UPSC History Early empire (6 BCE to 1 CE) Short Notes - Important Dynasties in Ancient India

Short Notes - Important Dynasties in Ancient India

Category : UPSC


Important Dynasties in Ancient India


The Haryanaka dynasty (544-412 B.C.)


  • Bimbisara was the first ruler and founder of Haryanka dynasty. The capital of the kingdom was Rajagriha.
  • He strengthened his position by matrimonial alliances. He took three wives: daughter of the king Kosala, Chellana [Lichhavi Princess) and daughter of the chief of the Madra clan of Punjab.
  • Bimbisara Sent Jivaka to Ujjain for the treatment of King Pradyota, the king of Avanti.
  • Bimbisara was succeeded by his son Ajatasatru who killed his father and seized the throne for himself.
  • He was contemporary to Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha and a sfollower of Buddhism.
  • Ajatasatru was succeeded by Udayin.
  • He built the fort upon the confluence of the Ganga and Son at Patna.
  • He shifted the capital from the Rajagriha to Pataliputra.
  • Ajatasatru was killed by his son Udayin.


Shishunaga dynasty (412 - 344 B.C.)


  • The last Haryanka ruler, Nagadasaka, was killed by his courtier Shishunaga in 430 B.C, who became the king and founded the Shishunaga dynasty.
  • Shishunaga was succeeded by his son Kalashoka. The Second Buddhist Council was organised at Vaishali under the sponsorship of Kalashoka in 383 B.C.
  • The last ruler of Shishunaga dynasty was Nandivardhan.


Nanda dynasty (344-321 B.C.)


  • Mahapadmananda established the Nanda dynasty into a powerful empire.
  • The Nanda dynasty had a huge army consisting 2,00,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 2,000 war chariots and 3,000 war elephants.
  • Last ruler of Nanda dynasty was Dhanananda. He was contemporary of Alexander.
  • Alexander invasion of India took place in 326 B.C. during the reign of Dhanananda.

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