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|Reign||c. 345 – c. 329 BCE|
Mahapadma Nanda (IAST: Mahāpadmānanda) (c. 400 – c. 329 BCE) was the first king of the Nanda dynasty. He was the son of Mahanandin, king of the Shishunaga dynasty and a Shudra mother. Sons of Mahanandin from his other wives opposed the rise of Mahapadma Nanda, on which he eliminated all of them to claim the throne.
The first Nanda bore the name of Mahapadma or Mahapadmapati (sovereign of an infinite host or of immense wealth) according to the Puranas, and Ugrasena according to the Mahabodhivamsa. Puranas describe him as "the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas",
The Puranas describe Mahapadma as a son of Mahanandin by a woman from the Shudra caste. Jain works like Parishishtaparvan and Avashyaka sutra represent him as the son of a courtesan by a barber. Curtius, a Roman historian, informs us that
his father was in fact a barber, scarcely staving off hunger by his daily earnings, but who, from his being not uncomely in person, had gained the affections of the queen, and was by her influence advanced to too near a place in the confidence of reigning monarch. Afterwards, however, he treacherously murdered his sovereign, and then, under the pretence of acting as guardian to the royal children, usurped the supreme authority, and having put the young princes to death begot the present king.— Curtius
According to Puranas Mahapadma had eight sons. He defeated many kingdoms, including the Panchalas, Kasis, Haihayas, Kalingas,[a] Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas and the Vitihotras; to name a few. He expanded his territory south of the Vindhya Range into the Deccan Plateau.
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