Patna

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Patna

(păt`nə, pŭt`–), city (1991 pop. 1,099,647), capital of Bihar state, NE India, on the Ganges River. It is the hub of a rice-growing region and is an administrative, commercial, and educational center. There is good transportation by road, rail, and air. The ancient name was Pataliputra. It was an imperial city during the MauryaMaurya
, ancient Indian dynasty, c.325–c.183 B.C., founded by Chandragupta (Chandragupta Maurya). He conquered the Magadha kingdom and established his capital at Pataliputra (now Patna). His son, Bindusara (d. c.
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 (c.325–185 B.C.) and GuptaGupta
, Indian dynasty, A.D. c.320–c.550, whose empire at its height encompassed much of N India. Ancient Indian culture reached a high point during this period. Gupta paintings adorned the caves of Ajanta, its sculpture embellished the temples of Ellora, and its
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 (c.320–A.D. 545) eras. Under the Maurya empire, when AśokaAśoka
or Ashoka,
d. c.232 B.C., Indian emperor (c.273–c.232 B.C.) of the Maurya dynasty; grandson of Chandragupta. One of the greatest rulers of ancient India, he brought nearly all India, together with Baluchistan and Afghanistan, under one sway for the
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 (270–230 B.C.) built a large palace there, it was one of the largest cities in the world; some ruins of the period remain. The city was revived during the rule of Afghans and Mughals. In the 18th cent. the East India Company made Patna a seat of trade.

Patna

 

a city in northern India on the right bank of the Ganges River; capital of Bihar State. Population, 490,300 (1971).

Patna is a major transportation junction and center of trade in agricultural products for the valley of the middle Ganges. It has cotton, food-processing, and metalworking industries. Local enterprises manufacture rugs, brocades, furniture, and metal-ware. The city has a university (founded 1917) and a library with a rare collection of Eastern manuscripts. The seat of the state government is in Bankipur, a suburb of Patna.

In antiquity the city was known as Pataliputra, considered to have been one of the largest cities of the ancient world, with an area of approximately 16 × 3 km. According to historical tradition, the city was founded during the reign of King Ajatasatru in the mid-fifth century B.C. and soon became the principal center of trade, crafts, and culture in northern India. It was the capital of the Magadha kingdom under the Nanda, Maurya, Sunga, and Kanva dynasties. It was also the capital of the Gupta state. By the end of Gupta rule (fifth-sixth centuries A.D.), Pataliputra had fallen into decline.

Descriptions of the city have been preserved in many Indian sources and in the writings of ancient Greek and Roman authors and Chinese travelers. In the seventh century, all that remained of the ancient, enormous city was a small settlement, from which arose medieval Patna. Patna remained a small town until the mid-16th century. During the 17th to 19th centuries it was an important center of handicrafts and trade. In the 20th century it was the capital of the province of Bihar and Orissa and later of Bihar State. Archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of wooden and brick structures, which formed part of the palace of the Mauryas and other buildings, as well as numerous art relics.

Patna

ship, carrying Moslem pilgrims, abandoned by captain and crew in a storm. [Br. Lit.: Joseph Conrad Lord Jim]

Patna

a city in NE India, capital of Bihar state, on the River Ganges: founded in the 5th century bc; university (1917); centre of a rice-growing region. Pop.: 1 376 950 (2001)