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.

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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

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