Fragrance of the land

Fragrance means 'a pleasant, sweet smell ' . A smell which everyone aspires for. A smell whose scent  has made great difference to the cause of the City in particular, State in general and Nation as a whole. Some scent arising from the land has crossed the boundaries of the Nations, whereas some scents has invoked the thoughts of the citizens. However, each has contributed significantly for the cause of its existence.

Every city has its own story and its own fragrance.  Fragrance of success, fragrance of extraordinary achievement, fragrance of living legendary and above all the fragrance of the soul of the city. Patna, being an old city has always been emitting pleasant  memoirs of history and culture of past two millennium. However, keeping the history aside, we have many things at present which are not even remembered in our day to day life, however their contribution can neither be ignored by anyone.

As a result, this attempt of us is meant for bringing out such contribution to the people. Some may be well known, while some may be unheard of, but their contribution has been phenomenal in the City's sphere. Deciding which fragrance should appear first , was a tough one. However, we found that "Tarumitra" is the right choice due to its student based environment movement, which has been active since 1988 and its contribution to the society. Patna is a major hub of education and any movement involving student is sure to succeed, especially when its dedicated to a noble cause.

Climate of Patna

 

Patna is characterized by the presence of three distinct seasons - Summer season, Rainy season and Winter season. It has a humid subtropical climate with hot summer, moderate rainfall and mild winter.

Summer : Summer marks its beginning in the month of March and stretches till June early, till the arrival of the monsoon. The summer is hot and humid. The temperature in Patna can go up to 43 °C during day at the peak season, whereas the minimum temperature stays around 21 °C. The Sun rises early in the morning and stays till late evening. As the Sun rises, the temperature rises. At around 2 PM, maximum heat is felt. Due to humidity, sweating is common. A striking feature of the summer season is the 'Loo'. These are strong, gusty, hot, dry winds blowing during the day. Sometime they even continue until late in the evening. Generally by evening, heat goes but humid condition remains, though it becomes cool outside. Dust storm is common during the month of May. They provide temporary relief as they lower the temperature and bring light rain and cool breeze. The city also experiences localized thunder-storms and dust raising winds. The highest ever recorded temperature is 46.6 °C during 1996.

Monsoon : The monsoon generally arrives in Patna around 10th June. Its arrival gives relief to the scorched-land and people burning with heat. Within hours, the black clouds covers the entire sky and suddenly the bright day starts looking as dark evening. The dusty storm rises and fill the sky with dust. The first rain cools down the temperature and brings cheer to the people. The monsoon season stays till September, however Patna receives most of the rainfall during the month of July and August. The arrival of monsoon gives relief from heat, but not from humidity. As the humidity increases, it make harder for the people to bear it. The rainy season heat is also very strong, but it does not remains for longer time. The city receives approximately 100-120 cm of rain during a normal monsoon. The highest rainfall ever recorded was 204.5 cm during 1997.

Winter : By the time monsoon retreats, the city gets a pleasant weather, waiting for winter to arrive. The season roughly extend from October to February, however December to January are the coldest months. The winter season is also the best time for visitors to explore the city and to witness the series of festivals. The temperature of Patna varies around 20 °C during the day. At night, it becomes colder. During January, heavy fog can be experienced, dense enough to disrupt the normal life. Most of the flights gets either cancelled or diverted during such conditions. Most of the trains runs late due to heavy fog in the Gangetic plain. A light rain brought about by the westerly disturbances in such conditions makes the temperature even lower. The Sun rises late and sets early. The days are short and nights are long during the period. The lowest ever temperature recorded is 1.1 °C on January 2013.

 

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People and Culture of Patna

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People & Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patna is blessed with a culture which has continuously evolved during the last 2500 years of recorded history. The population comprises of different sects of people who came here over the centuries and finally settled down. The evolution and spread of religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism has added secular aspect to the city. The people from different regions of state also settled down in the city, bringing along with them culture, craft and language of the region specific, thus making the city as culturally vibrant.

Census 2011

  • Patna Population : 1,683,200 ( Male : 8,94,158  Female : 7,89,042 )
  • Patna Literacy Rate : 84.71 % ( Male : 87.71 %  Female : 81.33 % )
  • Patna Sex Ratio : 882 per 1000 males
  • Patna Child sex Ratio : 864 per 1000 boys
  • Total Child (0-6 years) population : 1,90,496 ( 11.32 % of total population )

The people of the city follows the traditional ways of living, though it is fast changing. The people prefers live in the joint families, though it is also on the declining side now. The society comprises of people of many religions, which is further divided into many castes and sub castes. The growth and the development of the people from upper castes is quite visible compared to that of the lower castes. The majority of the people is follower of Hinduism, followed by Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism in that order. The city is secular with no feelings of hatred and people live together peacefully. Despite some religious turbulence in some part of the country in past, the city has remained fairly calm and composed. The accumulation of people from various religions brings favor to the festivals throughout the year. Marriages still happens in the traditional way. The parents decides about the marriage. The marriages bring whole family together and neighbors joyfully join in the marriage ceremonies.

The language of Patna has been evolved as a culmination of various regional language. Though, Hindi is the official language of the State and widely spoken, yet it differ greatly from the pure Hindi (Khadi Hindi) when spoken. The accent also varies. The Hindi that is spoken in the city is influenced by the regional languages like  Bhojpuri, Magahi, Braj, Maithili and other local dialects. Besides Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili is  widely spoken throughout the city. English is widely understood in the city, though not spoken as much.

The food of the city reflects the tradition brought along the history and its  quite distinct. The Mughlai and Central Asia food, brought along with the foreign invaders during Medieval India can also be found in the city. Rice forms the staple food, eaten in combination with lentils, vegetables, chapati and pickles. People prefers to eat Samosa-Kachaudi with Jalebis in the breakfast. The famous breakfast item is Litti which is made from flour, gram flour along with several ingredients. It is becoming quite popular in other states also. Chawmins and Golgappas are favorable during evening. The non-vegetarian foods are also easily available. The other popular dishes are Sattu-Paratha, Kheer, Sewai, Keema, Khichdi, Halwa and Curries. The new restaurants offers a variety of foods belonging to different regions of the world.

Patna is also a big market of handicrafts items. The items made in different part of state are brought in Patna for sale. The stone works from Gaya, Bangles from Muzaffarpur, Madhubani paintings from Madhunbani  are worth mentioning. On the Northern side of Gandhi Maidan, one can easily find the commodities made from bamboos and wood for sale. Patna Qalam paintings has a rich history and is blend of European and Mughal paintings, having themes based on animals, birds, and scenes from Indian Social and communal life. Patna Museum has a good collection of ancient Patna Qalam paintings. Many forms of regional dances can be seen in the season during festive seasons, though songs from Bollywood and Bhojpuri are also very popular. The craft work which includes Brass work, Zari work, Tikuli work, Kasida etc. are famous in Patna and adjoining areas. Patna City being the oldest part of the city are more famed for these kinds of works.

The city enjoys a good culture and secular environment in the 21st century.

 

Festivals of Patna

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Festivals of Patna

Situated at the confluence of Northern India and Eastern India, influenced by the major religions and owing to the multiple regional culture presence, Patna has a long list of festivals throughout the year. The city celebrates each major festival of India in a grand way, be it Diwali, typical to North India or Dusshera, typical to Bengal or Holi of Mathura. However the biggest of all festival is Chhath, which bring a feeling of purity, devotion and worship in the city during its 4 day long duration. Beside it, the other big worshiping like Ramnavami, Jitiya, Teej and Somwari are of great value to the majority population. Eid, Bakrid and Muharram are celebrated with great joy and pomp throughout the city, especially in the old city, called Patna city. Christmas, Buddha Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti and Guru Nanak Jayanti are celebrated with great affection in the city.

Chhath : Chhath is called "Aastha ka Mahaparv" meaning Biggest festival of Devotion in the region. This festival is dedicated to the worship of Sun God, called "Lord Surya" in the Hindu Mythology, who sustains life on the Earth. It is one of the rigorous festival which stretches for four days and most strict form of worshiping is undertaken, which includes holy bathing, fasting and offering prayers to the Sun god by standing in the water(river) during sunset and sunrise. Chhath is celebrated twice a year- one during March-April called Chaitra Chhath and other during October-November called Kartik Chhath. The latter has great importance because of the Kartik month.

On the first day of festival, called 'Nahay-Khaye' the devotees takes bath in river and bring the water home for preparing the offerings.The devotees eat only once during the day. The second day is called 'Kharna', in which devotees keep fast throughout the day. In evening, after sunset, devotees do worship after which they eat Puri-Kheer and after that it is distributed to the family members and others. Day three is called 'Sanjhiya Arghya' (offering at sunset). The devotees prepares offering during the day. By evening, all the family members accompany the devotee to the river bank or pond. Whole society gathers there and it reflect an  awesome view at the bank. The devotees take bath in the river and stand in the water to worship the Sun god at Sunset. After the worship, the devotees spend the night at the bank only. Proper arrangements are made for the night stay and during night the whole community remains awake. On the fourth day, called 'Paaran', the devotees offer prayers to the rising Sun, again standing in water. The festivals ends with devotees breaking their fast at the bank. The Prasads are distributed among the family and relatives Chhath is a great festival which brings the entire society, barring the castes on the river bank together. Patna is blessed with the river Ganges flowing by. The ghats are decorated beautifully, roads are cleaned and during offering , it gives an awesome view, with the ghats full of people and devotees doing offering from the water, while Sun sets or arises. The fear of this festival is such that the criminal activity during 4 these days drops to almost zero -  such is power of this festival.

Dusshera (Durga Puja) : This festival is celebrated with great devotion during the month of September-October. It stretches for 10 days. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The nine day of festival is devoted to each of the nine form of Goddess Durga. For the first six days, the Goddess is covered and from seventh day onward the cover is removed and people starts flocking to worship. The tenth days is the last day when the Goddess is immersed in the river.
Patna is famous for this festival. Beautiful idols of Goddess Durga in huge pandals are placed all over the city. On the Eighth and Ninth day during night, almost all  people are on street, resembling a wave of human beings, making quiet difficult even to have a look at the idols. On the tenth day, in Gandhi Maidan, huge statues of Ram, Laxman and Ravan is erected, and the Ravan is burnt. Its a must seeing event, however the rush can become too much to handle.

Diwali : This festival of light, dedicated to the Goddess Laxmi, who is the goddess of Wealth, is celebrated in the month of October-November. The day just before the actual Diwali is known as Choti Diwali (Small Diwali). On the day of Diwali, the whole city  is decorated with beautiful lights and Diyas are burnt in the house. Each house is cleaned thoroughly. Massive fire crackers are put for cracking, so much so that it becomes difficult to hear the voices and sky becomes dusty with smokes.

Ramnavami : It is another important festival in Patna. The people celebrate this festival by observing fasts and observing prayers in the honor of Lord Rama. This auspicious day is observed to mark the birth of Lord Rama. All the temples see huge rush of devotees on this day.

Holi : This festival  of color is celebrated during March in memory of Prahlada, a devotee of Lord Vishnu. The people put color on each other during the day. By evening, the colored powders, called 'Abir' take place of wet colors. The people visit each other houses and takes the blessings of the seniors.

Eid : Eid is big festival for the Muslim community which falls at the end of the holy month of Ramzan, during August-September. This joyous day is celebrated to give thanks for the blessings of Ramzan. Muslims attend the congregational Eid prayer service which is held in the morning. They wear new clothing, cook delicious foods and invites friends and neighbors to celebrate with them. The whole of Patna city area is beautifully decorated and there is good environment in the markets.

Christmas :This festival is celebrated by the Christian community on the 25th December every year to commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus. The famous church of Patna - Padri ki Haveli and Christ Church are beautiful decorated on the occasion. People exchange gifts, decorate the Christmas trees, attend the church and go for meal together. People from other religion also participate in the festival.

The other festivals which are celebrated in the city are  :

  • Makar Sankranti
  • Janmastmi
  • Maha Shivratri
  • Teej
  • Jitiya
  • Saraswati Puja
  • Raksha Bandhan
  • Chitra Gupta Puja
  • Muharram
  • Bakrid

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Geography of Patna

 

Patna is situated on the Southern bank of river Ganges in the Eastern part of the Indo-Gangetic plain which is characterized with the presence of highly fertile alluvial soil. It is situated on the converge of three rivers- the Ganges, Sone and Punpun, each coming from the East, South and North direction respectively. Not far away is the converge of Ghaghra and Gandak river into the Ganga, making the area as one of the largest riverine of the world. The width of river Ganges stretches from 4-6 km at Patna.

Patna is situated on Latitude 25.35° N and Longitude 85.12º E. The average altitude of the area is 53 meter at MSL(Mean Sea Level) and land is plain with no hills around it. The length of the city is approximately 25 km from East to West and 10-12 km from North to South. The city receives good rainfall every year, approximately 120 cm, mostly in the rainy season when monsoon strike the plain. Situated deep in the mainland and far away from the moderating effect of the ocean, Patna experiences extreme of temperature. The summer temperature reaches up to 42-43º C occasionally, whereas the winter temperature may fall to 6º C. The highest temperature recorded is 46.6º C in 1966 and lowest recorded temperature is 1.1º C on January 09, 2013.

The land is very fertile owing to the alluvial soil and the proximity to the rivers. A number of crops, including cash crops are gown here. However the area is devoid of any forest cover. The vast stretches of land in the river Ganges, which grows due to the deposition of soil year by year, called 'Diara' in local language is highly fertile piece of land.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location co-ordinates : 25.35° N 85.12° E
  • Average altitude : 53 m (174 ft) at MSL
  • Average rainfall : 120 cm