There is something about Patna. You come here and all the images that you had previously in mind come alive but strangely none of them are true on ground. I expected a city half awake, full of people and everyone going for my throat. Well to be honest this was the image I had in mind when I was studying in nearby Orissa some 20 years back.:) . This image was due for change for a long time.
As luck would have it I never got a chance to visit Bihar in my 13 years of work in the social sector. So when opportunity to explore work in Bihar came I immediately jumped.
So I’m here in the office of Jeevika ( The Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society) at Baley Road and I’m wondering why would a street in Patna of all places would be called Bailey road . A bit of more research and I find that Bailey Road (originally spelt as Bayley Road, was named after Lt. Governor, Charles Stuart Bayley during the British Residency. Super. This place has Character man.
More research on the internet and spent some time looking around and look what I found.
1. In the ancient times (about 2000 years back) Patna was a place of great scholars. Now it produces exceptional high proportion of IAS, Engineers and other Government job seekers. But there was a time when Patna produced Aryabhatta, Panini, Chanakya, Kalidasa and Vatsyayana to name a few. Never mind If you don’t know about the firstremember that Vatsyayana is the Dude who wrote ” Kamasutra” . It might just impress your next date.
2. Patna is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. The earliest reference of Patna was like 2500 years ago in some buddhist scriptures. GK-1 and Lajpat Nagar in comparision is about 50-60 years old. You get the point right.
3. Patna played a major role in the Indian independence struggle. Most notable are the Champaran movement against the Indigo plantation and the Quit India Movement of 1942.
4. There are 4 rivers in Patna -Ganga, Sone, Gandak and Punpun. Some say that the name Patna comes from sanskrit word “Pattan” which means port. May be the confluence of these 4 rivers served as a port.
5. The 10th Guru of Sikhs- Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji was born here and he has spend early part of his life in Patna.
6. Gautam Buddha passed through Patna through last year of his life.
So quite an amazing city isn’t it. And more amazing when you come to know its historical significance and feel the same in the air.