Things To Do In Patna
Patna is among the oldest of the continuously lived cities in the world. Located along the banks of the River Ganges, Patna is the capital of Bihar. This is one of those rare cities that saw the footfall of Lord Buddha before he attained moksha. Patna naturally has many sites to visit and there are many things to do in Patna. Some of the more popular among these will be discussed.
Visit Gol Ghar
Golghar, established in 1786 by one John Garstin, a Captain, is an impressive building that is shaped like a beehive. It is understood that this building was inspired by the architecture of stupas of the Buddhist era. The base of the building has a width of around 125m while its thickness is about 3.6m. If you climb some 145 steps you will reach the top and can enjoy a picturesque view of the city from the top of Gol Ghar. It is likely that the building was to serve the purpose of a storehouse for grain storage.
The Ancient Agam Kuan
Agam Kuan is probably the most important and the oldest among the various archaeological sites in Patna. Located near the Gulzarbagh Railway Station, Agam Kuan dates back to the times of Ashoka, the famed Mauryan Emperor. The well is about 105’ deep and has a perimeter that may be a little over 20’. The structure has 8 arched windows and in all probability was used for inflicting torture on people. According to folklore, it is here that Ashoka drowned most of his brothers, numbering 99, so that he could rule the Mauryan Empire. Whatever be the reality, today the well is considered auspicious and weddings and several religious ceremonies are conducted here.
Enjoy the Wonders of the Universe at Patna Planetarium
Patna Planetarium, was opened on 01 April 1993. Said to be among the largest of planetariums in Asia, it attracts a large population of tourists every year. The idea to create this educational facility was the brain child of the then Chief Minister of Bihar, S N Sinha, in 1989. The project was finally completed on 21 March 1993. Its proximity to the city centre makes it very accessible for all tourists, both domestic and international.
Be Enthralled at Buddha Smriti Park
The Buddha Smriti Park is also known as Buddha Memorial Park and is located on Frazer Road very near the Patna Junction railway station. The park was developed by the Government of Bihar for the commemoration of Buddha’s 2554th birth anniversary. Inaugurated by the Dalai Lama on 27 May 2010, the park was constructed on the location of the Bankipur Central Jail. The park has two saplings of the famed Bodhi Tree, one of them being from Sri Lanka and the other from Bodh Gaya. At the centre of the park is the Patliputra Karuna Stupa which is 200’ high and which contains the holy ashes of Lord Buddha.
Visit the Ancient City of Kumhrar
Kumhrar is the historic city of Patliputra and serves to remind us of the glorious Mauryan Empire which lasted between 600BC to 600AD. Today there are only ruins that have been excavated over the past years. Between 1912 and 1915, the excavations revealed 80 pillars of the Assembly Hall and these can be seen at the location. There are other ruins as well such as Arogya Vihar, which is supposed to have been run by Dhanvantri, the famous Ayurvedic physician and Anand Vihar that was once a Buddhist monastery made of bricks.
The Wonders of Patna Museum
Patna Museum was built in 1917 and is located just a kilometre from the central part of Patna. The structure of the museum is a mix of both the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. The museum showcases several sculptures in stone and metal that go back to the times of the Guptas and Mauryas. Here you will also find a cannon from WWI as well as a fossilised tree which is 16m long and about 200 million years old. This specimen of the fossilised tree is probably the longest one in the world.
Seek Blessings at Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Takht Sri Patna Sahib was built in the memory of the tenth guru of the sikhs, Guru Govind Singh. The beautiful gurudwara is located on the banks of the River Ganges and it was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, during 1780 to 1839. Gurudwara Patna Sahib has several belongings of Guru Gobind Singh on display. These include his cradle and his sacred sword among several others.