For task 1 I visited Gol ghar, a huge historical granary in Patna, built in 1786 by Captain John Garstin. It was built after the destructive famine of 1770 to store food for the masses. With a storage capacity of 1,40,000 tonnes, it still stands tall in the state’s capital. The 29 metre high structure has been built on the lines of the native Stupa architecture of ancient India.There is a spiraling staircase built around the granary for ease of coolies who were supposed to carry sacks of grains to the top to empty them into the dome-like structure. The small circular platform at the top of the Gol ghar offers a breath taking view of the Ganga with its vast expanse of water almost resembling a sea. The space inside the Gol ghar also has a powerful echo which repeats 32 times making it a unique whispering gallery.
Being located in central Patna near Gandhi Maidan, the magnificent granary is easily accessible by auto or rickshaw. Visiting this heritage site of my hometown made me learn a little more about the heritage of my city. Recently, light and sound shows have been introduced in the granary’s premises on weekends to attract tourists. In spite of maintenance work being in progress, the structure appears to be in bad condition. I hope this article helps in raising awareness about this historical structure.