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Videha Kingdom
Sanskrit: विदेह
c. 850 BC–c. 500 BC

Videha and other kingdoms of the late Vedic period
Capital Janakpur, Nepal
Languages Maithili
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
Historical era Iron Age
 -  Established c. 850 BC
 -  Disestablished c. 500 BC
Today part of  India

Videha (Sanskrit: विदेह) was an ancient South Asian kingdom, located in what is now eastern Terai-Madhesh region of Nepal and the northern Indian state of Bihar. During the late Vedic period (c.850-500 BCE), it became a dominant political and cultural centre of South Asia.[1] Late Vedic literature such as the Shatapatha Brahmana and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad both mention Janaka (c. 7th century BCE) as a great philosopher-king of Videha, renowned for his patronage of Vedic culture and philosophy, and whose court was an intellectual centre for Brahmin sages such as Yajnavalkya.[2]

Towards the end of the Vedic period (c. 500 BCE), Videha was absorbed into the Vajji confederation and subsequently into the Magadha empire.[3][4] The Videha kingdom is also mentioned in the Sanskrit epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The latter mentions a marriage alliance between the kingdoms of Kosala and Videha.[5] The capital of Videha was Mithila, identified with the modern town of Janakpur in Southern Nepal.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, 97–265.
  2. ^ H.C. Raychaudhuri (1972), Political History of Ancient India and Nepal, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.41–52
  3. ^ Geoffrey Samuel, (2010) The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, pp. 58
  4. ^ H.C. Raychaudhuri (1972), pp. 70-76
  5. ^ Raychaudhuri (1972)
  6. ^ Raychaudhuri (1972)