CAPF-AC (Assistant Commandant) Exam Study Material :
History - Magadh Empire
History : Magadh Empire
The first important Magadhan king, who emerges into the limelight was Bimbisara
(544491 BC) of the Harijanka. He was an extremely polished diplomat and crafty
statesman. While the earlier rulers had brought Magadha out of clear and present
danger, it was Bimbisara, who consolidated and increased that power and really
gave it the identity of a kingdom. According to sources, eighty thousand
villages were there in the kingdom. Bimbisara was a contemporary of the Buddha
and met him twice. When he met him the second time, in Rajgriha (which is an
important Buddhist pilgrimage today), Bimbisara converted to Buddhism. Bimbisara
was assassinated by his impatient son Ajatsatru, who was a good friend of the
Buddha’s cousin Devadutta. Ajatsatru continued his imperialist policies. The
most famous rivalry went on between him and the Lichchavi dynasty that ruled
Vaishali (in Bihar), which he eventually managed to conquer. Ajatsatru was a
colourful character and a man of sentiment. There are tales of his passionate
affair with the chief courtesan of Vaishali, called Amrapali. During his reign,
that Buddha attained parinirvana (nirvana from all births and bonds). Ajatsatru
insisted upon a part of his relics be buried in a stupa (shrine) that he got
erected in Rajgriha.
The Shishunanja dynasty faded fast after Ajatsatru. The last recorded ruler of
the family was Kakavarna who was put to death by Mahapadmananda, of the Nanda
dynasty, which followed the Sisungas.
The Nandas known for their airs of magnificence and immense wealth (which they
amassed by huge taxation). They were of lowborn sudra stock and hence had the
odds stacked against them right from the start. The Nandas, though very powerful
with a huge standing army and a grand court, were apparently a very vain lot.
The most famous of this dynasty was Dhanananda. He started his own downfall by
insulting a certain unsightly looking Brahmin, who unfortunately for Dhanananda,
turned out to have surprising vision, intellect and Machiavellian cunning.
Alexander Invation (Great Invation)
Alexander, the son of Phillip of Macedonia (Greece), invaded India in 326 BC.
His major battle was with Poras, the king of Panjab on the banks of river Jhelum.
Alexander emerged victorians. It was the result of Alexander’s invasion that the
link between India and the West was initiated.