Founded by Ajatshatru, the emperor of Magadh in the 6th century BCE, Patna (or Patliputra, as it was called back in the day) is a thriving city. The face of modern India, this city is always buzzing with activity. Attracting visitors from all over the globe right since the time of the establishment of the UNESCO World Heritage Site- Nalanda University, it is a rich melting pot of cultures. So, the next time when you land in Patna, take out a few hours from your busy schedule and step outside your hotel in Patna to explore the flourishing maze of culture and heritage.
1. A trip to the mini Varanasi of Patna: Gandhi Ghat
Dotted by a sea of visitors, this iconic ghat (or flight of steps) is one of the most prominent ones embracing the holy river Ganga. What is particularly striking about this ghat is that it emulates the celebrated ritual of Ganga Aarti, which happens with great pomp and show each night at Dashwamedha Ghat in Kashi. The silhouettes of brightly lit earthen lamps on the dark surface of water, the beautiful mosaic of fresh rose petals and marigold flowers that are offered to the deity, the loud chanting of hymns – this is indeed a breathtaking spectacle. You can also take a ferry to get to the other side of the river.
2. Offer prayers at Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Built in the loving memory of Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism), who is said to have been born at this very place, this sacred shrine is nestled on the banks of River Ganga. The credit for the construction of this pious place goes to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire who commissioned it during his reign (1780 to 1839). It still houses many of the belongings of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, like his cradle; and is the hotspot for Sikhism in Eastern India.
3. Treat your taste buds to the authentic dishes of Patna
Ditch your typical plate of daal-chaawal and indulge in some of the local dishes of Patna. These include Litti Chokha (spicy dough balls served with spicy mashed potatoes), Pedakiya (a dessert made of dry fruits stuffed in a dumpling), Reshmi Kebabs (made out of mutton) and Dal Peetha (rice dumplings stuffed with lentil). They can be easily found at many restaurants in Patna. Some of the best hotel deals in Patna also offer breakfast buffets serving the city’s authentic cuisine.
4. Experience some thrill at amusement parks
If you are one of those people seeking some thrill, then the amusement parks of Patna will surely not disappoint you! So put on your sports shoes and gear up for some adventure! From mindboggling roller coasters to fun-filled water rides – there’s so much to do here. After these exciting rides, you can also dine at one of the several bistros.
5. Pick up some trinkets for yourself
The breeding ground for culture and art, Patna has been the epicenter for the production of many exquisite artifacts. These include Madhubani Paintings (a rustic art form started by women from Mithila, Bihar), rock paintings, fabrics with Applique work, pottery, stone jewelry and so forth. You can buy any of these souvenirs for yourself or for your folks at Khaitan Market and Maurya Lok Shopping Complex.