once called Pataliputra the capital of Bihar, is among the world's
oldest capital cities with unbroken history of many centuries
as imperial metropolis. A very fertile arched stretch of land
along the bank of the Ganga, the history and heritage of modern
day Patna go back well over two millennia. 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.
Turning over the pages of early Indian history one comes across
the name of the pre-eminent city of Pataliputra.
Located at the site where Patna is today, this city saw the rise
and fall of India's first major kingdoms. Its Period of glory
spanned a thousand years, from 6th century B.C. to 5th century
A.D. Ajastshatru, second in the line of Magadh Kings, built a
fort at Pataligram on the bank of river Ganga. This later became
famous mauryan metropolis of Pataliputra and was ruled by Chandragupta
Maurya (a contemporary of Alexander) and his grandson Ashok, acclaimed
for the spread of Buddism. Other emperors who ruled from Pataliputra
were the Gupta and Pala Kings, Shershah Suri (16th Century) and
Azimush-Shan (18th Century) grandson of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb,
who renamed it Azeemabad. Vestiges of this ancient city can be
seen at Kumhrar, Bhikhnapahari, Agamkuan, Bulandi Bag etc.
Patna, the capital of the State of Bihar, is an important business
centre of eastern India. More significantly, it is a gateway to
the Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda,
Bodhgaya and Pawapuri.
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
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.
Baksh Oriental Library :
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.
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.
PLACES OF INTEREST
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.
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).
is one of the most popular mausoleum in eastern India for pilgrimages.
Temperature (degree C): Summer- Max. 43, Min. 21. Winter
- Max. 20, Min. 6.
Rainfall: 120 cms.
Clothing: Summer- Cottons, Winter- Heavy Woolens.
Best Season: October to March.
By Air: Connected with Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Lucknow,
By Rail: Connected to Bombay, Calcutta, Guwahati, Ranchi,
By Road: Nalanda- 90 kms, Rajgir- 102 kms, Pawapuri- 90
kms, Gaya- 172 kms, Bodhgaya- 179 kms, Raxaul- 210 kms, Ranchi-
335 kms, Muzzafarpur- 72 kms, Sasaram- 152 kms, Vaishali- 56 kms,
Calcutta- 653 kms, Delhi- 997 kms.
Bodhgaya | Kesaria
| Lauria Nandangarh | Nalanda
| Pawapuri | Rajgir
| Vaishali | Vikramshila