Patna is an ancient city along the southern bank of the Ganges River in the north-east Indian state of Bihar.It is the capital city and also the largest and most populated city in the state of Bihar.
Patna is a city that is filled with traditions, rich heritage, architectural wonders, religious sites and a Buddhist connection. Here are some of the best attractions of Patna –
- Gandhi Ghat –This is one of the most popular ghats (steps leading down to a river) on the banks of the river Ganges. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi after his death are known to have been immersed here, and hence it is named after him. Another highlight of the place is the magnanimous Ganga Aarti that happens on the banks of Ganga and is attended by thousands of devotees.
- Revolving Restaurant – A unique restaurant that revolves (each revolution takes 45, 60 or 90 minutes); situated atop the tallest tower in Patna, on the 18th floor of Biskoman Bhawan.
- Mahatma Gandhi Setu – This is a bridge over the river Ganges connecting Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north of Bihar; It is one of the longest river bridges in India (having a length of about 5,575 metres).
- Sanjay Gandhi
- Patna Sahib Gurudwara – A Gurudwara (a Sikh religious center/temple) was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in remembrance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji – a spiritual master of Sikhism, who was born in Patna.
- Golghar – A building in the shape of a beehive and got its name due to its round shape (Gol means round in Hindi); It was built in 1786 by Captain John Garstin (of British East India company) and originally served as a storehouse.
- Patan Devi Mandir – A Hindu temple dedicated to Maa Patneshwari; also, one of the oldest temples in Patna city
- Buddha Smriti Udyan – Also known as Buddha Memorial Park, this is a large and beautiful garden/park that also houses a stupa and grounds for meditation; it is also the place where the ashes of Gautama Buddha are known to be kept.
- Kesaria Stupa – Considered to be the tallest and biggest Buddhist Stupa (a dome-shaped shrine building) in the world, this was built by the great Indian ruler Ashoka, who became an ardent follower of Buddhism.
- Mahavir Mandir –This is the second largest religious shrine in North India, and one of the popular temples dedicated to the worship of Lord Hanuman.
- Gandhi Sangrahalaya – A library/gallery dedicated to mahatma Gandhi - this place provides a visual biography of Gandhi's life with the help of pictures of milestones since his childhood to death, including documents, quotes, models and other memorabilia.
Following are some interesting and popular museums to check out in Patna:
- Patna Museum – Established in 1917 by British East India Company. Includes many ancient artefacts related to Patna city, and few other interesting relics such as those of Gautam Buddha’s ashes.
- Jalan Museum – An art museum; this is actually a house which was owned by a family called Jalans (family name), and houses a private collection by RK Jalan, a prominent businessman in the city who enjoyed collecting art pieces from all over the country. This building is also known as the Quila House.
- Folk Art Museum – A museum established in 1963, that displays Patna’s famous Folk Art which includes age-old artefacts like folk instruments, jewellery, terracotta and ceramic objects.
- Patna Planetarium – An astronomic planetarium situated at Indira Gandhi Science Complex in Patna; this is said to be one of the oldest and largest planetariums of Asia.
- Sri Krishna Science – A gallery/museum which was founded in 1978 and has a gallery display showcasing some creative exhibits related tothe concepts of physics, maths and evolution.
Patna’s population consists of a majority of Hindus (more than 85%) and many Buddhists(more than 5%), so most Hindu and Buddhist festivals of India are celebrated here, along with few other festivals,such as:
- Chhath puja – The main festival of Bihari Hindus
- Makar Sankranti – A harvest festival, celebrated in January.
- Buddha Jayanthi – Birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
- Pitrapaksha Mela (Fair)
- Navratri and Dussehra – A 10-day festival where goddess Durga is worshipped, and lots of fairs and rituals are carried out.
- Diwali – The festival of lights (usually celebrated in October/November).
Patna also has an interesting shopping scene. The city is known for its Madhubani paintings, wall hangings, bead jewellery etc, and has many markets and malls, and even pilgrimage sites and temples that offer a wide variety of statues and pictures of Gods and Goddesses, religious books, etc. Here are some of the best shopping spots in Patna city –
- Patna Market
- Hathwa Market
- Maurya Lok
- Khaitan Market
- Patna Central
- Vasundhara Metro Mall
- Patna One Mall
- Gravity Mall
- UFO Mall
- JD Mall
A rapid transit system called Patna Metro is currently under construction for the city of Patna, which will be owned and operated by the Patna Metro Rail Corporation - a state-run federation. The pier work began on Patna Metro's 6.107 km Malahi Pakri - New ISBT section on 28th April 2021.
The food of Patna includes many interesting vegetarian dishes belonging to Bihari cuisine. Here are some popular dishes that are a must-try in Patna:
- Litti – Powdered gram pulses mixed with spices, lemon juice, and coriander leaves, and baked or fried; and usually served with Chokha – a soupy preparation with mashed dal (pulses).
- Dhuska – A deep-fried flattened mixture of powdered rice and ghee, and salt.
- Ghugni – A curry/dish made with soaked black grams (in water), sautéed in mustard oil in a wok, mixed with spices and Chana (chickpea) paste and water to make it gravy-like.
- Pittha – A steamed rice-flour dumpling filled with a cooked chana dal (Bengal gram) mix that can be sweet (with jaggery, cardamom) or savoury (with chillies and other spices).
- Sattu ka Paratha – A stuffed flatbread (with vegetables or pulses) made with baby chickpea flour (high in protein).
Some of the best restaurants in Patna to try the aforementioned dishes and a lot more are:
- Bansi Vihar
- Basant Vihar
- Kapil Dev’s Eleven
- Bell Pepper Restaurant
- Foresto Paradise
- Ankur Restaurant
- Bollywood Treats
- The Soda Fountain
Patna has many good hotels for a comfortable stay. Following are some of the best hotels to stay at in Patna.
- Lemon Tree Premier, Patna
- Hotel Maurya
- Hotel Patliputra Continental
- Hotel The Panache
- The Red Velvet Hotel
- Hotel Executive Holiday
- Hotel Magadh Ganga
- The Grand Empire
- Hotel Amalfi Grand
- Hotel Mani International
- The Pine Hotels
- Hotel Chanakya
Patna’s nightlife is not that scintillating but the city does have some good spots for people looking for lively entertainment or a hangout spot with good food and drinks during late hours, such as:
- Lounge Before Wicket (LBW)
- Cafe Hideout
- Hangout Cafe
- Bara Kothi
Patna city STD Code – 0612 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Child Helpline -1098
- Health Department – 102
- Police – 100
- Fire – 101
- Vigilance (to report corruption) - 2217048
Hindi is the official language of Patna. But, languages like Bhojpuri and Maithili.spoken as well.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad