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Pataliputra, adjacent to modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India, originally built by Magadha ruler Ajatashatru in 490 BCE as a small fort near the Ganges river.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.EtymologyThe etymology of Pataliputra is unclear. "Putra" means son, and "" is a species of rice or the plant Bignonia suaveolens. One traditional etymology holds that the city was named after the plant. Another tradition says that means the son of, who was the daughter of Raja Sudarshan. As it was known as originally, some scholars believe that is a transformation of, " town".HistoryThere is no mention of Pataliputra in written sources prior to the early Buddhist texts, where it appears as the village of Pataligrama and is omitted from a list of major cities in the region. Early Buddhist sources report a city being built in the vicinity of the village towards the end of the Buddha's life; this generally agrees with archaeological evidence showing urban development occurring in the area no earlier than the 3rd or 4th Century BCE. In 303 BCE, Greek historian and ambassador Megasthenes mentioned Pataliputra as a city in his work Indika.The city of Pataliputra was formed by fortification of a village by Haryanka ruler Bimbisara.