Patna, the Pride of Bihar Read this and you’ll think twice before mocking at a Patnaite…

इस पोस्ट को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ – क्लिक करें 

 

Patna, the capital of Bihar, is famous for a loooot of things. However, think of the name and more than half the population imagines either Lalu Prasad Yadav or Shatrughan Sinha. Proud that Patnaites are of Patna being the roots of Shatrughan Sinha, our cabbie couldn’t resist pointing at the “Rajendra College”. He said, “This is the same college which gave Mr. Sinha, his famous facial scar. A fight between two groups led to the mark which later became his identity.” However, this was just the cabbie’s narration. Our intention is to share a lot of interesting facts about Patna through this post; tales that might sound made up but could be the reality of the city too. Who knows!!! At TraveLegend, as we always try to provide as much information as possible about a given destination, lets see what Patna has to offer.

 

The city got its name from a Goddess, Patan Devi. The other saying goes that the name Patna came from a Sanskrit word Pattan which means Port; the town is set on the edge of river Ganga and there are three other rivers that submerge into Ganga (Ghaghra, Sona and Gandak). Clearly, the port would have been here in antiquity. The ancient name of Patna was Pataliputra. The town is nearly 2500+ years old, there are only a few such cities left. Patna has been the land of knowledge since ancient times. When there was no education system in the western countries, Patalipurta had its own university!!
Patna is also the city of Ashoka. The city sings tales of Gautam Buddha and his final times. This is also the birth place of the 10th and the last Guru of the Sikhs, “Guru Gobind Singh Sahib”. Patna also happens to be the city of movements like the ‘Champaran Movement’ and the ‘Quit India Movement’ (1942) which were milestones in the struggle for freedom. Too many “Alsos”, isn’t it? God knows how many more “Alsos” is Patna made of.

Enough of stories, now let’s take you to Patna! To reach Patna, both trains and flights are available from almost all locations, flight rates are pretty expensive as the frequency of the flights is less. However, you will get a lot of options if you are travelling by train. As you step out of the station, Patna Junction, you’ll see the “Mahavir Temple” exactly opposite to you. You can book good rooms at a reasonable price online or can directly walk in to a hotel. Booking a room is not a big problem in Patna, so you can relax and enjoy the stay in the city.
The best way to roam around Patna is to take the public transport. The available options are rickshaw, auto-rickshaw and e-rickshaw, the best option being the auto-rickshaw. A cab ride could cost more because you’ll get to hear a lot of ranting about traffic jams and time and other reasons leading to more money. It is better if you can communicate with the locals and ask for your directions. The major advantage of this would be the amount of money you’ll end up saving. Also, you will definitely reach your destination ;). Average auto rental is around ₹ 5 to ₹ 10, some destinations might lead to break-journeys, for example, from Gurudwara Sri Patna Saheb to Agam Kuan, you will have to get down at a different location and then take a ride to Agam Kuan. In all, Patna can be well covered in a day. However, if you wish to explore and experience the city, two days is the ideal time.
After visiting Mahavir ji, if you feel hungry, there are a lot of options for food in Patna. There is enough availability of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants. However, talking about food, you would also get the most famous dish of Bihar in Patna, “Litti Chokha“. Don’t miss this one! A plate full of litti, dipped in desi ghee will make you full in just ₹20. Now that your stomach is full, we’ll start our tour of Patna from the place built by the great ruler Ashoka, the Historical Agam kuan.

 

Agam Kuan
Agam Kuan is a very old and historical well which is built within the Sitla Temple. The temple consists of 7 heavenly bodies known as Sapta Maatrukaa (7 Goddesses) and is a treatment abode for Chicken Pox. There are many stories and confusions around Agam Kuan. The well was built by Emperor Ashok. People believed that it was used to torture prisoners and was a living Hell on earth. According to another story, the well is connected to some other place. The reason for this belief is that people have found things lost in the sea, here. You’ll also find a story of this said well in Jainism. When Jain muni Sudarshan was punished by a king and was being thrown into the well, he soared from the bottom of the well sitting on a lotus. Another story states that Asoka beheaded his 99 step brothers and threw their heads in the well. Few people also believe that the well is connected to River Ganga. Hence, no matter, the amount of water is taken from the well, it is never empty. Imagination or true incidents, nevertheless, you certainly have to visit this place and offer your praying to Sitla Devi and move towards your next destination.

Gurudwara Patna Saheb
From the Agam Kuan Temple, you’ll get an auto, over the bridge, for the Gurudwara. Your auto will not go till the Gurudwara’s door way as there are narrow streets and public transport is restricted in the area. However, it is a mere 5 minutes walk. This is the birthplace of the Sikh’s 10th and the last Guru, “Guru Gobind Singh Ji”. This is the true place of recognition of the Sikh community. Hence, Sikhs from all over the country and around the world visit this place every year. Please keep a few things in mind before entering the Gurudwara, like covering your head. If you do not have something, don’t fret. You will get a handkerchief outside the Gurudwara. It being a religious place, it is forbidden to scream or talk loudly inside the Gurudwara. You can sit as long as you want with peace.
After offering your prayers, take a walk around to have a loak at Guru Gobind Sahib’s things which have been well preserved. You’ll see things like his clothes, buckets, gun, shell, turban etc. Photography is allowed with due permission. If you are there in the afternoon, you must have the food served in the ‘Langar‘.

From here, you can head to the Patan Devi Temple side. There are two Patan Devi Temples in Patna, one is the small Patan Devi and the other is the big Patan Devi. The city got its name from Badi Patan Devi which is an old temple. So try and visit this said temple of Badi Patan Devi.

 

Post offering prayers, move to the city side of Patna. You can start from Golghar. When we visited Patna, Golghar was under renovation, so we couldn’t go inside. However, we were told that you can see the entire city from the top of Golghar. Golghar was built during the famine, in the form of a godown to store grains.
There are a lot of tourist places around Golghar like, Gandhi Maidan, Gandhi Museum, etc. Patna has a lot of museums as well, of which, the one totally worth your time is Jadughara (Patna museum). Here, you can witness a lot of historical things. Not only this, you’ll also get to see the fossil of a stem from a 30 million years old tree. You may also visit the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park if your interest lies in Botanical Garden. However, Gandhi museum and the others can be safely avoided.

 

In addition, there are 3 mosques – Begu Hajjam’s Masjid, Pathar Ki Masjid and Sher Shah Masjid. Pathar Ki Masjid is a small mosque in Sultanpur built by the son of Jahangir. Begu Hajjam’s was built by the ruler of Bengal, Allauddin, and Sher Shah Masjid, the largest mosque of Patna, was built by Sher Shah Suri.
If you are an Indian history aficionado, you should visit the “Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library”. This library was built in the 18th century and contains a lot of manuscripts from the Mughal period.
There is another historical place called Kumrahara, the place where you get to see the remains of the ancient city of Patna. This place showcases the inception of Pataliputra. However, if you’re touring with family, we would suggest you to skip this place due to severe infestation of love-birds (pun intended).

So, those are the hottest destinations in Patna that we covered here. However, if you have more time to explore, you can visit places like the Buddha Park, Ganga Ghats (near N IT campus), where there is a floating hotel / restaurant. You can also see the Ganga Aarti from there but they are probably open on the weekend only. So take care of that. Also, half of the attractions are closed on Mondays. So make sure you don’t have a Monday while you are staying in Patna, otherwise you’ll have to dedicate the day to eating and sleeping only :P.
With this, out Patna trip comes to an end. If you are travelling by auto, as we suggested earlier, per person cost would not exceed ₹ 200.

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