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Mahajanapadas & Rise of Magadha All Notes

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:

  1. ▪ Vatsa
  2. ▪ Avanti
  3. ▪ Magadha
  4. ▪ 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

Sl. No. Mahajanapadas Capital
1 Kamboja Rajpura
2 Gandhar Taxila
3 Surasena Mathura
4 Matsya Virat
5 Vatsa Kaushambi
6 Chedis Shuktimati
7 Kasi Varanasi
8 Avanti Ujjain & Mahismati
9 Kuru Hatinapur & Indraprastha
10 Panchala Kampilya & Ahichattra
11 Kosala Ayodhya & Sravasti
12 Mallas Pava & Kusinagar
13 Vajjis Vaishali
14 Anga Champa
15 Magadha Rajgir
16 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

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