Ancient northern Indian city, founded c.
as a small fort (Pataligrama) near the River Ganges within the kingdom of Magadha janapada
. It became the capital for both the Mauryan dynasty under Chandragupta and, later, of the imperial Guptas. During the reign of Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC
, it was the world's largest city, with a population of 150,000300,000. As Patna
, it remains an important regional centre.
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