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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 of    Nepal
Languages Maithili
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
Historical era Iron Age
 •  Established c. 850 BC
 •  Disestablished c. 500 BC
Currency Mohar
Today part of  India

Videha (Sanskrit: विदेह) was an ancient South Asian kingdom, located in what is now Mithila federal region in eastern Terai 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 in Dhanusa district, identified with the modern town of Janakpur in Southern Nepal.[6]

See also[edit]


  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)