Known as Pataliputra in ancient times, Patna boasts of being one of the top historical places in the country. The city, which was founded by the king of Magadha in 490 BCE, served as a cultural center and the seat of learning and power under the Maurya and Gupta empires. Its rich legacy is mirrored through the many archaeological sites, monuments, religious centers, museums, and other historical places in Patna. These heritage attractions feature among the best things to explore once you step out of your hotels in Patna.

Are you planning a visit to this ancient city which now serves as the capital of Bihar? Here is a list of 14 historical places to visit in Patna to help you plan your itinerary.

Historical Places in Patna: 

1. Golghar, Patna

Golghar, Patna

Golghar | #1 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

Golghar may look like a Buddhist stupa but it was built to serve as a huge granary. Though constructed in 1786 as a protective measure against famine, the structure was never used for the intended purpose. Designed by Captain John Garstin under the orders of the then Governor General of India – Warren Hastings, Golghar is today one of the top tourist places to visit in Patna.

The pillar-less structure of Golghar resembles a beehive and has a spiral stairway around it with 145 steps, leading to the top of the dome. You can enjoy a splendid view of the River Ganges, the surrounding garden area, and the city from the viewing area at the top of the dome. The inside of the granary, however, is not open to visitors. 

2. Ruins of Pataliputra, Patna

Ruins of Pataliputra, Patna

Ruins of Pataliputra | #2 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

The ruins of Patna’s predecessor, Pataliputra, lie at a short distance from the city in an area called Kumhrar. During ancient times, Pataliputra was one of the greatest cities in the world that flourished under the rule of legendary kings like Chandragupta, Ajatshatru, and Ashoka. Today, you won’t find much in this medieval city that points towards its illustrious past.

Archaeological excavations have discovered remains of the Mauryan period from this site, making it one of the top historical places to visit in Patna. Ruins of a hypostyle 80-pillared hall, a polished sandstone pillar, wooden platforms that support the stairway, Arogya Vihar, Durakh Devi Temple, and foundations of a brick Buddhist monastery called Anand Vihar are the key attractions here.  

  • Location: Kumrahar
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹5 for Indians; ₹100 for foreigners

Also Read: Monuments in India

3. Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library

Counted among the top historical attractions in Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library attracts tourists and bibliophiles in equal measures. It was founded by Khan Bahadur Khuda Bakhsh in 1891 and had a treasure trove of 4000 manuscripts at the time. You can also find here the military accounts of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and manuscripts of Diwan-e-Hafiz and Safinatul Auliya that were autographed by Mughal emperors.

Currently, it is a national library that also serves as a conservation center for manuscripts with over 21,000 reading items in Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, and Turkish languages.

  • Location: Ashok Rajpath, Patna
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, closed on Fridays
  • Entry Fee: Free

4. Agam Kuan, Patna

Agam Kuan, Patna

Agam Kuan | #4 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

One of the oldest monuments in Patna, Agam Kuan dates back to the Mauryan period when King Ashoka ruled over the region. This 105-feet-deep well has a surface structure with eight arched windows. It is said that it was a part of Ashoka’s infamous hell chambers used by him for torturing people before he embraced Buddhism.

Throwing coins into this ancient well to get wishes fulfilled is a long-standing ritual practiced by visitors even today.

  • Location: Gulzarbagh, Patna
  • Timings: 24×7
  • Entry Fee: Free

5. Patna Museum, Patna

Patna Museum, Patna

Patna Museum | #5 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

Patna Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts that are housed in a grand building, displaying a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum, which started operating in 1917, is locally known as Jadu Ghar, translating to the ‘magic house’.

Among the main attractions of the museum is the fossil of a tree that is around 200 million years old and a casket that is believed to contain Gautama Buddha’s ashes. Other exhibits at this site include British Raj paintings, works of Rajendra Prasad, musical instruments, etc.

  • Location: Budh Marg, Patna
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fee: ₹15 for Indians; ₹250 for foreigners

6. Naghol Kothi

Naghol Kothi is an old palace dating back to the colonial era. It is among those few historical places in Patna that boasts of exceptional Mughal architecture. The palace is surrounded by a lovely garden. If you are a shutterbug, you can get some lovely clicks at this scenic site.

  • Location: Old Patna
  • Entry Fee: Free

7. Harmandir Takht

Harmandir Takht, Patna

Harmandir Takht | #7 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

Harmandir Takht or Takht Sri Patna Saheb is a popular name among the tourist attractions in Patna. It is a Gurudwara built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to honor Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, who was born in Patna. This religious site attracts not just the Sikhs but tourists from across religions as well.

While here, you can get a glimpse of several relics of Guru Gobind Singh, including weapons, four iron arrows, a cradle with gold-plated stands, and a pair of the guru’s sandals.

  • Location: Mithapur, Patna
  • Entry Fee: Free

8. Begu Hajjam Mosque

One of the oldest mosques in Patna that dates back to the 16th century, Begu Hajjam was built by Muazzam Nazir Khan and later renovated by a barber named Begu. Interestingly, the shrine bears the name of the renovator and not the founder.

Among the attractive features of the mosque are the glazed tiles used in its construction, in addition to the exquisitely carved doors, and the ornamented interiors.

  • Location: Khwaja Kalan Road, Patna
  • Entry Fee: Free

9. Padri Ki Haveli

While talking about the historical buildings in Patna, you can’t miss out on Padri Ki Haveli – the first Catholic Church in Bihar. It stands on the same spot where a small church built by the first Roman Catholics in the city once stood. In 1722, the edifice was redesigned by the Venetian artist, Tirreto.

Touted as one of the most revered churches in Patna, Padri Ki Haveli is well-known for its splendid architecture, intricate details and the huge cathedral bell etched with inscriptions. An interesting point to note about this church is that Mother Teresa received her training here.

  • Location: Sadikpur, Patna
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

10. Jalan Museum

Jalan Museum, one of the best museums in Patna, was established in 1919 by R.K Jalan, an art collector, and a businessman. The museum is located inside the Quila House, which is a blend of Dutch and English architectural styles.

The major exhibits at this museum include a rich collection of over 10,000 artifacts, many of which belong to the Mughal period. Among the unique attractions of Jalan Museum are the wooden bed of Napoleon III and Tipu Sultan’s ivory palanquin.

  • Location: Haji Ganj, Patna
  • Timings:
    • Monday-Saturday – 9:00 am to 11:00 am
    • Sundays – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free; prior permission required

11. Gandhi Maidan, Patna

Gandhi Maidan, Patna

Gandhi Maidan | #11 of 15 Historical Places in Patna

The sprawling Gandhi Maidan is a historical ground near the banks of River Ganges. It covers more than 60 acres and was used as a horse racing track and golf course during the colonial era. It also served as a venue from where several movements of India’s struggle for freedom were launched, including the Quit India Movement of 1942. Many eminent leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, and Rajendra Prasad addressed rallies from this ground.

Today, you can see the 72-feet tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi installed here.

  • Location: Gandhi Maidan Road, Patna
  • Timings: Morning till evening
  • Entry Fee: Free

Historical Places near Patna

12. Nalanda Mahavihara

Nalanda Mahavihara

Nalanda Mahavihara | #12 of 15 Historical Places near Patna

A little away from the bustling city center is another popular heritage monument – Nalanda Mahavihara. A famous center of learning and one of the first universities in the country, this institute was functional from the 5th century to the 12th century CE, before it was ransacked, destroyed, and eventually abandoned.

Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can see ruins of temples, viharas, and stupas. A key attraction here is the archaeological museum that displays many interesting artifacts including sculptures made of stone and bronze and the seal of Nalanda University.

  • Location: Nalanda district
  • Distance from Patna: 80 km
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed on Fridays
  • Entry Fee:
    • ₹ 15 for Indians and members of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries
    • ₹ 200 for foreigners
    • Free entry for visitors below 15 years of age

13. Choti Dargah

Choti Dargah

Choti Dargah | #13 of 15 Historical Places near Patna

The three-storied Choti Dargah of Maner is a lesser-known example of brilliant Mughal-style architecture in India. Located at a short drive from the city, this mausoleum, also known as Maner Sharif, marks the burial site of a Sufi saint named Makhdoom Shah Daulat.

Dating back to 1616, this dargah makes for a pleasant sight with its four minarets, exquisite motifs on the walls, ceilings etched with verses from the Quran, and a lovely central dome. Hence, you must definitely include it in your itinerary if you are looking for historical places near Patna.

  • Location: Maner
  • Distance from Patna: 80 km
  • Entry Fee: Free

14. Kesaria Buddha Stupa

Kesaria Buddha Stupa

Kesaria Buddha Stupa | #14 of 15 Historical Places near Patna

Kesaria may be a small town close to Patna but it boasts of the biggest and tallest Buddhist stupa in the world. Known as the Kesaria Stupa, this structure was built by Emperor Ashoka. The stupa rises to a height of 104 feet and has a circumference of almost 400 feet.

Kesaria Stupa is believed to be the place where Lord Buddha had donated his begging bowl during the final days of his life. It has six floors where various idols of Buddha standing and sitting in different positions are housed.

  • Location: Kesaria
  • Distance from Patna: 110 km
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

15. Ashokan Pillar

Ashokan Pillar

Ashokan Pillar | #15 of 15 Historical Places near Patna

A drive of over an hour will take you to another important excavation site in Patna – Kolhua. The site is famous for housing the Ashokan Pillar, and a brick stupa built by Emperor Ashoka. The pillar, which is locally called Lat, is a monolithic structure made of polished sandstone. It has a height of about 12 meters and features a life-size figurine of a lion on its top. May be you will like to read this also – weekend getaways in Patna

Besides the famous pillar, Kolhua is also known for being the same place where Lord Buddha delivered his last speech. Archaeological excavations have unearthed several structures and ruins here, most of which date back to the Mauryan period. If you are a history enthusiast, a visit to this popular historical attraction near Patna is a must.

  • Location: Muzaffarpur district
  • Distance from Patna: 65 km
  • Timings: 24 hours
  • Entry Fee: Free