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City (pop., 2001: 1,366,444), capital of Bihar state, northern India, on the Ganges River. It was founded in the 5th century BC as Pataliputra and was the capital of Magadha until the 1st century BC. It was ruled later by the Mauryan empire. A centre of learning, it became the Gupta dynasty's capital in the 4th century AD but declined and was deserted by the 7th century. Revived as Patna in 1541 by an Afghan ruler, it became prosperous under the Mughal dynasty and passed to the British in 1765. Extensive archaeological excavations have been made in its vicinity.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Patna, visit Britannica.com.