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Three Dynasties of India Before The Gupta Dynasty

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Haryak Dynasty / Shishunaag Daynasty / Nand Dynasty

Before the Gupta dynasty in India, these three dynasties had made a wonderful identity in India. Their administrative system and religious social status were very impressive.

Haryak Dynasty


(541-492 BC)

The most majestic king of the Hariyak dynasty was the Strannik of Bimbisara. It was a contemporary of the Buddha and according to the Mahavamsa, he was sitting on the throne at the age of 15 years. Bimbisara strengthened her position through matrimonial relationships. He married the sister of King Prasenjit of Kosal country and got the province of Kashi in dowry. He married Chelhana, the daughter of Lichchavi Sardar Chetak. The daughter of the king of the Madra country was its second queen. Bimbisara sent his personal physician Jeevak to Ujjain for the treatment of Pradyot, the king of Avanti, from which he received the friendship of Pradyot. Anga was the only Mahajanapada that suffered from Bimbisara's invasion. Bimbisara defeated Anga, the king of Anga, and annexed Anga into his kingdom. During Bimbisara, the capital of Magadha was Girivraj, which was surrounded by five hills. According to Anushruti, Bimbisara was murdered by his son Ajatshatru.


(492-460 BC)

After Bimbisara, he sat on the throne of Magadha. Its name was also Kunik. 0 Unhappy over the death of his queen, who was the sister of Kosalraj Prasenjit, mourning Bimbisara's death, Prasenjit again withdrew Kashi province. War broke out in Ajatshatru and Prasenjit on the possession of Kashi. Koshal was defeated but the two reached a treaty. Kashi was again empowered by Magadha and the princess of Kosal was married to Ajatshatru. Ajatashatru also had a war with Vajjasingha. Ajatashatru sent one of his Brahmin ministers, Vamsakara, to split up in Vajjisangha. Vaskara succeeded and Ajatshatru defeated Vajjasingha. At the time of Ajatashatru, the first Buddhist association of Buddhists took place in the Rajgriha in about 483 BC.


(460-444 BC)

Udayin ascended the throne after Ajatashatru. At this time, Pataliputra (or Kusumpur) was established at the confluence of the Ganges and the Son.
After Udayin, Anirudh, Mund, and the audience sat on the throne respectively. Udayin had three sons, they were Anirudh, Mandaka, and Nagadashak. The last king was Nagadashak, who was very luxurious and weak, due to the laxity in governance, widespread discontent spread among the people. His commander Shishunaga became king after rebelling the kingdom. In this way, the Harayak dynasty has been ended and the establishment of the Shishunag dynasty was 412 BC.

Shishunaga Dynasty

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(412-394 BC)

The foundation of the Shishunaga dynasty was laid by Shishunaga. He made Vaishali it's capital. He established his ruling dynasty. It was initially the minister of Nagadasak, the last king of the Hariyak dynasty. After being exiled by the citizens of Nagasaki, he became the king of Magadha. Shishunaga defeated the Avanti (capital Ujjain) and Avanti became a part of the Magadha Empire. Shishunaga also defeated the Vatsa and Kosala kingdoms.



He was the successor of Shishunaga. A hundred years after the birth of Mahatma Buddha, a second Buddhist association was organized in Vaishali during the period of Kalashoka. The Buddhist text gives information about this, another name of Kalashoka was also Kakavarna. Based on the information received from the texts, Kalashoka had a total of 10 sons. One of these sons was Panchanak, who was murdered by its minister "Mahapadmanand" and with this, the Shishunaga dynasty came to an end.

Nanda Dynasty



He was the first king of Magadha who conquered Kalinga, as well as built a canal. Its information comes from the Hathigumpha inscription of King Kharvel of Kalinga. There are 4 kings in this dynasty, due to this, it is also called the Nine dynasty. The ruling dynasty took over the Nanda dynasty by defeating the weak heirs of Kalashoka. The Nanda dynasty was founded by Mahapadmanand. In the Puranas, Mahapadmananda has been called Sarvakshatrantaka. It conquered Kalinga and merged it with his kingdom. He established the position of Ekchhatra and Ekrat by establishing a large kingdom. Mahapadmananda had eight sons. Dhana Nanda was the last king of the Nanda dynasty.



Ghananand was a king with a powerful army, the Buddhist text is said to be the king of opulence. India was invaded by Alexander in 326BC at the time of Ghananand.

During this period Alexander invaded northwest India, but the extent of Magadha remained untouched by this invasion. By killing this Dhanananda, Chandragupta Maurya took over the throne of Magadha.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Swati Sharma

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