Tourism in Patna

Patna is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, with a history of 3,000 years. The rich culture and heritage of the state of Bihar is evident from the innumerable ancient monuments that are dotted all over the region. Patna is home to many tourist attractions. Bihar is visited by large numbers of tourists from all over the world all the year round. Around 2.5 million tourists visit Patna every year.[1]

History of tourism

The documented history of tourism in the Patna region dates back to the 300s BC. Greek geographer Megasthenes (ca. 350–290 BC) visited the region during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. His observations were recorded in Indika.[2] Dionysius was the son of Megasthenes, who visited Patliputra in the reign of Ashoka the Great.[3]

Fa-Hien (ca. 337 - ca. 422) was a Chinese tourist who traveled to acquire Buddhist scriptures and take back to China between 399 and 412.[4] Hieun-Tsang visited the sacred Buddhist sites in Magadha and spent much time studying at the great Nalanda University between 629 and 645.[5]

Types of tourists and tourism

In the earliest days tourism in the region was purely for educational purposes.[4] As Patna is one of the most sacred cities of religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam, many people travel to Patna as part of religious tourism.

Today, tourism in Patna is mainly either religious-based or moderated educational tourism. The Bihar government is also promoting adventure tourism.[6]

Attractions

Archaeological sites

The history and tradition of Patna starts from the earliest dawn of civilization. The original name of Patna was Patliputra. Its documented history starts around 600 BC.[7] As Patna has 2600 years of history and has seen a number of empires, there are numerous archaeological sites in the area.

Ganges river banks

The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has recently started operating an air-conditioned floating restaurant MV Ganga Vihar from Gandhi Ghat offering dinner cruises twice a day.[14]

The Tourism Department focuses on the Ganges Ghats in Patna as a major attraction. Motor boats are available to rent at a moderate price and are fitted with Yamaha 25 HP air-cooled two-stroke engines. Lucky tourists can spot Ganges dolphins.[15] There are a number of forts (like Raja Ghat, at Rani Ghat, collectarate Ghat) and pilgrimages (like Kali Mandir at Kali Ghat, Gurdwara Pahila Bara at Gai Ghat, and Gurdwara Gobind Ghat at Gaobind Ghat) situated on the bank of the Ganges in Patna. Tourists can visit Mahatma Gandhi Setu which is one of the longest bridges in the world and situated at Gaighat.

Religious complex

Patna is a popular destination for people who are on pilgrimage.

Hindu pilgrimages

Sikh pilgrimages

Patna is one of the holiest cities in Sikhism, as the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here in 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur.[18] Patna was also honoured by visits from Guru Nanak in 1509 as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1666.

Islamic pilgrimages

Christian pilgrimages

Other pilgrimages

Infotainment complex

Buildings and structures

Parks

Sports complexes

Club

Patna houses such prominent clubs as the Bankipore Club, Golf Club, New Patna Club, Lions Club, and Rotary Club.[48] The Bankipore Club, on the banks of the river Ganges, came into existence in 1913.[49] It is affiliated with various organizations.[50][51] The dance hall of this club is said to be one of the original buildings built by the Dutch in the 17th century.

Neighbourhoods

Places Near Patna

Transport

Patna was among the pioneer towns of India having horse-drawn trams as urban transport.[52] Nowadays, public transport 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 a lower fee. Most run on diesel and are yellow and black in colour. Buses are also one of the popular means of public transportation in Patna.

Railways also serve as a means of public transportation in Patna, as the city is a major junction in the rail network of India. The five main railway stations are Patna Junction, Rajendranagar Terminal, Gulzarbag Station, Danapur Junction and Patna Sahib Station, the oldest of the stations.

Shopping

Shopping is one of the favourite recreational activities of the locals. Numerous shopping complexes exist in Patna, including N.P. Centre, Maharaja Kameshwar Complex, Verma Centre, Kulharia complex and Khaitan market. Maurya lok is one of the oldest and largest shopping areas of Patna. Patna market and Hathwa market are also famous shopping points of the city.There are also malls featuring branded outlets and entertainment.

Connectivity and access

A schematic map of the Indian Railway network

Patna is an important transit point of Bihar for the tourists dropping in from the other states of India. Patna is well-connected by air, rail and road transport.

By air

Patna is served by Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport or Airport Patna. It is a national airport, connected to all major cities of India via daily flights. Gaya Airport, 96 km from Patna, is the only international airport in Bihar and Jharkhand, with connections to Colombo, Sri Lanka, through two airline operators, and to Bangkok, Singapore, and Bhutan.

By rail

Patna is strategically located on the main line of the East Central Railway and therefore connected with important cities of India and most cities within Bihar.

By road

Patna is served by a network of well-maintained roads. Several National Highways lead to Patna, including NH 19,[53] NH 30,[54] NH 31,[55] and NH 83.[56] NH 31 passes Danapur.

By car

There are a few car rental companies available in Patna/Gaya. Nalanda Travels,Recognised by Department of Tourism,Government of India,provides the quality Taxi services.[www.nalandatravels.com] Road distances from other major cities:[57]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Bihar tourism statistics on the Indian government's tourism website
  2. ^ Surviving text of Indika - book by Megasthenes
  3. ^ Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Chap. 21
  4. ^ a b A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms: Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Reprint: New York, Paragon Book Reprint Corp. 1965. ISBN 0-486-21344-7
  5. ^ Wriggins, Sally Hovey. Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road. Westview Press, 1996. Revised and updated as The Silk Road Journey With Xuanzang. Westview Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8133-6599-6.
  6. ^ Ganges river banks as tourism destination in Patna
  7. ^ History of Patna
  8. ^ Devise plan to save Kumhrar site:HC. The Times of India, Feb 1, 2002.
  9. ^ Experts meet to preserve Kumhrar. The Times of India, Dec 26, 2006
  10. ^ a b Ancient city of Pataliputra (Patna) official website.
  11. ^ Yakshni Museums in Bihar, Govt of Bihar official website.
  12. ^ Patna Buddhist-Tourism
  13. ^ Patna, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.
  14. ^ MV Ganga Vihar Floating Restaurant
  15. ^ Ganges Ghats as Tourism destination in Patna
  16. ^ Budget of Mahavir Mandir
  17. ^ Patan Devi Temple
  18. ^ a b Johar, Surinder Singh (1979). Guru Gobind Singh: A Study. Marwah Publications. p. 23. 
  19. ^ Gurdwara Pahila Bara
  20. ^ Gurdwara Gobind Ghat
  21. ^ Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh
  22. ^ Gurdwara Bal Leela
  23. ^ Gurdwara Handi Sahib
  24. ^ Pathar ki Masjid
  25. ^ Sher Shah Suri Masjid
  26. ^ Sher Shah Suri Masjid
  27. ^ Sufi circuit
  28. ^ Padri-Ki-Haveli
  29. ^ Patna Planetarium
  30. ^ The State Museum - Patna Museum
  31. ^ Patna Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan
  32. ^ Exhibits / Facilities at Srikrishna Science Centre
  33. ^ New Facilities at Shrikrishna Science Center
  34. ^ Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
  35. ^ Golghar, 1888, Victoria & Albert Museum.
  36. ^ "The Hindu : Karnataka / Bijapur News : Korthi-Kolhar bridge inaugurated". Chennai, India. [dead link]
  37. ^ Kargil Chowk
  38. ^ Patna High Court
  39. ^ Nagholkothi
  40. ^ Saheed Smarak
  41. ^ Darbhanga House
  42. ^ Kamat. "Great freedom Fighters". Kamat's archive. Retrieved 2006-02-25. 
  43. ^ Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan
  44. ^ Moin-ul-Haq Stadium
  45. ^ Patna Golf Club
  46. ^ Patna Golf Club
  47. ^ Patna Indoor Stadium
  48. ^ Clubs in Patna
  49. ^ Bankipore Club
  50. ^ Affiliation of Bankipore Club by Golden Swan Country Club
  51. ^ Affiliation of Bankipore Club by L'AMICALE
  52. ^ "Trams in Patna" by TOI
  53. ^ NH 19
  54. ^ NH 30
  55. ^ NH 31
  56. ^ NH 83
  57. ^ Distance chart of Patna

External links