Haryanka dynasty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Haryanka dynasty


Middle of 6th century BCE–413 BCE
Capital Rajagriha, later Pataliputra
Languages Sanskrit
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
King Bimbisara
 -  Established Middle of 6th century BCE
 -  Disestablished 413 BCE

The Haryanka dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of Magadha, an ancient kingdom in India, which succeeded the Barhadratha dynasty. The reign of this dynasty probably began in the middle of 6th century BCE. Initially, the capital was Rajagriha. Later, it was shifted to Pataliputra, near the present day Patna in India. The founder of this dynasty was either Bimbisara himself or his father Bhattiya. According to the Buddhist text, the Mahavamsa, Bimbisara was anointed king by his father at the age of fifteen.[1] According to George Turnour and N.L. Dey, the name of the father of Bimbisara was Bhatiya or Bhattiya, but the Puranas refer him as Hemajit, Kshemajit, Kshetroja or Ksetrauja and the Tibetan texts mention him as Mahapadma.[2] This dynasty was succeeded by the Shishunaga dynasty.


Main article: Bimbisara
Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire

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.

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

Bimbsara was contemporary of Lord Mahavir and devout follower of Buddha. He remained a devout devotee and follower of Buddha throughout his life. Career King Bimbisara, depicted in Burmese art, offering his kingdom to the Buddha.

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.

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

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.

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.


Main article: Ajatashatru

In some sources, Bimbisara was imprisoned and killed by his son and successor, Ajatasattu (or Ajatashatru), under whose rule the dynasty reached its largest extent.

Vaishali, ruled by the Licchavis, went to war with the kingdom of Magadha at some point, due to a border dispute involving gem mines.

He is thought to have ruled from 492 to 460 BC. Due to his expanding strategy, he incorporated kashi and vajji into his kingdom. Lord Buddha got nirvan in his eighth year of his rule[citation needed]. He built a stupa in Rajgirha on the Ashes of Lord Buddha. First Bodh sangati was held during his rule in Rajgirh in which Bodh education was scripted in two books named sutpatika and vinyapatika. He ruled 28 years according to Purana and according to Bodh he ruled 32 years. Udayin killed him and became the king of magadha.


The Mahavamsa text tells that Udayabhadra eventually succeeded his father, Ajatashatru, moving the capital of the Magadha kingdom 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.

Later rulers[edit]

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.

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

Possibly preceded by:
Brihadrathas dynasty
Haryanka dynasty Succeeded by:
Shishunaga dynasty

See also[edit]

Pradyota dynasty


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


  1. Raychaudhuri, H.C. (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta 
  2. Bhargava, P.L., The origins of the Nanda (PDF)