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Patna Tourism And Travel Guide
17° C / 62.5° F
November to February
2 to 3 Days
Jay Prakash Narayan Airport Patna (6 kms)
Patna Junction (2 kms)
Patna is among the oldest of all the continuously lived cities in the world. The first known reference to Patna appears when in 490BC the king of Magadh, Ajatashatru, wanted to move his capital from Rajgir, known then as Rajgriha, to a safer place from where he could fight off its enemies. The place selected then was on the banks of the River Ganges which he fortified and developed into Pataliputra, now known as Patna. Tourism in Patna, because of its age, consists of ancient monuments. A travel guide to Patna is placed below for all visitors to the capital of Bihar.
How to Reach
Patna has good roads, a great railway network with the rest of the country and a functional airport. One can therefore take any of these options to reach Patna. However, of these options it may be a better option to take a flight to Patna if possible.
Patna has good roads connected to all the major cities nearby. However, several sections of highways are yet not fast enough. There is a proposal to create such a highway between Patna and Delhi that one can do the 1100km distance in 11 hours. It is a good idea to check the quality of roads before embarking on a road trip to Patna.
The railway network to reach Patna Junction is very good. Today Patna Junction that opened for service in the year 1862 is among the busiest in India. There are a large number of mail/express and superfast trains to Patna from all over the country. It is therefore easy to plan your rail trip to Patna.
The airport in Patna has been named after its most popular politician and philosopher, Jai Prakash Narain. The airport was built in 1973 and today it is a very busy airport, one which has both domestic and international flights. Its connections include those to Kolkata and Chennai besides Delhi and Mumbai among many others.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Patna has a typically tropical climate. It is hot in summer, very wet in the rainy season and cold in winter. Winter is the best time to visit Patna. However, if one can brave the odd shower, one can visit Patna during the tail end of its monsoon season also.
The summer in Patna is very hot and uncomfortable. The temperatures outside can quite easily rise to higher than 41°C. It is therefore not advised to visit Patna during the summer season.
The proximity of Patna to the Himalayas makes the place rather wet during the rainy season. However, the monsoon season of entire state of Bihar is unpredictable with several years of drought in the past. In a normal year Patna is beautiful during the monsoon season. It is also fairly cool and pleasant closer to the end of the monsoon period.
Winters in Patna are very enjoyable although there are years when one can see the temperature plummet to 0°C too. But, generally the winter is the best season for visitors to be in Patna and one can walk around throughout the day and night without feeling tired and drained out.
Things To Do
Visit Buddha Smriti Park:
Buddha Smriti Park was developed to commemorate Buddha’s 2554th Birth Anniversary. At the park you will find two saplings of the Bodhi Tree, one from Bodh Gaya and the other from Sri Lanka. On the grounds you will find the Pataliputra Karuna Stupa which contains Buddha’s ashes. There is also a museum containing Buddha’s relics from different countries such as Myanmar and Thailand. There is a meditation hall and a large sized statue of Buddha in the park as well.
Awe Inspiring Gandhi Maidan:
Once called Patna Lawns, Gandhi Maidan was the hub from which all important aspects of freedom movements started such as the Quit India movement of 1942. Giants during our freedom struggle such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Rajendra Prasad and Maulana Azad have all graced this place during the period before the independence and made fiery speeches to the nation. Today, this place is being used for private parties and mass prayers. Trade fairs are also held here some times.
Admire Patna Museum:
Visitors to Patna must visit the Patna Museum which was built in 1917. It exemplifies the architectural styles of both the Rajput and Mughal forms. There are some priceless sculptures in stone and metal that go back 2000 years. You will also see a cannon which dates WWII days as well as the fossil of a tree which is 16m long and two hundred million years old.
The Revered Takht Sri Patna Sahib:
Takht Sri Patna Sahib is well known for being the birth place of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh. The gurudwara is located near the Ganges. It was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was the first Maharajah of the Sikhs. Look out for some rare belongings of Guru Govind Singh such as his cradle and sandals.
Seek Blessings at Mahavir Mandir:
The Mahavir Mandir is among the best known and most visited temples in Bihar. Its patron deity is of course Lord Hanuman and it is understood that the temple was established in 1730AD by Swami Balanand. The other idols in the temple include the Shiva family, Lord Ganesh and Durga besides Krishna and Arjun.
Pataliputra is the original city of Patna, so named in ancient times. Kumhrar is the actual city of Pataliputra. Today it depicts the ancient remains of that city which was once a part of the Mauryan Empire in the years between 600BC and 600AD. Today all you can see are the results of excavations made in the past. These results include an Assembly Hall with its 80 pillars, a brick monastery known as Anand Vihar and the temple of Durakhi Devi. One can also see Arogya Vihar, an ayurvedic hospital from the times of Dhanvantri.
Relax at the Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan:
The Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan, set up in 1973 is among the largest zoos in India. It is also known as Patna Zoo. It has around 800 animals in more than a hundred species. All the animals are segregated according to their class and here visitors can see tigers and leopards besides zebras, black bears and dozens of other animals. Besides the zoo you can also see the botanical garden which houses diverse species of shrubs, herbs and trees. One must also visit the rose garden, a nursery and an orchid house. There are fish species and different kinds of snakes to see here as well.
Where to Eat
Patna, the capital of Bihar is today a lively city with a large number of eating joints, dhabas, cafes and restaurants spread all over the city. Among the restaurants there are Takshila and Bansi Vihar as well as Biriyani Mahal and Crown Castle besides Kapil Dev’s Elevens and 17 Degrees. You also have Sri Basant Vihar which is supposed to be the best vegetarian restaurant in town, Pind Balluchi with its wholesome food and rustic interiors and of course Mainland China which is known throughout the country as a good place to enjoy the Indian version of Chinese food.
The shopping scene of Patna is all in its markets as well as the various handicraft and art emporiums besides the modern malls and its local bazaars. In Patna you will find some of the country’s best skilled craftsmen as well as painters. Patna is famous for its Madhubani paintings and wall hangings. You can buy excellent bead jewellery and items in leather. Of course for those who have a religious bent of mind, statues and pictures of gods and goddesses are available on sale. You can also buy religious books in book stalls.