It was established in 1802 by William Fullarton to provide housing for workers on the coalfields of his estate. Fullarton's father had worked as an employee of the British East India Company, and the town is named after the city of Patna in India. Patna lies southeast of Ayr on the A713 to Castle Douglas at its junction with the road to Kirkmichael just north of Dalmellington. Patna lies between the villages of Polnessan and Waterside, and the River Doon flows through it.
Patna Primary School is a non-denominational school. St Xavier's Primary School, a Catholic primary school, was formerly in Waterside but has been moved into Patna Primary School, and is attended by pupils from Dalmellington, Bellsbank and Maybole. A secondary school, Doon Academy, is located in the nearby village of Dalmellington.
Patna has a small library, a games hall, a doctor's surgery, some shops, a petrol garage, a football field, access to numerous country walks, an orange lodge and a golf club. The River Doon is popular with local anglers. There are two bridges within the village which are used as vehicle and pedestrian crossing points over the River Doon. These bridges are known locally as the 'ol brig' and 'new brig'.
The village was served until 1964 by Patna railway station, the railway however remains open for coal freight traffic. The platforms have been demolished and nothing remains of the station.
Refer to Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland