A spiritual journey from Patliputra to Patna

From Takht Sri Patna Sahib to Mahavir Temple in the land of Mauryas

Tourism

November 4, 2020

/ By / New Delhi

A spiritual journey from Patliputra to Patna

Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the holiest places in the city for Sikhs

Capital of India’s eastern state of Bihar is one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and a hub of spiritual tourism.

Located on the banks of river Ganges, Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. With the presence of hundreds of historically significant places within its boundaries, it is visited by travellers from all over the world. Tourists also say that it is one of the few places where one can learn a lot about the medieval and the early medieval period of India. Ruins in Patna also narrate legends of ancient kingdoms that flourished thousands of years ago.

Founded in the 5th century BC, Patliputra, as it was then known, is a mixture of architectural ruins and the modern lifestyle thriving in the new city. A favourite among history enthusiasts for its old, yet majestic, remains of Nalanda University, Patna has long been a hotspot for spiritual tourism. Here are some of the must-visit spots:

Takht Sri Patna Sahib

Navigating the narrow streets congested with heavy traffic of Patna’s city centre, one will eventually reach this meditative palace of white marble on the banks of the Ganges, welcoming pilgrims and secular visitors alike.

Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the holiest places in the city for Sikhs. As Patna is said to be the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru in Sikhism, this beautiful gurudwara was constructed here in his honour. It was established by the founder of the Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in the 18th century. However, over a period of time, it has gone through several renovations and the current building dates back to the mid 20th century.

If a couple of hours of serenity aren’t enough, visitors are invited to stay the night, as is the custom with Sikh temples, in an adjacent housing complex.

Mahavir temple

Mahavir temple is built in the Nagari style of architecture

Located just adjacent to the Patna Junction railway station, is one of the most significant religious sites in Bihar, Mahavir temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is frequented by more than half a million tourists and devotees on regular days which goes up to about a million during religious festivals. The temple’s exact date of construction is still debatable. However, its current building was constructed in 1987. It is built in the Nagari style of architecture and is a must-visit site for every history lover and architecture enthusiast. Equally famous is the Naivedyam Laddoo, sold as the traditional offering to Hanuman.

Chhoti Dargah

Chhoti Dargah is one of the finest & least known Mughal mausoleums of eastern India

About 30 km west of Patna city centre, in the environs of Maner, sits Chhoti Dargah, one of the finest and least known Mughal mausoleums of eastern India. It is a magnificent three-storey domed structure with four twelve-sided minarets in its flanks. Its walls are adorned with intricate designs and passages from the Islamic holy scripture, the Quran are inscribed on the ceiling. The mausoleum was erected in 1616 in honour of Sufi saint Makhdoom Shah Daulat who was buried on the same spot. Rainy seasons and late summers see the large body of water in front of the building turn into a popular hangout place for tourists and locals alike.

Patan Devi temple

Patan Devi is believed to be the oldest temple in Patna

As per local legends, Patan Devi is believed to be the oldest temple in Patna and said to have been established thousands of years ago. In accordance with Hindu mythology, the temple is the site where the right thigh of Goddess Sati fell after her corpse was cut into pieces by Lord Vishnu. Therefore, it is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.

Hindu devotees and tourists from all over the state come to this sacred temple to get blessings of Sati. It is also called Maa Patneshwari temple and is located about 10 km from Patna railway station, making it is easily accessible. During Durga Puja festival, one can witness a kilometre-long queue of devotees waiting to offer prayers.

Padri ki Haveli

Padri Ki Haveli, which translates into the mansion of a priest, is touted to be the first Catholic church in Bihar

Padri Ki Haveli, which translates into the mansion of a priest, is touted to be the first Catholic church in Bihar. The church traces its history back to a small place of worship established by Roman Catholics in the 18th century. The present-day Padri ki Haveli stands at the same location where this small church had stood once.

Also known as St. Mary’s church, it was redesigned by Tirreno, a Venetian artist, in 1772. This church is a glorious sight to behold, thanks to its grand architecture and intricate details. Among the main attractions of this church is its lovely cathedral bell adorned with inscriptions from the Holy Bible. An interesting trivia about this place is that Mother Teresa received her training here.

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