Bihar’s busy capital spreads out over a vast area on the south bank of the swollen and polluted Ganges, just east of the river’s confluence with three major tributaries. Unlike Varanasi, there is little of interest along the river itself and Patna has only a handful of worthwhile sights, but it’s a major transport hub for the state and a useful base for visiting the Buddhist sites of Vaishali, Kesariya and Rajgir. The 7.5km-long Mahatma Gandhi Seti, one of the world’s longest river bridges, spans the Ganges between Patna and Hajipur.
Patna was once a powerful city. Early in the 5th century BC, Ajatasatru shifted his capital of the Magadha kingdom from Rajgir to Pataliputra (Patna), fulfilling Buddha’s prophecy that a great city would arise here. Emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka also called Pataliputra home and it remained one of India’s most important cities for almost 1000 years. The ruins of this ancient city sit submersed in Kumrahar, a southern district of Patna.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
14 March 2013
Almost two months of noise, crowds, colour and religious devotion is coming to an end. The Maha Kumbh Mela, held...
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
Get your guidebooks, travel goods, even individual chapters, right here.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$119.03 per night