5 Minute Learning Series: Pre-Mauryan Dynasties

By Avinash Kumar|Updated : May 14th, 2021

Hello Students

In this short 5-minute read article we will cover the three major dynasties that rule before the Mauryan empire in northern India i.e. Haryanka dynasty, the Shishunaga dynasty, and Nanda Dynasty. Do not miss this article!!

All the Best!! 

Pre-Mauryan Dynasties

Haryanka Dynasty

(1) Bimbisara (544BC-492BC)

  1. Haryanka is the name of a new dynasty founded in Magadha by Bimbisara. He was also called Seniyawho was the first Indian to have a regular and standing army
  2. Bimbisara was a contemporary of Buddha.
  3. Pataliputra and Rajagriha were the capitals of the Magadha kingdom. Magadha falls in the Patna region of Bihar.

(2) Ajatashatru (492BC-460BC)

  1. He followed a more aggressive policy. Gained control of Kashi and Vajji. Built the fort of Rajgir.
  2. He convened the 1stBuddhist council

(3) Udayin (460BC-440BC)

  1. He laid the foundation of Pataliputra and shifted the capital from Rajgir to Pataliputra

Shishunaga Dynasty (412BC-344BC)

  • People elected Shishunga over Nagadasaka (last Haryanka ruler) thereby ending the Haryanka dynasty
  • Shishunga was succeeded by Kalashoka who convened the 2ndBuddhist council

Nanda Dynasty (344BCC-323BC)

  • Mahapadma Nanda was the founder and the first king of the Nanda dynasty.
  • He overthrew the Magadha dynasty and established the new Empire. He was known as Sarvakshatrantak and Ugrasena
  • Mahapadma was known as Ekrat – the sole monarch
  • Initially, the Nanda Dynasty inherited a large kingdom of Magadha and subsequently, the boundaries of the Nanda Dynasty were expanded in all directions by its rulers.
  • Dhana Nanda was the last ruler of the Nanda Dynasty. During his rule, Alexander invaded North-West India by 326 BC

Q. Who was the founder of Patliputra (at that time, Patliputra was known by the name, Jaldurga)?

A. Udayin
B. kalashoka
C. Ajatshatru
D. Bimbisar
Answer: A

Udayan or Udayin was said to be the founder of Patliputra. It was known by the name Jaldurga, i.e. situated on the confluence of three rivers, namely, Ganga, Gandak and Son.

Udayin was the son of Ajatshatru who changed the capital of Magadha from Rajgriha to Patliputra.

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