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During the Iron Age in India, the fertile Ganges plain slowly urbanised, with cities forming and trade developing. Like ancient Greece, India during this Vedic period, power lay in many city states rather than one empire. Some of these were kingdoms, and some were oligarchies or republics. Sophisticated urban life encouraged a flowering of philosophy and introspection. The Buddha was born in one such state, Kapilavastu, home to the Shakya chiefdom.
In modern times, the Republic of India is referred to as a gana-rajya; Bharat Ganarajya (भारत गणराज्य).
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