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Art and Culture of Patna

Patna, being the one of the oldest inhabited places in the world has a rich cultural history. In the olden times, Patna was the center for art and learning. Especially during the Mauryan period, Patna emerged as a prominent city for fine arts in India. Patna has witnessed the rule of various prominent dynasties Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Gupta and Pala. All of them have left their imprints on the heritage of the city. Patna’s culture and traditions are unique as it has been fabricated on ancient rituals that have evolved over the years.

Art and Culture of Patna

As with all Indian cities, almost all Indian festivals are celebrated here with much grandeur and fervor. Patna has people belonging to different religious segments,hence Hindu festivals of Holi, Dusshera, Diwali, Rath Yatra, Laxmi Puja; Muslim festivals of Eid, Muharram and Ramzan; Sikh festival of Guru Nanak Gurpurab; Christian festival of Christmas, Buddha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanti are all celebrated here. These festivals add charm and colour to this historical city giving secular look to the city.

Languages in Patna

A majority of people in Patna speak Hindi. However Magadhi, Bhojpuri are also commonly spoken by the natives of the city. Few inhabitants also speak Maithili and Urdu within their communities. Most of the tourist places, maps, bill boards, establishments have sign boards in both Hindi and English too. People are friendly here and language is not a barrier for communication within the city.

Art & Architecture in Patna

British architecture in Patna

The architecture of the city is dotted with buildings belonging to various historical periods. Glimpses of past history can be seen at Kumhrar, Agam Kuan where remains of Mauryan period can be seen. You can also find number of monuments belonging to Afgan and Mughal architecture. Pathar ki Masjid is a glaring example of Afgan architecture while Begu Hajjam Mosque belong to Mughal era. The Golghar Patna High Court, Secretariat building reflects the architecture of British era. Patna is famous for Madhubani paintings or Mithila paintings where fingers, brushes, twigs, nib-pens, and matchsticks are used to paint pictures, using natural dyes and pigments. It is a traditional style of painting practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state. The painting are characterized by geometrical patterns which are pleasing to the eyes. There are paintings to accomplish every occasion and festival including Birth, Marriage, Holi , Kali Puja, Durga Puja etc.

Religions in Patna

Patna has people belonging to all religious groups.Due to its ancient history which can be dated back to 3000 years, Patna has a distinct mix of all major Indian religious groups. You can feel the presence of the Hinduism, Buddism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam in the city. People of Patna are spiritual and lead an essentially simple life. They have strong belief in the supreme power of God and worship him in their own way. People here diligently follow all the traditional rituals and lead life rich in values. This rich blend of traditions give Patna a distinct charm, which can be seen in people through out the city as they go about doing their daily chores. Historical Places of Religious Interest in Patna are:

Sikhism: Harmandir Takhat/ Patna Sahib
Hinduism- Mahavir Hanuman Mandir, Patan Devi Temple
Christianity- Padri-ki-Haveli
Islam-Pathar ki Masjid, Begu Hajjam Mosque

Literature in Patna

Being a center for art and learning, Patna has a rich literary history. Many famous poets and writers in Indian history belongs to thisregion. VidyapatiThakur ( 14–15th) century a renowned poet of Maithili, Indian writer in English. Upamanyu Chatterjee are all from this place. Devaki Nandan Khatri, author of many famous Indian novels including Chandrakanta and Chandrakanta Santati, belonged to Bihar. Another renowned Maithili writer is Usha Kiran Khan.

Local Festivals and Fairs in Patna

Feativals in Patna

Apart from the regular Indian festivals, Patna is famous for few annual events and local festivals that are held in and around the city. Chatt Puja/ Chatt Festival is an important festival of the region. It is celebrated on the 6th day of Diwali. Ram Navami, Sama-Chakeva, Makar-Sankranti, Madhushravani, Teej are also celebrated with much enthusiasm. Patliputra Mahotsava is another major festival here. This festival showcases the art and culture of Bihar through various folk dance and song performances.

Folk Songs and Dances in Patna

The traditional dances have evolved over thousands of years. These dances and songs depict the life and emotional state experienced by the people during those eras. They also portrays the values, traditions, hopes and beliefs of the common man. Bidesia is one of the most popular folk dance in this region. The other folk dances are Kajari, Paika, Jhijhian, Karma, Jhumar Dances. These dances are popular through out Bihar and are stil conducted during special occasional and important days.
There are plenty of folk songs that are sung on special days. These are often accompanied by Dholak, Bansuri , and Tabla. Holi songs known as 'Phagua' is also quite popular here .

Cuisines of Patna

The staple food of Patna is roti, bhat, dal, tarkari and achar. This simple and wholesome meal is nothing but flat Indian bread made of wheat flour, rice, lentil curry, vegetables, and pickle. The meals are cooked using mustard oil/”sarson kateil”. Another popular dish is the Khichdi, a broth of rice and lentils which is seasoned with spices. This is the most preferred lunch of Patna. Other popular dishes include “litti- chokha” which is made of boiled potatoes and sweet delicacies like Anarasa, Belgrami, Motichoor ka Ladoo, Kala Jamun, Kesaria Peda, Khaja, Parwalka Mithai, Pua & Mal Pua, Thekua, Amla ka Murabba and Tilkut. These dishes are packed with the flavors of the land and have originated here.

Traditional Dress/Costume

The ethnic wear of Patna is dhoti-kurta for men and saree for women.However, now days, it is being fast replaced with salwar-kameez for the women and shirt-pant for the men. These traditional dresses are still worn during festivals and important occasions. The city crowd though prefers western clothes and of late these are popular among the youngsters in Patna.

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