Mahajanapadas Period ( 600 BC – 325 BC )
- The Mahajanapadas were sixteen kingdoms or oligarchic republics that existed in Northern ancient India from the sixth to fourth centuries BCE during the second urbanisation period.
- The meaning of the work Mahajanapads is “Great Realm”.
- Buddhist literature (Anguttara Nikaya, Mahavastu) and Jain literature (Bhagavati Sutta) present a list of 16 Mahajanapadas (i.e., great states) with minor variation of names.
- In the course of time, smaller or weak kingdoms, and the republics were eliminated by the stronger rulers. In the 6th century only 4 powerful kingdoms remained:
- Magadha (Important rulers: Bimbisara, Ajatashatru)
- Avanti (Important ruler: Pradyota)
- Kosala (Important rulers: Prasenjit)
- Vatsa (Important rulers: Udayana)
Later, all of them were annexed to or became part of Magadha.
- Out of the 16 Mahajanapadas, only Ashmaka was in southern part of India.
16 Mahajanapadas – their Name , Location, Capitals
|1||Anga||Munger and Bhagalpur in Bihar||Champa/Champanagari|
|2||Magadha||Girivraj, Rajgriha/Rajgir||Patna, Gaya and Nalanda in Bihar|
|3||Vajji||Muzaffarpur & Vaishali in Bihar||Videha, Mithila, Vaishali|
|4||Malla||Uttar Pradesh||Kuishinara and Pawa|
|5||Kashi||Varanasi in U.P||Varanasi|
|6||Kosala||Eastern Uttar Pradesh||Sravasti|
|9||Kuru||Haryana and Delhi area||Indraprastha|
|10||Panchala||Western Uttar Pradesh||South Panchal-Kampilya|
|11||Shurasena||Western Uttar Pradesh||Mathura|
|12||Matsya||Alwar, Bharatpur and Jaipurin Rajasthan||Viratnagar|
|13||Avanti||Malwa and Madhya Pradesh||Ujjaini or Mahismati|
|14||Ashmaka||Bank of Godavari||Pratisthan/ Paithan|
|16||Kamboja||Rajori and Hajra||Pooncha|
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