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Pataliputra, Magadha
Ancient village of ‘Patali’[1]
A view of Ganga from Mahatma Gandhi Setu
Map of Patna
Coordinates 25°36′40″N 85°08′38″E / 25.611°N 85.144°E / 25.611; 85.144
Country  India
Region Magadha
State Bihar
Division Patna
District(s) Patna
Pataliputra 6th century BCE
Mayor Sanjay Kumar
Parliamentary constituency Patna Parliamentary Constituency
Assembly constituency PATNA WEST(188), PATNA CENTRAL(189), PATNA EAST(190)
Planning Agency PRDA
Civic agency PMC
Ward 72 wards
1697976[2] (14th) (2001)
1,405 /km2 (3,639 /sq mi)
Sex ratio 1.145 /
• Male
• Female
• 73.81%
• 52.17%
Official languages Hindi, Magadhi, Maithali, Bhojpuri, Urdu, English
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
3202 km2 (1236 sq mi)
53 m (174 ft)
• Summer
• Winter
ETh (Köppen)
     1,000 mm (39.4 in)
     26 °C (79 °F)
     35 °C (95 °F)
     12 °C (54 °F)
Governing body Government of Bihar
Government of India
ISO 3166-2 IN-BR-PA

Paṭnā About this sound pronunciation (Hindi: पटना, Urdu: پٹنہ) is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar. The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganges. The city also straddles the rivers Kosi, Sone and Gandak and Punpun. Patna is approximately 25 km long and 9 km to 10 km wide. Patna is the 14th most populous city in India with approximately 1.8 million, and the 14th most populous agglomeration in India and 168th in the world. It is the second largest city in eastern India, after Kolkata. Today, all major companies have a base in Patna reflecting the growing importance of the city.[citation needed] The city is growing rapidly with buoyant development in sectors including retail and property.[citation needed] It is also fast emerging as a hub of higher education with institutes of national repute being started in Patna.[citation needed]

Apart from being the administrative centre of the state and its historic importance, the city is also a major educational and medical centre. The economy of Patna is based on the local service industry. Patna has the highest per capita gross district domestic product in Bihar: Rs 31,441,[3] which is better than the most of the metropolitan areas in India.[4] Patna is the 21st-fastest growing city and urban area in the world and the 5th-fastest growing city in India.[5] In June 2009, The World Bank ranked Patna as the second-best city in India to start a business, after Delhi.[6]

Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world.[7] Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Gupta, Pala and Suri dynasties. Pataliputra was also a famous seat of learning and fine arts. Its population during the Maurya period (around 300 BCE) was about 400,000.[8] The walled old area, called Patna City by the locals, is a major trading centre.

The Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, and Pawapuri are nearby and Patna is also a sacred city for Sikhs. The Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here.


Origin of name

There are several theories regarding the source of the appellation Patna (Devanagari:पटना ):

  • It is etymologically derived from Patan (Devanagari: पतन), the name of the Hindu goddess, Patan Devi.[9]
  • It comes from Pattan (Devanagari: पत्तन) (meaning "port" in Sanskrit), since the city, located near the confluence of four rivers, has been a thriving river port.
  • It may be a short form of Pataliputra (Devanagari: पाटलिपुत्र), one of the most ancient names of this city.
  • The Greeks called it Palibothra. Megasthenes (350-290 BCE), the Greek historian, referred to it in Greek as Palibothra or Palimbotra[10] in his writings during the 4th century BCE.
  • The place appears in the records of the Chinese traveller, Fa Hien, as Pa-lin-fou.[11]
  • The city has been known by various names during its more than 2,000 years of existence — Pataligram, Pataliputra, Kusumpur, Pushpapura, Azimabad, and the present-day Patna.[12]
  • Patna received its current name during the reign of Sher Shah Suri, whose tomb is at Sasaram, a place near Patna.


View of the Ganges from Patna

Legend ascribes the origin of Patna to a mythological King Putraka who created Patna by magic for his queen Patali, literally "trumpet flower", which gives it its ancient name Pataligrama. It is said that in honour of the queen's first-born, the city was named Pataliputra. Gram is Sanskrit for village and Putra means son.

Legend also says that the Emerald Buddha was created in Patna (then Pataliputra) by Nagasena in 43 BC.[13]

From a scientific historical perspective, it would be appropriate to surmise that the history of Patna started around the year 490 BCE when Ajatashatru, the king of Magadha, wanted to shift his capital from the hilly Rajagaha to a more strategically located place to combat the Licchavis of Vaishali. He chose the site on the bank of Ganges and fortified the area. From that time, the city has had a continuous history, a record claimed by few cities in the world. When founded, it was known as "Pataligrama" and in later years it was "Pataliputra" which is today's Patna. Gautama Buddha passed through this place in the last year of his life. He prophesied a great future for this place, but at the same time, he predicted its ruin from flood, fire, and feud. It is said that Buddha made a halt here when he was on the last journey to his native land of Kapilavastu.

With the rise of the Mauryan empire, the place became the seat of power and nerve centre of the sub-continent. From Pataliputra, the famed emperor Chandragupta Maurya (a contemporary of Alexander) ruled a vast empire, stretching from the Bay of Bengal to Afghanistan.

View of Gai Ghat from Gandhi Setu Bridge, Patna.

Early Mauryan Pataliputra was mostly built with wooden structures. Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, transformed the wooden capital into a stone construction around 273 BCE. Chinese scholar Fa Hein, who visited India sometime around 399-414 CE, has given a vivid description of the stone structures in his travelogue.

Megasthenes (350-290 BCE), a Greek historian and ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, gives the first written account of Pataliputra. In his book Indika, he mentions that the city of Palibothra (Pataliputra, modern day Patna) was situated on the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Arennovoas (Sonabhadra - Hiranyawah) and was 9 miles (14 km) long and 1.75 miles (2.82 km) wide.[10][14] Michael Wood, in The Story of India (2007), describes this city as the greatest city on earth during its heyday.[15]

Much later, a number of Chinese travellers came to India in pursuit of knowledge and recorded their observation about Pataliputra in their travelogues, including those of a Chinese Buddhist Fa Hien, who visited India between 399 and 414 CE, and stayed here for many months translating Buddhist texts.[16]

In the years that followed, the city saw many dynasties ruling the Indian subcontinent from here. It saw the rules of the Gupta empire and the Pala kings. However, it never reached the glory that it had under the Mauryas.

Harmandir Saheb, Patna City

With the disintegration of the Gupta empire, Patna passed through uncertain times. Bakhtiar Khilji captured Bihar in the 12th century AD and destroyed many ancient seats of learning, and Patna lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India.

Guru Gobind Singh (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ) (December 22, 1666 – October 7, 1708), the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born as Gobind Rai in Patna to Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, and his wife Gujri. His birthplace, Harmandir saheb, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for Sikhs.

The Mughal period was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi. The most remarkable period during these times was under Sher Shah Suri, who revived Patna in the middle of the 16th century. He built a fort and founded a town on the banks of Ganga. Sher Shah's fort in Patna does not survive, but the mosque, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, built in Afghan architectural style, survives.

Mughal emperor Akbar came to Patna in 1574 to crush the Afghan Chief Daud Khan. Akbar's navratna and state's official historian and author of "Ain-i-Akbari" Abul Fazl refers to Patna as a flourishing centre for paper, stone and glass industries. He also refers to the high quality of numerous strains of rice grown in Patna, famous as Patna rice in Europe.

By 1620 the city of Patna was the great entrepot of Northern India - "the largest town in Bengal and the most famous for trade".[17] This was before the founding of the city of Calcutta.

Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb acceded to the request of his favourite grandson, Prince Muhammad Azim, to rename Patna as Azimabad, in 1704 while Azim was in Patna as the subedar. However, very little changed during this period other than the name.

With the decline of the Mughal empire, Patna moved into the hands of the Nawabs of Bengal, who levied a heavy tax on the populace but allowed it to flourish as a commercial centre.

City of Patna, on the River Ganges, 19th century painting.

The mansions of the Maharaja of Tekari Raj dominated the Patna riverfront in 1811-12.[18]

During the 17th century, Patna became a centre of international trade. The British started with a factory in Patna in 1620 for trading in calico and silk. Soon it became a trading centre for saltpetre, urging other Europeans—French, Danes, Dutch and Portuguese—to compete in the lucrative business. Peter Mundy, writing in 1632, described Patna as "the greatest mart of the eastern region".

Shaheed Smarak or Martyr's Memorial Patna

After the decisive Battle of Buxar (1765), Patna fell into the hands of the East India Company, which installed a puppet government. It was ruled during the Raj by a series of ineffectual Viceroys, of whom the best-known was Rahul Gunderjaharagand. During this period it continued as a trading centre.

In 1912, Patna became the capital of Orissa Province and Bihâr when Bengal Presidency was partitioned. It soon emerged as an important and strategic centre. A number of imposing structures were constructed by the British. Credit for designing the massive and majestic buildings of colonial Patna goes to the architect, I. F. Munnings. Most of these buildings reflect either Indo-Saracenic influence (like Patna Museum and the state Assembly), or overt Renaissance influence like the Raj Bhawan and the High Court. Some buildings, like the General Post Office (GPO) and the Old Secretariat bear pseudo-Renaissance influence. Some say the experience gained in building the new capital area of Patna proved very useful in building the imperial capital, New Delhi. Orissa was created as a separate province in 1935. Patna continued as the capital of Bihar province under the British Raj.

Gol Ghar, Patna 19th century painting.

Patna played a major role in the Indian independence struggle. Most notable are the Champaran movement against the Indigo plantation and the 1942 Quit India Movement. Patna's contribution in the freedom struggle has been immense with outstanding national leaders like Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, the first President of the Constituent Assembly of India; Dr. Sachidanand Sinha; Dr. Rajendra Prasad; Bihar Vibhuti (Anugrah Narayan Sinha);[19] Basawon Singh (Sinha); Loknayak (Jayaprakash Narayan); Sri Krishna Sinha; Sheel Bhadra Yajee; Sarangdhar Sinha (Singh); Yogendra Shukla; and many others who worked for India's freedom relentlessly. Shrii Anandamurti formed the Ananda Marga movement in Patna in 1962 to work for world unity and justice. He modernized the ancient practices of yoga and made the most advanced practices of meditation available to the general public. He spoke about the inequality of women (both in India and worldwide). As an example, he questioned the morality of the dowry system of marriage and the Indian caste system. His Ananda Marga organization spread worldwide and teaches both neo-humanism (oneness of family of life) and PROUT (Progressive Utilization Theory) for overall economic development. He is considered a leader in the field of philosophy and morality.

Patna continued to be the capital of the state of Bihar after independence in 1947, though Bihar itself was partitioned again in 2000 when Jharkhand was carved out as a separate state of the Indian union.


Patna is located on the south bank of the Ganges River, called Ganga locally. An impressive characteristic of the geography of Patna is its confluence of rivers. The Ganges River is the largest. It is joined by the four mighty rivers: Ghagra, Gandak, Punpun and Sone. The Ganga is a respectable river as it passes through the district of Patna where it seems to be fully as large as in any part of its course for the huge flow of the Kosi. Just to the north of Patna across the Ganges River flows the Gandak. Patna is unique in having four large rivers in its vicinity. It is the largest riverine city in the world. The bridge over the river Ganga named Mahatma Gandhi Setu is 5575m long and is one of the longest (single river) bridges in the world.


Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Weather Information Service

Patna, as most of Bihar, has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers from late March to early June, the monsoon season from late June to late September and a mild winter from November to February. The table below details historical monthly averages for climate variables. Highest ever recorded is 55 °C, lowest ever is -6 °C and annual rainfall is 1000 mm.


Average Per capita income[4]
City trend Per capita income
Rs 31,441[20]
Rs 29,394[21]
Rs 27,868[21]
Rs 28,768[21]
Greater Mumbai
Rs 40,768[21]
Rs 43,155[21]
All India
Rs 22,946[20]
Average Per Capital Income in Indian Metros

From the very ancient time Patna has a rich socioeconomic background. Patna has long been a major agricultural center of trade, its most active exports being grain, sugarcane, sesame, and medium-grained Patna rice. It is also an important business center of eastern India.

In the last few years, the growth in Patna has been quite phenomenal.[citation needed] With the improvement in the law and order after the regime change, all the major companies have set up shop in Patna. The companies have started to recognize Patna's growing upper and middle class's purchasing power. This has led to a boom in the real estate sector and prices for commercial as well as residential complexes have hit the roof despite the global economic meltdown.[citation needed] The modern Patna, though still not comparable to the developed state capitals, is changing for the better. By the end of 2010, the city will have four new malls that are coming up in different parts of the capital. This includes the P&M Mall & Multiplex that is being promoted by Prakash Jha's company. A slew of residential properties are also being developed in response to the huge demand for these in Patna. Large-format retailers such as Big Bazaar and the Future Group are planning to set up their stores by next year. A number of restaurants such as Yo China, Moti Mahal, Smoking Joes and Dosa Plaza have established their presence in Patna.

Being the state capital, with a growing middle income group households, Patna has also emerged as a big and rapidly expanding consumer market, both for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), as also for other consumer durable items. A large and growing population, and expanding boundaries of the city, is also spurring growth of service sector. Several multinational companies have also come up at Patna; one example is Tata Consultancy Services.

The hinterland of Patna is endowed with excellent agro-climatic resources and the gains of the green revolution have enabled the older eastern part of Patna (locally called as Patna City) to develop as a leading grain market of the state of Bihar, and one of the biggest in eastern India.

Financial Express reported on April 7, 2008 that even as Bihar has the lowest per capita income in the country at Rs 5,772 against the national average of Rs 22,946, some of its southern districts are much better off compared with those in the north. This disparity within the state is clearly reflected in Bihar's latest economic survey for 2007–08. The survey shows that Patna, Munger, and Begusarai in south Bihar were the three best-off districts out of a total of 38 districts, recording the highest per capita gross district domestic product (GDP) of Rs 31,441, Rs 10,087, and Rs 9,312, respectively in 2004-05. In contrast, right at the bottom of the rank, with the lowest per capita GDP, were the northern districts of Araria at Rs 4,578, Sitamarhi at Rs 4,352, and Sheohar at Rs 3,636.


The population of Patna is over 1,885,470. The population density is 1132 persons per square kilometre. There are 839 females to every 1,000 males. The overall literacy rate is 62.9%, and the female literacy rate is 50.8%.[23]

Many languages are spoken in Patna. Hindi and Urdu is the official language. The native dialect is Magadhi or Magahi, named after Magadha, the ancient name of Bihar. Dialects from other regions of Bihar spoken widely in Patna are Angika, Bhojpuri, and Maithili. Other languages widely spoken in Patna include Bengali, Oriya, and English.


Though geographically located in the Magadh region of Bihar, many residents of Patna are natives of one of the four other regions of Bihar - Bhojpur, Mithila, Vajj, or Ang, which differ only slightly from each other. Intermarriages and cultural intermixing among the people of the five regions has been so common that it may be difficult for an outsider to discern the differences. Intermixing of people is also common at the village level (e.g. resident of Gulni include people from Gaya, Ganga-par and other villages).

People are religious and family-oriented, and their lives are deeply rooted in tradition. The interests of the family take precedence over that of an individual. Families are generally large, though the government is actively encouraging family planning to curb rapid population growth. Extended families often live together in one home because of economic necessity. Although the culture is same among the regions, the dialects spoken are quite different. Many talented people of Bihar have emigrated for better opportunities.

Transportation and Connectivity

Aerial view of Patna railway station

Patna was among pioneer selected towns of India having horse-drawn trams as urban transport.[24] Nowadays, public transportation in Patna is provided by buses, auto rickshaws and local trains. Auto rickshaws are the most popular means of public transportation in Patna, as they charge lower. Most run on diesel fuel and are yellow and black in colour. Buses are also one of the popular means of public transportation in Patna.

Traffic congestions are common as in other major cities of the country. As of now, only public rapid transit system is limited to some private buses. For individual public transport, there are many car rentals in Patna that provide A/C & Non-A/C cars on hire at reasonable rates. Recently, the government has appointed a private consultant Mr. Sudeep Arun Kumar (UK based NRI) to overhaul the traffic and public transport system. He has also proposed a One-way Taffic System for the centre of Patna named as Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Circle to Govt. of Bihar which is yet to be implemented. The government has also placed orders for over 50 low floor A/C and Non-A/C buses to ease congestion on city roads under JNNURM. This move is expected to improve traffic and public transport facilities in and around Patna.

Patna is also an important transit point of the region for tourists from India and abroad. Patna is well-connected by air, rail and road transport. The airport is known as Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport or Patna airport. It is classified as a restricted international airport and it is connected to all major cities of India via daily flights.

Patna is well served by a network of well maintained roads. Patna is also connected through National Highway NH 19,[25] NH 30[26]-NH 31[27] & NH 83.[28] Road distance from other major cities [29] such as from Delhi - 1,015 km, from Mumbai - 1,802 km and from Kolkata - 556 km.

Railways is also served as means of public transportation in Patna. Patna is also a major junction in the rail map of India. The five main railway stations are Patna Junction, Rajendranagar Terminal, Gulzarbag, Danapur Junction and Shahib Station. Among them Shahib Station is oldest one. The main junction station of Patna is very well connected with major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai,Raipur, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kanpur etc. by daily and weekly trains. The main line of the Eastern Railway passes through the entire length of the district running parallel to the Ganga. There are three railway lines running across the district from north to south viz., the Patna - Gaya Branch line the Fatuha - Islampur Light Railway and the Bakhtiarpur-Rajgir Branch line. Except the Light Railway, the other two are branches of the Eastern Railway. With the opening of the famous Patna-Hajipur Bridge (Mahatma Gandhi Setu), the ferry service connencting the capital with the North-Eastern Railway System has been ceased to function.

Bihar is also well connected by National Waterways No. 1 which was established in October 1986. This National Waterways has fixed terminals at Haldia, BISN (Kolkata), Pakur, Farrakka and Patna. This National Waterways has also floating terminals facilities at Haldia, Kolkata, Diamond Harbour, Katwa, Tribeni, Baharampur, Jangipur, Bhagalpur, Semaria, Doriganj, Ballia, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Chunar and Allahabad.[30]

Places of interest

Statue of Babu Veer Kunwar Singh(Hindi: वीर कुँवर सिँह)- The Last Lion of Bihar.

Patna has a 3,000-year history. The rich culture and heritage of Bihar is evident from the innumerable ancient monuments that dot the region. Patna is home to many tourist attractions. About 2,500,000 (2.5 million) tourists visit Patna every year.[31]

Kumhrar,[32] Agam Kuan[33] is the site of the ruins of the Ashokan Pataliputra. Didarganj Yakshi is a fine example of Mauryan art[34] and may be India's most famous piece of art.[34] The famous Hanuman Mandir has the second highest budget in North India after the famous Vaishno Devi shrine.[35] Patan Devi is the oldest temple and Patna's name is derived from Patan (Devanagari: पतन), the name of the Hindu goddess of this temple.[11] Birla Mandir and Kali Mandir are other famous Hindu temples.

Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism and consecrates the birthplace of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh.[36] There are five other Gurdwaras in Patna which are related to different Sikh Gurus; these are Gurdwara Pahila Bara,[37] Gurdwara Gobind Ghat,[38] Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh,[39] Gurdwara Bal Leela[40] and Gurdwara Handi Sahib.[41]

Phulwari Sharif,[42] Maner Sharif,[42] Sher Shah Suri Masjid,[43] Pathar ki Masjid,[44] Nagholkothi and Begu Hajjam's mosque are of great religious importance to Muslims and examples of unique Mughal architecture of the Middle Ages.

Padri Ki Haveli, High Court, Golghar and State Secretariat Building are examples of unique British architecture. Darbhanga House, Sadaqat Ashram, Kargil Chowk and Saheed Smarak are monuments and Mahatma Gandhi Setu is one of the longest single river bridges in the world. Patna Museum, Patna Planetarium, Sri Krishna Science Centre, Jaivik Udyan, Patna and Qila House (Jalan House) are the different types of infotainment complexes.

Patna is also a gateway to famous locations like Arrah, Bodh Gaya, Gaya, Vaishali, Pawapuri, Nalanda, Rajgir, Maner, Vikramshila and Muzaffarpur.

Infotainment complexes

There are some nice infotainment complexes in Patna such as Patna Museum, Patna Planetarium, Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan and Srikrishna Science Centre.

Patna Museum : Patna Museum is the state museum of Bihar which built by the British during the British Raj in the year 1917 to house the historical artcfacts found in the vicinity of Patna. The items on display include archaeological objects, coins, art objects, paintings, instruments, textiles, paintings, thankas, bronze images and sculptures and terracotta images of Hindu, Buddhist artists and many rare objects.

Patna Planetarium : Indira Gandhi Planetarium is located in Patna's Indira Gandhi Science Complex. This planetarium was constructed through Bihar Council on Science & Technology at a total cost of about Rs. 11 crores. It was opened for public on April 1, 1993.

Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan : Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan, Patna is also known as Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and Zoological Garden, Patna or Patna Zoo.It is situated near Bailey Road and is one of the largest zoos of India. The Park was established first as a Botanical Garden in the year 1969.

Srikrishna Science Centre : Srikrishna Science Centre was established in Patna in the year 1978 and was named after the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Dr. Sri Krishna Singh. At present the Centre has four permanent galleries, Fun Science, Evolution, Mirrors and Oceans and a Science Park. A new gallery is under construction.


Patna has gradually emerged as one of the major center of learning in East India. Schools in Patna are either run by the state government or run by private trusts, organisations, missionaries. Government schools are affiliated with the Bihar School Examination Board and most private schools are affiliated with the ICSE, CBSE or NIOS boards. Some of the prominent old schools Patna like St Joseph's Convent High School, St Michael's Higher Secondary School, St. Xavier's High School, Loyola High School, were established by missionaries during the British Raj. Other famous schools of Patna includes DPS Patna and Don Bosco Academy.

In the recent years, Patna has become a hub for imparting quality education in fields like Technology, Medicine, Management, Law and Fashion. In the past few years, many institutions of national repute have opened up in Patna tremendously increasing the opportunities in higher education in the state capital. Colleges such as Indian Institute of Technology Patna,[45] Birla Institute of Technology, Patna[46] and National Institute of Technology, Patna[47] are the prominent engineering college in Patna. Other colleges include the newly opened National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna[48] and medical schools such as Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences,[49] Patna Medical College and Hospital[50] and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital. Anugrah Narayan College & B N College are among the best known colleges for commerce & humanities besides for a range of PG courses.

After coming to power, Nitish Kumar opened the Birla Institute of Technology, Patna, Chanakya National Law University, a national law university and a B-school that goes by the name of Chandragupt Institute of Management. These institutes have done tremendously well given that they are still in their infancy. They have been successful in attracting students from not just within Bihar but also students from far flung states. A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences,[51] Rajendra Memorial Research Institute,[52] Bihar Research Institute are the research institutes in Patna. The Patna University, the first university in Bihar, was established in 1917, and was the 7th oldest University of the Indian subcontinent.[53] Patna also houses one of India's world-renowned libraries, the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library and the Sinha Library, which is one of the largest in the region.

Lately, Patna has also emerged as a major center for engineering and civil services coaching. All the major private IIT-JEE coaching institutes have opened up their branches here and this has helped in reducing the number of students who used to got to places like Kota & Delhi for engineering/medical coaching.


Aerial view of Moin Ul Haque Stadium

As in the rest of India, cricket is the most popular sport in Patna. There are several cricket grounds (or maidans) located across the city, including the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium, which is second largest in eastern India, next only to 'Eden Gardens' of Kolkata.[54] The stadium features a swimming pool and a cricket academy. This statdium has served as venue for two One day international matches and several national sport event. Patna Golf Club situated west of the Government House to the South Bihar Gymkhana Club. It is 165 acres Golf Field.[55] and includes some very tough holes, this well-maintained course will prove interesting to amateur and pros alike.[56] Patna Indoor Stadium also known as Rainbow Field is indoor - outdoor sporting complex and will be renamed after Abhinav Bindra.[57].

Lawn tennis and badminton is also popular here. It is having some of the best tennis courts of India.



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  2. ^ "Census of India". 2001 Census of India. Government of India. 2002-05-27. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ Aditi Nigam. "For Bihar, P stands for Patna and prosperity". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
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  5. ^ "Fastest growing cities and urban areas". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  6. ^ PTI, 30 June 2009, 04:03pm IST (2009-06-30). "New Delhi, Patna best cities to start business: World Bank - India Business - Biz - The Times of India". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  7. ^ Populations of Largest Cities in PMNs from 2000BC to 1988AD
  8. ^ Omalley L.S.S., History of Magadha, Veena Publication, Delhi, 2005, pp. 23
  9. ^ "Patan Devi". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  10. ^ a b Of the city Pataliputra Indika, Book II, Frag. XXV, Strab. XV. i. 35-36,--p. 702. Frag XXVI.Arr. Ind. 10. Of Pataliputra "... the greatest city in India is that which is called Palimbothra, in the dominions of the Prasians, where the streams of the Erannoboas and the Ganges unite,--the Ganges being the greatest of all rivers, and the Erannoboas being perhaps the third largest of Indian rivers, though greater than the greatest rivers elsewhere; but it is smaller than the Ganges where it falls into it. Megasthenes informs us that this city stretched in the inhabited quarters to an extreme length on each side of eighty stadia, and that its breadth was fifteen stadia, and that a ditch encompassed it all round, which was six hundred feet in breadth and thirty cubits in depth, and that the wall was crowned with 570 towers and had four-and-sixty gates...."
  11. ^ a b "Temples And Legends Of Bihar - Patan Devi ( Introduction)". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  12. ^ "history". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  13. ^ "The Emerald Buddha". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  14. ^ "Ancient Library". Ancient Library. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  15. ^ "History - Ancient History in depth: The Story of India: South India". BBC. 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  16. ^ Pataliputra Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms by Fa Hein, tr. by James Legge, Chapter XXVII, Pataliputtra or Patna, in Magadha. King Asoka's spirit-built palace and halls. The Buddhist Brahman, Radha-Sami. Dispensaries and hospitals...... n.1 Pataliputra, The Sanskrit name means "The city of flowers." It is the Indian Florence.
  17. ^ Omalley L.S.S., History of Magadha, Veena Publication, Delhi, 2005, pp. 36, "Sher Shah on his return from Bengal, in 1541, came to Patna, then a small town dependent on Bihar, .... In 1620 we find Portuguese merchants at Patna; and Tavernier's account shows that a little more than a century after its foundation it was the great entrepot of Northern India "the largest town in Bengal and the most famous for trade..."
  18. ^ Chatterjee, Kumkum (1996). Merchants, Politics and Society in Early Modern India: Bihar: 1730 - 1820. BRILL. pp. 273 (at page 36). ISBN 978-9004103030. 
  19. ^ Kamat. "Great freedom Fighters". Kamat's archive. Retrieved 2006-02-25. 
  20. ^ a b "For Bihar, P stands for Patna and prosperity". Financial Express. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "Bangaloreans make less moolah than others". Deccan Herald. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  22. ^ "Census Population" (txt). The Institute for Research on World-Systems. The Institute for Research on World-Systems. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  23. ^ Source – District Elementary Education Report Card 2004 of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi.
  24. ^ Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN, 23 September 2008, 03:53am IST (2008-09-23). ""Trams in Patna" by TOI". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  25. ^ "NH 19". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  26. ^ "NH 30". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  27. ^ "National Highway No. NH 31". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  28. ^ "NH 31". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  29. ^ "Distance chart of patna". 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  30. ^ "National Waterways No. 1". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  31. ^ Statics Tourism in Bihar on Indian Government's tourism website
  32. ^ "Kumhrar". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  33. ^ "Patna Bihar ,Buddhism in Patna,Buddhist Heritage of Patna,Buddhist Site of Patna India". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  34. ^ a b [2]
  35. ^ TNN, 7 May 2008, 05:38am IST (2008-05-07). "Mandir trust submits Rs 35-cr budget - Patna - City - The Times of India". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  36. ^ "Holy Takhats". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  37. ^ "Gurdwara Pahila Bara". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  38. ^ "Gurdwara Gobind Ghat". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  39. ^ "Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  40. ^ "Gurdwara Bal Leela". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  41. ^ "Gurdwara Handi Sahib". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  42. ^ a b Islamic shrines in Bihar Bihar Tourism Official website
  43. ^ [3]
  44. ^ "Architecture admiration tour to Pathar ki Masjid or Saif Khan’s mosque in Bihar". 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  45. ^ "Indian Institute of Technology Patna". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  46. ^ "Birla Institute of Technology, Patna". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  47. ^ "National Institute of Technology, Patna". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  48. ^ "National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  49. ^ "Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  50. ^ Patna Medical College and Hospital
  51. ^ "A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences". 1964-10-08. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  52. ^ "Rajendra Memorial Research Institute". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  53. ^ "Patna University". Patna University. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  54. ^ "Moin-ul-Haque Stadium". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  55. ^ "Patna Golf Club". Patna Golf Club. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  56. ^ "Patna Golf Club". 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  57. ^ "Patna Indoor Stadium". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : India : Plains : Bihar : Patna

Patna is the capital of Bihar, and the second largest metropolis in eastern India. The city of Patna sits bordering three rivers - the Ganga, Sone and the Poonpun.

Decorated Buildings of Patna during Diwali.
Decorated Buildings of Patna during Diwali.

The ancient name of Patna was 'Pataliputra' and it was the capital of the Maurya and Gupta empires. Located at the site where Patna is today, the ancient city of Patliputra, with a glorious period of history spanning a thousand years (500BC-400AD), saw the rise and fall of India's first major kingdoms.

Ajastshatru, second in line of the Magadh Kings, built a fort at Pataligram on the banks of the Ganges river. This later became the famous Mauryan metropolis of Pataliputra and was ruled by Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Asoka, acclaimed for the spread of Buddhism across India. Other emperors who ruled from Pataliputra were the Gupta and Pala Kings, Shershah Suri (16th Century) and Azimush-Shan (18th Century), the grandson of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who renamed it Azeemabad. Vestiges of this ancient city can be seen at Kumhrar, Bhikhnapahari, Agamkuan, Bulandi Bag etc.

Today Patna is an important business and education centre of eastern India. More significantly, it is a gateway to the Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Keshariya and Pawapuri. The growing city of Patna is a great place to visit and a great place to live in.

Lying along the banks of the Ganges River, Patna is surrounded by important religious centers for the Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. This city has been home to two great religions, Buddhism and Jainism, and myriad dynasties from ancient to modern times.

View of Patna from Golghar
View of Patna from Golghar

By plane

Patna Airport or Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport (IATA: PAT ICAO: VEPT) [1] is a domestic airport. Directly connected to Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ranchi, there are daily flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Indian Airlines [2], Jet Airways, Jet Light [3],Kingfisher Airlines [4]& Indigo Airlines[5] operate here.

By train

Patna is on the New Delhi - Howrah (Kolkata) railway main line (Patna Junction Code:PNBE) [6]. Long-distance trains arrive from many other major cities including Lucknow, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Pune, Raipur, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Allahabad, Varanasi, Ranchi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, Goa, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi, Some of the important trains are:

From New Delhi

  • Patna Rajdhani Exp (2309/2310) via Kanpur, Allahabad
  • Samproon Kranti Exp(2393/2394) via Kanpur, Allahabad
  • Sharmajeevi Exp(2391/2392) via Lucknow, Varanasi
  • Magadh Exp. via Allahabad,Kanpur
  • Vikramshila Exp(2367/2368) via Kanpur, Allahabad
  • Garib Rath Exp(2353/2354) via Kanpur, Allahabad
  • Kolkata Rajdhani(2305/2306) via Kanpur, Allahabad. Ends at Kolkata.
Old Secrateriate, Patna
Old Secrateriate, Patna

From Kolkata

  • Various Rajdhani Exp. trains going to Delhi
  • Jan Shatabdi Exp(2023/2024)
  • Danapur Exp(2351/2352)

From Bangalore

  • Sanghmitra Exp.

From Mumbai

  • RJPB CSTM Exp (2141/2142)
  • RJPB LTT Exp (3201/3202)

From Varanasi

  • Vihbhuti Exp(2333/2334)
  • Lalkila Exp

From Ranchi

  • Patna Hatia Exp(8623/8624) via Gaya, Bokaro

Railway Enquiry: 139, 138

By car

Patna is connected by road with all major cities of the country via (National Highway 30,31 & 19). Here is the list of destinations by distance from Patna: BodhGaya (130km) , Rajgir (103km), Vaishali (40 km), Kolkata (535km), Varanasi (300km), Delhi (988km), Ranchi (350km), Jamshedpur (470km) , Kathmandu (373km), Siliguri (380km), Darjeeling (430km), Nalanda (90km).

BSTDC (Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation) [7] offers deluxe bus/car rental services for the following destinations: Bodhgaya, Ranchi, Rajgir , Pawapuri, Nalanda & Vaishali,

On the other hand, the Inter-State Bus Terminus at Bankipore (Near Gandhi Maidan) and Mithapur, Luxury buses are available to the Nepal border (Raxaul/Birganj), Gaya, Siliguri, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Purnia etc.

Get around

By Car (Local)

There are a few car rental companies available in Patna.

  • Enterprises Car Rental
  • Savaari Car Rental[8] has a reputation for providing quality luxury car rentals in Patna.
  • Hertz Car Rental
  • Nalanda Travels [9] an ISO 9001 certified agency approved by Department of Tourism, Government of India.
Patna Museum
Patna Museum
  • Patna Museum has more than 50,000 rare art objects, with many related to India in the ancient, middle ages and the British colonial era. Don't forget to see the Holy Relic Casket with the sacred ashes of Lord Buddha, and the beautiful statue Yakshani.
  • Har Mandir Saheb - The Birth place of 10th Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh jee .
  • Golghar - Captain John Garstin built a Golghar for the storage of food for the British army with storing capacity of 140000 tons on 20th July 1786.
  • Kumhrar - Explore the ancient ruins of Pataliputra. Of the 80 pillars (Fa Hien, in 5th century AD, found the pillars shining as bright as glass) excavated at the site, only one remains unfortunately.
  • Patna Zoo Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and Zoological Garden, Patna.
  • Mahavir Mandir, near Patna Junction
  • Gandhi Maidan is the heart of this city today
  • Gandhi Museum near Gandhi Maidan
  • Padri Ki Haveli ("Mansion of Padre"), also known as St Mary's Church, it is the oldest church in Bihar. When Roman Catholics were arrived in Bihar, They built a small church in 1713 at a place now known as "Padri-ki-Haveli'.
  • Pathar ki Masjid is built by Pervez, the elder brother of Shah Jahan and the first Mughal prince who made Bihar his residence
  • Khuda Baksh Oriental Library Ashok Rajpath.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Setu, the bridge over the river Ganges connecting Patna and Hajipur.
    Patna Golf Club
    Patna Golf Club
    Old Fort on the Bank of Ganges
    Old Fort on the Bank of Ganges
  • Play golf at the Patna golf club [10] With some very tough holes, this well-maintained course situated downton will prove interesting to amateur and pros alike. The Patna Golf Club is set in beautiful surroundings.
  • Patna Planetarium
  • Take a boat-ride in the Ganges., near Gandhi ghat
  • Visit Kali Temple at Patna University Campus on the Bank of the Ganges
  • Visit Vaishali-Ashokan Pillar(48km north of Patna)
  • Maner-Sufi Saint Shrine(30km west of Patna) - you can buy famous Maner Ladoo (Sweets) from there. However, avoid going there in the late evening or night.
You can go on excursions to the various religious and historical places in and around Patna. Do not miss a boat ride on the mighty Ganges river. When in Patna, try food typical to the region such as pua-pittha, tilkut, chiwra, makhana, the famed sattu or the farmer's staple, litti chokha, and the famous paan.
Adventure Tourism in Ganges, Patna
Adventure Tourism in Ganges, Patna
Har Mandir Saheb, Patna
Har Mandir Saheb, Patna
Maner Sharif Tomb, Patna
Maner Sharif Tomb, Patna
Floating Restaurant in River Ganga, Gandhi Ghat, Patna
Floating Restaurant in River Ganga, Gandhi Ghat, Patna


Madhubani Paintings can be bought from emporiums at Mayura Lok, a shopping center located on "Dak- Bunglow" road. You can visit many malls around Frazer road/Dak Bunglow Crossing such as Vishal Mega Mart, Maurya Lok Complex and Patna Market on Ashok Rajpath, Hathwa Market, Bari Path & Alankar Palace and other shopping arcades near Boring Road Crossing

  • Litti chokha is a local specialty. Litti is a primarily ball-shaped stuffed preparation, and the shape of the ball varies depending on the preparation. With a shell made of wheat flour, the taste of litti very much depends on the filling, which includes gram flour and a combination of condiments and spices. Chokha a preparation of smoked eggplant/brinjal or tomato, accompanies litti. The smoked tomato or eggplant is mashed and dressed with coriander leaves, shredded green chilies and mustard oil, which gives a distinct flavor to the chokha.
  • Chaat - Though chaat is a very popular snack item throughout India, the special thing about 'Patna Chaat' is its authentic tamarind flavor, as opposed to the sweet and salty Delhi Chaat. Take the opportunity to relish "samosa chaat" or "tikki chaat".
  • Sweets, especially Peda and Kalakand, which are preparations of condensed milk from Sudha Dairy Parlours. The sweets must be consumed within 7 days.
  • Anarsa is one of the finest sweet delicacies of Bihar. It has rice flour shell with khoya filling, with white til in the upper shell.
  • Dahi Chura Chini, which is a mixture of curd, beaten rice and sugar, is the favourite food in North Bihar, especially in the Mithila region!
  • Makhana is soft fruit grown in water. It is light fried and with little salt it serves the purpose of light snacks.
  • Tilkut,Khaja are other delicacies of Bihar
River Ganges at Patna
River Ganges at Patna
  • Basant Vihar, Mauryalok Complex
  • Kaveri, Mauryalok Complex
  • Vau's Rangoli, Lok Nayak Complex, Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Mayfair, Dak Bunglow Crossing(Frazer Road)
  • Soda Fountain, East Gandhi Maidan
  • Moti Mahal, Frazer Road
  • Roti, Boring Road
  • Payal Restaurant, Ashok Rajpath
  • Yo! China, Maurya Lok Complex
  • Smokin Joes, Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Club City, New Dak Bunglow Road
  • Bansi Vihar, Near Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Cloud 9, Boring Road
  • Mirch Masala, Kadam Kuan
  • China Garden, Frazer Road

Sweets Parlours

  • Sweet Home, Alankar Palace, Boring Road
  • Kwality Sweets, Boring Road
  • Lucknow Sweets, Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Cake Palace, New Dak Bunglow Road
  • Cozy Confectioners, Keshav Palace, Bailey Road
  • Sweet Garden, Keshav Palace, Bailey Road


Sattu-pani is among the popular drinks, Lassi Made of Curd, Dry fruits & Sugar.

Restaurant & BAR

  • Oasis, Boring Road
  • The Velocity, Near Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Country Club International, Patliputra Colony
  • Mamta Anarkali, Near Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Country Club International , Patliputra colony
  • Hotel Akash , Frazer Road
  • Hotel Anand Regency, Near Patna Junction(Railway Station)
  • Hotel Clark Inn, Jamal Road
  • Hotel Magadh, Bhatacharya Road-Naya Tola crossing
  • Hotel Marina , Frazer Road
  • Hotel Mayur , Frazer Road
  • Hotel Nand, Bhatacharya Road-Naya Tola crossing
  • Hotel New Akash , Frazer Road
  • Hotel President, Frazer Road
  • Hotel Vijay Shree Deluxe, Exhibition Road
  • Maharaja Inn, Station Road, Rajendra Path
  • Mamta Regency , Frazer Road
  • Marwari Awas Grih, Dakbunglow Crossing
  • Hotel Kautilya Vihar, R Block
  • Hotel Samrat International Dak Bunglow Crossing
  • Hotel Satkar International, Frazer Road
  • Hotel Rajasthan, Frazer Road
  • Hotel Republic, Exhibition Road
  • Hotel Windsor, Exhibition Road Crossing
  • Hotel Ashoka, Birchand Patel Path(Near IT Office)
  • Hotel Chanakya, R Block
  • Hotel Maurya, South Gandhi Maidan - Landmark of Patna
  • Patna University - Seventh Oldest University of the Indian Subcontinent [11]
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Patna [12]
  • National Institute of Technology, Patna - one of the oldest engineering colleges of South Asia [13]
  • National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna [14]
  • Birla Institute of Technology , Patna(BIT Mesra-Extension Centre)
  • Chanakya National Law University, Patna [15]
  • Chandragupt Institute of Management, Patna [16]
  • L N Mishra Institute of Economic Development & Social Change, Patna
  • Patna Womens College - one of the best & beautiful Womens' college in Eastern India [17]
  • College of Arts & Crafts - Patna [18]
  • Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha achieved enlightenment
  • Rajgir, the place Vishwa Shanti Shutpa you can joy on Areial Ropeway, You can enjoy Venuvana(Beautiful Garden)
  • Nalanda - location of an ancient university with a nearby musuem.
  • Pawapuri - The Place of Nirvana (Bhagwan Mahabir) - A holy site for the Jains.
  • Kesariya - Perhaps the oldest Shanti Stupa, it is situated in East Champaran District(Motihari), 170km from Patna. Deluxe buses and taxi are available from Patna .
  • Deoghar - A town containing a famous Babadham temple. It is 200km from Patna By Railway (drop at Jasidih Junction on Patna Howarh Main Line)in Jharkhand State
  • Munger - A small town on the bank of Ganga famous for Yoga.
  • Nepal - Buses are available to Raxaul and Jogbani at the Nepali border, where you can hop on a bus to Kathmandu and Pokhra.
  • Ranchi - AC deluxe buses are Available from ITDC Patliputra Ashoka Hotel, BSTDC Kautilya Vihar Hotel and Mithapur/Bankipore Bus Stand(Near Gandhi Maidan)
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Patna discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun


  1. The state capital of Bihar (India).

Simple English

File:Golghar, Patna,
Golghar, Patna. A famous landmark there.

Patna is the capital city of the Indian state of Bihar. About 1.7 million people live in Patna (census 2001). It is a very old city and has a history of at least 2,500 years.It was famous for its educational institutes, which during those days, attracted scholars from all over the world. Gautama Buddha who started Buddhism had also visited this city. Despite being a Hindu majority city Patna also has many Muslims and many Masjids. People in Patna speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maithli and Urdu. When founded Patna's old name was Pataligrama, and later into Pataliputra which was the capital of Magadha Empire, before changing in to the current Patna.


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