Patna, or Pataliputra, one of the world’s oldest cities, is located in Bihar, Northeast of India on the River Ganga’s southern bank. Founded by the king of the Magadha empire in 490 CE, it became the empire’s capital throughout four dynasties – the Nanda, Gupta, Shunga, and Mauryan. It’s also the center of learning and fine arts and home to astronomers and scholars. It owns one of the world’s longest bridges standing on the River Ganga, the Mahatma Gandhi Setu. Patna is a sacred place for it hosts Buddhist remains and several of the Sikh’s community gurus were born here. Visit the Patna and Bihar museums which display the rare artifacts of their glorious past. Explore the city’s rich culture and history when you come over to visit. Read our list below of the best things to do in Patna, Bihar and include them in your travel plans.
1. Visit Padri-Ki-Haveli, their oldest Catholic Church
Padri-Ki-Haveli the oldest church of Bihar, Standing since 1713, also known as St Mary's Church. When Roman Catholics...Posted by Bihar Foundation on Thursday, 13 December 2018
The Padri-Ki-Haveli, Bihar’s oldest Catholic Church built in 1713, is also called Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rebuilt in 1772 by Tirreto, a Venetian architect, its current structure stands 50 feet (15.2 meters) high, 40 feet (12.2 meters) wide, and 70 feet (21.3 meters) long. It has survived several important events in India’s history like calamities, the 1857 Revolt, attacks, burning, and looting. The church preserved crucial documents and records for a long time before they were burned to ashes. It is here that Mother Theresa received her training as a nurse. The beautiful structure of this church which can be seen from afar is admired by both non-Christians and Christians. It’s American Colonial design is decorated with a magnificent bell with intricate inscriptions on it. The church receives a huge amount of visitors every Christmas eve.
Address: Fino Payments Bank, Ashok Rajpath Rd, Sadikpur, Patna, Bihar 800008, India
2. Take a stroll through the ancient ruins at Kumhrar Park
Strolling through Kumhrar Park is like taking a walk through Patna’s glorious past. An excavation done from 1912 to 1915 led to the discovery of ancient relics from four different dynasties. The 1890s excavations revealed 80 pillars from the former Assembly Hall and ancient structures like Durakhi Devi Temple, remnants of Anand Vihar (a Buddhist monastery), and Arogya Vihar. The ruins are confined inside a park that exhibits the former glory of Magadha, the ancient capital. It is located on the east side of the ancient city, 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) to the south of Patna’s train station, and accessible by auto rickshaw.
Address: Kumhrar, Patna, Bihar 800026, India
Opening hours: Vary
3. Be amazed by the modern Buddhist museum, Buddha Smriti Park
Buddha Smriti Park or Buddha Memorial Park is an important religious center near Patna Junction on Frazer Road. The Bihar Government developed the park in time for the celebration of Buddha’s 2554th birthday. The 14th Dalai Lama inaugurated the park in 2010 with Bihar’s Chief Minister in attendance. The massive structure was built in 1917 in Indo-Saracenic architectural style by British rulers. The standout sandblasted charcoal Vasali stupa sits on a huge 22-acre (9-hectare) park surrounded by a well-manicured landscape. This modern Buddhist museum contains precious heritage collections like Bodhi tree saplings from Anuradhapura and Bodh Gaya of Sri Lanka and its one-of-a-kind bulletproof relic chamber containing the preserved mortal remains of Buddha. It also features a meditation center and a library with an entrance fee.
Buddha Smriti Park
Address: Fraser Road, Near Patna Railway Station Patna Junction, Bihar 800001, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 7pm (closed on Mon)
4. Join a Sufi pilgrimage from Phulwari Khankaye Mujeebia
The Khankaye Mujeebia is a non-profit organization situated in Phulwari Sharif, a town in Patna. The organization is popular for its contribution to the education of the poor - an offering they call “Madrassa”. The region, which is 7 kilometers (4.34 miles) southwest of Patna Railway Station, is important for its huge legacy to the Sufi pilgrimage. Several Sufi saints like the popular Hazrat Pir Muzibullah Quadri preached from Phulwari Sharif. One of its major landmarks was built by Mughal Emperor Humayun – an intricately decorated mosque called Sangi Masjid.
Phulwari Khankaye Mujeebia
Address: Phulwari Sharif, Patna, Bihar 801505, India
Website: Phulwari Khankaye Mujeebia
5. Enjoy the top view at Gol Ghar
One of the famous attractions of Patna is a dome-shaped structure that used to be a granary located west of Gandi Maidan and near the Ganga River. What is unusual about the granary is that the entryways will only open inwards and there are two stairways wrapped around the structure. The massive bee-hive shaped structure built by a British Army Captain in 1786 measures 105 feet (32 meters) tall and 11.81 feet (3.6 meters) wide. It was built in preparation for the severe famine that started in 1770. Today, the monument stands as a recreational space within a garden. Entry is not allowed within the dome but you can climb the stairs to the top for free. Enjoy a spectacular city view beside the Ganga River at the apex.
Address: Opp.-Govt. Girls High school, Ashok Rajpath Rd, Patna, Bihar 800001, India
Website: Gol Ghar
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
6. See the tallest Gandhi statue at Gandhi Maidan
Gandhi Maidan is a 60-acre (24.2 hectares) park on the Ganga River banks formerly known as Patna Lawns. It’s a famous historical destination for freedom fighters where they hold religious ceremonies, political rallies, campaigns, and parades. Independence Day ceremonies and Republic Day flag-raising happens here as well. It also features the world’s tallest bronze Mahatma Gandhi statue – a sculpture over 70 feet (21.3 meters) tall. A lot of outdoor activities are held here. Picnics, cricket games, joggers, fitness aficionados, fair, and exhibits are commonly seen in the park.
Address: East Golghar Falls beside the Bank of Ganga River, Patna 800001, India
7. Learn about Patna's past and present at Patna Museum
Also called Jadu Ghar, Patna Museum is a well-preserved structure that houses large exhibits of artifacts from four different eras. These rare collections help connect Patna’s history with modern times. The 25,000 exhibits feature stone art and sculptures, terracotta images, paintings, bronze statutes by popular Indian artists, textiles, ancient coins, and more. The Holy Relic Casket contains Lord Buddha’s sacred ashes. The museum was built in 1917 in Rajput and Mughal motif by the British settlers with the purpose of housing artifacts found in the city. Today, it is an amazing museum surrounded by a beautiful outdoor garden.
Address: Madiri kat pur musuam k bagl m, Patna, Bihar 800001, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10:30am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 0.2 USD
8. Stop by a holy shrine at Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji
The Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji is a sacred place because it marks the birthplace of the 10th Sikh Guru named Guru Gobind Singh. It is located in Harmardir Gali, formerly named Kucha Farrukh Khan, one of Patna’s old quarters. The shrine is esteemed as the holiest among the five Takhts or thrones (seats of authority). It houses several of the Guru’s personal belongings which include his pangura or cradle where he slept as a child, the Guru’s sacred sword, his slippers, and four iron arrows. Both called a Harmandir and Sagat, the shrine is held in high esteem among the Sikh and is a site for pilgrimage that welcomes people from all kinds of faith.
Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji
Address: Takhat Sri Harmandir ji, Patna Sahib, Patna, Bihar 800008, India
Website: Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji
9. See the flora and fauna at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
Patna Zoo or Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park is among the 16 largest zoos in India built-in 1972. The former Botanical Garden was once part of the Governor’s campus which he donated to the forest department. The park is 153 acres (62 hectares) big and houses various exotic and rare animal and plant species. The zoo not only protects the animals but also controls its breeding and restoration of its species while in captivity. Currently, the zoo keeps 800 animals in 110 different species separated in houses according to their kind. Children and tourists get to see these rare animals and over 300 species of flora. It also features a nursery, a glasshouse, a fern house, a rose garden, and an orchid house.
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
Address: Raj Bhavan, Bailey Rd, Rajbansi Nagar, Patna, Bihar 800001, India
Website: Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 5am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
10. View the private collections at Jalan Museum
Jalan Museum is not a public museum but the private residence of the Jalan Family. The grand mansion, which was formerly called the Quila House, was purchased in 1919 by Dewan Bahadur Radha Krishna Jalan. The house was designed in Dutch and English styles and is located near the shores of the Ganga River. The new owner filled it up with his personal collection of 10,000 antiques and objets d’art. The residence and its valuables were passed on to five generations of the Jalan Family. You will have to book an appointment to see their private collection which they are more than happy to oblige.
Address: Quila Rd, Hajiganj, Patna, Bihar 800008, India
Website: Jalan Museum
Opening hours: Sun: 9am – 1pm, 3pm – 6pm; Mon – Sat: 9am – 11:30am
There is so much to do and so many places to see in this old historic town. These culture-rich places speak so much about the fascinating history of the city. Visit their museums and parks to feel their former glory. Their shrines and monuments speak of their deep religious ties. Include our recommendations above on your next visit to Patna!
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