It was established in 1802 by William Fullarton, to provide housing for workers on the coal-fields of his estate. Fullarton's father had worked as an employee of the British East India Company, and the town takes its name from the city of Patna in India.
Patna lies south east of Ayr on the A713 to Castle Douglas just north of Dalmellington between the villages of Polnessan and Waterside at the junction with the road to Kirkmichael and the River Doon flows through the village.
Patna Primary School is a general, non-religious school. A catholic primary school is in Waterside, named St Xaviers Primary School that is attended by pupils from as far as Dalmellington and Bellsbank, to Maybole. A secondary school, Doon Academy, is located in the nearby village of Dalmellington
Patna has at its advantage, a small library, a games hall, a football field, numerous country walks and a golf club and the river Doon is popular with local fishermen. Patna has its own Petrol Filling Station which also retails Quad and Dirt Bikes including the popular Kazuma Brand along with a selection of Wulfsport Clothing and Safety Gear.