What was the ancient name for Bihar’s capital Patna?

One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. Ancient Patna, known as Patliputra or Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadh Empire through Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Shunga, Gupta and Pala dynasties.

Patliputra really saw its pinnacle during the Maurya period when it became one of the largest cities in the world. As per the Greek diplomat, traveller and historian Megasthenes, during the Mauryan Empire, it was among the first cities in the world to have a highly efficient form of local self-government.

Extensive archaeological excavations have been made in the vicinity of modern Patna. Excavations early in the 20th century around Patna revealed clear evidence of large fortification walls, including reinforcing wooden trusses. Now we know that after the post-Palas decline, it was Sher Shah Suri (1538–1545) who revived Pataliputra and renamed it Pa?na.

The first accepted references to the place are observed more than 2500 years ago in Jain and Buddhist scriptures. Recorded history of the city begins in the year 490 BCE when Ajatashatru, the king of Magadh, wanted to shift his capital from the hilly Rajgriha to a more strategically located place to combat the Licchavi of Vaishali. He chose a site on the bank of the Ganges and fortified the area which developed into Patna.

From that time, the city has had a continuous history, a record claimed by few cities in the world. During its history and existence of more than two millennia, Patna has been known by different names: Pataligram, Pataliputra, Palibothra, Kusumpur, Pushpapura, Azimabad, and the present-day Patna. Gautam Buddha passed through this place in the last year of his life, and he had prophesied a great future for this place, but at the same time, he predicted its ruin from flood, fire, and feud.


Picture Credit : Google