Patna, India, set along the banks of the holy Ganges River 530 mi/850 km southeast of Delhi, was once an ancient Buddhist capital. But times have changed, and today the metropolis is a rather crowded and traffic-riddled city that merits a visit only if you are already in the area.

Many Buddhist monuments can be found there. It is home to the 16th-century Sher Shahi Mosque, a Sikh temple, the Governor's Palace, the Patna Museum and the 90-ft-/27-m-tall Golghar grain-storage bin, which affords excellent views of the city. Improved road and rail infrastructure and increased flight connections have opened tourism there. Bodh Gaya, perhaps Buddhism's most important pilgrimage site, is only 69 mi/111 km away.

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