Monday, November 7, 2011

Patna Revisited

It was an early morning Indigo flight from Bangalore which took four hours to reach Patna. I was going to my hometown on the occasion of Chhath festival. My hometown Dalsinghsarai is about ninety kilometers from Patna and takes around three hours. As known to most of the people, runway of Patna airport is one of the shortest in the country. Plane fly low here for landing and the landscape of Patna can be easily seen form your seat. From my window I could see a clear picture of the long Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Golghar, the landmark of Patna.

First time I visited Patna was in the year ninety six to attend a marriage of my relative. I was fifteen year old and just finished my matriculation examinations. It was the best time to visit the capital city though it was the summer of June. I with my number of cousins reached to my relative's house and on the very first day we went for a city ride. In one day we covered most of the major landmarks except Zoo. We first went to Sri Krishna Science center, Patna museum, Planetarium, Biscomaan Bhavan -the tallest building, Gandhi maidan and of course Golghar. Next day we went to Kumhrar site and Patna Sahib Gurudwara. One thing we missed on that trip was to see an aeroplane, otherwise it was the complete trip. After that I traveled to this city a number of times on the very bad road of Dalsinghsarai to Patna. 

I lived in Patna for more than two years between ninety-eight and year two thousand, about eleven years back. I still remember those days when I was staying in Rajendra Nagar and Musallahpur Haat areas while preparing for the engineering entrance. Those days were busy with attending coaching classes and just reading your course books; and of course listening songs from Vividh Bharti on my old radio set. One intersting thing about those places was; one can get very cheap food and breakfast. I remember three samosas in a Rupee and four puris & sabji in two Rupees. Same for litti & chokha and tea. Not sure if it is still that much cheaper. Kali Ghat and Patna Library are few most visited places. On one occasion I visited Patna zoo. I believe it is one of the best zoo of this country, after Kolkata. In the end of my Patna stay, I used to spend my evening in cool and quiet Gandhi Ghat. I always thought that this place can be a perfect place for tourism or a great park can be developed around. Recently I heard that a floating restaurant is started here and whole Ganga ghat is planned to develop with a nice drive on its bank. Not only this, a revolving restaurent and Budha smiriti park are also already started in the city. Patna have seen a lot of changes for sure, in last few years.

Since long time I could not visit the city but went through various roads of it while going to my hometown and saw very welcome changes. This time I went to see Golghar, but unfortunately renovation work was going on this place and could not get a best shot of this landmark. I hope, the ongoing renovation will change its appearance same as what Bihar have seen in last few years. Yes and while going to my hometown I found that roads are good and some alternate new roads are constructed which I always found on google map only. Happy to see things getting better.