Padri ki Haveli (literally ‘mansion of the pastor’), also known as St Mary’s Church, is the oldest church in Patna, and indeed, Bihar.
While the church was first built in 1713, the structure that we see today was designed by a Venetian architect, Tirreto, in 1772. The church has withstood many attacks, including by Nawab Mir Qasim in 1763, and during the First War of Independence in 1857. Although the Gothic building has many modern touches, it is largely well preserved and is a must-visit for those interested in history and heritage monuments. Earlier known as Mangle’s tank, the lake was built in 1856-75 (though some say it is more than 200 years old). During the digging of the lake, an old brick wall was found which is thought to have been ruins of the ancient city of Pataliputra. A fair is held here on New Year’s Day, drawing as many as 10,000 revelers. The administration has plans to clean up the lake and develop it as a tourist destination with facilities for boating.
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