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Chapter 4 Magadh Empire Its Dynasties & Alexander Invasion

In the beginning of 6th century BC there was the struggle among the Janpads on the gangentic plane to persuade the wealth of the north i.e. IRON & COPPER that resulted into formation of MAHAJANPAD.
Shodasha Mahajanpad-  16 Mahajanpads (mentioned in Buddhist Literature “Anguttara Nikaya”).

4 most powerful were:-

1. Vatsa -  Capital:- Kaushambi, Ruler:- Udayan
2. Avanti- Capital:- Ujjain, Ruler:- Pradyot
3. Kosala- Capital:- Ayodhya, Ruler:- Prasanjit
4. Magadh- 1st Capital- Siravasti
                    2nd Capital- Rajgir
                    3rd Capital- Patliputra

Rise Of Magadha Empire

  • The political history of India from 6th century BC onwards is the history of struggle between four states - Magadha, Kosala, Vatsa and Avantis - for supremacy.
  • Ultimatley the kingdom of Magadha emerged to be the most powerful one and succeeded in founding an empire.
Dynasties of Magadha Empire:

Haryanka Dynasty

Founder- Bimbisar
Last- Udayin

i. Bimbisar
  • Originally founded in 566 BC by the grand father of Bimbisar named Brihdratha but actually founded by Bimbisara (544-492BC).
  • Capital- Rajgir.
ii. Ajatshatru (son)
  • Ajatsatru (492-460 BC): son of Bimbisara, killed his father & seized the throne.
  • Fuoght 16 year battele with lichhavis and Kosal.
  • Constructed "Dhatu Chaityas" around capital Patligram. Also constructed Chaityas & Viharas.
  • Organised 1st Buddhist Council at Rajgir.
iii. Udayin (last)
  • Udayin (460-444 BC): He founded the new capital at Pataliputra, situated at the confluence of  the Ganag & Son.

Shishunag Dynasty

Founder- Shishunag

  • Capital- Vaishali
  • Founded by a minister shishunaga.
  • Shishunaga was succeeded by Kalashok, in his reign 2nd Buddhism council held at Vaishali.

Nanda Dynasty

Founder- Mahapadmnanda
Last- Dhananda

i. Mahapadmnanda ("Ekarat")
  • Uprooted 'Khatriya' from north india, therefore tiltled "Ekarat" and Considered by many as the first non-Kshatriya dynasty.
  • 'Hathigumpa Inscription'- By Kharvel of Kalinga described mahapadm & his conquest over Kalinga.
  • He was the first to cross Vindhya to capture Deccan.
ii. Dhanananda
  • Alexander (from Greece) attacked India in their reign in 326 BC. Dhana Nanda was there at that time.
  • Later defeated by Mauryas.
Persian Invasion

First- Cyrus
Last- Darius-III

Alexander Invasion (327-25 BC)

  • Was from Macedonia (Greece), Father- Philip.
  • Reached India through "Khyber Pass" (hindukush mountain) & made bridge on Indus.
  • First met Taxila king Ambhi.
Battle Of "Hydaspes"(Jhelum) (326 BC)
(won) Alexander Vs Porus (ruled b/w area of Jhelum & Chenab)
  • Impressed by the courage & heroism of Porus, Alexander reinstated him.
  • Came upto river 'Beas' & returned back as his army revolted.
  • Died in 'Babylon' (323 BC).
This Invasion resulted into Unification Of North under Mauryas  

Catch Maurya Empire in the next article...............

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