Chawla Lakhu Da Dhaba Patna : It was Sunday so we friends decided to go out and hang around different corners of Patna to explore it in a better way. We saw this restaurant called “Chawla Lakhu Da Dhaba”. We liked it’s name and look; so we decided to check it out. The Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani were really great. It is a wonderful Dhaba that offers affordable and tasty food.
Where ever I go, I make it a point to visit sanctuaries, national parks and scenic places as I am a nature love and love to take nature’s photography. So I decided to visit Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan during my stay at Patna. The park is visited by many people all the year round and also is a favorite picnic spot for the tourists. It is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on all days of the week except for Mondays. The entry fee is Rs.15 per person and for children between 3 and 12 years old, it is RS.5 per child. I reached the park in the morning and after taking the entry fee, got inside.
I was told at the park that it covered a large area of about 153 acres and housed a large species plants and animals. It was quite cool inside with the shade of large trees and as I walked along, I saw many trails leading to different parts of the park. There was a lake in the middle of the park which offered boating facility to the visitors. I too had a ride on the boat for a few minutes. Once being a Botanical Garden, it has about 10,000 trees belonging to more than 100 species.
The zoo in the park had about 100 species of animals which included lion, tiger, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, golden cat, giraffe, zebra, white peacock and many other species of animals. There was an underground water pool enclosure where I could see otter through a glass. As no vehicles are allowed inside, it is pollution free. However you get battery operated cars to go around the park if you find it difficult to walk around.
Maurya Lok Shopping Complex Patna : It is my mom’s birthday next month so I wanted to buy something for her. We went to the nearby Maurya Lok Shopping Complex. The mall is located in Dukbungalow road, near Planetarium and It is the biggest shopping complex in that region. To serve each and every need of the visitors, it offers a good variety of shops for jewellery, clothes, electronics, bags, shoes, as well as food stalls.
Being a budget traveler I always opt for train journey and book budget hotels that offer excellent service at reasonable prices. Before I went to Patna, I booked a hotel for my stay, which was Hotel Chanakya Patna. As I reached Patna Airport, a cab sent from the hotel was waiting to take me to the hotel. The hotel was located at the centre of the city and was a 4 star hotel with all facilities. The hotel was only 4.5 km from Patna Airport and I reached the hotel within 10 minutes. I was given a warm welcome at the reception and was shown to my room.
The room I had booked was spacious and air conditioned with all modern facilities like LCD TV with cable connection, telephone, mini bar, refrigerator, hair dryer, internet connection and daily news paper. The attached bathroom was well equipped with all modern fitting and 24 hour hot/cold running water. There was 24 hour room service so that customers may have their meals sitting within the privacy of their rooms.
As it was very early in the morning, I went off to sleep after refreshing myself and having a cup of tea. I got up in the morning late, by 7.00 am. I had breakfast at the restaurant, which served complimentary breakfast to the guests. There were two in-house restaurants in the hotel called Takshila and Samrat. Takshila served authentic Indian dishes and specialized in Mughali dishes that were said to be the best in the city. Samrat was a multi cuisine restaurant that served Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines. There was also a bar in the hotel called Madera, serving a fine collection of wines, beer and other liquors.
There was a gym in the hotel for those who are conscious about their health and need a workout every day. There were three conference halls with all modern equipments, two banquet g=halls and one multi-purpose hall ij the hotel, where conferences, meetings, seminars, wedding reception and social gatherings could be held. The travel desk in the hotel provided you with all information on important tourist places in Patna and the surrounding places, and directions to visit them. I had a wonderful stay at Hotel Chanakya Patna and enjoyed every second of my stay.
Gandhi Museum Patna : An old friend of mine from Patna wanted me to visit Gandhi museum. The speciality of this museum is that, it depicts some of the major events of Indian history that symbolize the life of Gandhiji. It is a perfect place for kids and adults like me, who admire Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophies.
Being a history lover, I love to visit places of historic importance and ancient temples. During my stay at Patna I had the opportunity to visit Mahavir Mandir, which is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman is called Sankat Mochan and he is believed to fulfill the wishes of all devotees who pray here. Every day thousands of devotees pray here and go back blessed by Lord Hanuman. The temple is open for the devotees on all days of the week from 5.30 am to 10.30 pm. It is believed to have existed from time immemorial and got popular during the partition of India in 1947. During the years from 1983 to 1985 the temple was totally renovated using marbles and now it has three floors, including the ground floor.
I reached the temple at 5.00 pm and after putting my chappals at the entrance, got inside and went to the main temple. On the ground floor was the shrine of Lord Hanuman and on the passage surrounding the shrine was the idol of Lord Shiva. After praying here I went to the first floor, where I saw life size idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Goddess Durga and many other deities. There was also a Shivalingam, where Rudrabhishekam was performed. Another interesting feature of this floor was the floating Ram-setu Shila, which was kept in a glass enclosure. It was believed to be a part of the bridge that was built during the invasion of Lanka by Lord Rama and his army of monkeys.
The second floor did not contain any idols, rather it was used for marriage ceremonies and for ‘Havans’. I got to the ground floor and in to the large courtyard there, which had a book stall that sold religious books. I bought a few books from there and went to the sweet shop to buy the ‘Prasad’, ladoos. The ladoos here is famous and I bought lots of them to take back home. After spending about 40 minutes in the temple, I came out blessed by Lord Hanuman and feeling happy at heart.
Jalmandir Temple Patna : This temple is situated in a very beautiful location surrounded by water. The lotus and birds makes the view even more interesting. If you are in Patna, you can easily visit this temple because it is just 90 Km away from the city and located near Patna-Ranchi national highway 30.
While at Patna I went to visit Patna Museum, which called by the local people ad ‘Jadu Ghar’. A cab was arranged at the travel desk for me to go to the museum and I reached the place at 11 am. the museum is open to the public from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on all days of the week except for Mondays and the entry fee is Rs. 15 per person. On reaching the museum I saw that already a lot of tourists were waiting at the entrance to take tickets and get inside. I too joined the line and after waiting for a few minutes got the entry ticket and got inside. It was an impressive building and was surrounded by a lawn with lush green grass and a number of interesting statues.
The museum was established in 1917 during the rule of the British and contains a lot of artifacts that were collected within the neighborhood of Patna. Located in the center of the city, it reflects a blend of Mughal and Rajput style of architecture and consists of two floors. The museum was founded by Sir Edward Gait and I saw a bust of him near the entrance gate. I was told at the museum that it contained as many as 45,000 exhibits, but since the space inside the museum was limited, it showed only a part of the total number of exhibits.
Inside the museum, the life size statue of Didarganj Yakshi, which is believed to be as old as 2300 years old was the main attraction and I saw that it was really captivating with a Chauri in her right hand. Her left hand was missing. It was found in 1917 on the banks of the River Ganga, near a place called Didarganj and hence got its name. At one corner of the room I saw a brick sculpture of Lord Buddha and stupas, called Shatabdi Smarak.
One of the galleries contained the Relic Casket, which contained the ashes of Lord Buddha. A lot of Buddhist pilgrims and visitors paid homage here and I too paid a visit after paying the entry fee of Rs.100. I roamed around the museum, visiting other galleries and came out after about two and a half hours.