Patna /ˈpætnə, ˈpʌt-/ (Devanāgarī: पटना) (Urdu: پٹنہ) is the capital and largest city of the state of Bihar in India. Patna is the second-largest city in eastern India after Kolkata. It had an estimated population of 1.68 million in 2011, making it the 19th largest city in India. With over 2 million people, its urban agglomeration is the 18th largest in India. Patna also serves as the seat of Patna High Court.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Shunga, Gupta and Pala empires. Pataliputra was a seat of learning and fine arts. Patliputra was home to many astrologists and scholars including Aryabhata, Panini, Vātsyāyana, Chanakya and Kālidāsa. Its population during the Maurya period (around 300 BCE) was about 400,000. Patna served as the seat of power, political and cultural centre of Indian subcontinent during the Maurya and Gupta empires. With the fall of Gupta Empire, Patna lost its glory. It was revived again in 17th century by the British as a centre of international trade. Following the partion of Bengal presidency in 1912, Patna became the capital of Bihar and Orissa province.
The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of river Ganges. The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak and Punpun. The city is approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) in length and 16 to 18 kilometres (9.9 to 11.2 mi) wide. In June 2009, the World Bank ranked Patna second in India (after Delhi) for ease of starting a business. As of 2015, Patna's per capita gross domestic product is ₹1,06,000 ($1581). Using figures for assumed average annual growth, Patna is the 21st fastest growing city in the world and 5th fastest growing city in India according to a study by the City Mayors' Foundation. Patna registered an average annual growth of 3.72% during 2006-2010. Patna also has lowest slum population of any city in India.
The Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain pilgrimage centres of Vaishali, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, and Pawapuri are nearby and Patna City is also a sacred city for Sikhs as the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here.
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