Patna is the capital of the state of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It was formerly known as Kusumpura, Pushpapura, Pātaliputra, and Azeemabad. It is located on the south bank of the Ganges River.
To the Sikhs, Patna is a sacred city, and one of their place of worship (known as gurudwaras) is found there. Also, their tenth and last "human" guru, Guru Gobind Singhji, was born in Patna, and the shrine Harmandirji, constructed by Punjab ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh , consecrates his birthplace.
Patna is known as the hometown of Laloo Yadav, the current national railway minister of India, as well as for khaja (a north Indian delicacy), its cotton mills, and the aquarium in the Sanjay Gandhi zoological park, named after the Indian politician Sanjay Gandhi. The city has a well-known museum displaying stone and bronze sculptures and terracotta figures produced by Hindu and Buddhist artists as well as archaeological finds such as a huge fossilized tree. Other tourist attractions include the Khuda Baksh Oriental library, which has a collection of rare ancient works, and several mosques, including the ancient Begu Hajjam's mosque, built in 1489 by Bengul ruler Alauddin Hussani Shah. The University of Patna opened in 1917.
One of the oldest buildings, constructed by Captain John Garstin during the British regime in 1786, was the Gol Ghar, which means Spherical Building, reflecting its beehive-like shape. It was used as a granary by the English, built in reaction to a famine in 1770. One can get a complete view of Patna from atop the Gol Ghar.
Patna has long been a major agricultural center of trade,
its most active exports being grain, sugarcane, sesame, and medium-grained Patna
Patna began as Pātaliputra in the 5th century BC.
In the 3rd century BC it became the capital of the Maghada kingdom and the seat of the
Indian emperor Ashoka. Following Ashoka's reign the empire disintegrated and the city
began to deteriorate, and was not restored until the Mughals began using it as a
major center of trade in the 16th century. The British claimed Patna in 1763 during their conquest
of the region. In 1912, it became the capital of Orissa Province
and Bihār, and in 1935 it became capital of the entire Bihār State.