Ancient City of Pataliputra - PATNA
The capital city of Bihar has quite a few interesting sites to visit. One can see centuries old stone sculptures in Patna Museum and remains of the ancient city of Pataliputra in Kumahrar Park. For the religious ones, Badi Patan Devi Temple and Takht Sri Harmandirji hold a special significance.
This is a huge round concrete structure that was constructed to serve as a granary for the British army in 1786. Captain John Garstin got it constructed after the 1770 famine. It is believed the British army was paranoid about another famine and the Golghar was meant to be a store of excess grains for use in times of crisis. The massive structure is 29 meter high and the walls are 3.6 meter wide at the base. But alas, it is believed, the Golghar could never be used for storing grains as it had a design fault. Apparently its door at the base opened inside, making it impossible to open once the granary was full. The winding stairway around this monument offers a brilliant panoramic view of the city and river Ganga flowing by.
Martyrs' Memorial :
It's a memorial to seven freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the Quit India Movement of August 1942. The martyrs were shot dead at this very spot when they tried to hoist the national flag. The modern structure in black conveys the sacrifice beautifully.
Patna Museum :
Located in the heart of Patna, Patna Museum is housed in a magnificent red and white building with domes and arches. Just outside the building stands a World War I cannon. Inside there are several interesting sections, including the one on preserved animals. There is a huge bison and a very big crocodile in the central hall of this section.
There are metal and stone sculptures from the Mauryan and Gupta periods. Buddhist and terracotta figures, several centuries old, can also be seen. A special attraction is a 16 meter long fossilized tree.
On the first floor is a rare collection of Tibetan paintings and a section on clothes and weapons from the Medieval period.
Kumhrar, five km from the Patna railway station on the Kankerbagh Road in the city, is the site of the ancient city of Pataliputra. Excavations have revealed relics of four continuous periods from 600 BC to 600 AD.
Padri Ki Haveli :
Located on Ashok Rajpath is the church of Blessed Virgin Mary. Constructed in 1772, it is among the most important and sacred churches in Bihar.
In 1939, a charitable hospital was set up in this haveli by the Medical Mission Sisters. This hospital as the Kurji Holy Family Hospital, shifted to Kurji in the western part of city in 1958.
The most significant historical detail of Padri Ki Haveli is that Mother Teresa was trained here to be a nurse.
Badi Patandevi Temple :
Situated on Ashok Rajpath, this temple is well marked on the Hindu Pilhrimage map. A Shakti Peeth, this temple worships different forms of "Shakti" or power, represented by Goddess Durga.
Legend says when Lord Shiva was carrying the body of his wife Sati, parts of her body fell in different places in India. Temple came up wherever a body part fell. Badi Patandevi is one such temple.
Patna Qalaam :
Patna school of painting or the 'Patna Qalaam" was the offshoot of the well known Mughal miniature school of painting that flourished in Bihar during early 18th to mid 20th century.