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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gol Ghar Patna (Bihar)

Gol Ghar with the dry bed of the river Ganges in the back ground
After the devastating famine of 1770  which killed nearly 10 million people in regions of Bengal & Bihar and modern day Bangladesh,Warren Hastings , then Governor General of India, ordered the construction of this beehive shaped structure (Gol Ghar) for the purpose of storing grains for the British Army. It was conceived and built by Captain John Garstin, an engineer with the East India Company and has a storage capacity of 140,000 tons, it construction was completed on 20 July 1786.
 Built in the native Stupa architecture, Gol Ghar has a foundation of 125m, and a height of 29 m. It is pillarless with a wall of thickness of 3.6 m at the base. One can climb atop the Golghar through the 145 steps of its spiral stairway around the monument. The spiral staircase was designed so as to facilitate the passage of the coolies, who had to carry grain-bags up one flight, deliver their load through a hole at the top, and descend the other stairs.
 The top of the Gol Ghar presents a wonderful panoramic view of the city and the Ganges flowing nearby. At time of its construction, it was the tallest building in Patna. Golghar has never been filled to its maximum capacity and there are no plans to do so. The reason for this is a flaw whereby the doors are designed to open inwards. Thus, if it is filled to its maximum capacity, then the doors will not open.

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful click and thanks for the history.

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  2. Nice one ..love the picture.
    Surprised to see dry Ganges in the background.

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  3. Interesting post.I hear for the first time about this beautiful structure.It is not a flaw but a major mistake about the windows!!

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  4. Great to know about this wonderful and unique structure.

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  5. Gosh! What an impressive structure! Would love to be atop that.
    Wishing you A Merry Christmas and A Happy new Year.

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  6. oh! never heard abt this! thanks for the info RK...love the stairway along the dome...but surprised with an engineering flaw! very rare for British buildings in India...

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  7. Knowing about this for the first time. Great place to visit.

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  8. Bittersweet moment looking at the pic. Wonderful structure & even better to know the legacy behind, but the sad state of The Ganga ....Sigh! About the doors, doesn't seem like a huge problem if they wanted to fix it? I wonder.

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  9. Thanks for sharing the history Ram. Its so interesting. I am sure the view from the top of the Ganges an the landscape must be breathtaking :)

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  10. P.S. The Ganges drying up? I've always thought of it as immense and free flowing.

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  11. The death of so many people back then must have been a substantial percentage of the community.

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  12. this is an amazing building to look at and a shame they made a mistake with the doors. i did not know about this famine, so sad.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family...

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  13. That's interesting. I'm wondering why I never learnt about this in school. It's something for the history books. It's kind-of sad that it never really served it's full purpose, tho. Impressive structure it is, I must say. The views from the top must be good. :)
    Nice to learn about it. Thank you for the info, Mr. Ram.

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