Ancient kingdom, strategically located along the lower course of the Ganges river of India, in what is now Bihar.
The first ruler of Magadha to attain any fame was Bimbisara (reigned c. 543 BCE - 491 BCE), who supported Buddha. By virtue of a more efficient state administrative apparatus, Bimbisara was able to initiate an expansion that made Magadha the most powerful kingdom of Northern India (under his son, Ajatashatru).
Magadha's climax was during the Maurya dynasty, culminating with the reign of Ashoka, who extended his rule to most of the Indian subcontinent. After Ashoka, Magadha dissolved. However, in the 300s, the region became the center of a new empire, under the Gupta dynasty.