Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar, and its most populous city and also the second most populous city of Eastern India. It is the administrative, industrial and educational centre of the state. Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Gupta and Pala.
Pataliputra was a seat of learning and fine arts. Its population during the Maurya period (around 300 BCE) was about 400,000.
The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganges. The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak and Punpun. The city is approximately 35 km long and 16 km to 18 km wide.
The Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Gaya, Bodhgaya, and Pawapuri are nearby and Patna is also a sacred city for Sikhs as the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here.