period, popularly called Didarganj Yakshi.
Another captivating image is that of Shalabhanjika (late Maurya Sunga period ) in her full youthful posture, twisting the branches of the Sala tree. One of the museum's prized exhibit is the 16 metre long fossilized tree and another priceless object that has just been included in the display section are the ashes of Lord Buddha. Seven life sized statues in front of the Old Secretariat revive the memory of brave young men who sacrificed their lives in August 1942 in the historic struggle for independence. Sadaqat Ashram is another landmark which later became the retreat of Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
The Best Time to Visit Patna
is between October and March perferably the festive occasion of Chaath (a week after deepavali ) or during the cattle fair at Sonepur which is not very far from Patna.
How to get there
Air : I.A flights connect Patna with Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Lucknow, Ranchi.
Rail : Patna is connected by rail to Bombay, Calcutta, Guwahati, Ranchi, Varanasi.
Road : By road Patna to Nalanda-90 km, Rajgir-102 km, Pawapuri-90 km, Gaya-172 km
Bodhgaya-179 km, Raxaul-210 km, Ranchi-335 km, Muzzafarpur-72 km, Sasaram- 152 km, Vaishali-56 km, Calcutta-653 km, Delhi-997 km.
Bus: Regular direct bus services connect Patna to Calcutta, Rajgir, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Vaishali, Gaya-Bodhgaya, Ranchi, Raxaul, Muzzafarpur, Sasaram.
Local Transport: Auto Rickshaw, Cycle Rickshaw, Tonga, Bus and Unmetered Taxi.