Ancient History / Pre-Mauryan Era
The factors that were responsible for the rise of Magadha Empire are both external and internal. The Magadha empire was
surrounded by three rivers, Son, Champa and Ganga on the three sides, so the enemies could not attack it easily. It had a huge population, so it
could easily employ them into its army. All the dynasties of Magadha kingdom were following the expansion policy. To its fortune, very strong
and able monarchs ascended its throne continuously.
Dynasties of Magadha Kingdom
Magadha kingdom was ruled by 3 strong dynasties namely, the Haryanka dynasty, the Sisunaga dynasty and the Nanda dynasty and later it was
ruled by the Mauryan dynasty.
- Bimbisara is the founder of Magadha empire as well as founder of Haryanka dynasty. He conquered Anga kingdom. He strengthened the Magadha kingdom through matrimonial
alliances. He married Kosala Mahadevi (princess of Kosala) and got Kashi as dowry. Famous physician Jivaka was there in his court.
Jivaka studied medicine in Taxila for 6 years.
- Ajatashatru has taken over forcefully the Magadha empire from his father Bimbisara and imprisoned him. He is said to be the inventor
of two weapons that were used in wars. These weapons are Mahshilakantaka (weapon to throw big stones) and Rathamusala (blade
chariot). He conquered Kosala, Malla and Vajji kingdoms. Ajatashatru's son Udayin, who built Pataliputra, came to power after him.
- The last ruler of this dynasty is Nagadasaka. During his reign, there was a civil rebellion that led to the emergence or arrival of the
- Shishunaga is the founder of this dynasty. He was a minister of Magadha king Nagadasaka, the last king of Haryanka dynasty. He conquered
the Avanti kingdom.
- Kalashoka, the son of Shishunaga, succeeded him. During his reign, the second Buddhist conference was held at Vaishali. It is
Kalashoka, who shifted the capital of Magadha empire from Rajgriha to Pataliputra.
- Mahanandin was the last king of Shishunaga dynasty. He was killed by Mahapadma Nanda.
- Mahapadma Nanda is the founder of Nanda dynasty. He is the first shudra king of India. Nandas are the first Shudras to rule
over India. He conquered all the leftover kingdoms including Asmaka and became a Samrat. He is the greatest among all the Magadha empire kings.
Mahapadma Nanda did not conquer Gandhara and Kamboja.
- Dhana Nanda, the son of Mahapadma Nanda succeeded him. Dhana Nanda is the last ruler of Nanda dynasty. Chandragupta Maurya defeated
Dhana Nanda to form the Mauryan Empire in 321 BC.
Chandragupta Maurya invaded Magadha with the help of Chanakya, the author of Arthasastra.