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Summary on the Rise and Growth of Magadha Empire

19-OCT-2016 18:01

    The Magadha Empire came into existence when the four Mahajanpada- Magadha, Kosala, Vatsa and Avanti were engaged in the struggle for the supremacy from the 6th Century BC to 4th Century BC. Ultimately, Magadha emerged as the most powerful and prosperous kingdom in the North India.


    Here, we are giving the summary on the Rise and Growth of Magadha Empire for the quick revision that helps the aspirants in the preparation of the competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.

    Rise and Growth of Magadha Empire: A Detailed Summary

    Jarasandha and Brihadratha was the founder of Magadha but the growth started under the Haryankas, expansion took place under the Sisungas and Nandas and reached under its zenith point under the Mauryas.

    Haryanka Dynasty

    There were three important kings in Haryanaka Dynasty- Bimbisara, Ajatashatru and Udayin. Giriviraja was the earliest capital of Magdha and later shifted to Rajagriha.

    Bimbisara (Soeniya or Sreniya)

    1. He was the first king to have standing army and contemporary to the Buddha.
    2. He was the first who started matrimonial alliances to strengthen its position as a king after defeating Brahamadutta (Anga King).
    3. He married to the Mahakosaladevi (princes of Koshala and siter of Prasanjit), Licchhavi princes Chellana and Khema (Princes of Madra clan of Punjab).
    4. Marriage relation with the different princely families gave enormous diplomatic prestige and paved the way for the expansion of Magadha western and northward.
    5. Pukkusati came into his court who was the ambassador of the Gandhara ruler of Taxila.
    6. He sent his personal physician Jivak(son of Salavati), to his rival Chandapradyota Mahasena of Ujjain to cure him of jaundice.

    Ajatshatru (Kunika)

    1. He was the son of Chellana and Bimbisara who occupied throne by killing his father.
    2. He was a contemporary of both Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.
    3. He was also instrumental in convening the First Buddhist Council at Rajagriha soon after the death of Buddha.


    1. Son and successor of Ajatshatru
    2. Built the fort on the confluence of the Ganga and the Son river at Patliputra  (now Patna)
    3. He was murder at the instigation of the king of Avanti, Palak. He was succeeding by week successors- Anuruddha, Munda and Naga-Dasak.

    Sisunaga Dynasty

    1. Sisunaga was the minster of the Naga-Dasak and was elected by the people.
    2. He destroyed the Prayota Dynasty of Avanti that ended the 100 years old rivalry between Magadha and Avanti.
    3. Kakasoka (Kakvarin) succeeded Sisunaga.
    4. He transfers the capital from Vaishali to Patliputra and patronage the Second Buddhist Council at Vaishali.

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    Nanda Dynasty

    It was first non-kshatriya dynasty and


    1. He founded the dynasty.
    2. He was also known as Ekaarat, Eka-Chchhatra (Sovereign ruler), Sarvakshatrantaka or Ugrasena (popsser of huge army).
    3. According to the Puranas, Mahapadmanada was the son of a Sudra woman but Jain texts and Greek writer Curtius consider him as the son of a Courtesan and a barber.
    4. He conquered Koshala and Kalinga (from here he brought an image of the Jina as victory trophy).


    1. He was the last Nanda ruler.
    2. Alexander invaded North-Western India during his reign (326 BC) but his huge army deterred Alexander from advancing towards Gangetic Valley.
    3. His name is Agrammes or Xandrames according to the Greek texts.

    Reason behind the Rise of Magadha

    1. Flourish due to geographical location because and both Rajgir and Patliputra located at strategic location.
    2. Abundance of natural resources especially iron which made them to equip with effective weapon.
    3. Due to agricultural produce because region was situated at fertile gangetic plain.
    4. Rise of town and use of metallic money boosted trade and commerce.
    5. Unorthodox character of Magadha society.

    Magadha was one of the sixteen Mahajanpada in ancient India and roughly corresponds to the modern districts of Bihar and West Bengal.

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