Prospering along the southern banks of river Ganges and set in the backdrop of a glorious historical past, Patna boasts of a dominating presence in history and enjoys the distinction of being one of the oldest cities in the world. In addition to being one of the major and most popular tourist destinations in India, this capital city of Bihar also holds significant religious and spiritual importance as it is a gateway to pilgrimage sites of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

Originally called as Pataliputra, Patna is currently a hot-bed for the culminating political fortunes. One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, it is the quintessential North Indian town  – West of the city lies the area called Bankipur, while towards the southwest is the new area with wide roads and swanky buildings. The cultural heritage of Bihar is reflected in the many monuments housed in Patna, the most famous ones being Patna Sahib Gurudwara, Patna Planetarium, the High Court, Golghar, Secretariat Building and Padri ki Haveli among numerous other attractions. Typical of an Indian city, the riverside city of Patna is also known for some palatable dishes – litti chokha being the king of all! 

Places to Visit

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 famous for- the River cruise ship which has a restaurant on board. This particular activity draws a lot of tourists to come and feast at the ‘floating restaurant’ amidst 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. 

Patna Sahib Gurudwara

Harmandir Takht Shri Patna Sahib, popularly known as Patna Sahib Gurudwara is one of the holiest pilgrimages for the Sikh community. Located on the banks of holy Ganga, this Gurudwara in Patna, Bihar attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country, irrespective of their religious beliefs, faiths and regions. The serene and calm ambience of the place readily takes you close to the Almighty and leaves you peaceful and spiritually motivated. The white glittery marble building of the Gurudwara weaves the grandiose of Sikh architecture and is regarded as the epicentre of Sikhism in Eastern India. Commemorating the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Shri Guru Gobind Singh, the Gurudwara has both historical and religious significance. Given is a quick guide to your visit to Patna Sahib Gurudwara.

Srikrishna Science Centre

Built in 1978, Srikrishna Science Centre showcases a collection of wonderful exhibits to demonstrate various principles of science. It is very popular especially among the kids and offers a good educational tour.

Revolving Restaurant

A revolving restaurant, the biggest in the country, is present here atop the tallest tower in Patna, on the 18th floor of Biskoman Bhawan. As set, the restaurant takes one revolution in 45, 60 or 90 minutes with the support of the German techniques.

Golghar

Situated in the city of Patna, Golghar is a simple yet charming architecture which is an amalgam of history and natural beauty. It was built in 1786 by Captain John Garstin with the purpose of serving as a storehouse. Incidentally, Golghar was never filled to its maximum capacity as it is believed that due to an engineering fault the doors open inwards only, and if the granary were to be filled all the way, the doors will not open. In addition to being a magnanimous granary, the top of Golghar presents a wonderful panoramic view of the city and the Ganges. Owing to its peaceful location and sublime natural setting, Golghar is one of the many spots in the city which citizens visit to get a respite from the din of the city.

Rising from the midst of a lush green garden, the stupa- shaped structure of Golghar is an inviting sight to behold. It is encircled by a flight of 145 stairs that take you all the way up to the top, from where you can see a bird’s eye view of the entire city. The gentle wind blowing over the zenith as you behold the sight of the ancient city that lies ahead of you is a serene experience. In addition to this, you can also arrange for a picnic in the garden that this attraction lies in. In an effort to increase the visitor influx to Golghar, a light and sound show have been introduced here as well. Visit this destination for a quaint day out with friends and family.

Bihar Museum

Bihar Museum is one of the famous attractions in Patna built to provide insights into the history of Bihar and inculcate a sense of respect and pride in the hearts of the current generation. 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 spreads over an area of 5.6 hectares of land and has a total built-up area of 24,000 square metres. The architecture has an interesting dispersed-scheme of buildings that include galleries, educational and administrative areas and a lobby. In fact, the construction of the building is a joint endeavour by an Indian and a Japanese Firm.

Patna Planetarium

Located in the city of Patna, Indira Gandhi Planetarium or Patna planetarium is one of the oldest and largest planetariums of 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 are 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,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 up on 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.

Patna Museum

Situated in the city of Patna in Bihar, the Patna Museum, locally known as the Jadu Ghar is a very popular museum that houses more than 50,000 rare art objects. These include Indian artefacts from the ancient, middle ages and the British colonial era. It was built in 1917 and was started on 3 April of the same year during the British rule to house the historical artefacts founded in Patna. The rich collection of the museum will take you back to the past to reminisce Indian history and glory. 

Constructed in the style of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the museum has different galleries that contain masterpieces from the past. The Holy Relic Casket, with the sacred ashes of Lord Buddha and the beautiful statue, Yakshani, are the most highlighted attractions of the place. Archaeological objects such as coins, art objects, paintings, instruments, textiles, thankas, bronze sculptures and terracotta images by various Hindu and Buddhist artists are on display in the museum. Another one of the museum’s prized possessions is a rare collection of British-period paintings depicting day-to-day life of the Indians of the era, along with a fine collection related to the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, and a First World War cannon.

Kesaria Stupa

Considered to be the tallest and biggest Buddhist Stupa in the world, Kesaria Stupa was built by the great ruler Ashoka. This is the place where Buddha in his last days donated his begging bowl.

The structure serves as a brilliant example of Buddhist architecture and is adorned with a large number of Buddhist statues. However, some of the parts are in ruined state as they were damaged by the invading Muslim rulers. This place was very recently discovered in the excavation done by ASI.

Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Mahatma Gandhi Setu is the second longest river bridge in India, the first one being Bhupen Hazarika Setu (a.k.a. Dhola-Sadiya Bridge) in Assam. The Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Bihar extends over the Ganges for 5.7 kilometres. Named after the father of the nation, the bridge connects the capital city of Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north. The bridge has four lanes of roadways and pedestrian pathways on each side, it is an indispensable part of the daily vehicular transport. Earlier, there used to be toll gates, but the Government has revoked that. It provides some spectacular views of the sacred Ganga flowing underneath.

Currently, the National Highway 19 operates through it. The government has scheduled the building of two Pontoon bridges (floating bridges) parallel to it to curb traffic, which has drastically increased over the years. Before the erection of the bridge, people from this region travelled to Patna and Hajipur respectively by ferries or boats. Although congestion and traffic problems are present on the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, its significance cannot be contradicted.

Must Try Food in Patna

1. South Indian Food at Bansi Vihar Restaurant

2. Kapil Dev’s Eleven

3. Chinese Food at Mainland China

4. 17 Degrees

5. Bollywood Treats

6. Swaaddesh

7. Cookbook Cafe

8. Yo ! China

9. Aasman Restaurant

10. Foresto Paradise

How To Get Here

Patna is easily accessible by air, road and rail networks and is very well connected to most major cities.

By Air

Lok Nayak Jayaprakash airport of Patna is well-connected to most cities in India.

Nearest Airport: Patna Airport (PAT)

By Road

Buses are available from most cities of the country to Patna.

By Train

The city has its own railway station which also serves the state of Bihar.

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