Patna /ˈpʌtnə/ (About this sound Hindi pronunciation (help·info)) is the capital and largest city of the state of Bihar in India. Patna also serves as seat of Patna High Court. The second largest city in eastern India, had an estimated population of 1,683,200 in 2011, making it the 19th largest city in India. It's Urban-agglomeration is 18th largest in India with over 2 million people.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the World. 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.
The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganges. 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. As of 2010-2011, Patna had the highest per capita gross district domestic product in Bihar, at INR57,843. 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.
Origin of name
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.
- Patan Devi Mandir is still situated in old Patna near Gai Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi Setu Over Bridge)
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
. 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.
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. It is an important business and luxury brand center of eastern India.
Transportation and connectivity
Patna is located about 100 km from the national East – West Expressway. 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.
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.
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.
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. There are five other Gurdwaras in Patna which are related to different Sikh Gurus; these are Gurdwara Pahila Bara, Gurdwara Gobind Ghat
, Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh
, Gurdwara Bal Leela and Gurdwara Handi Sahib