Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar, and one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Megasthenes (350 BCE-290 BCE), in his book Indica has mentioned that the city of Palibothra (Pataliputra, modern day Patna) was situated on the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Arennovoas (Sonabhadra - Hiranyawah) and was 9 miles long and 1.75 miles wide.
The modern city of Patna lies on the southern bank of the Ganges, as it flows past with the combined waters of the rivers Ghagra, Son and Gandak. At the point where the city is located, the sacred Ganges looks more sea than river: mighty, wide and never-ending.
A bustling city of 1,200,000 people, the city is approximately 15 km long and 5 km to 7 km wide.
The Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir or Rajgriha, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, and Pawapuri are all nearby. Patna is a sacred city for Sikhs also. Their tenth and last "human" guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here. It is the ideal gateway for all the places on this circuit. The monuments in and around the city take one down the history to its glorious past.