Ashoka was the most powerful ruler of the Indian subcontinent. He ruled over the large part of India, South Asia and beyond stretching from present day Afghanistan, parts of Persia in the west to Bengal and Assam in east and Mysore in south. He also conquered Kalinga. His time is considered to be the most prosperous time in the history of India. After the bloody war of Kalinga he became the lay discipline of Buddhism and played major role for spreading Buddhism in India and throughout Asia. He converted the minor sect of India to a World religion. Read More
Maurya dynasty was one of the powerful dynasty of Magadha in Indian history. Chandragupta Maurya overthrown Nanda dynasty around 322 BCE, and founded Maurya dynasty. He built strong and powerful army and conquered almost all Indian subcontinent, except south most region(Now Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nearby) and Kalinga(now Odisha). That was the first time in Indian history that most of all Indian subcontinent came under same royal umbrella.
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 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 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.
Bimbisara was the king of Haryanka dynasty, He was the first king of Magadha who begun the policy of conquest and aggression which ended with the Kalinga war of Ashoka. His father Bhatiya founded the Haryanka dynasty but the actual establishment of kingdom was done under Bimbisara so he was considered as actual founder of dynasty.
According to the Buddhist text Mahavamsa, he ascended throne at the age of fifteen and ruled for 52 years(roughly from 544 BCE to 492 BCE).
King Bhatiya founded the Haryanka Dynasty in the middle of the 6th century BCE. Although actual establishment of kingdom was done under the rule of Bimbisara so he was considered as actual founder of the dynasty. Haryanka dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of Magadha after Brihadratha Dynasty.
Magadha had played very important role in Indian History, For many centuries it was the center of many large kingdoms, empires and culture heritage. It is the birthplace of Jainism and Buddhism. Magadha was located in north-eastern India, which is now west-central Bihar state.
Magadha’s root were found from the Atharvaveda, but at that time it was not the place liked by Aryans.
Magadha was mentioned in Ramayana as a place inhabited by opulent(Samruddhajanasevith – rich peoples). It was very fertile place richly filled with corns.
Jainism is based on the teachings of Mahavira. According to the Jain text Jainism has always existed and will always exist. Mahavira was the 24th tirthankara of Jainism. Jainism principally aims at the attainment of freedom from worldly bonds. No ritual is necessary for such liberation. It can be obtained through right knowledge, right faith and right action. Jainism prohibited the practice of war and even agriculture for his followers because both involve the killing of living beings. Eventually followers of Jainism confined themselves to trade and commerce.
What is Mahajanapada?
Mahajanapada is a Sanskrit word, it literally means “Great Kingdoms”.
maha = Great
janapada = foothold for tribe, country
The word jana points to the early stage of land taking by the people for settled way of life. Prior to the times of Buddha and Mahavira settlement of the people completed its final stage. Time period during the 6th-5th century BCE is considered as the major turning point in Indian History as it saw the emergence of India’s first large kingdoms after the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization. Buddhist text like the Anguttara Nikaya frequently mentioned the sixteen great kingdoms and republics flourished in India.