Vajji (Sanskrit: Vṛji) or Vrijji was one of the principal Mahajanapadas of ancient India. Both the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya and the Jaina text Bhagavati Sutra (Saya xv Uddesa I) included Vajji in their lists of solasa (sixteen) Maha-Janapadas. The name of this Mahajanapada was derived from one of its ruling clans, the Vṛjis. The Vajji state is indicated to have been a republic. This clan is mentioned by Pāṇini, Kautilya and Xuanzang.
The territory of the Vajji Maha-Janapada was located on the north of the Ganges River and extended up to the Terai region of Nepal. On the west, the Gandak River was probably the boundary between it and the Malla Maha-Janapada and possibly also separated it with the Kosala Maha-Janapada. On the east, its territory was probably extended up to the forests along the banks of the rivers, Koshi and Mahananda. The capital of this Maha-Janapada was Vaishali. Other important towns and villages were Kundapura or Kundagrama (a suburb of Vaishali), Bhoganagara and Hatthigama.
The rulers of this Maha-Janapada were a confederacy of the eight clans (atthakula) of whom the Vrijis, the Lichchavis, the Jnatrikass and the Videhas were the most important. Manudev was a famous king of the illustrious Lichchavi clan of the confederacy ,who desired to possess Amrapali after he saw her dance performance in Vaishali. The identities of the other four clans are not certain. However, in a passage of the Sutrakritanga, the Ugras, the Bhogas, the Kauravas and the Aikshvakas are associated with the Jnatris and Licchavis as the subjects of the same ruler and the members of the same assembly.
It was known as Vajji Sangha (Vajji confederation), which consisted of several janapadas, gramas (villages), gosthas (groups). The eminent people were chosen from each khandas (districts) to represent on their behalf in Vajji gana parishad (people's council of Vajji). These representatives were called gana mukhyas. The chairman of the council was called Ganapramukh (head of the state), but often he was addressed as the king, though his post was not dynastic. The other executives were Mahabaladhrikrit (equivalent to the minister of internal security), binishchayamatya (chief justice), dandadhikrit (other justices) etc.
Vajji's capital was Vaishali. It was a prosperous city. In the introductory portion of the Ekapanna Jataka, the Vaishali was described as encompassed by a triple wall with the three gates with watch-towers. The main gosthas were Lichchhavis, Mallas and Śakyas. In around 600 BCE, the Lichchhavis were disciples of Lord Mahavira and Buddha. During their lifetime both Lord Mahavira and Buddha visited Vaishali several times.
- Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.85-6
- Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, p.107
- Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.105,107
- Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.105-06