Dynasties and Kingdoms of India

By Ashwini Shivhare|Updated : September 22nd, 2022

Dynasty of India: History forms a very important part of the General Awareness section of every competitive exam. In this article, we will be sharing some very useful notes on the Dynasties of Ancient India, including topics like the Indian History Dynasty Chart, How Many Dynasties Ruled In India etc. Considering the important SSC Exams which are going to be conducted soon like SSC CGL 2022, SSC CHSL 2022, and other exams, this article would be highly beneficial for the candidates. Follow these notes to excel in the upcoming Railway and SSC exams 2022

Table of Content

Dynasties Of Ancient India

India has a long history of many different empires emerging and falling. There were several dynasties that ruled over India throughout the Ancient Age, but the Mahajanpada, Nanda, Maurya, Pandya, Chera, Chola, Pallava, and Chaulakya kingdoms, among others, governed for the longest periods of time in the nation on Indian territory. For competitive exams like SSC & Railways 2022, the "Summary of Ancient Indian Dynasties and their Contributions" is provided here.

Dynasties of India in Order

In competitive exams, candidates often face questions on the chronological order of Dynaties of India. So, to help you out below, we have listed down the Dynasties of India in order:

  • Haryanka dynasty (544-413 BCE)
  • Shishunaga dynasty (413-345 BCE)
  • Nanda dynasty (343-321 BCE)
  • Maurya Empire (321 BC- 185 BC)
  • Gupta Empire (240 BC-550 AD)
Dynasty of IndiaDynasties of India TimelineFounderCapital
Haryanka dynasty(544-413 BCE)BimbisaraRajgir (Girivraja)
Shishunaga dynasty(413-345 BCE)Shishunaga(Girivraja)

Nanda dynasty

(343-321 BCE)Mahapadma NandaPataliputra
Maurya Empire(321 BC- 185 BC)Chandragupta MauryaPataliputra
Indo-Scythians Kingdom (The Shaka)150 BCE–400 CEMaues alias Moga
  • Sigal
  • Taxila
  • Mathura
The Sunga Dynasty185 BC- 75 BCPushyamitra SungaPataliputra
The Kanva Dynasty75 BC- 30 BCVasudevaPataliputra
The Satavahanas1st century BCE–2nd century CESimuka
  • Pratishthana
  • Amaravati
The Chola Dynasty300s BCE–1279 CEVijayalaya
  • Poompuhar, Urayur, Tiruvarur,
  • Pazhaiyaarai, Thanjavur
  • Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Pandyan Dynasty4th century BCE–1345 AD-
  • Korkai
  • Madurai
  • Tenkasi
  • Tirunelveli
Chera Dynasty3rd century BCE–12th century CEVanavaramban
  • Mahodayapuram
  • Quilon
  • Karuvur
Pallava Dynasty275 CE–897 CEBappadevanKanchipuram
Chalukya Dynasty543–753Pulakesi IBadami

List of Dynasties in India

There are several dynasties that existed in India, and in this article you will find a complete description of all the dynasties. Below is the list of all the Dynasties that rule over India over different period of time.

  • Maurya Dynasty (300 BC-184 BC)
  • Chandragupta Maurya (324-300 BC)
  • Ashoka the great (273-236 BC)
  • Kushan Dynasty (40-176 AD)
  • Kanishka (78-101 or 102 AD)
  • Gupta Dynasty (320-550 AD)
  • Vardhana or Pushyabhuti Dynasty (560-647 AD)
  • Ghazni Dynasty (962-1116 AD)
  • Mahmud Ghazni (997-1030)
  • Mohammed Ghori (1186-1206)
  • Slave Dynasty (1206-1290 AD)
  • Qutubuddin Aibak (1206-1210 AD)
  • Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320 AD)
  • Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316 AD)
  • Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414 AD)
  • Mohammed Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD)
  • Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526 AD)
  • Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526 AD)
  • Mughal Rulers (1526-1857)
  • Babur (1526-1530 AD)
  • Akbar (1556-1605 AD)
  • Jahangir (1605-1627 AD)
  • Shahjahan (1627-1659 AD)
  • Aurangzeb (1659-1707 AD)
  • Suri Dynasty (1540-1555 AD)
  • Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545 AD)
  • The Marahattas (1649-1818 AD)
  • The Peshwas (1708-1818)
  • Chalukya Dynasty (543-1156)
  • Chola Dynasty (c. 301 BC - 1279 AD)
  • Bahmani Muslim Kingdom (1346-1526 AD)
  • Vijayanagar Empire (1336-1565 AD)

How Many Dynasty Ruled In India

There are different Dynasties ruled in India, and the description of different dynasties is provided below:

Haryanka Dynasty

  • Haryanka is the name of a new dynasty founded in Magadha by Bimbisara.
  • Bimbisara founded the dynasty by annexing Anga and entering into matrimonial alliances with Kosala and Vaishali.
  • Bimbisara was a contemporary of Buddha.
  • Ajatasatru’s successor Udayin was the founder of the city of Pataliputra.
  • Pataliputra and Rajagriha were the capitals of the Magadhan kingdom. Magadha falls in the Patna region of Bihar.

Shishunaga Dynasty

  • Haryankas were overthrown by Sisunaga and he founded the Sisunaga dynasty there.
  • Their greatest achievement was the destruction of Avanti.
  • Kalasoka the son and successor of Sisunaga was succeeded by Mahapadma Nanda and he founded the Nanda dynasty.

Nanda Dynasty

  • The Nanda Empire was an ancient Indian dynasty originated from Magadha and was established in 424 BC.
  • Mahapadma Nanda was the founder and the first king of the Nanda dynasty.
  • He overthrew the Magadha dynasty and established the new Empire.
  • 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.
  • Nandas formed a vast army, including 200000 infantry, 20000 cavalry, 2000 war chariots, and 3000 war elephants.
  • At its peak, the Nanda Empire expanded from Bengal in the east to Punjab in the west.
  • In the southern side, it extended to the Vindhya Range.
  • Dhana Nanda was the last ruler of the Nanda Dynasty.
  • In 321 BC, Chandragupta Maurya defeated him and founded the Maurya Empire.

Mauryan Dynasty (321 – 185 BC)

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Image Source: Wikipedia

List of Mauryan Emperors:

  1. Chandragupta Maurya (321 BC-298 BCE)
  2. Bindusara (298 BC-272 BCE)
  3. Ashoka Maurya (273-232 BCE)
  4. Dasaratha Maurya
  5. Samprati
  6. Salisuka
  7. Devvarman
  8. Satadhanvan
  9. Brihadratha Maurya

Origin of Mauryan Empire:-

  • The Mauryan Empire started from Magadha was founded in 321 BC by Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Pataliputra, the modern-day Patna was the capitalcity of the Mauryan Empire.

Expansion of Mauryan Empire:-

  • Mauryan Empire was one of the world's largest empires of that time and expanded to an area of 5,000,000 km2.

Ashoka:-

  • Ashoka ascended the throne in 273BC and ruled up to 232 BC. He was known as ‘Devanampriya Priyadarshini' the ;beautiful one who was the beloved of Gods.
  • Ashoka fought the Kalinga war in 261 BC Kalinga is in modern Orissa. Ashokan inscriptions were deciphered by JamesPrincep.
  • After the battle of Kalinga, Ashoka became a Buddhist as he was shocked by the war horrors.
  • Ashoka was initiated to Buddhism by Upagupta or Nigrodha a disciple of Buddha
  • For the propagation of Buddhism Ashoka started the institution of Dharmamahamatras.
  • The IV Major Rock Edict of Ashoka tells about the practice of Dharma.
  • The Major Rock Edict XIII of Ashoka deals with the conquest of Kalinga.
  • Ashoka held the third Buddhist council at his capital Pataliputra in 250BC under the presidentship of Moggaliputa Tissa.
  • He sent his son and daughter to Sri Lanka for the spread of Buddhism (Mahendra and Sanghamitra)
  • Ashoka spread Buddhism to SriLanka and Nepal. He is known as the Constantine of Buddhism.
  • In his Kalinga Edict, he mentions ‘‘All man are as my children’’.
  • Ceylon ruler Devanmpriya Tissa was Ashoka’s first convert to Buddhism. Ashoka ruled for 40 years and died in 232 BC.
  • The emblem of the Indian Republic has been adopted from the four lion capital of one of Ashoka's pillars which are located in Sarnath.
  • Rock-cut architecture in India made a beginning during Ashoka’s reign.

Chanakya the architect of the Mauryan Empire:-

  • Chanakya, also known as Kautilya was the teacher of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • He was originally a teacher of Takshashila University.
  • He is considered to be the main architect in the establishment of the Maurya Empire by defeating the powerful Nanda Empire.
  • His original name was Vishnugupta.

Important points about Mauryan Empire:-

  • Major sources for the study of the Mauryan Empire are the Arthasastra of Kautilya and Indika ofMegasthenes.
  • Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Mauryan Empire. It is also said that his mother was Mura women of lower birth hence got the name Maurya.
  • Chandragupta Maurya was converted to Jainism, abdicated the throne in favour of his son Bindusara, passed his last days at Sravanabelagola (Near Mysore) where he died in 298 BC.
  • Bindusara was a follower of Ajivika sect.
  • Bindusara was known as Amitragatha.
  • Megasthenese the first foreign traveller to India mentions the existence of seven castes in India during the Mauryan period. Stanika in Mauryan administration refers to the tax collector.

Gupta Dynasty In India

After the fall of the Mauryan empire, the Kushans in the North and Satavahanas in the South held power. The Gupta empire replaced the Kushans in the North with its center of power at Prayag and gave political unity for more than a century (335AD-455AD). It was founded by Sri Gupta. Gupta strength laid in the use of horses and material advantage of fertile land and natural resources abundant region.

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  1. Chandragupta I (319-334 AD)
    • He was the first great ruler of Gupta Dynasty. He assumed the title Maharajadhiraja. Married Licchhavi princess
    • Started the Gupta Era by 319-20 AD
    • The original type of Gold coins Dinaras was issued.
  2. Samudragupta (335-380 AD)
    • He followed a policy of violence and conquest which led to enlargement of Gupta empire
    • Harisena, his court poet, vividly mentions his military exploits in Allahabad inscriptions
    • He reached Kanchi in the south which was ruled by Pallavas
    • Meghavarman, the ruler of Srilanka, sent a missionary for permission to build a Buddhist temple at Gaya
    • Samudragupta is called as Napoleon of India
  3. Chandragupta II (380-412 AD)
    • He adopted the title Vikramaditya
    • He conquered Malwa and Gujarat which provided him access to the sea which enabled trade and commerce. Ujjain was made as the second capital
    • His court was adorned by the Navaratnas including Kalidasa and Amarasimha.
    • His exploits are glorified in Iron Pillar at Qutub Minar
    • Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien (399-414AD) visited India during his period.

Life in Gupta Age

  1. System of Administration
    • They adopted Pompous titles such as Paeamabhattaraka and Maharajaadhiraja
    • The administration was highly decentralized with feudal lords ruling over minor provinces
    • Civil and criminal laws were highly demarcated
    • Kumaramatyas were the most important officers. But Guptas lacked elaborate bureaucracy like Mauryas. These offices also became hereditary in nature.
    • Grant of fiscal and administrative concessions to priests was also in practice. Agrahara grants and Devagraha grants were practiced.
  2. Trends in trade and agrarian economy
    • Guptas issued a large number of Gold coins which were called as Dinars
    • There was a decline in the long-distance trade with Romans which led to lesser gold content in the Dinars.
    • Land grants made to the priests brought many virgin lands under cultivation
  3. Social developments
    • Brahmana supremacy continued during the Gupta period
    • The Huns came to be recognized as one of the 36 clans of the Rajputs
    • The position of Shudras improved as they were permitted to hear Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas
    • The number of untouchables, the Chandalas, increased
    • The position of women improved as they were permitted to hear Ramayana, Mahabharata and worship Krishna. But the first example of Sati also appears in the Gupta period.
  4. State of Buddhism
    • Buddhism did not receive royal patronage in Gupta Period, still, stupas and Viharas were constructed and Nalanda became a center for Buddhist learning
  5. Origin and growth of Bhagavatism
    • Worship of Vishnu and Narayana merged to form Bhagavatism or Vaishnavism
    • It was marked by Bhakti (loving devotion) and Ahimsa
    • Religious teachings were mentioned in Bhagavadgita, Vishnu Purana, and Vishnu Smriti
    • Idol worship became a common feature of Hinduism
    • Gupta rulers followed a principle of tolerance
  6. Art: Gupta period is called the Golden age of ancient India. Art was mostly inspired by Religions
    • Rock cut caves – Ajanta, Ellora and Bagh caves
    • Structural temples – Dashavatar temple of Deogarh, Laxman temple of Sirpur, Vishnu temple, and Varah temple of Eran. The growth of the Nagara style also enabled the development of temple architecture in India
    • Stupas – Dhammek stupa of Sarnath, Ratnagiri stupa of Orissa, Mirpur Khas in Sindh developed in this period.
    • Paintings – Ajanta paintings and Bagh caves paintings
    • Sculpture – the Bronze image of Buddha near Sultanganj, Sarnath and Mathura school flourished during this period which supports the growth of Mahayana Buddhism and Idol worship.
    • Images of Vishnu, Shiva and some other Hindu gods were also found.
  7. Literature
    • Religious – Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vayu Purana etc were re-written. Dignaga and Buddhagosha were certain Buddhist literature written in this period
    • Secular
      1. Mudrarakshasha by Vishakadatta
      2. Malavikagnimitra, Vikramorvashiyam, AbhijanaShakuntalam – Dramas by Kalidasa
      3. Ritusamhar, Megadoot, Raghuvamsam, Kumarasambhavam – Poetries by Kalidasa
      4. Mricchakatika by Sudraka
      5. Kamasutra by Vatsyayana
      6. Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma
    • Scientific
      1. Aryabhatiya and Surya Siddhanta by Aryabhatta
      2. Romaka Siddhanta
      3. Mahabhaskarya and Laghubhaskarya by Bhaskara
      4. Pancha Siddhanta, Vrihat Jataka, Vrihat Samhita by Vrahamihira

Fall of the empire

  1. Huns invasion during the reign of Skandagupta and his successors greatly weakened his empire
  2. The rule of Yashodharman dealt a severe blow to the Gupta empire.
  3. The rise of feudatories and Governors becoming independent led to the disintegration of the Gupta empire. The loss of western India had crippled them economically.

Dynasties of India PDF

If you look at the previous year question paper of SSC CGL or any other exam, you will know how important this topic is. Downloading and saving the Dynasties of India PDF will help you keep this topic on your fingertips as you can revise it whenever you want to.

> Download Dynasties of India PDF

Since now you are aware of all the Dynasty of India, you must begin your preparation without any further delay or ado.

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FAQs

  • Dynasties In India an important topic for SSC and Railways Exam 2022 because this topic has great weightage in the examination and nearly 2-3 questions are asked from this section. Candidates are advised to go through this article completely for proper information.

  • The Dynasties of India in order is provided in this article where candidates can find out the name of India Dynasties with their timeline, founder and their capital. Aspirants can bookmark this page for future reference.

  • There are different Dynasties ruled in India and the name of important dynasties is provided below:  

    • Haryanka dynasty (544-413 BCE)
    • Shishunaga dynasty (413-345 BCE)
    • Nanda dynasty (343-321 BCE)
    • Maurya Empire (321 BC- 185 BC)
    • Gupta Empire (240 BC-550 AD)
  • From the ancient times, there are several dynasties ruled over India and in this article, you will find a complete description of all the dynasties along with various vital information like their origin, expansion, Background etc.

  • To download the Dynasty of India PDF, you can click on the download link provided in this post. Candidates can download and keep the Indian Dynasties PDF for effective exam preparation.

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