Shishunaga dynasty

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Shishunaga Empire

413 BC–345 BC
Capital Rajagriha, Vaishali, later Pataliputra
Languages Sanskrit
Religion Jain
Buddhism
Government Monarchy
King
 -  413–395 BCE Shishunaga
 -  367–345 BCE Mahanandin
History
 -  Established 413 BC
 -  Disestablished 345 BC

The Shishunaga dynasty is believed to have been the third ruling dynasty of Magadha, a kingdom in ancient India. But according to the Puranas, this dynasty is the second ruling dynasty of Magadha, which succeeded the Barhadratha dynasty.[1]

Shishunaga, the founder of this dynasty was initially an amatya (minister) of the last Haryanka dynasty ruler Nagadasaka and ascended to the thone after a popular rebellion in c. 413 BCE.[2] The capital of this dynasty initially was Rajagriha, but later shifted to Pataliputra, near the present day Patna during the reign of Kakavarna. According to tradition, Kakavarna was succeeded by his ten sons.[3] This dynasty was succeeded by the Nanda dynasty in c.345 BCE.[4]

Shishunaga[edit]

Shishunaga (also called King Sisunaka) was the founder of this dynasty, known as the Shishunaga or Shaishunaga dynasty. He established the Magadha empire in 413 BCE. This empire, with its original capital in Rajgriha, later shifted to Pataliputra (both currently in the Indian state of Bihar). Buddhist sources also indicate that he had a secondary capital at Vaishali,[5] formerly the capital of the Vajji mahajanapada, until it was conquered by Magadha. The Shishunaga dynasty in its time was the rulers of one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent.

Kakavarna Kalashoka[edit]

According to the Puranas, Shishunaga was succeeded by his son Kakavarna and according to the Sinhala chronicles by his son Kalashoka. On the basis of the evidence of the Ashokavadana, Hermann Jacobi, Wilhelm Geiger and Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar concluded that both are same. During Shishunaga's reign, he was the governor of Varanasi. Two most significant events of his reign are the Second Buddhist council at Vaishali and the final transfer of capital to Pataliputra.[6] According to the Harshacharita, he was killed by a dagger thrust in to his throat in the vicinity of his capital.[7]

Later rulers[edit]

According to tradition, ten sons of Kalashoka ruled simultaneously. The Mahabodhivamsa states their names as Bhadrasena, Korandavarna, Mangura, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana and Panchamaka. Only one of them mentioned in the Puranic lists, Nandivardhana.[3] Nandivardhana or Mahanandin was probably the last ruler of this dynasty, his empire was inherited by his illegitimate son Mahapadma Nanda.

Shishunaga dynasty rulers[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Mahajan, V.D. (1960, reprint 2007), Ancient India, New Delhi: S. Chand, ISBN 81-219-0887-6  .
  • Raychaudhuri, H.C. (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: Calcutta: University of Calcutta .
Preceded by
Haryanka dynasty (Magadha)

Pradyota dynasty (Avanti)

Shishunaga Dynasty
413–345 BCE
Succeeded by
Nanda Dynasty
Middle kingdoms of India
Timeline and

cultural period

Northwestern India

(Punjab-Sapta Sindhu)

Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India Southern India
Western Gangetic Plain

(Kuru-Panchala)

Northern India

(Central Gangetic Plain)

Northeastern India

(Northeast India)

IRON AGE
Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period

(Brahmin ideology)[a]

Painted Grey Ware culture

Late Vedic Period

(Kshatriya/Shramanic culture)[b]

Northern Black Polished Ware

Pre-history
 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha Adivasi (tribes)
Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation"

Rise of Shramana movements
Jainism - Buddhism - Ājīvika - Yoga

Pre-history
 5th century BC (Persian rule) Shishunaga dynasty Adivasi (tribes)
 4th century BC (Greek conquests)

Nanda empire
Kalinga

HISTORICAL AGE
Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period
(300 BC – AD 200)
 3rd century BC Maurya Empire Early Cholas

Early Pandyan Kingdom

Satavahana dynasty

Cheras

46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

Culture Preclassical Hinduism[c] - "Hindu Synthesis"[d] (ca. 200 BC - AD300)[e][f]
Epics - Puranas - Ramayana - Mahabharata - Bhagavad Gita - Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition
Mahayana Buddhism
Sangam period

(continued)
(300 BC – AD 200)

 2nd century BC Indo-Greek Kingdom Sunga Empire Adivasi (tribes) Early Cholas

Early Pandyan Kingdom

Satavahana dynasty

Cheras

46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

 1st century BC Yona Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty
 1st century AD

Indo-Scythians
Indo-Parthians

Kuninda Kingdom
 2nd century Pahlava Varman dynasty
 3rd century Kushan Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa kingdom Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture "Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. AD 320-650)[g]
Puranas
Co-existence of Hinduism and Buddhism
 4th century Gupta Empire Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Kadamba Dynasty

Western Ganga Dynasty

 5th century Maitraka Adivasi (tribes) Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Vishnukundina

 6th century Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism (ca. AD 650-1100)[h]
Advaita Vedanta - Tantra
Decline of Buddhism in India
 7th century Indo-Sassanids Vakataka dynasty, Harsha Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi (tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Pandyan Kingdom(Revival)

Pallava

 8th century Kidarite Kingdom Pandyan Kingdom

Kalachuri

 9th century Indo-Hephthalites (Huna) Gurjara-Pratihara Pandyan Kingdom

Medieval Cholas

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas)

Chalukya

Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Pala dynasty

Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Medieval Cholas

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas)

Chera Perumals of Makkotai

Rashtrakuta