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Patna, the capital of Bihar, is one of the oldest cities in India. Patna is a riverside city that extends along the south bank of the river Ganga for about 12 miles (19 km). West of the old city lies the section called Bankipur, and farther southwest is a spacious new capital area with wide roads, shady avenues, and new buildings.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. Ancient Patna, known as Patliputra or Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadh Empire through Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Shunga, Gupta and Pala dynasties.
Keeping the historical aspect aside there are a lot of other things as well about Patna which are the key highlights when it comes to visiting this place. There are a lot of places in Patna that are a must-visit place for someone who visits Patna. If you are visiting Patna for the first time don’t forget to visit the below-mentioned places.
1. Gol Ghar
The Golghar is a historical landmark in the city of Bihar. It is located near the Gandhi Maidan.
Golghar, an enormous granary, was built by Captain John Garstin for the British army in 1786, after the terrible impact of the 1770 famine. The winding stairway around this monument offers a brilliant view of the city and the Ganga flowing nearby.
Golghar is pillar-less with a wall of thickness of 3.6 m at the base height of 29 m. One can climb at the top of the Golghar through the 145 steps of its spiral stairway around it. The spiral staircase was designed to facilitate the passage of the workers who deliver their load through a hole at the top and descend the other stairs.
The light and laser show here is just the thing for you if you wish to know more about Golghar. Using an array of colourful laser lights, sounds and illustrations, an attractive show has been made part of this attraction and can be witnessed at 6:15 PM and 7:15 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The tickets for the same are available 30 minutes before the show begins and tickets are priced at INR 30 per person.
2. Patna Sahib Gurudwara
Harmandir Takht Shri Patna Sahib, popularly known as Patna Sahib Gurudwara is one of the holiest pilgrimages for the Sikh community and it is located on the banks of holy Ganga, this Gurudwara in Patna, Bihar. Patna Sahib Gurudwara was built commemorating the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Shri Guru Gobind Singh.
The Patna Sahib Gurudwara is regarded as the epicentre of Sikhism in Eastern India. It is the second acknowledged and accepted Takht of the five all total Takhts of Sikhism, which means ‘seat of authority.
A morning prayer called ardaas is being performed here every morning at 5:45 AM and an evening prayer at 6:00 PM. The langar or free food service is offered here to all the visitors and visitors are also welcomed to volunteer in langar services since it is believed to be an offering to God. The Prakash Parv or the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is celebrated in December every year which is one of the major attractions of this place.
It is religiously mandatory to cover your heads in the Gurudwara premises for both men and women and thus it is always advised to carry a scarf or handkerchief along with you.
3. Bihar Museum
Bihar Museum is located on a sprawling site of 5.6 hectares having a common boundary with Bailey Road near Patna High Court. The museum, with a built-up area of 25,000 square metres, is in fact a supplement to the ageing 100-year old Patna Museum in its vicinity.
The museum is a recent addition to the list of attractions in the city. One of the main reasons for establishing the museum was to create more space to house and exhibit artefacts since the century-old Patna Museum is running out of space. Since there was little scope to relocate installed artefacts, the decision of keeping the focus on Human History was taken. Therefore, the Bihar Museum is where visitors can find information about the human history of Bihar to a large extent. The displays include ancient artefacts of artistic heritage, artworks belonging to various tribes and insights into the past and present of Bihar.
Bihar Museum is located on Bailey Road (Jawaharlal Nehru Road) in Patna and is easily accessible via Patna Roadways. From the centre of the city, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the museum by road. The local bus connectivity is pretty good but tourists can also opt for auto-rickshaws and taxis.
4. Shrikrishna Science Centre
Shrikrishna Science Centre is a constituent unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous body that works under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is the country’s first regional level science centre and the only one functioning in the state of Bihar. The Shrikrishna Science Center was named after the first chief minister of Bihar, Dr Shrikrishna. It was established in the capital city of Patna in 1978.
Since then, the centre has been attracting a large number of visitors, particularly school students from all over the state. This science centre provides its visitors with engrossing and interactive self-learning experiences in an enjoyable manner.
The Shrikrishna Science Centre houses several different permanent galleries full of participatory exhibits on science. The museum contains India’s first Hindi typewriter. Some of the highlights of the museum are a digital planetarium, 3D theatre, Science on a Sphere (SOS) Theatre, and a science park which is a major attraction among children.
Apart from this, the museum recently opened an Innovation Hub Centre which provides a unique opportunity for children of various age groups to work at the centre during the weekends.
One can reach Shrikrishna Science Centre by car or take an auto-rickshaw. Biscoman Bhawan or Gandhi Maidan is it’s the nearest landmark.
5. Gandhi Sangrahalaya
The Gandhi Sangrahalaya in Patna is built to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi. In this museum, one can get to know more about Gandhi Ji and also will b able to see his personal belongings. Also, you will get to know a lot more about the freedom struggle and how Gandhi has helped India to achieve its freedom from the hands of the British.
This is one of the 11 Gandhi Sangrahalayas that have been built in different states of the country over time. If you want to know more about India’s freedom struggle and about the heroes who gave up their lives to bring our country Independence, then you must really visit this place. This is a popular tourist place in Patna.
It is located in Ashok Raj Path, West Gandhi Maidan and the timings are from 10 AM to 1:00 PM and from 2:30 PM to 5:45 PM. The best time to visit this museum is in the month of October.
6. Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
The Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park also known as Patna Zoo is a very famous hangout place located in Patna. It is one of India’s 16 largest zoos and was built-in 1973. The State Government has declared the park/zoo service as ‘Essential Service’ under the Bihar Essential Services Maintenance Act. It is one of the major tourist attraction spots in PatnaSpread over an area of 618966.69 sq.
The Sanjay Gandhi Biological zoo contains 800 animals of approximately 110 species within meters. As per their nature, the animals are further kept in various rooms, like Saap Ghar (snake house), Machhali Ghar (fish aquarium).
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park is famous for captive Royal Bengal Tiger in its normal and white variant. At present Sanjay Gandhi, Biological Park has three white and two normal colour Royal Bengal Tiger. The visitors also get to see more tigers, leopards, jackals, blackbucks, elephants, Himalayan black bears, zebras, and giraffes. Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan also has Indian rhinoceros, pythons, emus, hippopotamus, white peacocks, and crocodiles.
It is located near Raj Bhavan on Bailey road and the timings to visit are 5 AM to 6 PM and it is closed on Monday. Apart from all of these the best time to visit this place is from October to March.
7. Indira Gandhi Planetarium
Located in the city of Patna, Indira Gandhi Planetarium or Patna planetarium is one of the oldest and largest planetariums in Asia. It is also popularly known as Taramandal, meaning a circle of stars, and is one of the largest and most well-maintained planetariums in the country. A wide range of film shows on subjects related to astronomy is showcased here. Apart from that, exhibitions are also held on various related topics for visitors.
The Patna Planetarium has a modern state of the art projection system, a well-maintained complex and a chic auditorium. The seating capacity in the main hall is 276 people. There is a huge dome-shaped screen here to showcase the movies in which visitors need to look upon the roof to enjoy the amazing feeling of watching a sky full of fascinating stars, moons and other celestial bodies.
A crystal clear surround sound quality makes the experience even more wonderful. Apart from this, a separate place is available for holding large events, conferences, seminars or workshops. These wonderful facilities make this tourist attraction in the crowded city – Patna, both entertaining and educational.
The Show timings are 12.30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM & 5:00 PM and the planetarium is closed on Monday.
8. Buddha Smriti Udyan
Located on the Frazer Road near Patna Junction in Patna, Buddha Smriti Udyan is a large urban park that was constructed by the Patna Government to commemorate the 2554th anniversary of Lord Buddha.
Inaugurated in 2010 by the 14th Dalai Lama himself, the highlight of the park is the magnanimous Patliputra Karuna Stupa situated in the centre of the park. Sprawling over 22 acres, there were two special saplings that were planted here at the time of its opening- one of them was brought from Bodh Gaya and the other from Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.
Known to be the brainchild of former Chief Minister of Bihar- Shri Nitish Kumar, the park is not only a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate but there is also a museum in the park complex which houses the pot containing Lord Buddha’s ashes.
The Buddha Smriti park also showcases Buddhist relics from Japan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka etc. Very often, there are musical shows and events organised inside the park. Besides, it stays especially crowded during morning and evening hours as people flock here for walks and meditation exercises.
9. Gandhi Ghat
Gandhi Ghat is one of the most popular ghats on the banks of the river Ganges in the city of Patna in Bihar. It is popular as the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed here.
The highlight of the place is, however, the magnanimous Ganga Aarti that is attended by thousands of devotees as well as tourists. The aarti is performed at dusk, with 51 lamps by a group of priests who are dressed in saffron robes. This activity was started in 2011 and was inspired by the ones that are performed in Varanasi and Haridwar.
There is also another activity that the ghat is a famous for-the River cruise ship which has a restaurant onboard. This particular activity draws a lot of tourists to come and feast at the ‘floating restaurant’ amidst the warm blue waters of the Ganges.
In addition to that, the kite festival is also a big event here and is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, every year. Besides, you can also enjoy boating here at the ghat.
10. Eco Park
Patna Eco Park is a large, green area built to provide the visitors with a natural place to unwind. There are more than 3000 varieties of flora, a children’s park, boating rides, pathways for jogging and cycling, a food court, themed natural decorations and an occasional display of sculptures. Amidst the busy city, this is a place where the air feels fresh and the green soothes the eyes for a while.
Rajdhani Vatika is the other name of Eco Park. It is a park located at Strand Road in Patna. This park was inaugurated in October 2011 by Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, following an initiative of the Department of Environment and Forest, Bihar
The Eco park is designed to provide a natural place for relaxation for visitors. The park is a very good picnic spot where you can enjoy boating and do lots of fun as well creating memorable moments.
11. Gandhi Maidan
The Gandhi Maidan Park, located in the capital city of Patna on the banks of the river Ganges, is a famous historical venue spanning an area of about 60 acres. This park was frequented by several influential leaders of the Indian Independence Movement for launching political campaigns, freedom rallies, parades and holding religious ceremonies. Formerly known as Patna Lawns, the grounds house the tallest statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the world, a bronze figurine that rises to over 70 feet.
Located near Ashok Rajpath in Moradpur, this ground is approximately 2-3 kilometres from the city centre. During its heyday, distinguished state patriarchs namely Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Indira Gandhi and many more made their powerful voices heard in these lawns.
The ground has Patna’s buzzing roads running around its circumference. A spot of choice for morning and evening joggers, it is best visited during these times. City dwellers head here for some necessary relaxation. It is open for playing and cricket played here is a delight to watch.
12. Mahavir Mandir
Mahavir Mandir in Patna is the second-largest religious shrine in North India. It is one of the leading temples dedicated to the worship of Lord Hanuman. Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country flock in here daily to offer prayer to and seek the blessings of God. It is believed if worshipped with a pure heart no wishes of yours would be left unfulfilled in this temple. Therefore, it is also known as “Manokamna Temple.“
Mahavir Mandir is located right outside the Patna Railway Station, standing tall to bless the tourists. It contains other facilities like shops, office and a palmistry centre for its visitors in its complex. It is managed by the Mahavir Temple Trust of Patna.
After the Vaishno Devi, Mahavir mandir has the highest earnings of over 1 lakh per day rendering its trust budgets the second highest in the northern part of the country. The temple attracts huge crowds on festivals like Ramnavami. Make sure you taste the famous delicacy “Naivedyam“, the temple’s prasad prepared by Tirupati experts.
13. Agam Kuan
Agam Kuan is an ancient as well as an archaeological site located in the city Patna. it is said to be associated with the period of the Mauryan emperor, king Ashoka. The well is circular in shape and is lined with bricks in the upper 13 meters and contains wooden rings in the other 19 meters.
Covered with moss, the surface structure, which now covers the Agam Kuan well and forms its most distinctive feature, has eight arched windows. The well was refurbished during the reign of Emperor Akbar and a roofed structure was built around the well. This circular structure has been fitted with eight windows which are well placed.
The Agam Kuan is set within an archaeological site identified by the Archeological Survey of India which also contains the adjacent Shitala Devi temple. Agam Kuan is situated close to the Gulzarbagh railway station, on the way to Panch Pahadi, on the outskirts of Patna. It is east of Patna and south-west of Gulzarbagh station.
14. Kumhrar Park
Kumhrar Park situated in the middle of town is the ancient heart of the city. Excavations around Patna have uncovered remains of the ancient city of Pataliputra – and the most significant findings were in Kumrahar, where an 80-pillared hall with a wooden platform and a monastery-cum-hospital was discovered. While the hall was initially thought to be a royal durbar, later archaeological findings revealed that it was an assembly hall for Buddhists built during the time of Ashoka.
Situated in Kankarbagh, Kumhrar Park is a vast stretch of green land that provide fresh air and ample greenery to the neighbourhood.
The monastery-cum-hospital in the park, known as Arogya Vihar, dates to the 4th-5th century CE. A small potsherd with ‘Dharvantareh’ inscribed on it was found at the site.
15. Sabhyata Dwar
The Sabhyata Dwar also known as Civilization Gate is a sandstone arch monument. It is located on the banks on Ganga river in the city of Patna in the Indian state, Bihar. The Sabhyata Dwar is built in a Mauryan style architecture with a purpose to show the ancient glory and traditions and culture of the state of Bihar.
The Sabhyata Dwar is built on an area of one acre within the campus of Samrat Ashok International Convention Centre, north of Gandhi Maidan. At 32 metres (105 ft) high the structure is taller than Gateway of India (26 metres and Golghar. The Dwar faces Ganga on its northern side.
The arches of the Dwar contain inscriptions attributed to Megasthenes, Ashoka, Buddha and Mahavira. Construction of the monument was done by the building and construction department of the Bihar Government. Bihar’s chief minister inaugurated the monument on 21 May 2018.