Pataliputra, Pāṭaliputra, Pātaliputra, Patali-putra, Pāṭalīputra: 26 definitions


Pataliputra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) is the name of a city according to the story “the brave king Vikramatuṅga” according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 35. Accordingly, “there is a city called Pāṭaliputra, the ornament of the earth, filled with various beautiful jewels, the colours of which are so disposed as to form a perfect scale of colour. In that city there dwelt long ago a brave king named Vikramatuṅga, who in giving never turned his back on a suppliant, nor in fighting on an enemy”.

The story of Pāṭaliputra and Brāhmaṇavara was narrated to king Hemaprabha by queen Alaṅkāraprabhā in order to demonstrate that “the Lord grants their desires to men of fierce courage, seeming to be either terrified or pleased by them”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Pāṭaliputra, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—Modern Patna, the capital of Magadha.

Source: A Textual and Intertextual Study of the Mudrārākṣasa

Pāṭaliputra is the name of an ancient locality.—The plot of the Mudrārākṣasa revolves around the city of Pāṭaliputra, the seat of the Nandas’ and Candragupta’s government. Several scholars beginning with Telang have observed that while the Chinese pilgrim Faxian visited a flourishing Pāṭaliputra at the very beginning of the 5th century CE, the other renowned Chinese traveller—Xuanzang, visiting the area shortly before the middle of the 6thcentury—reported Pāṭaliputra in ruins and all but deserted.

Telang claims that according to the play, Pāṭaliputra is located to the south of the Śoṇa (the river now called Son), and not on the wedge of land between the Śoṇa and the Gaṅgā as generally believed. When Malayaketu decides to march against Pāṭaliputra, he says that his elephants will drink of the Śoṇa, and when Rākṣasa consults an astrologer to set a time for their departure, the answer incidentally reveals that the company is to travel north to south. Telang interprets the former as a reference to crossing the Śoṇa, but there is no indication of this whatsoever. Pāṭaliputra is by all accounts located at the confluence of the Śoṇa and the Gaṅgā, and the reference is more likely to their destination than to an obstacle before their destination.

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Kavya from relevant books on Exotic India

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Purana glossary
Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (purana)

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—The Vāyu-purāṇa 99.319 attributes the real foundation of Pāṭaliputra to Rājā Ajātaśatru’s grandson, Udaya or Udayāśva. It was he who first removed the capital from Rājagṛha to Pāṭaliputra (during the last part of the 6th century B.C.).

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Pāṭalīputra (पाटलीपुत्र).—An ancient city of Purāṇic fame in Uttara Bhārata. The former name of this city was Pāṭalīputraka. There is a story behind the city getting this name:—

There was once a sacred pond named Kanakhala on the banks of river Gaṅgā. A brahmin from Dakṣiṇabhārata along with his wife came to this pond and started practising severe austerities there. He got three sons while living there. After some time the parents died. The three sons went to a place named Rājagṛha and studied there. The three were very poor and they went from there to perform penance to propitiate Subrahmaṇya (Kumārasvāmī). On their way they entered the house of a brahmin named Bhojika livtng on the sea-coast. Bhojika had three daughters and the brahmin after knowing all details about them gave his daughters in marriage to them along with all his wealth. The brahmin went to perform penance and the three brahmin boys with their wives lived in that house. (See full article at Story of Pāṭalīputra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Pāṭalīputra (पाटलीपुत्र) is he name of an ancient city, according to the according to the Kularatnoddyota, one of the earliest Kubjikā Tantras.—Accordingly, while describing the pilgrimage of Vṛkṣanātha: “(Then he went), according to his own desire, to another very excellent city called Pāṭalīputra with the rouse (that he sought) alms (bhikṣārūpa) and he wandered (therein) in order to sport in the house of an excellent Brahmin (who resided there). O venerable Kujā, after having done that, he set out for the houses of seven low caste men and, his intellect free of impurities, took food with (all who belonged to the) Cāṇḍāla caste (freely) as he desired. [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Shaktism from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Google Books: Fortified Cities of Ancient India: A Comparative Study

With regard to the origin of Pāṭaliputra, scholarship usually relies on the traditions of Buddhists and Jains, which date the city’s foundation during the lifetime of their founders. According to a Buddhist legend, the expansion of a village named Pāṭaligrāma into the city of Pāṭaliputra was the result of a dispute that the Magadha ruler Ajātaśatru of Rājagṛha had with the Vṛjis. The minister of Ajātaśatru had the building area of the future city surveyed, a city that was to serve as a bastion against the Vṛjis. With his superhuman vision, the Buddha sees that mighty gods have occupied the building area and that mighty people will inhabit the site.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र), modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India, originally built by Ajatashatru in 490 BCE as a small fort (Pāṭaligrama) near the River Ganges, and later the capital of the ancient Mahājanapadas kingdom of Magadha.

The etymology of Pataliputra is unclear. "Putra" means son, and "pāṭali" is a species of rice or the plant Bignonia suaveolens. One traditional etymology holds that the city was named after the plant. Another tradition says that Pāṭaliputra means the son of Pāṭali, who was the daughter of Raja Sudarshan. As it was known as Pāṭali-grama originally, some scholars believe that Pāṭaliputra is a transformation of Pāṭalipura, "Pāṭali town".

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) is the name of city built by king Ajātaśatru, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter V. Accordingly, “after the Buddha’s nirvāṇa, king A chö che (Ajātaśatru), whose lineage had weakened, abandoned the great city of Rājagṛha and built a small city one yojana in size nearby called Po lo li fou to lo (Pāṭaliputra)”.

Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) (in Chinese: P'o-tch'a-lo-fou) refers to one of the fifty-five kingdoms enumerated in chapter 17 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—In the Candragarbhasūtra, the Bhagavat invites all classes of Gods and Deities to protect the Law [dharma?] and the faithful in their respective districts.—In Pāṭaliputra, the following deities are appointed (among others): The Kinnara Maṇighoṣa; the Yakṣa Śaṅkharuci; the Nāga Śrīghoṣa.

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) (in Chinese: Po-tch'a-li-fou) is the name of an ancient kingdom associated with  Puṣya or Puṣyanakṣatra.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Buddhism glossary
Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (buddhism)

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—The Buddhist literature informs us that Pāṭaliputra was originally a village known as Pāṭaligāma. Ajātaśatru is said to have fortified it in order to check the attacks of the Licchavis who often harassed its inhabitants. The Buddha on his way from Rājagṛha to Vaiśālī, passed through this village on his last journey and is said to have predicted that the village was destined to become a great city.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Jainism glossary
Source: Google Books: The Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden

There was on this earth a city named Pātaliputra, which was like the city of the gods and was the dwelling place of wise men. The famous king Viśākha ruled there, having conquered all his enemies with his sword held high. His wife was named Viśākhā, she had eyes like lotus leaves and feet and hands like lotuses; her lovely face was like a fully opened lotus blossom. They longed for a son and one was born to them; they named him Vaiśākha. He was a veritableocean of virtue and was humble although his fame spread far and wide. With all due ceremony Vaiśākha married Kanakaśrī, whose body glowed with the lovely shining golden radiance of her skin. (from chpater IV, Celanā)

Source: Sum Jaina Canonical Sutras (vividhatirthakalpa)

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) was named after the name of the Pāṭala tree standing at the bank of the Ganges. It is also known as Pataliputranāgara. It was also called Kusumapura, as the tree was laden with many kusumas (flowers). Udāyi (formed king of Campā) built here a caitya of Śrī Nemi and became an advocate of Jainism. Here reigned nine Nandas. The Nanda dynaasty was overthrown by Cāṇakya, a shrewd Brahmin politician, who installed Candragupta Maurya on the throne. After the demise of Candragupta, Bindusāra, Aśoka and Kuṇāla adorned the throne of Pāṭaliputra. Mūladeva, an expert in all branches of arts, and Acalasārthavāha, a rich man, lived in this place. The Ganges flows by the city. To the north of it is a vast expanse of sand. The great sage Sthūlabhadra observed here a religious vow of austerity.

Pāṭaliputra was originally a village of Magadha known as Pāṭaligāma. Ajātaśatru was the real founder of Pāṭaliputra to which the capital of Magadha was removed by his son and successor, Udāyibhadda. It was built near the confluence of the Ganges, Sôn and Gaṇḍak but now the Sôn has receded some distance away from it. This city was visited by the Chinese pilgrims in the 5th and 7th centuries A.D. It was the captial of the later Śiśunāgas, the Nandas and the Mauryas. During the reign of Candragupta Vikramāditya it was a magnificent and populous city.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geography

Source: The ocean of story (history)

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).— This great city (the modern Patna) was built about 482 B.C., and became the capital of Aśoka, the first emperor of India (274-236 B.C.). It was known at this time as Pātaliputta, which the Greek ambassador, Megasthenes, corrupted to Palibothra. As the great Buddhist centre, Aśoka enriched the city with magnificent temples and works of art of every kind. Its foundation is ascribed by Buddhists to Kālāsoka, although nothing definite can be said on this point. In 1878 the Government Archaeological Survey of India reported that Pāṭaliputra must have stood near the modern Patna, but have been long since swept away by the Ganges.

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—It occurs as the name of a city in the Rock-edict V and the Sarnath Pillar inscription of Aśoka. Three Bharhut inscriptions also mention the city of Pāṭaliputra. A minister of the time of Candragupta II is mentioned in Udayagiri Cave inscription to be the resident of Pāṭaliputra. Gadhwa Stone inscription also mentions this city.

Pāṭaliputra is the Palibothra of the Greek historians— particularly Megasthenes, and the Pa-lin-fu of the Chinese pilgrims. Megasthenes has left a detailed account of this city, which was built near the confluence of the Gaṅgā, the Son and the Gandak. He informs us that this city stretched in the inhabited quarters to an extreme length on each side of eighty stadia, and 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 crossed with 570 towers and had four and sixty gates.

The Piṭakas give some information on the early history of Pāṭaliputra. The fortified city was founded by Ajātaśatru on the site of a village Pāṭaligāma in order to repel the Licchavis. Pātañjali, illustrating the use of a certain proposition, says “anuśoṇam pāṭaliputram”, which means, Pāṭaliputra on the Śoṇa. The grammarian seems to have attached more importance to that part of the city, which was on the bank of Śoṇa—perhaps the most thickly populated.

During the rule of the Śuṅgas and the Kaṇvas, the city may have fallen a prey to the ferocity of a foreign invasion. But finally victim to the vandalism of the Hūṇas.

According to Fa-hien, the royal palace and the halls in the midst of the city, the walls and the gates and the inlaid sculpture work seemed to be the work of super-human spirits.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र) is a place name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The name Pāṭaliputra is taken to mean “the son (putra) of Pāṭali”, i. e. the trumpet flower. It is not unlikely that originally the name of the city was Pāṭaliputrapura and that later suffix “pura” was dropped.

Pāṭaliputra is the same as modern Patna (from Sanskrit Pattana, “town” or “city”) situated to the south of the river Gaṅgā. We also find the word Pāṭaliputa (Pāṭaliputra) used by Aśoka, in his rock-edicts. The city was also known as Kusumapura due to the abundance of flowers. Its name Puṣpapura is also met within the Raghuvaṃśa. It is mentioned in the 7th-century Mudrārākṣasa as well. The Kathāsaritsāgara of Somadeva (11th century) describes it as a place of both wealth and education though generally there is a fight between Śrī (lakṣmī) and Sarasvatī.

The Kāśikā VII.3.14 records two divisions of Pāṭaliputra:

  1. Pūrva-Pāṭaliputra (eastern on the Gaṅgā),
  2. Apara-Pāṭaliputra (western on the Śoṇa).

Patañjali (Mahābhāṣya I.1.2) mentions the western Pāṭaliputra. A citizen of Pāṭaliputra was called Pāṭaliputraka. The city is named as Palibothra by Megasthenes, the Ambassador of Seleucus Nicatorat the court of King Candragupta Maurya. The Pāla inscriptions refer to it by the name Śrīnagara.


Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Early Gupta Kings

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—The Allahabad inscription speaks of Samudragupta as amusing himself at a place called Puṣpa, that is, Puṣpapura, which can be no other than Pāṭaliputra. And the presumption is that the capital of his father Chandragupta, and, previous to him, of his Licchavi father-in-law also must have been Puṣpapura. And it may reason ably be asked whether there is any evidence in support of it. As was first pointed out by Bühler, “Dr. Bhagwanlal’s Nepal inscription No. XV informs us that the Licchavis ruled before the conquest of Nepal, and possibly also after that event, at Puṣpapura or Pāṭaliputra, the ancient capital of India north of the Ganges.”

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—Name of an ancient city, the capital of Magadha, situated near the confluence of the Śoṇa and the Ganges, and identified by some with the modern Pātṇā. It is also known by the names of पुष्पपुर, कुसुमपुर (puṣpapura, kusumapura); see Mu.2,3, and 4.16, and R.6.24 also; तदिदं दिव्यं नगरं मायारचितं सपौरमत एव । नाम्ना पाटलिपुत्रं क्षेत्रं लक्ष्मीसरस्वत्योः (tadidaṃ divyaṃ nagaraṃ māyāracitaṃ sapauramata eva | nāmnā pāṭaliputraṃ kṣetraṃ lakṣmīsarasvatyoḥ) Kathāsaritsāgara 3.78. अस्ति भागीरथीतीरे पाटलिपुत्रं नाम नगरम् (asti bhāgīrathītīre pāṭaliputraṃ nāma nagaram) H.

Derivable forms: pāṭaliputram (पाटलिपुत्रम्).

Pāṭaliputra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pāṭali and putra (पुत्र).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—n.

(-traṃ) The name of an ancient city, supposed to be the ancient Palibothra, and the modern Patna; It was the capital of Magadha, situated near the confluence of the Sona and the ganges, and is also known by the name of Pushpapura in Sanskrit literature. E. pāṭali the trumpet flower, to be pure, tran aff.; also with kan added, pāṭaliputraka; it is also said to be named after its founder and sovereign, pāṭaliputra being a proper name.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—n. the name of a town, the Palibothra of the ancients.

Pāṭaliputra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pāṭali and putra (पुत्र).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र).—[neuter] [Name] of a city, [plural] its inhabitants.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र):—[=pāṭali-putra] [from pāṭali > pāṭala] n. Name of the capital of Magadha near the confluence of the Śoṇa and the Ganges (supposed to be the ancient Palibothra and the modern Patnā), [Patañjali; Kapila; Kathāsaritsāgara ([especially] iii, 78)]etc.

2) [v.s. ...] m. [plural] the inhabitants of this city, [Pāṇini 2-3, 42; Kāśikā-vṛtti]

3) Pāṭalīputra (पाटलीपुत्र):—[=pāṭalī-putra] [from pāṭalī > pāṭala] n. = li-p (above), [Hemacandra’s Pariśiṣṭaparvan]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pāṭaliputra (पाटलिपुत्र):—[pāṭali-putra] (traṃ) 1. n. A city Patna, ancient Palibathra.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pataliputra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pataliputra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Pāṭalīputra (ಪಾಟಲೀಪುತ್ರ):—[noun] the old name for the present city, Pāṭna.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

Discover the meaning of pataliputra in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: