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Haryanka dynasty


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The Haryanka dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of

Preceded by
Brihadrathas dynasty
Haryanka dynasty
middle of 6th century –425 BCE
Succeeded by
Shishunaga dynasty


  1. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, pp. 97
  2. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 105ff


See also

Due in part to this bloody dynastic feuding, it is thought that a civil revolt led to the emergence of the Shishunaga dynasty.

The kingdom had a particularly bloody succession. Anuruddha eventually succeeded Udaybhadra through assassination, and his son Munda succeeded him in the same fashion, as did his son Nagadasaka.

Later rulers

The Mahavamsa states that Udayabhadra eventually succeeded his father, Ajātasattu, moving the capital to Pataliputra, which, under the later Mauryan dynasty, would become the largest city in the world. He is believed to have ruled for sixteen years.


In some sources, Bimbisara was imprisoned and killed by his son and successor, Ajātasattu, under whose rule the dynasty reached its largest extent. Ajātasattu was contemporary with Mahavira (599–527BCE) and Gautama Buddha (563–483 BCE). Ajātasattu fought a war against Vajji, ruled by the Lichhavis, and conquered the republic of Vaisali. Ajātasattu followed policies of conquest and expansion. He defeated his neighbors including the king of Kosala; his brothers, when at odds with him, went to Kashi, which had been given to Bimbisara as dowry. This led to a war between Magadha and Kosala. Ajātasattu occupied Kashi and captured the smaller kingdoms. Magadha under Ajātasattu became the most powerful kingdom in North India.


Tradition tells us that Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatashatru who is said to have executed him; but he then realized what he had done and tried to reverse the orders but it was too late. This is reported to have taken place around 491 BC.

Bimbisara used marriage alliances to strengthen his position. His first wife was Kosala Devi, the daughter of Mahā Kosala the king of Kosala, and a sister of Prasenjit. His bride brought him Kashi, which was then a mere village, as dowry.[5] This marriage also ended the hostility between Magadha and Kosala and gave him a free hand in dealing with the other states. Bimbisara's second wife, Chellana, was a Lichchhavi princess from Vaishali. As per Indologist Hermann Jacobi, Mahavira (Vardhamana) was related to Queen Chellana who was daughter of King Chetaka, Mahaviras uncle. Bimbisara's third wife, Kshema, was a daughter of the chief of the Madra clan of Punjab.

Marriage alliances Family tree showing Mahavira's relation to King Bimbisara

Jain scriptures, on the other hand, described King Bimbisara as a disciple of Mahavira who frequently sought his teachings. As per Jain texts, he is referred to as King Shrenika of Rajgriha (being the possessor of a large army). Bimbisara sent Jivaka to Ujjain for medical treatment of King Pradyata, the king of Avanti. He was Baldev in a previous life. Per scriptures, this soul is to become the first tirthankara of the next cycle.

According to Buddhist scriptures, King Bimbisara met the Buddha for the first time prior to the Buddha's enlightenment, and later became an important disciple that featured prominently in certain Buddhist suttas. He is recorded to have attained sotapannahood, a degree of enlightenment in Buddhist teachings.

Career King Bimbisara, depicted in Burmese art, offering his kingdom to the Buddha.

Bimbsara was contemporary of Lord Mahavir and devout follower of Buddha. He remained a devout devotee and follower of Buddha throughout his life.

Estimates place the territory ruled by this early dynasty at 300 leagues in diameter, and encompassing 80,000 small settlements.

The Haryanka king Bimbisara was responsible for expanding the boundaries of his kingdom through matrimonial alliances and conquest. The land of Kosala fell to Magadha in this way. He is referred to as King Shrenik in Jain scriptures.

Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire



  • Bimbisara 1
  • Ajatashatru 2
  • Udayin 3
  • Later rulers 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7

. Shishunaga dynasty This dynasty was succeeded by the [2]

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