Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A kingdom that ruled over large parts of the Indian subcontinent between the sixth century BCE and the eighth century CE, with its seat of power in the Magadha region in the present-day state of Bihar. It was strategically located in the Ganga river valley, which allowed it control over communication and trade over the riverine network. Historical accounts of the empire and its capital city of Pataliputra are found in Indica (c. 300 BCE) by the Greek historian Megasthenes, as well as in the travel accounts of Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang (fourth to fifth and seventh centuries CE). The region also has several Buddhist sites.