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Nanda Dynasty – Dynasty before Maurya

Nanda Dynasty – Dynasty before Maurya

Nanda dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Magadha and successor of Shishunaga dynasty, founder of the dynasty was Mahapadma Nanda. Nanda dynasty immediately followed by the Maurya dynasty. According to the Puranas, Nandas were from the low social origin, Mahapadma nanda was the son of Mahanandin(last ruler of the Shishunaga dyasty) and a shudra mother.

In the Puranas he known as “The destroyer of all the Kshatriyas” because he vanquished old dynasties of North. Mahapadmananda defeated Panchalas, Kasis, Haihayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas and the Vitihotras. He expanded his territory south of the Vindhya Range into the Deccan Plateau. This ruler claimed to be ekarat, the sole sovereign who had destroyed all the other ruling princes. It seems that he captured not only Kalinga but also Koshala which had probably rebelled against him. Mahapadma Nanada ruled for 10 years and died at the age of 88. He was succeeded by his nine sons who ruled successively.

Shishunaga Dynasty

Shishunaga Dynasty

Shishunaga dynasty was the successor of the Haryanka dynasty. The founder of the dynasty was Shishunaga (founded it around 413 BCE), who was previously the minister at the last ruler Nāgadāsaka of Haryanka dynasty. He temporarily moved the capital to Vaishali. His greatest achievement was the destruction of the power of Avanti with its capital at Ujjain. This put to an end the 100-years old rivalry between Magadha and Avanti. From now onwards Avanti became the part of the Magadha until the end of Mauryan rule.

Ajatashatru

Ajatashatru

Ajatashatru was the son of king Bimbisara and the second king of the Haryanka dynasty. He killed his father and seized the throne for himself. He succeeded his father around 492 BCE and ruled for approximately 32 years. His region saw high watermark of the Haryanka Dynasty. He took an aggressive policy for expansion and made Magadha most powerful state of that time.