Chapter – 5 Kingdoms, Kings, and an Early Republic

Post Vedic Period

  • In this chapter, Janpadas, Mahajanapadas, and Ganas have been discussed.
  • Along with this, about the Magadha Empire and Sikandar have also been told.
  • The king was elected by the people, but about 3000 years ago some people became king by performing Ashwamedha Yagya.
  • The general public used to bring gifts for the king in this ritual.
  • Shudras were not allowed to participate in these rituals.


  • The kings who performed the great sacrifices were now considered not the people but the kings of Jabpado.
  • Purana Fort in Delhi, Hastinapur near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Atranjikheda near Etah are prominent among them.
  • These people lived in huts.
  • Those people used to grow rice, wheat, paddy, barley, pulses,and sesame.
  • In the excavation, gray and some red colored painted-gray vessels have been found.


  • About 2500 years ago, some Janapadas became more important and that is why they came to be called Mahajanapadas.
  • They had a capital.
  • Fortifications were made in many capitals.
  • Some used to keep soldiers by paying salaries.


  • Crop tax:- 1/6th of the yield
  • Taxes on Artisans:- In the form of labour, the king had to work for one day in a month.
  • Taxes on animal husbandry: – May have to be taxed in the form of animals or their products.
  • Traders also had to pay taxes for buying and selling goods.

Changes in Agriculture

  • The plow pods began to be made of iron, which increased the yield.
  • Paddy planting started.


Some rivers like Ganga and Son flowed through Magadha.
A part of Magadha was full of forests.
In one area there were iron ore mines. Used to make strong tools and weapons.
Rajagriha was the capital of Magadha, after a few years Pataliputra was made the capital.


  • Vaishali used to be the capital.
  • They used to make plans through discussions, debates, and disputes in the meetings.
  • Women, slaves/maids, and Kammakars could not take part in these meetings.

Important Dates

  • New Rulers – 3000 Years Ago
  • Mahajanapada – 2500 years ago
  • Gana – 1500 years ago

Lets Recall

Question 1. Why did the king of Mahajanapada build forts?
:- For the fear of an invasion of enemy states and for the security of our state.

Question – 2:- How was the process of election of the rulers of today different from the election of the districts?
– In today’s time voting machine is used, and people can give their choice to the ruler and this process remains secret. Earlier, kings were declared through Yagyas.

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