The famous Wheeler Senate Hall of Patna University, Bihar - now named after late Jayaprakash Narayan, a socialist leader

The Wheeler Senate Hall, Univ. of Patna/

Patna University, Ashok Rajpath, Patna city, was established in October  1917 after the creation of the separate Province of Bihar and Orissa. with a view to imparting higher education to the aspiring students. It was a  positive step  taken by the colonial administration to take education to a higher level.  

Introduction The Wheeler Senate Hall, stands as a testament to the rich history and academic heritage of the University of Patna. This majestic structure, erected over a span of a year from 1925 to 1926, serves as a symbol of academic excellence and intellectual discourse.

Historical Significance Commissioned by the University of Patna, the Wheeler Senate Hall was generously funded by Raja Devaki Nandan Prasad Singh of Munger, who contributed nearly ₹1.75 lakh towards its construction. The grand inauguration in 1926, presided over by the esteemed Sir Henry Wheeler, marked the beginning of a new era in the university's legacy.

Predecessors and Evolution Before the establishment of the Senate Hall, the University of Patna grappled with scattered venues for its meetings, conferences, and convocations. The hall's inception brought about a centralized space for academic gatherings, replacing the disparate locations used previously. Prior to its construction, the university utilized temporary spaces within the Patna High Court and the Patna Secretariat, underscoring the need for a dedicated assembly hall.

Architectural Marvel The Wheeler Senate Hall stands as an architectural marvel, boasting a harmonious blend of colonial and indigenous design elements. With its imposing pillars, intricate detailing, and soaring ceilings, the hall exudes an aura of grandeur and sophistication. Its spacious interiors provide an ideal setting for intellectual discourse, academic ceremonies, and cultural events. The tall ceiling and numerous huge windows were planned to keep interiors cool in the hot season.

Cultural Icons and Momentous Events Over the decades, the Senate Hall has played host to a myriad of luminaries and historic gatherings. From the illustrious Lord Mountbatten to the charismatic Jawaharlal Nehru, eminent personalities have graced its halls, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of academia. The hall has witnessed pivotal moments in India's history, including the felicitation of Rabindranath Tagore following his Nobel Prize win and the historic public meeting of 1946, attended by Nehru amidst communal disturbances.

Contemporary Role In the present day, the Wheeler Senate Hall continues to serve as a focal point for academic activities within the University of Patna. While its primary function remains that of an examination center, the hall also accommodates senate meetings, exhibitions, and cultural events. Despite the passage of time, the hall's significance endures, embodying the university's commitment to fostering intellectual inquiry and scholarly pursuit.

Marble plaque at Patna Univ.

Wheeler hall now  Jayapraksh narayan hall.

Above image: The beautiful senate house with Doric columns framing its entrance was inaugurated on March 20, 1926 by the then governor of Bihar and Orissa province and Patna University chancellor Sir Henry Wheeler.  It was built using a generous endowment from Raja Devakinandan Prashad Singh of Monghyr (now Munger in Bihar). Sir Henry Wheeler had laid its foundation. stone in 1925, according to archival records. Days before the 106th anniversary of the university, a new plaque was installed on the right side of the senate house's facade stating that it has been renamed after Jayaprakash Narayan, popularly known as 'JP',after socialist leader,  Patna University official said.

Conclusion As a bastion of knowledge and learning, the Wheeler Senate Hall stands as a venerable institution within the University of Patna. From its humble origins to its present-day prominence, the hall remains a cherished symbol of academic excellence and institutional pride. As future generations pass through its hallowed corridors, they will continue to be inspired by its rich history and enduring legacy.