By Michael Wood
Last updated 2011-02-17
Megasthenes spent time at the court of Chandragupta Maurya, India's first great emperor. Maurya presided over an empire stretching from Bengal to present day Afghanistan from this majestic capital. Patiliputra was built on the southern banks of the Ganges at the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Son and Gandak. It had a significant Jain and Buddhist influence as both the Buddha and Mahavira founder of Jainism lived and preached nearby.
King Asoka also had his capital at Pataliputra. The Agam Kuan or 'Bottomless Well' in which Asoka is said to have put his prisoners to death (before he became influenced by Buddhism) still exists in Patna today.
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