Names of Patna
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Since its origin in 600 BC, the city of Patna pronunciation (help·info) (Hindi: पटना) has gone through many name changes. The article lists various name of Patna used throughout its history. The article could also be taken as Toponymy of Patna.
One legend ascribes the origin of city to a mythological king, Putraka, who created Patna by a magic stroke for his queen Patali, literally trumpet flower, which gives it its ancient name Pataligram. Gram is the Sanskrit word for a village.
It comes from Patnam/Pattinam(Tamil: பட்னம்/பட்டனம்) (meaning port City in Tamil), since the city, located near the confluence of four rivers, has been a thriving river port. The name was given as Patalipatnam instead of Pataligrama by a Tamil King Uthayan of Ay dynasty who ruled magadh region from 700BCE-600BCE.
The name Patliputra (Devanagari: पाटलिपुत्र ) is composed (sandhi) of two words, Patali and Putraka (king). The name Patliputra was given by a king of ancient Indian state of Magadh, Ajatashatru, who created a fort in Pataligrama near the River Ganges in 490 BC and later king Ajatashatru shifted his capital to Patliputra. It is also believed, the city's name Patliputra was derived from Patli, a tree variety that is found in the city.
This name was mentioned by Megasthenes (350 BCE-290 BCE), the Greek historian, (calling it 'Palibothra'(Devanagari: पलिबोथरा) or 'Palimbotra' (Devanagari: पलिम्बोत्र), in his writings during the 4th century.
Prince Azim-us-Shan, the grandson of Aurangzeb came as the Governor of Patliputra in 1703. Earlier than that Sher Shah Suri had moved his capital from Bihar Sharif to Patliputra. It was prince Azim-us-Shan who gave it the name Azimabad.
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Adapted from an article in The Hindu by Shahid Akhter Makfi
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- Of the city Pataliputra Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Indika, Book II, Frag. XXV, Strab. XV. i. 35-36,--p. 702. Frag XXVI.Arr. Ind. 10. Of Pataliputra..." the greatest city in India is that which is called Palimbothra, in the dominions of the Prasians, where the streams of the Erannoboas and the Ganges unite,--the Ganges being the greatest of all rivers, and the Erannoboas being perhaps the third largest of Indian rivers, though greater than the greatest rivers elsewhere; but it is smaller than the Ganges where it falls into it. Megasthenes informs us that this city stretched in the inhabited quarters to an extreme length on each side of eighty stadia, and that its breadth was fifteen stadia, and that a ditch encompassed it all round, which was six hundred feet in breadth and thirty cubits in depth, and that the wall was crowned with 570 towers and had four-and-sixty gates...."
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