Magadh was a monarchy ruled by a king. During this period, it was the most powerful mahajanapada. This was due to many factors.
- Magadh was located in the Gangetic basin , where the soil was very fertile and yielded good harvest. Land tax was high and it provided a large income for the kingdom. This enabled the kings to maintain a large army.
- The forest provided Magadha with timber and elephants. Timber was used to build houses, forts and chariots. Elephants were used in the army.
- Magadha had large deposits of iron ore. Iron was used to make agricultural implements, tools and weapons of war.
- Magadha was protected by nature. The old capital of Rajagriha (present-day Rajgir) was surrounded by hills on all sides.
The new capital, Pataliputra was situated along River Ganga. These were natural barriers against any attack on the kingdom.
- Magadha had a flourishing trade with other regions. Profits from trade also helped the king to maintain a large army.
- Magadha was ruled by very powerful kings such as Bimbisara, Ajatashatru and Mahapadma Nanda. They were always trying to expand their territories