The chaotic city of Patna has often earned the reputation of being overcrowded and unsafe. Yet on your Bihar tour, you will discover a completely different side of it. The capital city of Bihar was once the flourishing kingdom of Pataliputra, which was once the richest cities in India. Situated by the banks of Ganga, Patna was home to great dynasties.
Your Patna tour will give you a full cultural experience owing to its rich culture and history.
Here are some of the things you must do on your Bihar tour in Patna:
The entire city of Patna is like walking through the different eras and kingdoms of Indian history. You will eventually come across the regal Kumhrar, which was the assembly hall of Chandragupta I, on your Patna tour.
The hall is so luxurious and elegant that you might let out a gasp as you walk in. Resplendent its 80 pillars, many believe that this was the Sabha Parva which is mentioned in the Mahabharata. While it has faced the wrath of time, this hall still commands a certain respect and you can use your imagination to piece the rest.
There are excavated pillars lying here and there. You can see the intricate designs that still pop up on these pillars.
There is also a ruined monastery and a small herbal garden that surrounds it. You can also spend some time in the little museum that will tell you about the history and mystery that surrounds the Kumhrar.
The birthplace of the famous Sikh Guru – Guru Gobind Singh, the Patna Sahib Gurudwara is a popular pilgrimage site. This iconic gurudwara is one of the best places to rest and escape from the chaos of city life. It is located on the banks of Ganga, giving it that surreal and serene feel. Accompanied by humming chants and pristine white walls, the Patna Sahib Gurudwara is a welcome place for all weary travellers.
This gurudwara was also home to Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur for some time, making it all the more holy.
Once you enter the gurudwara on your Patna tour, you will feel a sudden peace just gasp you and wrap you in your comforting arms. A soulful spiritual music plays in the background. You can just close your eyes and feel the soft music lulling you into tranquillity.
The life of the ancient city of Patna now rests in the main city museum that houses all the artefacts of when Patna was Pataliputra. On your Bihar tour, you will find this museum one of the best with regards to the archaeological artefacts and heritage in the country. One of the most popular tourist sites in Patna, the Patna Museum will take you back to the origin of this city.
The polished sculpture of Didarganj Yakshi will greet you as you enter the museum.
The museum is so beautifully organised, with grandeur statues and wonderful artefacts, that you will start to wonder if you went back in time. There is a life-size statue of a woman wearing rich jewellery. Every detail on her is so lifelike and spectacular. There are other such stunning statues, included the one recovered from Lohanipur and the image of Shalbhanjika. You will also witness many more gems from the 3rd BCE to the 11th CE.
If you are into religion, then you are in for a treat. You will find images and stories from all the three religions that were established in this country- Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. There are a lot of paintings and scriptures that talk about different eras. Just wander around and try to piece a story together.
It is highly recommended that you take a guided tour to understand the origin of Patna in a more insightful way.
One of the highlights of the Patna museum is the Buddha Relics. On your Bihar tour, you will hear the mention of Lord Buddha many times, especially since he attained enlightenment in Bihar itself.
These relics are extremely precious, and Buddhist pilgrims pay their homage to them. You have to buy a separate entry ticket if you wish to see them.
There are different galleries in this museum. Two of the most stunning ones are the Bronze Gallery and the Terracotta Gallery. There are so many prehistoric paintings, sculptures and vintage artefacts in these two galleries that you will be in awe. The Terracotta galley has images from the Harappan civilisation as well.
Here you will also find artefacts that show the daily life of early civilisations.
You can also visit the Rajendra Gallery. It is a tribute to Dr Rajendra Prasad. If you are a lover of paintings then visit the medieval paintings galley to watch the world of historic paintings unfold in front of you.
Next on your Patna tour, visit the old well of Agam Kuan, which existed since the time of King Ashoka. According to legends, King Ashoka had murdered 99 brothers of his and thrown their bodies into this well. While you won’t see any corpses on your trip, you can surely imagine the scene.
The well has high red coloured walls. To sneak into this dark well you have to use the little windows on the high wall. There is also a small shrine nearby. While it is hard to prove these rumours, you will certainly feel a magical aura when you look deep down in the dark abyss.
One of the hidden gems that you can discover on your Patna tour is the Khuda Bakhsh Library. This library has about 21000 oriental manuscript and 2.5 million books that are open to the public. These books are so precious, that you have to handle them with utmost care.
However, more than the books, the old world charm and the rustic feel of the library coupled with the whiff of old paper and wooden desks, will take you on a journey. There is a reading room as well, and you can spend some time there with truly rare books. You will find handwritten manuscripts here.
If you do have the luxury of time on your Patna tour, then do not give this one a miss.