The Bihar cabinet gave its approval for the construction of a five-star hotel on the land of Bankipur Bus Depot, Sultan Palace in R Block and Hotel Patliputra Ashok. These hotels will be built on the premises of the Patliputra Ashok Hotel, Bankipur Bus Stand and the Sultan’s Palace by demolishing existing structures.
Why Bihar Govt. demolishing Sultan Palace
Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nitish Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Cabinet) S Sidharth said that interested investors would receive a 45-year lease on the plots. The tourism department would invite bids and select the construction company to gradually build the hotels.
In another important decision, the cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the new start-up policy to boost industrial activities in the state. The policy, valid for the next five years (until 2027), will have a selection committee of experts, headed by the director of industries, for the rapid disposition of applications from emerging companies.
Tourism Minister Narayan Prasad said a 22-story building with 500 rooms would be built on 3.5 acres of Bankipur Bus Depot land on Gandhi Maidan to promote tourism. The Ashok Hotel located in Income Tax will be demolished, 175 rooms will be built on 1.5 acres of land and 400 five-star hotel rooms will be built on 4.8 acres of Department of Transportation land on Virchand Patel Path in R Block.
History of Sultan Palace Patna
Sultan Palace was built in the year of 1922 by Sir Sultan Ahmed at Beer Chand Patel Marg in the heart of Patna, Bihar. This heritage building has the elements of Islamic architecture, such as its two-domed pavilions on each side and the tall central domed tower.
With a high domed tower in the center, vaulted pavilions at the corners, minarets and multi-leaf arches on the façade, the palace is an impressive interpretation of Islamic architecture.
Ahmed was also the “first Indian chancellor of the University of Patna”. He even had good terms with “Sir Saiyid Ali Imam (1869-1932), lawyer and chief minister of Hyderabad Decan”.
It was built on a 10-acre plot. It took Sultan Ahmed two years to complete with an outlay of 3 lakh. It was designed by Ali Jaan. White marble is widespread. It was built in the Islamic style with a high vaulted tower in the center, vaulted pavilions at the corners, minarets and multi-leaf arches on the facade. The palace is divided into two parts: the front part is for men and the back part is for women. The most important part is the front room with fireplace, molding and ornamental ceiling painted with gold dust.
The historic building can easily be repurposed as a heritage hotel. It is imperative to save this heritage site from demolition. The building is an important landmark in the history and cultural architecture of India.
Who was Sultan Ahmed?
Born in 1880, Sultan Ahmad was an Eminent lawyer before becoming a judge at the Patna High Court. In addition to his tenure as a judge, Sir Sultan Ahmed was also the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of Patna University from 1923 to 1930.
A legal luminary, educator, and scholar, Sir Sultan was invited to the Round Table Conference (1930-31). After participating in the meeting, Sultan was appointed a member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy. He passed away in 1963, but left a heritage monument for the next generation.
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