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Patna, the capital of Bihar lies on the banks of the holy river Ganga. Called Pataliputra in ancient times, Patna is associated with rich history and heritage. On Lord Buddha’s final journey to Kushinagar, he visited Patna while crossing the mighty river. He passed through Patna often that included His last journey to Kusinara, where He delivered His final discourse. It also serves as a gateway to nearly all Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Bihar. Patna came under Emperor Ashoka’s rule when Buddhism was at its peak in India. The initiation of Buddhism in India made it an important centre of learning.

Early in 6th century, the Magadhan king, Ajatshatru built a small fort in Pataliputra on the banks of Ganga, from when it has become a historical city. The Third Buddhist Council was held here under Ashoka, who spread Buddhism around India. Being an old city, history has a lot to offer for tourists as Patna is among major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

Buddhist pilgrimage sites are aplenty in Patna, of which many are in ruins. The city’s major attraction is the Patna Museum, which has excellent collection of Buddhist art dating back to around 8th to 12th century AD. Out of these, the most splendid ones are the statues of Avalokitesvara and Maitreya. Apart from that, the city also houses large pillars and foundations of a Buddhist Monastery, Anand that once existed.

Other Tourist Spots :

Rajgir : Lord Buddha preached many sermons, here.
Nalanda : In Nalanda, one can see ruins of the world’s greatest Universities of 5th century. Many temples and monasteries depict Buddhism India.
Gaya : Gaya is significant for Buddhists as Buddha preached His famous Fire sermon. A museum displays an excellent collection of Buddhist artifacts.
Bodhgaya : Prince Siddharta attained Enlightenment in Bodhgaya and became the Buddha. Many pilgrims seek blessings of Lord Buddha.

How to reach Patna :

Air : Patna is linked to Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow.
Rail : Rails connect Patna to major Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Varanasi and Ranchi.
Road : Good roads link Patna to cities within and outside Bihar.