The Golghar - mammoth granary built in 1786 Patna, Bihar British India

The Golghar, granary, Patna,
Atop The Golghar, granary, Patna,
The Golghar or Gol Ghar is simply a stupa shaped granary built by Captain John Garstin in 1786 in Patna, Bihar, India.  As the proverb goes  ''Necessity is the mother of invention'' the British officers came up with a an innovative idea to store grains for emergency.

 In the aftermath of the famine of 1770, nearly 10 million people  died in  Bengal, Bihar and modern day Bangladesh. Warren Hastings, then Governor-General of India made a decision to build huge storages for grains to be used in case of natural calamity like famine, etc. He wanted to be sure in the future, adequate food supply should be available to face any untoward situation. He was more concerned about the food security of his army men than about ordinary citizens. He preferred stupa-like beehive shaped huge structure.

An engineer with the East India company captain John Garstin conceived it and built it.  The work was completed on 20 July,1786.The  width of the structure is 125m, and a height of 29 m. It is pillar-less with a wall of thickness of 3.6 m at the base. There is a spiral stairway around the it with endless steps for the workers for loading purpose at the top.After  unloading there is a separate stairway for descent. The total storage capacity is 140,000 tons,  Golghar is normally not filled to its maximum capacity because of  drawback in the design of window for collecting grains. The doors are designed to open inwards. It will not  work, if the load is too much. The government has a proposal to further strengthen this historical old structure built during the Raj.