The Magadha Empire

The Magadha Empire

Period of Magadha Empire: 6th Century – 4th Century BC.
The extent of the Magadha Empire: Magadha embraced the former districts of Patna, Gaya & parts of Shahabad & grew to be the leading state of the time.
Haryanka Dynasty: Originally founded in 566 BC by the grandfather of Bimbisara, but actual foundation by Bimbisara.
King Bimbisara of Magadha (544 BC – 492 BC):
Contemporary of Buddha.
His capital was Rajgir (Girivraja)
His capital was surrounded by 5 hills, the openings in which were closed by stone walls on all sides. This made Rajgir

Ajatshatru History (492 BC – 460 BC):.

  • Son of Bimbisara killed his father & seized the throne.
  • Buddha died during his reign; arranged the first Buddhist Council.
  • History of Udayin (460 – 444 BC): He founded the new capital at Pataliputra, situated at the confluence of the Ganga & Son.

Shishunaga Dynasty:

  • Founded by minister Shishunaga. He was succeeded by Kalasoka (II Buddhist council).
  • Dynasty lasted for two generations only.
  • The greatest achievement was the destruction of the power of Avanti.

Nanda Dynasty:

  • Founder was Mahapadma Nanda.
  • Alexander attacked India in their reign. Dhana Nanda was there at that time.

Alexander’s Invasion of India

  • Alexander (356 BC – 323 BC) was the son of Philip of Macedonia (Greece) who invaded India in 326 BC.
  • At that time NW India was split up into a number of small independent states like Taxila, Punjab (kingdom of Porus), Gandhara, etc.
  • Except for Porus who fought the famous battle of Hydaspes (on banks of Jhelum) with Alexander, all other kings submitted meekly.
  • Except for Porus who fought the famous battle of Hydaspes (on banks of Jhelum) with Alexander, all other kings submitted meekly.
  • When Alexander reached Beas, his soldiers refused to go further, so he was forced to retreat.
  • To mark the farthest point of his advance, he erected 12 huge stones altars on the northern bank of Beas. Remained in India for 19 months & died in 323 BC at Babylon.

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