Sunday, 6 August 2017

Patna Secretariat building, a remarkable British heritage site

Patna secrateriae
Patna Secretariat in the capital city Patna is located between  city's two historical buildings  Raj Bhavan in the west and Patna High Court in the far east.Also known as Patna Sachiwalaya or Old Secretariat, it is a landmark colonial building  known for its architectural beauty and splendour and  is the administrative headquarters of the state Government of Bihar in India. Just like the secretariats across India, it houses all  the important government departments, such as Home, Finance, General Administration, Cabinet Secretariat etc., besides office of the ministers and the bureaucrats.
The lawn adjacent to the building  has a  bronze statue of the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Bihar Kesari Srikrishna Sinha and the Martyr's memorial to commemorate the sacrifice of seven students during 1942 August Kranti movement. 

 Designed by the  famous Architect Joseph Munnings of Sydney, the work began in 1913 and completed in 1917 and the contractor was Martin Burn of Calcutta based company. It a fascinating Victorian style of building, carefully using Indo-Sarcenic style of design. The dimension of the building is 716 feet long 364 feet wide, and is considered the largest government building in the city. This beautiful edifice is adorned by a tall, highly visible clock tower in the center of the structure amidst lush green lawn. Presently its height is 184 feet. Originally it stood 198 feet tall, but part of he building fell down in the wake of 1934 earthquake that struck part of Nepal and Bihar. The interior part of the building maintains reasonable temperature during the hot season because of 4-foot gap between concrete ceiling and outer covering of Raniganj tiles - an ingenious way to maintain cool temperature inside the building in tropical countries.