Which was the First Capital of Magadha?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The First Capital of Magadha was Rajagriha, currently known as Rajgir, which loosely translates to City of Kings. The current site of the former Rajagriha capital is in Bihar’s Nalanda region. The city is mentioned in the Mahabharata, specifically in relation to its king Jarasandha. Two religions, Jainism and Buddhism, have also made it a significant city.

First Capital of Magadha

Rajagriha served as the seat of government for the ancient kingdom of Magadha. The great Mauryan Empire developed from the Magadha Empire, which was one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas or the Great Kingdoms.

Although the precise year of origin is unknown to us today, ceramics dating back to 1000 BC have been found in the city. Rajagriha is also home to the Cyclopean Wall, which is thought to be 2,500 years old.

  • The city is also an important site for both Buddhism and Jainism. Munisuvrata, the 20th Jain Tirthankar, was born in this town.
  • It has also been closely associated with Gautama Buddha and Mahavira.
  • Both of them preached in the city of Rajgir in the 5th and 6th centuries, respectively.
  • Bimbisara also offered a monastery to Gautama Buddha here, hence, becoming one of the primary spots of preaching for Buddhism.
  • The ancient global seat of education, Nalanda University, was also located near the town of Rajagriha. Due to these reasons, the city of Rajgriha was central to the Mauryan Empire and the city of Magadha.

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