Gandhi Ghat is perhaps the most well-developed and tourist friendly bank of the Ganga in Bihar.
It might come as a surprise to visitors that although the riverfront in Patna stretches for 11 miles, it is not as developed or integral to the city as say, in Varanasi or Haridwar. While earlier many notable monuments – such as the palace of Darbhanga Maharaj, Quila House, Sher Shah Suri’s fort and Tekari House – were built along the ghats (river bank), the riverfront is quite scenic and beautiful. The Ganga is especially majestic during the monsoons, when a torrential flow and cool winds serenade the banks. Of all the banks, Gandhi Ghat, located behind the National Institute of Technology (NIT), is the most prominent and tourist friendly. To reach the ghat, take shared autos from Gandhi Maidan towards Patna City and get off after Science College. There is a plaza at the ghat with shaded benches, food stalls and a riverside restaurant, Bhagirathi Vihar. It also has facilities for boating, including the official MV Ganga Vihar, a cruise ship.
In a bid to boost ‘spiritual tourism’, the Bihar government organizes an aarti (a Hindu worship ritual) at the Gandhi Ghat every Saturday and Sunday. Started on the lines of the aarti in Haridwar and Varanasi (where priests from Patna were sent for training in conducting aartis), the ritual is an enthralling spectacle where priests perform synchronized movements with lit lamps and smoky incense to the rhythm of chants and hymns.
Gandhi Ghat is also the gateway to Ganga Diara (river island), one of the many river islands along the banks of Patna.