Note: Ancient kingdom of northeastern India, situated in what is now west-central Bihār state. It was the nucleus of the 16 Madajanapadas, between the 6th century BCE and the 8th century CE. The capital was at Pataliputra (adjacent to modern Patna), strategically commanding the Ganges trade route. The Mahajanapadas (great realms) of India were absorbed into the kingdom of Magadha, ca. late 5th century BCE. and its supremacy continued under the Nanda (4th century BCE) and Mauryan (4th-2nd century BCE) dynasties; under the Mauryan dynasty the empire included almost the entire subcontinent of India. Magadha began to decline in the early centuries CE, but the rise of the Gupta dynasty in the 4th century helped to restore its power. Not only did these imperial dynasties begin by establishing their power in Magadha but in each case the Magadha capital at Pataliputra was made the imperial capital. Many sites in Magadha were sacred to Buddhism. Toward the end of the 12th century, Magadha was conquered by the Muslims.