Bihar Musings

Two interesting posts on Patna/Bihar this week caught my attention, different perspective but great read for sure for a hardcore Patnaiya like me.

The first one has some historical perspective about how the city came to be named Patliputra and then Patna. MEHDI HASSAN from southasiabiz talks about the how the city has come a long way since the days when it was named Pataligram, Pataliputra, Kusumpur, Pushpapura, and Azimabad.

Once upon a time, there was a great king Putraka, who had a queen named “Patali” which means “Trumpet flower”. The king loved the queen so much that he created a city for her with a magic stroke and named the city “Pataligram.” Later, the king changed the city name to “Pataliputra” in honor of the queen’s first born. In Sanskrit, “Putra” means son. Well friends, the legend could be true or not but the place named Pataliputra still exists today as the capital of Bihar in India.
There are two explanations about the origin of the name Patan. According to one explanation, the name derived from the name of a Hindu Goddess. The second explanation is that Patna was a port city. Hence, it is called “Pattan.” In Sanskrit language “Pattan” means port.
Megasthenes, the famous Greek traveler and geographer, talked about the city named Pataliputra in his book. Patna’s recorded history can be traced back to 490 B.C. Ajatshatru; the King of Magadh, made the city his capital. Lord Buddha passed through this city and he prophesized about the future prosperity and ruination of this city.

The post gives complete overview about the historical places, educational institutions and commercial establishments in the city and has some useful info about Patna.

In a different post Naghma Masroor talks about the real Patna which most of the other people are seldom aware as media hardly highlight it. The common perception that Bihar is in shambles and abject poverty, lawlessness may not be what real Bihar is all about.

Its capital boasts of the best convent schools of the country, which have been churning out ICSE and ISC toppers every year. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the virus of Private tuitions or classes has not entered the ‘necessary evil’ category there, as in the other cities. Students have to study on their own. Patna, earlier known as Patliputra, is the oldest city of the country, and has witnessed the rise and fall of many an empire.

Its Gol Ghar, is the biggest granary in Asia. The Gandhi Setu arching over the Ganges, is Asia’s longest and World’s second longest bridge, connecting two cities. If promoted aptly, and with great marketing fervor, these places can bring in many more foreign currencies to our country.

The people, there are highly emotional and aggressive–both at the same time. The families there are closely-knit – where people have voluntarily surrendered their independence, to each other. It has to be so–after all, its a part of a bigger, more beautiful and enduring entity – India. And how do I know this? 5 years of my life in Patna, gave me an enriching experience, washing away all misconceptions about the place.

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One Response to Bihar Musings

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