6th century-4th century BC

Territorial States

 In 6th century B.C., cultivation became more easy due to widespread use of iron In eastern UP and western Bihar. As a result large territorial states came up known as Janapadas. There were 16 major Janapadas called as Mahajanapadas. These Mahajanapadas are--Anga, Magadha, Vajji, Kasi, Kosala, Malla, Vatsa, Chedi, Surasena, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Avanti, Kambhoja, Gandhara and Assake. However, the most powerful among them were Magadha, Vatsa and Avanti.

 Rise of Magadha

 Rise of Magadha is due to contribution of several enterprising and efficient rulers had Advantageous geographical location either at Rajgriha or Patlaputra situated at strategic position. Advantageous natural resources like iron enabled Magadha rulers to equip with effective weapons. At the middle of Gangetic plainrich and fertile soil existed and sufficient rain. Trade and commerce flourished through rivers. Accumulation of wealth helped in maintaining a Standing Army.

Magadhan Empire-Bimbisara (547-495 B.C.)

 First importantruler was Bimbisara or Srenika of Haryanka dynasty. He was a contemporary of Buddha and patronised Buddhism. He founded the city of Rajgriha. He used both war and diplomacy for expanding the empire and conquered Anga.

Ajatasatru (492-460 B.C.)

 He déVeloped the fortress of Pataliputra and transferred his capital from Rajgriha to Pataliputra.

Sisunaga (444-396 B.C.) 

 He temporarily shifted his capital at Vaishali and annexed Avanti. This dynasty lasted for two generations.

Kalashoka (396-365 B.C.)

 The second Buddhist Council was held, during his time.

Nandas (364-324 B.C.)  

 The throne was usurped by Nandas and they expanded the empire tremendously. According to Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela, Nanda Raja defeated Kalinga and carried away the statue of first Jain Tirthankara as trophy of victory. There were totally nine kings in Nanda dynasty. Dhananand (324-323 B.C.) was the last ruler who was defeated by Chandragupta Maurya. Nandas were fabulously rich and powerful. Maintained 200,000 infantry, 60,000 cavalry and 6,000 war elephants. Enjoyed advantageous geographical position, i.e., near richest iron deposits (thus effective weapons). Their capitals of Magadha, Rajgir and Patliputra, were situated at very strategic points. They controlled fertile soil of the lower Ganga regions. They were the first to use elephants in wars.


 The Capital of the Lichchavis was Vaishali. It is believed that the mother of Mahavira belonged to Lichchavis. Chanakya mentions about the Lichchavis in his Arthasastra.

Alexander, the Great

He was the son of a great king of Macedonia, King Philip. He was inspired by the teachings of, Aristotle who was his teacher Alexander wanted to bring India under his control so that he could become the Emperor of the whole world. He came to India in 326 B.C. and defeated Porus. As his soldiers desired to go back home, Alexander returned. On his way back, he died at Babylon in 323 B.C. at the age of 33.

Related Questions

1. Which of the following were the features of the Mansabdari system introduced by the Mughals?
1. Periodic inspection of artillery
2. Branding horses
3. Lack of distinction between civil and military departments -- View Answer

2. Which of the following historians were the contemporaries of Akbar?
I. Abul Fazl
II. Badauni
III. Mulla Daud
IV. Nizamuddin Ahmad
V. Muhammad Khan
VI. Abdul Hamid Lahori -- View Answer

3. Which of the following was/were factors that contributed to Humayun's defeat against Sher Shah in 1540?
I. Humayun lacked financial resources for continuous warfare
II. Humayun faced hostility of his brothers
III. Sher Shah had far more courage, political experience and organising capabilities
IV. Humayun had to face several rebellions from his nobles because of which he could not keep an eye on Sher Shah's activities. -- View Answer

4. Match the following:
A. Battle of Haldighati 1. Babur
B. Battle of Bilgram 2. Akbar
C. Second Battle of Panipat 3. Humayun
D. Battle of Khanua 4. Jahangir
The below options are given in A B C D order. -- View Answer

5. Ibadat Khana, where learned men of all religions discussed religious issues during the time of Akbar, is a famous structure in : -- View Answer

6. The word Mansab stood for : -- View Answer

7. Which of the following are true with regard to Akbar?
I. He abolished Jaziya and Pilgrim Tax in 1564 and 1563 A.D. respectively
II. He erected the 'Ibadat Khana' for holding religious discussions
III. His Din-i-Ilahi was a code of social conduct
IV. He got the Khutba to be read in his name in 1574 A.D. -- View Answer

8. Which of the following buildings is not situated at Fatehpur Sikri? -- View Answer

9. Which of the following was/were steps taken by Sher Shah to promote trade and commerce?
1. Making travel safe for traders
2.Building a new highway between Delhi and Warangal
3. Abolishing int3rnal duties and levying taxes only at the points of import and sale
4. Building sarals along roadways -- View Answer

10. Sher Shah is well known for his administrative skill, especially his : -- View Answer

Related Quizes

More Questions and Answers

1. Indus Valley Civilization
2. Vedic Age-The Aryans
3. Religious movements-Buddhism and Jainism
4. Mahajanapadas-The Magadha empire
5. The Mauryan Empire and Sangam Age
6. Post Mauryan Period
7. Guptas and Post Gupta
8. The invasion of Arabs
9. Bhakti movement
10. Mughal Empire
11. Advent of Europeans
12. Expansion of British Supremacy
13. Indian National Movement

Related Articles

1. Buddhism
2. Central Asians
3. Gupta Dynasty
4. Mauryan dynasty
5. Pre History
6. Sangam Age