immensely fertile, arched stretch of land along the banks of river
Ganges, the history and cultural heritage of modern day Patna, goes
back well over two millenniums. Patna was renamed several times, with
every change in the political scenario. Thus, the name of the
present day Patna has actually evolved from a series of names like
Kusumpura, Pataliputra and Azeemabad.
Patna, Pataliputra, the capital of Bihar,
is among the world’s oldest capital cities.
has been the regal seat of governance for
successive kingdoms since ancient times. As each ruler ascended in power and
established dynastic glory, he gave his capital a new name.
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
Patna's claim over a thousand years of political glory are justified by
the 600 B.C to 600 A.D. archaeological findings in this area. Yet very
little of this grandeur remains. The only remnant of those times is
a huge Mauryan hall supported by 80 standstone pillars dating back to 300
Har Mandir Takht
Patna was the
birth place of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1660.
One of the four sacred shrines of the Sikhs, The Har Mandir Takht, stands
at this holy site. Maharaja Ranjit Singh built the original temple, which
contains belongings of the Guru and Sikh holy texts.
Sher Shah Suri
Built in 1545 by
Sher Shah Suri to commemorate his reign, this mosque is a -tribute to
Afghan architectural style and is one of the impressive landmarks of Patna.
Garstin built this huge granary for the British army, in 1786 alarmed by
the famine in 1770. The massive granary is 29 m high, while the walls are
3.6 m wide at the base. The winding stairway around this monument offers
an awesome view of the city and the Ganga flowing by.
Built in the
memory of seven freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in the Quit
India Monument of August 1942, this monument is a modern sculpture. It
faces the Secretariat, where the Freedom fighters were shot in an
attempt to hoist the national flag.
Pathar ki Masjid
Har Mandir Sahib, on the bank of the Ganga, is this beautiful mosque
built by Parwez Shah, son of Jehangir, when he was the governor of
The Ashram is
the headquarters of Bihar Vidyapeeth, a national university. There is a
small museum showcasing the personal belongings of India's first
president Dr. Rajendra Prasad who lived here after his retirement.
Museum houses a First World War cannon, metal and stone sculptures of
the Mauryan and Gupta periods, Buddhist sculptures and quaint terracotta
figures. A 16 m long fossilised tree is one of its special features.
has a magnificent one man collection of rare Arabic and Persian
manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal paintings and an assortment of old and
new books from the University of Cordoba, Spain. It is one of the
national libraries in India.
Built at the
old site of Sher Shah's fort, it boasts of an excellent collection of
jade, Chinese paintings, Mughal glass and filigree carvings. Since it is
a private collection, prior permission is required for a visit.