Patna

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This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Patna district. For Other uses, see Patna (disambiguation).
Patna
पटना
पाटलीपुत्र (Pataliputra)
Metropolis
Anticlockwise from top: South-West Gandhi Maidan Marg, Stupa of Buddha Smriti Park, Skyline near Biscomaun Bhawan, Patna Museum, Statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Maidan, Mithapur Over Bridge and river Ganga
Anticlockwise from top: South-West Gandhi Maidan Marg, Stupa of Buddha Smriti Park, Skyline near Biscomaun Bhawan, Patna Museum, Statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Maidan, Mithapur Over Bridge and river Ganga
Patna is located in Bihar
Patna
Patna
Location of Patna in Bihar
Coordinates: 25°36′N 85°06′E / 25.6°N 85.1°E / 25.6; 85.1Coordinates: 25°36′N 85°06′E / 25.6°N 85.1°E / 25.6; 85.1
Country  India
State Bihar
Region Magadha
Division Patna
District Patna
Ward 72 wards
Founded by Ajatasatru
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Patna Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Afzal Imam (JDU)
 • Municipal commissioner Jai Singh
Area(2001) [A 1]
 • Urban 135.79 km2 (52.43 sq mi)
 • Metro 234.7 km2 (90.62 sq mi)
 • City 99.45 km2 (38.40 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 53 m (174 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Density 16,925/km2 (43,840/sq mi)
 • Urban 2,046,652 (IN: 18th)
 • Metro 2,231,554 [A 1]
 • City 1,683,200 (IN: 19th)
Demonym Patnaite
Languages
 • Spoken Hindi, English, Magadhi[4]
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 800 XXX
Telephone code +91-612
ISO 3166 code IN-BR-PA
Vehicle registration BR 01
Sex ratio 1.13[3] /
Literacy 84.71%
Lok Sabha constituency Patna Sahib and Pataliputra
Vidhan Sabha constituency Digha (181), Bankipur (182), Kumhrar (183), Patna Sahib (184), Fatuha (185), Danapur (186), Maner (187), Phulwari-SC (188)
Planning agency Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation
Distance from Bangalore 2,166 kilometres (1,346 mi) SW (land)
Distance from Kolkata 556 kilometres (345 mi) NW (land)
Distance from Mumbai 1,802 kilometres (1,120 mi) NE (land)
Climate Cwa (Köppen)
Precipitation 1,100 millimetres (43 in)
Avg. annual temperature 26 °C (79 °F)
Avg. summer temperature 30 °C (86 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 17 °C (63 °F)
Website www.patna.nic.in
  1. ^ a b The metropolis comprises PRDA area, also includes Hajipur and Sonepur[1]

Patna /ˈpʌtnə/ (About this sound Hindi pronunciation ) is the capital and largest city of the state of Bihar in India. Patna. The second largest city in eastern India, had an estimated population of 1.68 million in 2011, making it the 19th largest city in India. Its urban agglomeration is the 18th largest in India, with over 2 million people. Patna also serves as seat of Patna High Court.

One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world.[5] Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Gupta and Pala. Pataliputra was a seat of learning and fine arts. Its population during the Maurya period (around 300 BCE) was about 400,000.[6]

The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganges.[7] The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak and Punpun. The city is approximately 35 km long and 16 km to 18 km wide. In June 2009, the World Bank ranked Patna second in India (after Delhi) for ease of starting a business.[8] As of 2011-12, Patna had the highest per capita gross district domestic product in Bihar, at INR63,063.[9][10] Using figures for assumed average annual growth, Patna is the 21st fastest growing city in the world and 5th fastest growing city in India by the City Mayors' Foundation. Patna registered an average annual growth of 3.72% during 2006-2010.[11]

The Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, and Pawapuri are nearby and Patna City is also a sacred city for Sikhs as the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here.[12]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Patna

Origin of name[edit]

The name of this city has changed with time. It is one of the oldest cities of India. There are several theories regarding the source of the modern name Patna (Devanagari:पटना) :

  • It is etymologically derived from Patan (Devanagari: पIतन), the name of the Hindu goddess, Patan Devi.[13]
  • Patan Devi Mandir is still situated in old Patna near Gai Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi Setu Over Bridge)
  • Many believe Patna derived its name from Patli, a tree variety that was found in abundance in the historic city.[14] (which is also seen on the state tourism's logo[15])
  • The place appears in Chinese traveller Fa Hien's records as Pa-lin-fou.[13]
  • The city has been known by various names during its more than 2,000 years of existence – Pataligrama, Pataliputra, Kusumapura, Kusumdhwaja Pushpapuram, Padmavathi, Azimabad and the present-day Patna.[16][17]

Legend describes the origin of Patna to a mythological King Putraka who created Patna by magic for his queen Patali, literally "trumpet flower", which gives it its ancient name Pataligrama. It is said that in honour of the queen's first-born, the city was named Pataliputra. Gram is Sanskrit for village and Putra means son.[18] Legend also says that the Emerald Buddha was created in Patna (then Pataliputra) by Nagasena in 43 BCE.[19]

Ancient era[edit]

Patna became significant around the year 490 BCE when Ajatashatru, the king of Magadha, wanted to shift his capital from the hilly Rajagrha to a more strategically located place to combat the Licchavis of Vaishali.[20] He chose the site on the bank of the Ganges and fortified the area. Gautama Buddha passed through this place in the last year of his life. He prophesied a great future for this place, but at the same time, he predicted its ruin from flood, fire and feud.[21]

Mauryan empire[edit]

Statue of Matrikas found near Agam Kuan built by Ashoka

Megasthenes, the Indo-Greek historian and ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, gave one of the earliest account of the city. He wrote that the city was situated on the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Arennovoas (Sonabhadra — Hiranyawah) and was 14 kilometres (9 mi) long and 2.82 kilometres (1.75 mi) wide.[22][23] Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, described the city as the greatest city on earth during its heyday.[24] The Sungas ultimately retained control of Pataliputra and ruled for almost 100 years. The Sungas were then followed by the Kanvas and eventually the Guptas.[25]

A number of Chinese travellers came to India in pursuit of knowledge and recorded their observations about Pataliputra in their travelogues, including those of a Chinese Buddhist Fa Hien, who visited India between 399 and 414 CE, and stayed here for many months translating Buddhist texts.[26]

Gupta and Mughal empires[edit]

Main street of Patna, showing one side of the Chowk, 1814-15.
City of Patna, on the River Ganges, 19th-century painting.
Golghar at Bankipore, near Patna, 1814-15.
Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781 - 1845) (British, active in India)

In the years that followed, many dynasties ruled the Indian subcontinent from the city, including those of the Gupta empire and the Pala kings. With the disintegration of the Gupta empire, Patna passed through uncertain times. Bakhtiar Khilji captured Bihar in the 12th century and destroyed many ancient seats of learning, and Patna lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India.[27]

Guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born as Gobind Rai in Patna to Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, and his wife Gujri. His birthplace, Patna Sahib, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for Sikhs.[28]

The Mughal period was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi.[29] The most remarkable period during these times was under the Pashtun emperor Sher Shah Suri, who revived Patna in the middle of the 16th century. He built a fort and founded a town on the banks of the Ganges. Sher Shah's fort in Patna does not survive, although the Sher Shah Suri Masjid mosque, built in Afghan architectural style, does. Mughal emperor Akbar came to Patna in 1574 to crush the Afgha Chief Daud Khan. Akbar's navratna and state's official historian and author of "Ain-i-Akbari" Abul Fazl refers to Patna as a flourishing centre for paper, stone and glass industries. He also refers to the high quality of numerous strains of rice grown in Patna, famous as Patna rice in Europe.[30]

By 1620, the city of Patna was being described as the "chefest mart towne of all Bengala (i.e. largest town in Bengal)[20][31] in northern India, "the largest town in Bengal and the most famous for trade".[32] This was before the founding of the city of Calcutta. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb acceded to the request of his favourite grandson, Prince Muhammad Azim, to rename Patna as Azimabad, in 1704 while Azim was in Patna as the subedar. However, very little changed during this period other than the name. With the decline of the Mughal empire, Patna moved into the hands of the Nawabs of Bengal, who levied a heavy tax on the populace but allowed it to flourish as a commercial centre. The mansions of the Maharaja of Tekari Raj dominated the Patna river front in 1811-12.[33]

British empire[edit]

Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781 - 1845) (British, active in India)

During the 17th century, Patna became a centre of international trade.[31] In 1620, the English East India Company established a factory in Patna for trading in calico and silk. Soon this became a trading centre for saltpetre. Francois Bernier, in Travels in the Mogul Empire (1656–1668), says "...a prodigious quantity of saltpetre was imported from Patna. It was carried down the Ganges with great facility, and the Dutch and English send large cargoes to many parts of the Indies, and to Europe". This trade encouraged other Europeans, principally the French, Danes, Dutch and Portuguese, to compete in the lucrative business. Peter Mundy, writing in 1632, described Patna as "the greatest mart of the eastern region".[29] After the decisive Battle of Buxar of 1764, Patna fell into the hands of the East India Company, which installed a government. It was ruled during the years of British India by a series of governors, including Rahul Gunderjaharagand.

In 1912, when the Bengal Presidency was partitioned, Patna became the capital of the British province of Bihar and Orissa, although in 1935 Orissa became a separate entity with its own capital.[34][35]

Indian independence movement[edit]

People from Patna were involved in the Indian independence movement.[36][37] Most notable were the Champaran movement against the Indigo plantation and the 1942 Quit India Movement.[38][39] National leaders who have come from the city include Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, the first President of the Constituent Assembly of India; Dr. Sachidanand Sinha; Dr. Rajendra Prasad; Bihar Vibhuti (Anugrah Narayan Sinha); Basawon Singh (Sinha); Loknayak (Jayaprakash Narayan);[40] Sri Krishna Sinha; Sheel Bhadra Yajee and Sarangdhar Sinha (Singh)[41]

Patna continued to be the capital of the state of Bihar after independence in 1947, though Bihar itself was partitioned again in 2000 when Jharkhand became a separate state of the Indian union.[35]

Geography[edit]

Map of Patna district

Topography[edit]

Patna is located on the south bank of the Ganges River. A characteristic of the geography of Patna is its confluence of rivers.[1] The Ganges River is the largest.A narrow strip of somewhat high land about 8 kilometers in width along the southern bank of the Ganges having very fertile soil.

Alluvial fertile plains in the remaining portions. After creation of the new district of Patna does not contain of any hilly regions. It has an entirely alluvial and flat region. The land in the district is too fertile to be left for wild growth. The district is devoid of any forest wealth of consequences. The alluvial text of land yields rice, sugarcane and other foodgrains. The area under cultivation is studded with mango orchads and bamboo clumps. In the fields adjoining the Ganges weeds such as ammannia, citriculari, hygrophile and sesbania grow. But palmyra and date palm and mango orchards are found near habitations. Dry shrub jungles are sometimes seen in the villages away from the rivers. Trees commonly met with are bel, siris, jack fruits and the red cotton tree[42] It is joined by four other rivers: Ghaghara, Gandak, Punpun and Sone. Patna is unique in having four large rivers in its vicinity.[43] It is the largest riverine city in the world.[44] The bridge over the river Ganges named Mahatma Gandhi Setu is 5575m long and is the longest river bridge in the India.[45]

Climate[edit]

Patna
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
20
 
 
23
9
 
 
12
 
 
26
12
 
 
11
 
 
33
17
 
 
9.6
 
 
37
22
 
 
37
 
 
38
25
 
 
150
 
 
37
27
 
 
314
 
 
33
26
 
 
273
 
 
33
26
 
 
205
 
 
32
25
 
 
71
 
 
32
22
 
 
7.5
 
 
29
15
 
 
6.7
 
 
25
10
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: worldweather[46] wetterkontor.de[47]

Patna has a Humid subtropical climate under the Köppen climate classification: (Cwa) with extremely hot summers from late March to early June, the monsoon season from late June to late September and chilly winter nights and foggy or sunny days from November to February[48] Highest temperature ever recorded was 46.6 °C (115.9 °F), in the year 1966,[49] the lowest ever was 1.1 °C (34 °F), on 9 January 2013,[50] and highest rainfall was 204.5 mm (8.05 in), in the year 1997.[49]

Monsoon clouds over Priyadarshi Nagar, a part of Kankarbagh- residential area in Eastern Patna.

The table below details historical monthly averages for climate variables.

Climate data for Patna
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
35.1
(95.2)
41.4
(106.5)
44.6
(112.3)
45.6
(114.1)
46.6
(115.9)
41.2
(106.2)
39.7
(103.5)
37.5
(99.5)
37.2
(99)
34.1
(93.4)
30.5
(86.9)
46.6
(115.9)
Average high °C (°F) 23
(73)
26.1
(79)
32.4
(90.3)
37.4
(99.3)
38.4
(101.1)
36.7
(98.1)
32.9
(91.2)
32.5
(90.5)
32.2
(90)
31.7
(89.1)
28.9
(84)
24.6
(76.3)
31.4
(88.49)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.2
(61.2)
18.9
(66)
24.4
(75.9)
29.8
(85.6)
31.8
(89.2)
31.7
(89.1)
26.5
(79.7)
24.3
(75.7)
28.8
(83.8)
26.7
(80.1)
21.9
(71.4)
34.7
(94.5)
26.31
(79.35)
Average low °C (°F) 9.3
(48.7)
11.6
(52.9)
16.4
(61.5)
22.1
(71.8)
25.1
(77.2)
26.7
(80.1)
26.1
(79)
26.1
(79)
25.3
(77.5)
21.6
(70.9)
14.8
(58.6)
10.1
(50.2)
19.6
(67.28)
Record low °C (°F) 1.4
(34.5)
3.4
(38.1)
8.2
(46.8)
13.3
(55.9)
17.7
(63.9)
19.3
(66.7)
21.1
(70)
20.5
(68.9)
19.0
(66.2)
12.0
(53.6)
7.7
(45.9)
2.2
(36)
1.4
(34.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.2
(0.598)
11.1
(0.437)
11.4
(0.449)
9
(0.35)
35.6
(1.402)
133.5
(5.256)
302.4
(11.906)
266.3
(10.484)
194.7
(7.665)
24.6
(0.969)
8.2
(0.323)
7.4
(0.291)
1,019.4
(40.13)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 12.2
(0.48)
14.1
(0.555)
09.4
(0.37)
10.8
(0.425)
38.1
(1.5)
142.5
(5.61)
381.0
(15)
281.6
(11.087)
229.3
(9.028)
78.6
(3.094)
8.7
(0.343)
7.0
(0.276)
1,213.3
(47.768)
Avg. rainy days 1.3 1.2 0.7 1.0 2.7 6.5 14.9 12.8 10.2 3.3 0.6 0.7 55.9
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (Period 1901–2000, record high and low up to 2010)[51][52] (rainfall 1971-2000[53]
Source #2: worldweather.org[54]

Economy[edit]

State Bank of India- Patna Regional office at East Gandhi Maidan Marg

Patna has long been a major agricultural center of trade, its most active exports being grain, sugarcane, sesame, and medium-grained Patna rice. There are multiple sugar mills still in existence in and around Patna.[55] It is an important business and luxury brand center of eastern India.[56]

Reserve Bank of India's regional office at South Gandhi Maidan Marg, Patna

As of 2011, the economy of Patna has seen sustained economic growth. In particular, the economy has been spurred by growth in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry, the service sector, along with Green revolution businesses.[56] In 2009, the World Bank stated Patna as the second best city in India to start up a business.[57] As of 2010, the per capita income of Patna was INR37737.[58]

Patna is the 21st fastest growing city in the world, and the fifth fastest growing city in India, and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.72%.[59][60]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1807-14 312,000 —    
1872 158,000 −49.4%
1881 170,684 +8.0%
1901 134,785 −21.0%
1911 136,153 +1.0%
1921 119,976 −11.9%
1931 159,690 +33.1%
1941 196,415 +23.0%
1951 283,479 +44.3%
1961 364,594 +28.6%
1971 475,300 +30.4%
1981 813,963 +71.3%
1991 1,099,647 +35.1%
2001 1,697,976 +54.4%
2011 2,049,156 +20.7%
Note: Huge population decline after 1814 due to the decrease
in the river borne trade, persistent unhealthiness and repeated
epidemics of plaque.
Source: [61]
Maurya Lok is one of the oldest and major shopping area of the city

A resident of Patna is referred to via the demonym Patnaite[62][63] According to 2011 provisional census data, Patna city had a population of 1,683,200 (before expansion of the city limits) within the corporation limits, with 894,158 men and 789,042 women. 11.32 per cent of the population was under six years of age, with 102,208 boys while 88,288 are girls. The sex ratio of 882 females per 1,000 males was lower than the national average of 944. The urban agglomeration had a population of 2,046,652 of which 1,087,864 are males and 958,788 are females.[64] Patna metropolitan region constitutes the second largest metropolitan region in Eastern India. The religion data in 2001 indicated a majority of Hindus. The city has large communities of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhism in the city. The overall literacy rate is 84.71%, with the male literacy rate being 87.71% and the female literacy rate being 81.33%.[3]


Hindi is the official language of the state of Bihar but many other languages are spoken. The native dialect is Magadhi or Magahi, named after Magadha, the ancient name of Bihar. English is widely spoken by Patnaites, and other widely spoken dialects and languages include Bhojpuri, Maithili, Bengali, Urdu and Oriya.[4][65] People of Patna has open flair for other languages as well.

Government and public services[edit]

Civic administration[edit]

The civic administration of Patna is executed by several government agencies, and consists of overlapping structural divisions. At least five administrative definitions of the city are available; listed in ascending order of area, those are:

  1. Patna division
  2. Patna district (also the Patna Police area),
  3. the Patna Metropolitan Region[66] (also known as Patna Planning area)[67]
  4. "Greater Patna" or PRDA area, which adds to the PMC area a few areas just adjacent to it[68]
  5. Patna Municipal Corporation area (or "Patna city main").

The Patna Municipal Corporation, or PMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 72 wards,[69] which accommodates a population of 1.7 million as per 2011 Census. The municipal corporation consists of democratically elected members, each ward elects a Councillor to the PMC.[70] The PMC is in charge of the civic and infrastructure needs of the metropolis. As Patna's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and other elected members of the PMC. The Mayor is usually chosen through indirect election by the councillors from among themselves. The functions of the PMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation. The Municipal Commissioner is the chief Executive Officer and head of the executive arm of the Municipal Corporation. All executive powers are vested in the Municipal Commissioner who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer appointed by the state government.[71] Although the Municipal Corporation is the legislative body that lays down policies for the governance of the city, it is the Commissioner who is responsible for the execution of the policies. The Commissioner is appointed for a fixed term as defined by state statute. The powers of the Commissioner are those provided by statute and those delegated by the Corporation or the Standing Committee. As of 2015, the JDU controls the PMC; the mayor is Afzal Imam, while the deputy mayor is Rupnarayan Mehta.[72] The current commissioner is Jai Singh.[73]

The Patna Municipal Corporation was ranked 4th out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 3.6 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.[74]

The revenue district of Patna come under the jurisdiction of a District Collector.[75] The Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Central Government, and oversee the national elections held in the city.[76]

The Patna Metropolitan Region, which is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency currently overseeing the latter, the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (BUIDCO) and Bihar'S Ministry of Urban Development and Housing Corporation, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of Greater Patna. However, the Patna Metropolitan Development Authority (PMDA) would be principal agency for development and planning,[77] it will be superseding agency for the former Patna Regional Development Authority (PRDA), which was dissolved in 2006.[78]

Gandhi Maidan (shown above) lies in the heart of Patna and is the site for most political and social functions in the city.

In addition to city government, numerous commissions and state authorities—including the Ministry of Tourism, the Bihar Health Department, the Bihar Water Resources Department, National Ganga River Basin Authority, Bihar State Pollution Control Board and the Bihar Public Service Commission—play a role in the life of Patnaites. As the capital of Bihar, Patna plays a major role not only in state politics[79] but in central politics as well.[80]

As the seat of the Government of Bihar, The city has several federal facilities, including the Raj Bhavan: Governor’s house, the Bihar Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Patna Secretariat; and the Patna High Court. The Patna High Court is one of the oldest High Court in India. The Patna High Court has jurisdiction over the state of Bihar.[81] Patna also has lower courts; the Small Causes Court for civil matters, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases.[82][83] The Patna Police, commanded by Senior Superintendent of Police, is overseen by the Bihar Government's Home Department. The Patna district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha,[84] and 14 representatives to the state legislative assembly. However there are total three lok sabha seats falls under Patna district.[85]

Utility services[edit]

Ground water fulfills the basic need of the people,[86] administered by Patna Jal Parishad under Patna Municipal Corporation.[87] The public water supply system comprises 98 tube wells[88] that pump water directly to the distribution mains. Around 23 overhead reservoirs[86] of which only the one’s at Agam Kuan, Gulzarbagh Press, Guru Gobind Singh Hospital and High Court serves the city. The sewerage system in Patna was set up in 1936. At present there are four sewage treatment plants[89] located at Saidpur, Beur, Pahari and Karmali Chak.[90]

Bhootnath Road TV Tower broadcasts programming to Patna

Electricity supply to the city is regulated and distributed by the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited. The city forms the Patna Electricity Supply Unit (PESU)[91] Circle, which is further divided into two wings namely Patna East (consists Kankarbagh, Patna City, Gulzarbagh, Bankipore, Rajendra Nagar Divisions) and Patna West (Consists Danapur, New Capital, Pataliputra, Gardanibagh, Dak Bunglow divisions).[92]

Direct–to–home (DTH) is available via DD Free Dish, Airtel digital TV, Dish TV, Tata Sky, Videocon d2h, Sun Direct and Reliance Digital TV.[93] Cable companies include Darsh Digital Network Pvt. Ltd.,[94] SITI Maurya Cablenet Pvt. Ltd[95] etc. The Conditional Access System for cable television was implemented in March 2013.[96]

Patna comes under the Patna Telecom District of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL),[97] India's state-owned telecom and internet services provider. Both Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code division multiple access (CDMA) mobile services are available.[98] Apart from telecom, BSNL also provides broadband internet service.[99] Among private enterprises, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, Uninor, Vodafone and Videocon Telecom[100] are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city.[101][102]

Patna was the second Indian city, after Bangalore,[103] which offered free WiFi connectivity to its citizens in February this year. By surpassing the previous record-holder, Beijing in China,[104] Patna's WiFi zone is the world's longest free WiFi zone, which covers a 20-km stretch from NIT Patna on Ashok Rajpath to Danapur.[105][106]

Transport and connectivity[edit]

Chiriyatand Flyover at Patna, one of the many new ones that have come up in the city recently.

Patna is located about 100 km from the national East – West Highway corridor. The NH 30, NH 31 and NH 2 passes through the town. The Ashok Rajpath, Patna-Danapur Road, Bailey Road, Harding Road and Kankarbagh old bypass Road are the major corridors. The National Waterway-1 stretches 1620 km in the River Ganga from Allahabad to Haldia passes through Patna.[107]

Patna was one of the first places in India to use horse-drawn trams for public transport.[108] Public transportation today is provided for by buses, auto rickshaws and local trains. Auto rickshaws are said to be the lifeline of the city.[109] BSRTC has started City bus service on all major routes of Patna.[110][111] Radio cab facility is also available.[112] Prepaid auto services operated by an all-women crew was started in 2013 in Patna,[113] which is the first of its kind in India.[114]

Radio Taxis

Rail[edit]

The Patna Junction railway station is connected to most of the major cities in India by the railway network.[115] Patna lies in between New Delhi and Kolkata which is one of the busiest rail route in India. The city is a major railway hub and has six major stations: Patna Junction, Rajendranagar Terminal, Gulzarbagh Station, Danapur Station, Patliputra Junction and Patna Sahib Station. Patna is well connected with Gaya, Jehanabad, Biharsharif, Rajgir, Islampur through daily passenger and express train services. Currently, the Indian Railways has floated tenders to construct 5 new "deluxe" toilets in each of Patna's railway station. The plan also includes the modernisation of Patna Junction.[116] In 2009, the construction of India's longest road-cum-rail bridge, Ganga Rail-Road Bridge was underway on the banks on the Ganges nearby and will connect Digha, Patna to Pahleja Ghat. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2017.[117][118] Sources say that when completed it will be 4.55 kilometres (2.83 mi) long and therefore the longest road cum rail bridge in India and one of the longest in the world.[119]

The Planning Commission of India has given nod to Patna Metro recently which will run on two routes- Dak bunglow Square to Saguna Morh and Danapur to Patna City.[120][121] The metro will be implemented on a Public Private Partnership.[122] Furthermore, RITES has started ground survey and soil testing for the Patna Monorail to conduct techno-economic feasibility studies.[122]

Mahatma Gandhi Setu connecting Patna with North Bihar.

Air[edit]

There is an airport, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport, which is classified as a restricted international airport.[123] The arrival of several low-cost carriers and a number of new destinations have caused a growth in air traffic in recent years, as has an improvement in the situation with regard to law and order. For the period April to December 2009 the airport ranked first in a survey of 46 airports in the country in terms of percentage growth of domestic passengers as well as domestic aircraft movement.[124] New airport is expected to be built at Bihta.[125] Flights are unable to land at the Patna airport during a foggy weather.[126]

Road[edit]

The city is served by several major road highways and state highways, including National Highways 19,[127] 30,[128] 31,[129] and 83.[130] It is 1,015 kilometres (631 mi) East from Delhi, 1,802 kilometres (1,120 mi) North East from Mumbai and 556 kilometres (345 mi) North West from Kolkata.[131] Luxury bus service between Patna and several neighboring cities is provided by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation and the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation.[132] Radio Taxi services are also available within city limit as well as outskirts.[133]

Culture[edit]

Holi being played in the courtyard, ca 1795 painting. Patna style Inscribed on the back of the drawing is: 'No.4. The Gift of E.E. Pote Esqr. Elizath Collins.
Durga Puja, 1809 watercolour painting in Patna Style.
A murti, or representation, of the goddess Durga shown during the Durga Puja festival
Litthi bhandhar - a Street food stall
Magahi folk singers
People Celebrating Chhath Festival the 2nd Day at Morning a tribute to the rising holy God Sun

Patna’s native dialect is Magahi or Magadhi. The ancestor of Magadhi, from which its name derives, Magadhi Prakrit,[134] was created in the ancient kingdom of Magadha, the core of which was the area of Patna south of the Ganges. It is believed to be the language spoken by Gautama Buddha.[135] It was the official language of the Mauryan court, and the edicts of Ashoka were composed in it.[136]

The name Magahi is directly derived from the name Magadhi Prakrit, and the educated speakers of Magahi prefer to call it Magadhi rather than Magahi.[137]

Patna shares many cultural roots with neighbouring Bengal.[138][139] Patna has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic[140] and Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures";[141][142] others are in various stages of decay.[143] Established in 1917 as the Bihar’s first museum, the Patna Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art.[144] The Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library and Sinha Library are historic public libraries of Patna.[145][146]

Several theatres are located in or near the central part of the city, including the Bhartiya Nritya Kala Mandir, the Rabindra Parishad, Premchand Rangshala and the Kalidas Rangalaya, which is home to the Bihar art theatre. Kalidas Rangalaya also hosts the Patliputra Natya Mahotsav, a dance festival.[147] But in the last two decades, the popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined.[148]

The Patna School of Painting or Patna Qalaam, some times also called Company style, is an offshoot of the well-known Mughal Miniature school of painting, which flourished in Bihar during the early 18th to the mid-20th centuries.[149] The practitioners of this art form were descendants of Hindu artisans of Mughal painting who facing persecution under the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and who found refuge, via Murshidabad, in Patna during the late 18th century. The Patna painters differed from the Mughal painters, whose subjects included only royalty and court scenes, in that they included as subjects bazaar scenes, scenes of Indian daily life, local dignitaries, festivals and ceremonies, and nature scenes.[150] The paintings were executed in watercolours on paper and on mica, but the style was generally of a hybrid and undistinguished quality. It is this school of painting that inspired the formation of the College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, under the leadership of Shri Radha Mohan, which is an important centre of fine arts in Bihar.[150]

A regular Bihari meal consists of daal, bhaat (rice), roti, tarkari (vegetables) etc. Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because traditional Bihar society, influenced by Buddhist and Hindu values of non-violence, did not eat eggs, chicken, fish and other animal products. However there is also a tradition of meat-eating, and fish dishes are especially common due to the number of rivers in Bihar. There are also numerous Bihari meat dishes, with chicken and mutton being the most common.[151]

Some dishes which Bihar is famous for include Sattu Paratha, which are Parathas stuffed with fried chickpea flour, chokha (spicy mashed potatoes), fish curry and Bihari Kebab, Postaa-dana kaa halwaa, Malpua, Dal Pitha (Bihari version of momos), Kheer Makhana (fox nut), Thekua/Khajuria (type of snack) etc.[152]

Street foods such as Samosa,[153] Chaat, litti chokha, phuchka (a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce), South Indian and Chinese cuisine are favorite among Patnaites.[154]

Though Bihari women traditionally wear the sari, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women.[155] Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta[156] are seen during festivals. Chhath, also called Dala Chhath, is an ancient and major festival in Bihar.[157] It is celebrated twice a year: once in the summer, called the Chaiti Chhath, and once about a week after Deepawali, called the Kartik Chhath. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is Patna's another important festival; it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations.[158][159] Among the city's other festivals, are Saraswati Puja, Eid, Holi, Christmas, Vismkarma Puja, Makar Sankranti, Raksha Bandhan and Rath Yatra. Cultural events include the Patna Book Fair, Patna Sahib Mahotsav, the Patna Film Festival, Bihar Diwas and the Rajgir Mahotsav, Vaishali Mahotsav and the Sonepur Cattle Fair in neighbouring cities.

Tourism[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Patna
Golghar, granery built to protect the British army from famine in 1786, now a great observation deck to view the Ganges and the city.
Takhat Sri Harmandar Sahib, Patna Sahib

Patna is home to many tourist attractions and it saw about 2.4 million tourists (including day visitors) in 2005. Tourists visiting the city accounted for 41% of the total for Bihar province, although Bodh Gaya was the most popular destination for foreign visitors.[160]

The cultural heritage of Bihar is reflected in its many ancient monuments. Kumhrar and Agam Kuan are the sites of the ruins of the Ashokan Pataliputra. Didarganj Yakshi remains as an example of Mauryan art.[161]

Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism and consecrates the birthplace of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh.[162] There are five other Gurdwaras in Patna which are related to different Sikh Gurus; these are Gurdwara Pahila Bara,[163] Gurdwara Gobind Ghat,[164] Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh,[165] Gurdwara Bal Leela[166] and Gurdwara Handi Sahib.[167]

Padri Ki Haveli, High Court, Golghar and Secretariat Building are examples of British architecture.

Recently, the Bihar government announced plans to build a state-of-the-art art landmark museum in Patna at a cost of approximately INR530 crores[168] on a site of 13.9 acres at Bailey Road.[169] 5 firms have been shortlisted for the architectural design.[170]

Education[edit]

Patna has important government educational institutions like Patna University, Chanakya National Law University, Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Indian Institute of Technology Patna, National Institute of Technology, Patna, Patna Medical College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Patna, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna, Chandragupt Institute of Management etc. A large number of students across India come to Patna to get the admissions in these institutions.[171]

Patna University was established in 1917 and is the seventh oldest modern university in the Indian Sub-continent.[172] Patna also has a variety of other universities, as well as many primary and secondary schools.

The session of Nalanda International University in Nalanda, is going to start from 2014. It will attract students from across the globe.[173]

Patna's schools are run by the state government or private organizations, many of which are religious. Hindi and English are the primary languages of instruction. A 2012 survey found 1,574 schools: of these, 78% were private unaided schools (most of them at affordable cost), 21% government schools and 1% private aided.[174]

Sports[edit]

Kankarbagh Indoor Stadium at Patliputra Sports Complex during Pro Kabaddi League match

There are several cricket grounds located across the city, including the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium. The stadium features a swimming pool and a cricket academy.[175] This stadium has served as venue for two one-day international cricket matches and several national sport events.

Patna Golf Club has a 165 acres (67 ha) course.[176]

Patna hosted the first ever woman's Kabaddi world cup.[177] It was held at the Patliputra Sports Complex, Kankarbagh from 1 March to 4 March 2012.[178] Hosts India won the World Cup defeating Iran in the finals.[179] Patna also hosted the seven league matches of new Pro Kabaddi League with its home team as Patna Pirates at the Pataliputra Sports Complex in Kankarbagh from August 7 to 10 in 2014.[180]

Media and utility services[edit]

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by a number of notable new publications. A monthly magazine named Bharat Ratna was started from Patna in 1901. It was followed by Ksahtriya Hitaishi, Aryavarta from Dinapure, Patna, Udyoga and Chaitanya Chandrika.[181] Udyog was edited by Vijyaanand Tripathy, a famous poet of the time and Chaitanya Chandrika by Krishna Chaitanya Goswami, a literary figure of that time. The literary activity was not confined to Patna alone but to many districts of Bihar.[182][183]

Magahi Parishad, established in Patna in 1952, pioneered Magadhi journalism in Bihar. It started the monthly journal, Magadhi, which was later renamed Bihan.[184]

Many national media agencies, including the Press Trust of India and Doordarshan's regional offices are based in the city.[185] The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times and The Telegraph are the four principal English language daily newspapers which have Patna editions. The Hindu, The Pioneer and The Indian Express,[186] though not printed in the city, are other English language daily newspaper available in the city. The city's Hindi newspapers include Hindustan Dainik, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar,[187] Prabhat Khabar, Aaj and Rashtriya Sahara[186] – all these newspapers have editions from Patna. There are also daily Urdu newspapers like Qomi Tanzim and Farooqi Tanzeem published in Patna.[186] There is also the Hindi and English mixed Newspaper Tabloid Inext.[188]

Patna is also served by several AM and FM radio stations. The city hosts several radio stations, including the state-owned All India Radio and private channels like Radio Mirchi,[189] FM 105 etc. The All India Radio, Patna (officially Akashvani Patna Kendra) was established in the year 1948.[190]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]