"The city of Pushpapuri or Pataliputra is the capital of the Magadha country. It is the touchstone by which all other cities are judged. It has revealed the splendid vastness of the sea by securing from it numerous precious jewels and other objects—which are spread over its several markets," wrote Dandin, a renowned poet and story teller, in the A.D. 6th century. To Fa-hien, the Chinese traveller, who visited Pataliputra a century earlier, it looked so magnificent that he thought it must have been built by supernatural beings.

Pataliputra had two older names, Pushpapur and Kusumpur both meaning the City of Flowers. Patali, also means the trumpet flower.

It was King Ajatasatru who built a fort at Pataliputra though the city was founded by his son (or grandson) Udayana. "Modern researches have shown that this ancient metropolitan city of Pataliputra was situated on a long strip of land, half a mile to the north of the village Kumarhar. Asoka's palace extended from the mound called Chhoti Pahari to Kumarhar and it covered an area of 4 sq miles. Bhikra Pahari, an artificial hill of brick debris over 40 feet high and about a mile in circuit on which stood the residence of one of the Nawabs of Patna, is identified as the hermitage-hill built by Asoka for his brother Mahendra. In the Panchpahari are identified five great relic-stupas built by Asoka". ('Pataliputra- by J.H. Dave, Bharan' s Journal. 26 August 196).

It was Sher Shah, India's last great Afghan Emperor, who changed the city’s name to Patna. Patna is now the capital of Bihar State.

The Patna city is connected by daily air service with Kolkata and Kathmandu, Varanasi and Delhi, and by train with all major cities. Patna's population is 9,16,100.

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