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Planning to travel to one of the oldest living cities of the world? Patna is the way to go. Let us give you a brief history of Patna. Patna is the capital and biggest city of Bihar and lies on the banks of River Ganga. Patna is an ancient city and was once called Pataliputra. It is among the world’s oldest capital cities and lies on the fertile stretch of land causing the title of an imperial metropolis. Its heritage and history can be ascertained with the 2,000-year-old ruins found in different parts of this ancient megapolis. Changing dynasties over the centuries have meant Patna’s name was changed multiple times; from Kusumpur to Pushpapuri, then Patliputra to Azimabad and finally Patna.
To master your itinerary well, we have made a list of the 10 best places to visit in Patna. These are historical, stunning and fun enough to please the soul of any adventurous person. Check them out!
Visible from afar, Golghar is truly an architectural marvel. One of the tourist attractions of Patna, Golghar is essentially a stupa-shaped granary, surrounded by a winding flight of 145 stairs taking you all the way to the top for a sweeping view of the city. However, due to safety reasons, climbing the 29m high enormity might not be allowed at present.Nonetheless, still, a great spot to plan a picnic with friends and family in the winters, catch the sound and light show at Golghar between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday. The entry to the monument is only 5 Rupees.
As Patna is revered by followers of the Sikh religion Takht Sri Patna Sahib, also known as Harmandir Sahib is the place to visit for a glimpse into Sikh history. Takht Sri Patna Sahib was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to commemorate the birthplace of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singhji. Relics of the 10th Guru like four iron arrows, weapons, a pair of his sandals and a cradle with gold-plated stands are housed in the shrine.Planning to reach here before sunset is a great way to experience the place in both daylight and at night when it is lit up with changing colours. When visiting a Gurdwara, eating at the Langar (public kitchen) is a must. Sit down on the marble floors to meditate with the pilgrims, the experience will be surreal, we promise!
Built on the foundations of the fort of Sher Shah Suri, Jalan Museum, also famously known as the Qila House houses many treasures such as Chinese jade and porcelain pieces from the Han and Qing dynasties among a silver dinner set that includes a thali (plate), believed to have been owned by Emperor Akbar’s prime minister, Birbal. One of the best attractions of this museum is Napoleon's bed that’s lying there. Don’t believe us? Check out for yourself. While there is no fee to visit Jalan Museum in Patna, prior permission (minimum 48 hours) is required.
Founded by Khan Bahadur Maulvi Khuda Bakhsh, the top member of the landed gentry of Siwan, the Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library houses over 2.5 lakh books and over 21000 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. Some of the collections are so rare that they found mention in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register on heritage. A bibliophile’s Eden, this should be on your list of places to explore while in Patna.Opened in 1891, the library was one of the firsts to open its gates to the common people of Bihar. This establishment of Patna is famous for its Curzon Reading Hall that was built in gratitude for Lord Curzon who funded the Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library in 1905. It is one of the best places to visit in Patna for couples, purely for its reading halls and heritage.
Close to Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public library, if you walk around the Patna University area, you’ll come across this yellow building, popularly known as the Darbhanga House. Darbhanga House is a palatial structure situated right on the banks of the Ganga river. It was built for the personal use of the Maharaj of Darbhanga. Do visit with permission as it serves as a college for Patna University. Upon entering this humongous structure, make sure to see the rear side of it. That place is called Kali Ghat. Try and spot the big bridge over the Ganga river from there. That is the bridge you need to be on if you want a full photograph of the Darbhanga House.
When in Patna, eat like Patna-ites. Batata puri is a must-have chaat that consists of crispy puris topped with potato, coriander and sweet chutney and curd. Litti Chokha, Patna’s signature snack, also a staple of Bihari cuisine consists of Litti, grilled chickpea stuffed dough balls served with a mildly spicy curry, called Chokha. Champaran Ahuna Mutton, Maner ka Laddoo, Khaja, lassi and paan are a few favourites among others to try in Patna.When travelling to new places or even familiar ones, shopping in the street markets of India is always on a shopaholic's mind. Patna is best known for its native art forms, such as Madhubani paintings, bead accessories, miniatures made from leaves, applique work, etc. that reflect skilled craftsmanship. Patna market, one of the oldest shopping places in the city is your go-to itinerary stop for everything and anything. Khaitan market, Hathwa market and Maurya Lok are other shopping hotspots of Patna. Make sure to pick a few Madhubani paintings, brass sculptures and to support the age-old craftsmanship of the region.
Patna is a city of interesting stories and even more interesting structures. One of the best places to visit in Patna is the Padri Ki Haveli. Also called St. Mary’s Church, it is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the country. It was built in 1713. Why is it famous, you ask? Well, this is the same place where Mother Teresa got her formal training in the year 1948. The room where she stayed has been marked and contains several of her belongings including a cot, a table and more. There is a notice board proclaiming: “Mother Teresa, who started her mission of love after undertaking training at Padri Ki Haveli, stayed in this room, 1948."Christmas is the best time to visit Padri Ki Haveli as the church has a festive look and sees a stream of devotees coming in to offer prayers.
With many heritage parks like Eco Park, Buddha Smriti Park, S K Puri Park, BSPHCL Energy Park, and the Gandhi Maidan, Patna is surely fun and adventurous, if you love evening walks and open areas to explore with your friends. Funtasia Island is another tourist attraction of the city. Another highly recommended place to visit in Patna when in the mood for venturesome activities is the Nalanda Mahavihara. This centuries-old heritage site was once one of the biggest universities in the world.
One of the best places to visit in Patna (actually 85Km from Patna) UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the earliest universities in the country and home to students from India, Tibet, China, Korea and Central Asia. Nalanda Mahavihara, a glorious scholastic and monastic institution today tells its stories through ruins of stupas, shrines and viharas. Displays include the Nalanda University seal, bronze and stone sculptures. Also visit the Xuan Zang Memorial Hall, built by the Chinese in honour of the famous traveller, while you are here. Spend a day at this peaceful point of interest and revel in the wonderful history of the city.With an entry fee of 15 Rupees, Nalanda Mahavihara is situated in the Nalanda district near the Bihar Sharif Town. It costs an extra 25 Rupees fee if you want to carry a video camera. You can visit the ancient university all days except Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Located close to the Golghar, near the river Ganga is the famous Gandhi Maidan (ground). Easily accessible by local transport, the Gandhi Maidan is a must-visit place in Patna if historical grounds are your thing. Also, a great place to visit in Patna for couples or if you are looking for a spot that’s available even during lockdowns. Spread across 62 acres, it is Patna’s most important landmark. This sprawling ground at the centre of the city is where Mahatma Gandhi held his prayer meetings when he visited the city of Patna. The pavements and the walking tracks of the Gandhi Maidan are the selling points for brisk walks and evening joggers. With many peanuts and popcorn stalls around the area, grab some snacks for your gatherings. So get your tracksuits and jogging gears ready!
Located close to the Patna Railway Junction, Buddha Smriti Park is a modern monument. Developed by the government of Bihar to commemorate the 2,554th birthday of Lord Buddha, the highlight of the park are two Bodhi trees planted by the Dalai Lama. The multi-purpose park comprises the Patliputra Karuna Stupa, a meditation centre, a library with numerous books on Buddhism, a museum as well as a Park of Memories. The meditation centre is based on the plans of the Nalanda University monasteries. There are relics from Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Sri Lanka preserved in a glass case in the stupa.The park is a recommended picnic spot for the residents of Patna and has sprawling lawns and fountains along with Buddhist statues.
Rajgir, meaning the abode of Gods, is a town in the Nalanda district. While the exact date of Rajgir’s foundation is not known, the city is believed to be about 3,000 years old. Rajgir is divided into two parts: one which is fortified and surrounded by seven hills and the other, which is believed to have been founded by King Bimbisara’s son, Ajatshatru. This recommendation might not be situated in the city of Patna, but the trekking journey to Rajgir surely starts from there. The most natural way of exploring and understanding the majestic beauty of Rajgir Hills is by the way of trekking. The feeling of breathing, touching and experiencing the Hills through and through is rooted in trekking. Usually covering three districts of Patna, Nalanda and Rajgir, you can book your tour through online travelling websites. It has everything that an adventure-seeking enthusiast desires.
First, you should do your homework well. Know your hiking and trekking requirements but primarily know the difference between trekking and hiking. Hiking involves a long energetic walk in a natural environment on hiking trails or footpaths for a day or overnight. Trekking involves a long vigorous hike in a wild natural environment for multiple days. It can be done off hiking trails.
High-top walking boots that protect your ankles, comfortable clothing, hiking backpacks and gloves are a must for such adventurous journeys.
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