Patna, the capital of Bihar State, has a fascinating past. And in each chapter of its history, it has been crowned by a new name-Kusumpur, Pushpapur, Patliputra and Azeemabad, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is situated 15 km along from the confluence of the River Ganges.

Land

A narrow strip of somewhat high land about 8 kilometers in width along the southern bank of the Ganges having very fertile soil. Alluvial fertlie plains in the remaining portions. After creation of the new district of Patna does not contain any hilly region. 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.

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Climate

In Patna the summer temperatures rise very high as the hot tropical sun beats down with all its intensity. The city, being near four large rivers, experiences a rather high humidity throughout the year. The summer begins in April and peaks in June/July with the temperature soaring up to 46 degree Celsius till the moisture laiden monsoon wind bring some much-needed relief to the parched fields. The rains last through August & September and continue into early October. The northern Indian winters bring bitter cold nights and sunny days to Patna from November to February till the arrival of the spring that brings the weather to a full cycle. The local almanac divides the year into six seasons of roughly two months each. Apart from the usual four seasons: Summer, Monsoon, Winter and Spring, you may add mild winter between Monsoon and Winter and Mild summer just before the onslaught of the severe north Indian summer.

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Demography

As per census 2001 the population of Patna District is over 4,718,592 (Male - 2,519,942 and Female-2,198,650). The growth rate is (1991-2001) is 30.17%. Overall Literacy rate is 62.9%, and female Literacy rate is 50.8%. Many languages are spoken in Patna. Hindi is the official language of the state of Bihar. English is also spoken extensively. (Source: Census of India 2001) The native dialect is Magahi. Other dialects from other regions of Bihar spoken widely in Patna are Bhojpuri, and Maithili. Other languages spoken in Patna include Bengali, and Oriya.
Altitude: 53 meters Area: 3,202 Sq. Km Density: 1474/km Postal Code: 800 0xx Telephone Code: +0612 Time Zone: IST (UTC+5:30) Location: 25.35 degree North 85.12 degree East

History

Legend ascribes 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.

From a scientific historical perspective, it would be appropriate to surmise that the history of Patna started around the year 490 BCE when Ajatashatru, the king of Magadha, wanted to shift his capital from the hilly Rajagaha to a more strategically located place to combat the Licchavis of Vaishali. He chose the site on the bank of Ganges and fortified the area. From that time, the city has had a continuous history, a record claimed by few cities in the world. When founded, it was known as "Pataligrama" and in later years it was "Pataliputra" which is today's Patna. 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. It is said that Buddha made a halt here when he was on the last journey to his native land of Kapilavastu. With the rise of the Mauryan empire, the place became the seat of power and nerve centre of the sub-continent. From Pataliputra, the famed emperor Chandragupta Maurya (a contemporary of Alexander) ruled a vast empire, stretching from the Bay of Bengal to Afghanistan.

In 1912, Patna became the capital of Orissa Province and Bihar when Bengal Presidency was partitioned. It soon emerged as an important and strategic centre. A number of imposing structures were constructed by the British. Credit for designing the massive and majestic buildings of colonial Patna goes to the architect, I. F. Munnings. Most of these buildings reflect either Indo-Saracenic influence (like Patna Museum and the state Assembly), or overt Renaissance influence like the Raj Bhawan and the High Court. Some buildings, like the General Post Office (GPO) and the Old Secretariat bear pseudo-Renaissance influence. Some say the experience gained in building the new capital area of Patna proved very useful in building the imperial capital, New Delhi. Orissa was created as a separate province in 1935. Patna continued as the capital of Bihar province under the British Raj.

Transportation & Lodging

Patna is also an important transit point of the region for tourists from India and abroad. Patna is well-connected by air, rail and road transport. The airport is known as Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport or Patna airport. It is classified as a restricted international airport and it is connected to all major cities of India via daily flights. Patna is well served by a network of well maintained roads. Patna is also connected through National Highway NH 19,NH 30, NH 31 & NH 83.Road distance from other major cities such as from Delhi - 1,015 km, from Mumbai - 1,802 km and from Kolkata - 556 km. Railways also serves as means of public transportation in Patna. Patna is also a major junction in the rail map of India. The five main railway stations are Patna Junction, Rajendranagar Terminal, Gulzarbag, Danapur Junction and Patna Sahib. Patna Sahib is the oldest of the five.

Patna offers a range of hotel accommodation - from western style air-conditioned and non air-conditioned hotels to a number of moderately priced hotels around the railway station. Tourists can also stay at the Hotel Kautilya Vihar Tourist Bungalow of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, Beerchand Patel Path, Patna - 800001. Telephone - 0612-2225411/ 2210219/ 2222622, fax - 0612-2236218. A few other private hotels of Patna are - Hotel Maurya, Gandhi Maidan, Hotel Chanakya, Beerchand Patel Path, Hotel Republic, Exhibition Road, Hotel Samrat International, Frazer Road, Hotel Pataliputra Ashok, Beerchand Patel Path, Marwari Awas Griha, Frazer Road, Hotel Anand Lok Residency, Patna Railway Station etc. Daily sight seeing tours of the city & trips to the historic sites of Nalanda, Rajgir, Pawapuri, Gaya - Bodhgaya, Maner & Vaishali are arranged during the tourist season by BSTDC.

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Modern Patna

The last Five year have seen a rapid transformation coming to Patna. Patna has shaken off its image as a city that was only mentioned in whispers. The Only State Capital in the country with a large variety of historical monuments from Maurya to Gupta age and down to the Colonial British Rule - Patna could not attract domestic and foreign tourists in the recent past because of circumstances not of its own making. The city, however, is still trying to shake off its rustic and badlands-of-the-country image but those who travels Patna by night (not later than 11 p.m.) know there's plenty of action to be had. Other than the bars and the restaurants and the upmarket Maurya and Chanakya hotels, the city has a clutch of clubs: Bankipore Club, New Patna Club, Patna Golf Club and the spanking new Country Club International on the Boring Pataliputra Road. As darkness falls, the city's famous Dak Bungalow Chowk comes alive with rickshaws and crowds outside the eating points and Pann Shops and streams of shoppers in the nearby Maurya Lok Complex. The River front which has seen better days has now fallen to disuse. There are plans to revive its lost glory by construction and renovation of river Ghats, plying of motorized boats for river cruise and, an ambitious 48 cover floating restaurant. Plans are also in pipelive to make the evening aarti at Bhadra Ghat and other Ghats as events where tourist caved also participate.

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Education

Patna has attracted students from all over of the country . Especially students from remote areas of Bihar come to Patna to prepare well for competitive examinations such as IIT-JEE, IAS, Civil Services and Medical & engineering entrance exam as well as higher education take advantage of the facilities available in the city. Their is number of Engineering Colleges, Medical Colleges, Management Colleges, & other higher educational institution in Patna.