A Treasured Repository of the Regal Bequest
|Type of Tourism||: City Tourism, Pilgrimage|
|Area||: 1,803 sq km|
|Population||: 1,683,200 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Altitude||: 53 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Bihari, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maithily, Magahi, Braj|
|Telephone Code||: India (0612), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 800001|
|What to buy||: Madhubani & Mithila Paintings, Raw Tussar Silk Clothes, Traditional Handicrafts, Stone and Bead Jewellery, Stone Pottery Items, Hand Painted Wall Hangings, Miniature Paintings on Leaves and Paper, Appliqué Work of Fabric, Leather Goods, Wooden Stools, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Litti Chokha, Khichadi, Pittha, Makhana, Dhuska, Kadhi Bari, Ghugni, Kafta, Shaahi Jhinga Masaledaar, Jhor Waali Machhli, Jhinga Biryaani, Parauntha, Patna Chaat, Samosa Chaat, Tikki Chaat, Dahi Chura Chini, Tilkut, Khaja, Peda, Kalakand, Motichoor Ka Laddu, Anarsa, Kala Jamun, Khubi Ka Lai, Pua, Chena Murki, Laai, Sonpapdi, Balushahi, Halwa, Perukia, Chiwra, Sattu-Pani, Lassi, etc.|
|Local transportation||: City Buses, Auto Rickshaws, Taxi|
One of the oldest incessantly peopled places on the earth and enjoying a rank of prominence in the pages of Indian History, Patna (Pataliputra) the erstwhile capital of the Magadha Empire and the second largest megalopolis of eastern India presently serves as the administrative headquarters of the Bihar State. Deemed the most populated conurbation of the state and graded the 5th fastest growing city of the country, Patna is rated second after Delhi in terms of its business supportive environs. Nestled on the southern banks of the river Ganga and also nurtured by Sone, Punpun and Gandak rivers, Patna, the ancient seat of arts and learning today blooms as a vital commercial and educational hub of eastern India. Patna is the land where the arch emperors of Indian Subcontinent flourished and the greatest Gurus of different religions preached. Flanked by several Hindu, Buddhist and Jain pilgrim destinations such as Vaishali, Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Pawapuri and Keshariya and honored to be the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh; the last Guru of Sikhism, Patna basks in the glory of its illustrious history and its imperial religious magnitude. And what’s more, Patna was also the esteemed domicile of the legendary scholars and astrologers of India including Chanakya, Panini, Aryabhatta, Vatsyayana, Sthalabhadra and Ashvaghosha. Teeming with innumerable historical, religious, architectural and archaeological wonders, Patna is indisputably a must visit destination at least once in a lifetime.
The appellation ‘Patna’ is asserted to bear more than a few etymological geneses. Some state that the term ‘Patna’ has derived from the name of a Hindu Goddess Patan Devi while the others declare that it finds its origin in a Sanskrit term ‘Pattan’ meaning a port. Several historians opine that ‘Patna’ is the abbreviation of its earlier name ‘Pataliputra’. Patna has been known by various sobriquets over the centuries viz. Pataligram, Pataliputra, Kusumpur, Pushpapura, Azimabad and Patna. The city received its contemporary name during the governance of Sher Shah Suri; the founder of the Muslim Sur Empire.
History Of Patna
Patna, one of the oldest existing settlements in the world is believed to be at least 3000 years old. In the medieval era Patna came into limelight when a Magadha King Ajatashatru shifted his capital here from Rajgir and fortified the territory. Lord Buddha visited Patna (Pataliputra); the newly established Nagari of Ajatashatru during the final years of His life and predicted a great future for it. During the sovereignty of the Mauryas, Patna prospered under the dominion of Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Samrat Ashoka. The first written account of Patna can be found in the notes of a Greek historian named Megasthenes who served as an emissary in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He describes Patna as the greatest city on the earth reveling its halcyon days.
The Mauryas were succeeded by the Shungas, Kanvas and Guptas. A Chinese Buddhist traveler Fa Hien records that he visited India in 4th century AD and stayed at Pataliputra for a number of months decoding the Buddhist Texts. Post Gupta years witnessed the political and cultural decline of Patna which was restored to its status in mid 16th century AD by Sher Shah Suri. The celebrated Mughal Emperor Akbar took over Patna around 1574 AD. His biography Ain-i-Akbari describes Patna as a burgeoning spindle of stone, paper and glass industries and praises it for its export quality production of rice. By early 17th century Patna reached the standing of a flowering entrepot and the most thriving trade center of eastern India. Patna was rechristened as Azimabad during the tenure of Emperor Aurangzeb.
With the downfall of the Mughal Empire Patna went into the hands of the Nawabs of Bengal who gathered heavy revenues from its booming commercial industries. Patna grew to be the center of international trade in 17th century AD and the British East India Co. established a factory of silk and calico here. Quite soon Patna also got into the saltpeter trading. The rapidly escalating trade of Patna kindled the competition amongst the French, Danes, Dutch, Portuguese and English. Subsequent to the Battle of Buxar (1764), Patna fell into the hands of the British. It was coroneted as the capital of the British province of Orissa and Bihar in 1912 AD.
Patna also significantly contributed in the Indian Struggle of Independence; the Champaran Movement in opposition to the Indigo Plantation and the ‘Quit India Movement’ of 1942 being the foremost. Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jayaprakash Narayan, and many other freedom fighters were based in Patna. After the Independence till today Patna has continued being the capital of the Bihar State.