upsc books best

Mahajanapadas & Rise of Magadha

Mahajanapadas

Budhhist literature Angutara Nikaya gives a list of 16 great kingdoms or Mahajanapadas in the begining of 6th century B.C

Major reason of the formation of Janapadas was use of Iron tools for agricultural & military purposes

In course of time small or weak kingdoms either submitted to stronger rulers or got eliminated. Finally in 6th century BC only 4 major kingdoms survived:

  • Vatsa
  • Avanti
  • Magadha
  • Kosala

Vatsa

  • Shifted kuru clan with capital Kaushambi
  • Most powerful ruler was Udayana
  • After his death Vatsa was annexed to Avanti

 

Avanti

  • Most important ruler was Pradyota
  • Patronized Buddhism
  • Finally was annexed to Magadha

Kosala

  • Most famous ruler was Prasenjit whose sister was married to Bimbisara
  • Prasenjit gave Kasi as dowry to Magadha
  • After his death Kosala became part of Magadha

Magadha

  • Most powerful kingdom of north India & founded by Jarasangha
  • Famous rulers were

 

  1. Bimbisara, Ajatashatru (Haryankas)
  2. Shishunaga
  3. Nandas

 

Mahajanapadas Capital
Kamboja Rajpura
Gandhar Taxila
Surasena Mathura
Matsya Virat
Vatsa Kaushambi
Chedis Shuktimati
Kasi Varanasi

 

Mahajanapadas

Mahajanapadas Capital
Avanti Ujjain & Mahismati
Kuru Hatinapur & Indraprastha
Panchala Kampilya & Ahichattra
Kosala Ayodhya & Sravasti
Mallas Pava & Kusinagar
Vajjis Vaishali
Anga Champa
Magadha Rajgir
Asmaka Potana

 


Rise of Magadha

Bimbisara (546 – 494 BC)

  • Contemporary of both Buddhism & jainism + Set up his capital at Rajgir (Known as Girivraja)
  • Strengthened his position by marriage alliances (Kosala, lichhavi (Vaishali) & madra clan (Punjab))
  • Acquired Anga under the viceroyality of Ajatashatru (Born of Lachhavi Princess)
  • Fought with Pradyota of Avanti but later became friends

 

Ajatashatru

  • Killed his father & succeeded to the throne
  • Fought with Kosala & Vaishali (Lichhavis – destroyed it in 16 years) & won both war
  • Embraced buddhism & led the foundation for 1st Budhhist council at Rajgir

 

Udayin

  • Succesor of Ajatashatru + Founded new capital at Pataliputra
  • His death marked the end of Haryanka dynasty

 

Shishunagas

  • Temporary shifted the capital to Vaishali
  • Defeated Avanti & bought end to 100 year old rivalry
  • Transferred capital from Vaishali to Patliputra

 

Mahapadmananda

  • Known as Ekarat (sole king who destroy others)
  • Conquered Kalinga & bought image of Jina as trophy
  • Hathigumpha inscription of kharavela King (Kalinga) refers to conquest of Kalinga by Nandas

 

Dhanananda

  • Last ruler of Nanda dynasty
  • During his reign, Alexander invaded India but did not move ahead to east (Nanda’s Power)
  • Chandragupta Maurya & Kautilya overthrew him as oppressive way of tax collection was already resented by people

 

Cause of Magadha’s Success

  • Advantageous geographical position & rich iron ores of Rajgir
  • Capitals: Rajgir (Surrounded by 5 hills) + Patliputra (Surrounded by Ganga, Gandhak, Son & Ghagra river True Jaladurga)
  • Magadha 1st used elephants in war against enemies

 

Previous – Buddhism

Next – Iranian (Persian) & Macedonian (Greek) Invasion

ias books online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>