The trade centres were carefully chosen, both Taxila and Ujjayini being situated on important long distance trade routes, while Suvarnagiri (literally, meaning the ‘golden mountain’) was possibly important for tapping the gold mines of Karnataka.
Communication along both land and riverine routes was vital for the existence of the empire and for the trade too. Journeys from the centre to the provinces could have taken weeks, if not months in several parts of the subcontinent from the sixth century BCE.
As we have seen, many of these were capitals of the mahajanapadas. Thus, virtually, all the major towns were located along the routes of communication. Some cities, such as Pataliputra or modern Patna were situated on the riverine routes.