MAGADHA EMPIRE,ALEXANDER THE GREAT

MAGADHA EMPIRE

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(6th Century BC-4th Century BC)
Magadha embraced the former districts of Patna, Gaya and parts of Shahabad and grew to be the leading state of the time.

HARYANKA DYNASTY

Originally founded in 566 BC by the grandfather of Bimbisara, but actual foundation was by Bimbisara.

BIMBISARA (544 BC-492 BC)

A contemporary of Buddha.
He conquered Anga (Eastern Bihar) to gain control over trade routes with the Southern states.
His Capital was Rajgir (Girivraja).He strengthened his position by matrimonial alliances with the ruling families of Kosala, Vaishali and Madra (3 wives).
His capital was surrounded by 5 hills, the openings in which were closed by stone walls on all sides. This made Rajgir impregnable.

AJATSHATRU (492 BC-460 BC)

The son of Bimbisara who killed his father and seized the throne.
Annexed Vaishali and Kosala (annexed Vaishali with the help of a war engine, which was used to throw stones like catapults. Kosala was ruled by Prasenajit at that time.
Buddha died during his reign arranged the first Buddhist Council.

UDAYIN (460 BC-444 BC)

He founded the new capital at Pataliputra, situated at the confluence of the Ganga and the Son.
Udayin was succeeded by Anuruddha, Munda and Naga-Dasak respectively who all were weak and parricides.

SHISHUNAGA DYNASTY (412 BC-344 BC)

Founded by a minister Shishunaga. He was succeeded by Kalasoka (II Buddhist council held during his period).
This dynasty lasted for two generations only.
The  greatest achievement was the destruction of the power of Avanti.
Last Ruler and Nandivardhan.

NANDA DYNASTY (344 BC-323 BC)

It is considered as the first of the non-Kshatriya dynasties.
The founder was Mahapadma Nanda. He added Kalinga to his empire.He claimed to be the ekarat, the sole sovereign who destroyed all the other ruling princes.
Alexander attacked India in the reign of Dhana Nanda the last ruler.
The Nandas were fabulously rich and enormously powerful.They maintained 200000 infantry 60000 cavalry and 6000 war elephants. This is supposed to have checked Alexander’s army from advancing towards Magadha.

ALEXANDER’S INVASION

Alexander (356 BC -323 BC) was the son of Philip of Macedonia (Greece) who invaded India in 326 BC.
At that time North-West India was split up into a number of small independent states like Taxila, Punjab (Kingdom of Porus), Gandharas etc.
Porus fought the famous Battle of Hydiaspas (on the bank of Jhelum) with Alexander.
When Alexander reached Beas, his soldiers refused to go further, so he was forced to retreat.
He erected 12 huge stone altars on the Northern bank of Beas to mark the farthest point of his advance.
He remained in India for 19 months and died in 323 BC at Babylon.

EFFECTS OF ALEXANDER’S INVASION 

It exposed India to Europe by opening up four distinct lines of communication, three by land and one by sea.
Due to cultural contacts, a cosmopolitan school of art came up in Gandhara.
It paved the way for the unification of North India under Chandragupta, by weakening small states.
Magadha Empire

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