Patna, a district of Bihar is situated on its southern side with Patna as the district headquarters. The name of the district has changed from time to time. There are different theories associated with its name “Patna”. Some of its natives believe that the term Patna is derived from Patan, the name of Hindu Goddess, Patan Devi. In the old Patna near Gai Ghat there is a temple of Patan Devi. Many of them believe that Patna got its name from the word “Patli”, a tree variety that was found in abundance in the Patna city. Earlier, Patna has been popular by various names Pataligrama, Pataliputra, Kusumapura, Kusumdhwaja, Pushpapuram, Padmavathi, Azimabad and today’s Patna. Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. In the ancient period Patna, popularly known as Pataliputra was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the rule of Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Shunga, Gupta and Pala. At that time Pataliputra was a seat of learning and fine arts. During the British rule in India, the English East India Company in 1620 established a factory in Patna for trading in calico and silk. Patna became the capital of the British province of Bihar and Orissa when the Bengal Presidency was partitioned in 1912. The present district of Patna was formed in September, 1770 as provincial council by the British in order to supervise revenue matters of Bihar, along with Murshidabad for Bengal. In the year 1793, Patna became a separate judicial district. When India got its independence in 1947, Patna continued to be the capital of the Bihar state.
Bhabatosh Datta, a prominent Indian economist, academic and writer was born on 21th February, 1911 in Patna. In 1990 the Government of India honoured him by the Padma Shree Award.
Geographically, the district lies at 25°61'N latitude, 85°13'E longitude and 53 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 0.88% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies an area of 3,202 sq. Kms. and it is surrounded by river Ganga on the north, Jahanabad and Nalanda districts on the south, Lakhisarai district on the east and Bhojpur district on the west. The Ganga River is the largest river in the district. The climate of Patna is characterised as the humid subtropical climate. During the summer, district experiences an extremely hot climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1129.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 20 blocks. To administer in a better way the district is divided into 6 sub-divisions namely Patna Sadar, Patna City, Barh, Danapur, Masaurhi and Paliganj. Moreover, the district comprises 22 towns and 1,388 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 58,38,465 including 30,78,512 are males and 27,59,953 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 897 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 23.73% out of which 22.17% were males and 25.53% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 91.74% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,823 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 93.18%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,38,743 out of which 72,815 were males and 65,910 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 42,565 out of which 26,370 were males and 16,191 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Patna. The core agricultural crops of the district are rice, paddy, maize, pulses, oil seeds, sugarcane, sesame and wheat. Patna is also a significant industrial centre of eastern India. Some prime industries of the district include leather, handicrafts and agro processing. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj announced it as one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 38th districts in Bihar which currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product of the district was Rs. 63,17,655 lakh at current price and Rs. 36,66,709 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year net domestic product in the district was Rs. 60,18,863 lakh at current price and Rs. 34,61,325 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
Patna University, established in 1917 is the seventh oldest university in the Indian. Patna has also some other reputed universities namely Chanakya National Law University, Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Indian Institute of Technology, All India Institute of Medical Science, National Institute of Fashion Technology, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 70.68% including 78.48% are males and 61.96% are females. The number of literates in the district was 34,59,679 including 20,28,047 were males and 14,31,632 were females.
Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second Chief Minister of West Bengal was born on 1st July, 1882 at Bankipore in Patna. He remained in this post for 14 years from 1948 until his death in 1962. He was the member of Indian National Congress political party. He was honoured by India’s Highest Civilian Award Bharat Ratna on 4th February, 1961. Meira Kumar, the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and a five time Member of Parliament i.e. 8th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha was born on 31st March, 1945 in Patna. She is a member of Indian National Congress.
The cultural heritage of Patna allures numerous travellers from different parts of the world every year. Kumhrar and Agam Kuan, the creation of Ashoka are in the ruined state now. Bodh Gaya is a popular religious destination for Buddhist tourists all over the world. As an example of Mauryan art only Didarganj Yakshi is remained in the district. There are five Gurdwaras in Patna among which Takht Sri. Patna Sahib is the most important since it is the birth place of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh. Some evidences of British architecture are also there in the district likewise Padri Ki Haveli, High Court, Golghar and Secretariat Building.