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The Mahājanapadas ( sa, great realm, from ''maha'', "great", and ''
janapada The Janapadas () (1100-500 BCE) were the realms A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''sou ...

janapada
'' "foothold of a people") were sixteen
kingdoms
kingdoms
or
oligarchic Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between any individual and every other individual within any selected group of people. A description of a power structure would capture the way in w ...
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
s that existed in Northern
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mod ...
from the sixth to fourth centuries BCE during the second urbanisation period. The 6th–5th centuries BCE is often regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history; during this period India's first large cities arose after the demise of the
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the ...

Indus Valley Civilization
. It was also the time of the rise of sramana movements (including
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
and
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion. It is one of the oldest Indian religions. The three main pillars of Jainism are ''Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā'' (non-violence), ''anekāntavāda'' (non-absolut ...

Jainism
), which challenged the religious orthodoxy of the Vedic Period. Two of the Mahājanapadas were most probably ganatantras (oligarchic republics) and others had forms of monarchy. Ancient
Buddhist texts Buddhist texts are those religious texts which are part of the Buddhism, Buddhist tradition. The first Buddhist texts were initially passed on orally by Buddhist monastics, but were later written down and composed as manuscripts in various Ind ...
like the '' Anguttara Nikaya'' make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics which had developed and flourished in a belt stretching from
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
in the northwest to
Anga Anga was an ancient Indian kingdom that flourished on the eastern Indian subcontinent and one of the sixteen mahajanapadas The Mahājanapadas ( sa, great realm, from ''maha'', "great", and ''janapada The Janapadas () were the realms, ...

Anga
in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent. They included parts of the trans-
Vindhya The Vindhya Range (also known as Vindhyachal) () is a complex, discontinuous Mountain chain, chain of mountain ridges, hill ranges, highlands and plateau escarpments in west-central India. Technically, the Vindhyas do not form a single mountain ...
n region, and all had developed prior to the rise of Buddhism in India. Archaeologically, this period has been identified as corresponding in part to the
Northern Black Polished Ware The Northern Black Polished Ware culture (abbreviated NBPW or NBP) is an urban Iron Age Indian culture of the Indian Subcontinent, lasting c. 700–200 BCE (proto NBPW between 1200 and 700 BCE), succeeding the Painted Grey Ware culture and Blac ...
culture.


Overview

The term "
Janapada The Janapadas () (1100-500 BCE) were the realms A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''sou ...

Janapada
" literally means the ''foothold of a people''. The fact that ''Janapada'' is derived from ''Jana'' points to an early stage of land-taking by the Jana people for a settled way of life. This process of settlement on land had completed its final stage prior to the times of the
Buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an ascetic Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle ...

Buddha
and
Pāṇini (Devanagari: पाणिनि, ) was a Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language ...
. The Pre-Buddhist north-west region of the Indian sub-continent was divided into several Janapadas, demarcated from each other by boundaries. In Pāṇini's "Ashtadhyayi", ''Janapada'' stands for country and ''Janapadin'' for its citizenry. Each of these Janapadas was named after the
Kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

Kshatriya
people (or the Kshatriya Jana) who had settled therein. Buddhist and other texts only incidentally refer to sixteen great nations (''Solasa Mahajanapadas'') that existed prior to the time of the Buddha. They do not give any connected history except in the case of Magadha. The Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya, at several places, gives a list of sixteen great nations: #
Anga Anga was an ancient Indian kingdom that flourished on the eastern Indian subcontinent and one of the sixteen mahajanapadas The Mahājanapadas ( sa, great realm, from ''maha'', "great", and ''janapada The Janapadas () were the realms, ...

Anga
#
Assaka Asmaka (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific s ...
(or Asmaka) # Avanti # Chedi #
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
# Kashi # Kamboja #
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
#
Kuru Kuru may refer to: Anthropology and history * Kuru (disease) Kuru is a very rare, incurable and fatal neurodegenerative disorder Neurodegeneration is the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons A neuron or nerve cell is an ...
#
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
# Malla # Machcha (or Matsya) #
Panchala Panchala ( sa, पञ्चाल, IAST: ) was an ancient kingdom of northern India, located in the Ganges-Yamuna Doab of the upper Gangetic plain. During Late Vedic period, Vedic times (c. 900–500 BCE), it was one of the most powerful state ...
#
Surasena Kingdom of Surasena (or Sourasena) (, ) was an ancient India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List ...
# Vriji #
Vatsa Vatsa or Vamsa (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' The ...
(or Vamsa) Another Buddhist text, the ''
Digha Nikaya Digha is a seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accreditation based on the satisfactio ...
'', mentions twelve Mahajanapadas from the above list and omits four of them (Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara, and Kamboja). '' Chulla-Niddesa'', another ancient text of the Buddhist canon, adds
KalingaKalinga may refer to: Geography, linguistics and/or ethnology * Kalinga (historical region) Kalinga is a historical region of India. It is generally defined as the eastern coastal region between the Mahanadi and the Godavari rivers, althoug ...
to the list and substitutes
Yona The word Yona in Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' ...
for Gandhara, thus listing the Kamboja and the Yona as the only Mahajanapadas from
Uttarapatha Ancient Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are awa ...
. The '' Vyākhyāprajñapti'' (or the '' Bhagavati Sutra''), a sutra of
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion. It is one of the oldest Indian religions. The three main pillars of Jainism are ''Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā'' (non-violence), ''anekāntavāda'' (non-absolut ...

Jainism
, gives a different list of sixteen Mahajanapadas: # Anga # Banga (Vanga) # Magadha # Malaya # Malavaka # Accha # Vaccha # Kochcha # Padha # Ladha (
Radh Rarh region () is a toponym Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of '' toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as ''place name'' or ''geographic name''), their ori ...
or
Lata Local access and transport area (LATA) is a term used in U.S. telecommunications regulation. It represents a geographical area of the United States under the terms of the Modification of Final JudgmentIn United States telecommunication law, the ...
) # Bajji (Vajji) # Moli (Malla) # Kasi #
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
# Avaha # Sambhuttara # Ruhma The author of the '' Bhagavati Sutra'' (or the '' Vyākhyāprajñapti'') has a focus on the countries of Madhydesa and of the far east and south only. He omits the nations from Uttarapatha like the Kamboja and Gandhara. The more extended horizon of the ''Bhagvati'' and the omission of all countries from Uttarapatha "clearly shows that the Bhagvati list is of later origin and therefore less reliable."


List of Mahajanapadas


Anga

The first reference to the
Anga Anga was an ancient Indian kingdom that flourished on the eastern Indian subcontinent and one of the sixteen mahajanapadas The Mahājanapadas ( sa, great realm, from ''maha'', "great", and ''janapada The Janapadas () were the realms, ...

Anga
s is found in the
Atharva-Veda The Atharva The Atharva Veda (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of th ...
where they find mention along with the Magadhas,
Gandharis
Gandharis
and the Mujavats, apparently as a despised people. The
Jain Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religion ...

Jain
a Prajnapana ranks Angas and Vangas in the first group of
Aryan Aryan or Arya (, Indo-Iranian *''arya'') is a term originally used as an ethnocultural An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each othe ...

Aryan
people. It mentions the principal cities of
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mod ...

ancient India
. It was also a great center of trade and commerce and its merchants regularly sailed to distant
Suvarnabhumi ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics ...

Suvarnabhumi
. Anga was annexed by Magadha in the time of
Bimbisara Bimbisāra (c. 558 – c. 491 BC or during the late 5th century BC) also known as Seniya or Shrenika in the Jain histories was a King of Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union ...
. This was the one and only conquest of Bimbisara.


Assaka

The country of Assaka or the Ashmaka tribe was located in ''Dakshinapatha'' or southern India. It included areas in present-day
Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh (English: Telugu: ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the south-eastern Coastal India, coastal region of India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, seventh-largest state by area c ...

Andhra Pradesh
,
Telangana Telangana (, , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Telangana
, and
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
. In
Gautama Buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an , a religious leader and teacher who lived in (c. 6th to 5th century BCE or c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He ...

Gautama Buddha
's time, many of the Assakas were located on the banks of the
Godavari River The Godavari is India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependenci ...

Godavari River
(south of the
Vindhya The Vindhya Range (also known as Vindhyachal) () is a complex, discontinuous Mountain chain, chain of mountain ridges, hill ranges, highlands and plateau escarpments in west-central India. Technically, the Vindhyas do not form a single mountain ...

Vindhya
mountains). The capital of the Assakas was Potana or Potali, which corresponds present-day
Bodhan Bodhan is a town in Nizamabad district Nizamabad district is a district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly ...
in Telangana and Paudanya of
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
. In Maharashtra its capital is located in Potali which corresponds to present day Nandura, Buldhana district. The Ashmakas are also mentioned by Pāṇini. They are placed in the north-west in the ''Markendeya Purana'' and the '' Brhat Samhita''. The river Godavari separated the country of the Assakas from that of the Mulakas (or Alakas). The country of Assaka lay outside the pale of
Madhyadesa Madhyadesha or the "middle country" was one of the five sub-divisions of ancient India that extended from the upper reaches of the Ganges, Ganga and the Yamuna to the confluence of the two rivers at Triveni Sangam, Prayaga. The territory of middle r ...
. It was located on a southern high road, the ''Dakshinapatha''. At one time, Assaka included Mulaka and abutted Avanti.


Avanti

The country of the Avantis was an important kingdom of western India and was one of the four great monarchies in India in the post era of Mahavira and Buddha, the other three being
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
,
Vatsa Vatsa or Vamsa (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' The ...
and
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
. Avanti was divided into north and south by the river
Narmada The Narmada River, also called the Reva and previously also known as ''Narbada'' or anglicised as ''Nerbudda'', is the 5th longest river and overall longest west-flowing river in India, and largest flowing river of the state of Madhya Pradesh. ...

Narmada
. Initially, Mahishamati (Mahissati) was the capital of Southern Avanti, and
Ujjain Ujjain (, Hindustani language, Hindustani pronunciation: Help:IPA/Hindi and Urdu, d͡ːʒɛːn is a city in Ujjain district of the States and territories of India, Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the fifth-largest city in Madhya Prad ...

Ujjain
i (Sanskrit: Ujjayini) was of northern Avanti, but at the times of
Mahavira Mahavira ( sa, महावीर:), also known as Vardhamana, was the 24th ''Tirthankara In Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion and the method of acquiring perfect knowledge ...

Mahavira
and Buddha, Ujjaini was the capital of integrated Avanti. The country of Avanti roughly corresponded to modern
Malwa Malwa is an Indian historical region, historical list of regions in India, region of west-central India occupying a plateau of volcanic origin. Geologically, the Malwa Plateau generally refers to the volcanic plateau, volcanic upland north of ...
, Nimar and adjoining parts of today's
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India. Its capital city, capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Satna being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the List o ...

Madhya Pradesh
. Both Mahishmati and Ujjaini stood on the southern high road called ''Dakshinapatha'' which extended from
Rajagriha Rajgir (historically known as Girivraj) is an ancient city and a municipal council in Nalanda district in the Indian States and territories of India, state of Bihar. The city of Rajgir (ancient ''Rājagṛha''; Pali: ''Rājagaha'') was the fir ...
to Pratishthana (modern
Paithan ''Pratisthana' (''Pratisthana'') , historically Pratiṣṭhāna, is a town with municipal council in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, India. Paithan is located south of present-day Aurangabad on the Godavari River. It was the capital of the ...
). Avanti was an important centre of Buddhism and some of the leading ''theras'' and ''theris'' were born and resided there. King Nandivardhana of Avanti was defeated by king
Shishunaga Shishunaga (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific st ...
of Magadha. Avanti later became part of the Magadhan empire.


Chedi

The Chedis, Chetis or Chetyas had two distinct settlements of which one was in the mountains of Nepal and the other in
Bundelkhand Bundelkhand is a geographical and cultural List of regions in India, region and also a mountain range in central & North India. The hilly region is now divided between the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, with the larger portion lying ...

Bundelkhand
near
Kausambi Kosambi (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasio ...
. According to old authorities, Chedis lay near
Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani language, Hindustani: ) is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga by discharge and the longest tributary in List of major rivers of India, India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of on the ...

Yamuna
midway between the kingdom of Kurus and
Vatsa Vatsa or Vamsa (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' The ...
s. In the mediaeval period, the southern frontiers of Chedi extended to the banks of the river
Narmada The Narmada River, also called the Reva and previously also known as ''Narbada'' or anglicised as ''Nerbudda'', is the 5th longest river and overall longest west-flowing river in India, and largest flowing river of the state of Madhya Pradesh. ...

Narmada
. Sotthivatnagara, the Sukti or Suktimati of
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
, was the capital of Chedi. The Chedis were an ancient people of India and are mentioned in the
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
, with their king Kashu Chaidya. The location of the capital city,
Suktimati Suktimati (Shuktimati, Sukti) was the capital city of the Yaduvanshi Chedi Kingdom in India. It lay on the banks of the river Shuktimati flowing through Chedi. It was built by a Chedi king known as Uparichara vasu. In the Mahabharata, it has been q ...
, has not been established with certainty. Historian
Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri ( bn, হেম চন্দ্র রায়চৌধুরী) (8 April 1892 – 4 May 1957Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1972). ''Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of th ...
and F. E. Pargiter believed that it was in the vicinity of
Banda, Uttar Pradesh Banda is a city and a municipal board in Banda district (India), Banda district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Banda is divided between north, east, west and south Banda. Banda lies south of the Yamuna river in the Bundelkhand region. I ...
. Archaeologist
Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti (born 27 April 1941) is an Indian archaeologist, Professor Emeritus of South Asian Archaeology at Cambridge University, and a Senior Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research The McDonald Institute for ...
has proposed that Suktimati can be identified as the ruins of a large early historical city, at a place with the modern-day name Itaha, on the outskirts of
Rewa, Madhya Pradesh Rewa is a city in north-eastern part of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the Li ...
.


Gandhara

Gandhara1.JPG, Coin of Early Gandhara Janapada: AR Shatamana and one-eighth Shatamana (round), Taxila-Gandhara region, . Taxila_(local_coinage)._Circa_220-185_BC.jpg, A coin of
Takshashila Taxila (from Pāli Brahmi: 𑀢𑀔𑁆𑀔𑀲𑀺𑀮𑀸, Takhkhasilā, Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo- ...
, portrays a tree flanked by a hill surmounted by a crescent and a Nandipada above a
swastika The swastika symbol, 卐 (''right-facing'' or ''clockwise'') or 卍 (''left-facing'', ''counterclockwise'', or sauwastika), is an ancient religious icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious work ...

swastika
.
The wool of the is referred to in the
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
. The Gandharas and their king figure prominently as strong allies of the Kurus against the
Pandava The Pandavas (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European langua ...
s in the
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
war. The Gandharas were furious people, well-trained in the art of war. According to
Puranic The word Purana (; sa, , ') literally means "ancient, old",Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995 Edition), Article on Puranas, , page 915 and it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics, particularly about ...
traditions, this Janapada was founded by ''Gandhara'', son of Aruddha, a descendant of Yayati. The princes of this country are said to have come from the line of Druhyu who was a famous king of the Rigvedic period and one of the five sons of king Yayati of lunar dynasty. The river Indus watered the lands of Gandhara. Taksashila and
Pushkalavati Pushkalavati (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language ...
, the two cities of this Mahajanapada, are said to have been named after Taksa and Pushkara, the two sons of Bharata, a prince of
Ayodhya Ayodhya (; IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scienti ...

Ayodhya
he younger brother of Lord Rama]. According to Vayu Purana (II.36.107), the Gandharas were destroyed by Pramiti (a.k.a. Kalika) at the end of ''
Kali Yuga The ''Kali Yuga'', in Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which ...

Kali Yuga
''. Pāṇini mentioned both the Vedic form Gandhari as well as the later form Gandhara in his Ashtadhyayi. The Gandhara kingdom sometimes also included
KashmiraKasmira was a kingdom identified as the Kashmir Valley along the Jhelum River of modern Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir. Possibly, the sage Kashyapa or a descendant of this sage lived here, since the name ''Kas'' is derived f ...
. Hecataeus of Miletus (549-468) refers to Kaspapyros (Kasyapura or Purushapura, i.e., modern day Peshawar) as a city. According to Gandhara Jataka, at one time, Gandhara formed a part of the kingdom of
Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale ...

Kashmir
. The Jataka also gives another name ''Chandahara'' for Gandhara. Gandhara Mahajanapada of
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
traditions included territories of east
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
, and north-west of the Panjab (modern districts of Peshawar (Purushapura) and Rawalpindi). Its later capital was Taksashila (Prakrit for Taxila). The Taksashila University was a renowned centre of learning in ancient times, where scholars from all over the world came to seek higher education. Pāṇini, the Indian genius of grammar and Kautiliya are the world-renowned products of Taxila University. King Pukkusati or Pushkarasarin of Gandhara in the middle of the 6th century BCE was the contemporary of king
Bimbisara Bimbisāra (c. 558 – c. 491 BC or during the late 5th century BC) also known as Seniya or Shrenika in the Jain histories was a King of Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union ...
of Magadha. Gandhara was located on the grand northern high road (Uttarapatha) and was a centre of international commercial activities. According to one group of scholars, the Gandharas and Kambojas were cognate people. It is also contended that the Kurus, Kambojas, Gandharas and Bahlikas were cognate people. According to Dr T. L. Shah, the Gandhara and Kamboja were nothing but two provinces of one empire and were located coterminously, hence influencing each other's language. Naturally, they may have once been a cognate people. Gandhara was often linked politically with the neighboring regions of
Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale ...

Kashmir
and Kamboja.


Kamboja

Kambojas are also included in the Uttarapatha. In ancient literature, the Kamboja is variously associated with the
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
, Darada and the Bactria, Bahlika (Bactria). Ancient Kamboja is known to have comprised regions on either side of the Hindukush. The original Kamboja was located in eastern Oxus country as neighbor to Bahlika, but with time, some clans of the Kambojas appear to have crossed the Hindukush and planted colonies on its southern side also. These latter Kambojas are associated with the Daradas and Gandharas in Indian literature and also find mention in the Edicts of Ashoka. The evidence in the
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
and in Ptolemy's Geography distinctly supports two Kamboja settlements. The cis-Hindukush region from Nurestan up to Rajauri in southwest of
Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale ...

Kashmir
sharing borders with the Daradas and the
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
s constituted the ''Kamboja'' country. The capital of ''Kamboja'' was probably ''Rajapura'' (modern Rajori) in the south-west of Kashmir. The ''Kamboja Mahajanapada'' of the
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
traditions refers to this cis-Hindukush branch of ancient Kambojas. The trans-Hindukush region including the Pamir Mountains, Pamirs and Badakhshan which shared borders with the Bahlikas (Bactria) in the west and the Lohas and Rishikas of Sogdiana/Fergana in the north, constituted the Parama-Kamboja country. The trans-Hindukush branch of the Kambojas remained pure Iranian peoples, Iranian but a large section of the Kambojas of cis-Hindukush appears to have come under Indian cultural influence. The Kambojas are known to have had both Iranian as well as Indian affinities. The Kambojas were also a well known republican people since Epic India, Epic times. The
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
refers to several Ganah (or Republics) of the Kambojas. Kautiliya's Arthashastra and Ashoka's Edict No. XIII also attest that the Kambojas followed republican constitution. Pāṇini's Sutras, though tend to convey that the Kamboja of Pāṇini was a
Kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

Kshatriya
monarchy, but "the special rule and the exceptional form of derivative" he gives to denote the ruler of the Kambojas implies that the king of Kamboja was a titular head (''king consul'') only. According to Buddhist texts, the first fourteen of the above Mahajanapadas belong to Majjhimadesa (''Mid India'') while the last two belong to Uttarapatha or the ''north-west'' division of Jambudvipa. In a struggle for supremacy that followed in the 6th/5th century BCE, the growing state of the Magadhas emerged as the predominant power in ancient India, annexing several of the Janapadas of the Majjhimadesa. A bitter line in the Puranas laments that Magadhan emperor Mahapadma Nanda exterminated all
Kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

Kshatriya
s, none worthy of the name Kshatriya being left thereafter. This obviously refers to the Kasis, Kosalas, Kurus, Panchalas, Vatsyas and other neo-Vedic tribes of the east Panjab of whom nothing was ever heard except in the legend and poetry. (The Nandas usurped the throne of Shishunaga dynasty c. 345 BCE, thus founding the Nanda Empire.) The Kambojans and Gandharans, however, never came into direct contact with the Magadhan state until Chandragupta Maurya, Chandragupta and Kautiliya arose on the scene. But these nations also fell prey to the Achaemenids of Persia during the reign of Cyrus the Great, Cyrus (558–530 BCE) or in the first year of Darius the Great, Darius. Kamboja and Gandhara formed the twentieth and richest satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus I is said to have destroyed the famous Kamboja city called Kapisi (modern Begram) in Paropamisade.


Kashi

The kingdom was located in the region around its capital Varanasi, bounded by the Varuna and Asi rivers in the north and south which gave Varanasi its name. Before Buddha, Kasi was the most powerful of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. Several ''jataka tales'' bear witness to the superiority of its capital over other cities in India and speak highly of its prosperity and opulence. These stories tell of the long struggle for supremacy between Kashi and the three kingdoms of
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
,
Anga Anga was an ancient Indian kingdom that flourished on the eastern Indian subcontinent and one of the sixteen mahajanapadas The Mahājanapadas ( sa, great realm, from ''maha'', "great", and ''janapada The Janapadas () were the realms, ...

Anga
and
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
. Although King Brihadratha of Kashi conquered
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
, Kashi was later incorporated into
Kosala Kingdom of Kosala ( sa, कोसल राज्य) was an ancient Indian kingdom with a rich culture, corresponding the area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh to Western Odisha. It emerged as a janapada, small state duri ...
by King Kansa during Buddha's time. The Kashis along with the Kosalas and Videhans find mention in Vedic texts and appear to have been a closely allied people. The ''Matsya Purana'' and ''Alberuni'' spell Kashi as ''Kausika'' and ''Kaushaka'' respectively. All other ancient texts read Kashi.


Kosala

The country of Kosala was located to the north-west of Magadha, with its capital at Ayodhya. Its territory corresponded to the modern Awadh (or Oudh) in Central and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. It had the river Ganges River, Ganges for its southern, the river Gandak (Narayani) for its eastern, and the Himalaya mountains for its northern boundary. It finds mention as the center of Vedic Dharma. Its kings allied with the Devatas in various wars against the Daityas, Rakshas, and Asuras. Koshala and Ayodhya hold a central place in the Hindu scriptures, Itihas, and Purana. Raghuvansha-Ikshvakuvansha was the longest continuous dynasty; Lord Rama was a king in this dynasty. Other great kings were Prithu, Harishchandra, and Dilip, who are each mentioned in different Puranas, Ramayan, and Mahabharat. According to these texts, Koshala was the most powerful and biggest kingdom ever in the recorded history. Later, the kingdom was ruled by the famous king Prasenajit during the era of Mahavira and Buddha, followed by his son Vidudabha (Virudhaka). King Prasenajit was highly educated. His position was further improved by a matrimonial alliance with Magadha: his sister was married to Bimbisara and part of Kasi was given as dowry. There was, however, a struggle for supremacy between king Pasenadi (Prasenajit) and king Ajatashatru of Magadha which was finally settled once the confederation of Licchavi (clan), Lichchavis became aligned with Magadha. Kosala was ultimately merged into Magadha when Vidudabha was Kosala's ruler. Ayodhya, Saketa, Banaras, and Sravasti were the chief cities of Kosala.


Kuru

The Puranas trace the origin of Kurus from the ''Puru (Vedic tribe), Puru-Bhāratas, Bharata'' family. Kuru was born after 25 generations of Puru's dynasty, and after 15 generations of Kuru, Kauravas and Pandavas were born. Aitareya Brahmana locates the Kurus in ''Madhyadesha'' and also refers to the Uttarakurus as living beyond the Himalayas. According to the Buddhist text Sumangavilasini, the people of Kururashtra (the Kurus) came from the Uttarakuru. Vayu Purana attests that ''Kuru'', son of Samvarsana of the Puru lineage, was the eponymous ancestor of the Kurus and the founder of Kururashtra (Kuru Janapada) in Kurukshetra. The country of the Kurus roughly corresponded to the modern Thanesar, state of Delhi, and Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Jatakas, the capital of the Kurus was Indraprastha (Indapatta) near modern Delhi which extended seven leagues. At Buddha's time, the Kuru country was ruled by a titular chieftain (king consul) named Korayvya. The Kurus of the Buddhist period did not occupy the same position as they did in the Vedic period but they continued to enjoy their ancient reputation for deep wisdom and sound health. The Kurus had matrimonial relations with the Yadu, Yadavas, the Bhojas, Trigratas, and the Panchalas. There is a Jataka reference to king Dhananjaya, introduced as a prince from the race of Yudhishtra. Though a well known monarchical people in the earlier period, the Kurus are known to have switched to a republican form of government during the 6th to 5th centuries BCE. In the 4th century BCE, Kautiliya's Arthashastra also attests the Kurus following the ''Rajashabdopajivin'' (king consul) constitution.


Magadha

The
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
was one of the most prominent and prosperous of mahajanapadas. The capital city Pataliputra (Patna, Bihar) was situated on the confluence of major rivers like the Ganga, Son, Punpun and Gandak. The alluvial plains of this region and its proximity to the copper and iron rich areas of Bihar and Jharkhand helped the kingdom to develop good quality weapons and support the agrarian economy. Its location at the centre of the highways of trade of those days contributed to its wealth. All these factors helped
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
to emerge as the most prosperous state of that period. The kingdom of the
Magadha Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by populatio ...

Magadha
s roughly corresponded to the modern districts of Patna and Gaya, India, Gaya in southern Bihar and parts of Bengal in the east. The capital city of Pataliputra was bound in the north by the river Ganges, in the east by the river Champa, in the south by the
Vindhya The Vindhya Range (also known as Vindhyachal) () is a complex, discontinuous Mountain chain, chain of mountain ridges, hill ranges, highlands and plateau escarpments in west-central India. Technically, the Vindhyas do not form a single mountain ...

Vindhya
mountains and in the west by the river Sona. During Buddha's time its boundaries included Anga. Its earliest capital was Girivraja or Rajagaha (modern Rajgir in the Nalanda district of Bihar). The other names for the city were Magadhapura, Brihadrathapura, Vasumati, Kushagrapura and Bimbisarapuri. It was an active center of
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion. It is one of the oldest Indian religions. The three main pillars of Jainism are ''Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā'' (non-violence), ''anekāntavāda'' (non-absolut ...

Jainism
in ancient times. The first Buddhist Council was held in Rajagaha in the Vaibhara Hills. Later on, Pataliputra became the capital of Magadha.


Malla

The Malla (India), Mallas are frequently mentioned in Buddhist and
Jain Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religion ...

Jain
works. They were a powerful people dwelling in Northern India. According to Mahabharata, Panduputra Bhimasena is said to have conquered the chief of the Mallas/Malls in the course of his expedition in Eastern India. During the Buddhist period, the Mallas/Malls Kshatriya were a republican people with their dominion consisting of nine territories corresponding to the nine confederated clans. These republican states were known as Gana. Two of these confederations – one with Kushinagar, Kuśināra (modern Kasia near Gorakhpur) as its capital and the second with Pava (modern Padrauna, 12 miles from Kasia) as the ''capital'' – had become very important at the time of Buddha. Kuśināra and Pava are very important in the history of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
and
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion. It is one of the oldest Indian religions. The three main pillars of Jainism are ''Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā'' (non-violence), ''anekāntavāda'' (non-absolut ...

Jainism
since Gautama Buddha, Lord Buddha and Mahavira, Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara took their last meals at Kushinara and Pava/Pavapuri respectively. Buddha was taken ill at Pava and died at Kusinara, whereas lord Mahavira took his Nirvana at Pavapuri. It is widely believed that Lord Gautam died at the courtyard of King Sastipal Mall of Kushinagar/Kushinara. Kushinagar is now the centre of the Buddhist pilgrimage circle which is being developed by the tourism development corporation of Uttar Pradesh. The Mallas, like the Licchavi (clan), Licchavis, are mentioned by Manusmriti as Vratya
Kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

Kshatriya
s. They are called Vasishthas (Vasetthas) in the Mahapparnibbana Suttanta. The Mallas originally had a monarchical form of government but later they switched to one of Sangha (Buddhism), Samgha (republic), the members of which called themselves ''rajas''. The Mallas appeared to have formed an alliance with the Licchhavis for self-defense but lost their independence not long after Buddha's death and their dominions were annexed to the Magadhan empire.


Matsya

The country of the Matsya or Meena tribe lay to the south of the Kurus and west of the
Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani language, Hindustani: ) is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga by discharge and the longest tributary in List of major rivers of India, India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of on the ...

Yamuna
, which separated them from the Panchalas. It roughly corresponded to the former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan, and included the whole of Alwar with portions of Bharatpur, India, Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya was at ''Viratanagara'' (modern Bairat) which is said to have been named after its founder king Virata. In Pāli, Pali literature, the Matsyas are usually associated with the Surasenas. The western Matsya was the hill tract on the north bank of the Chambal River, Chambal. A branch of Matsya is also found in later days in the Vizagapatam region. The Matsyas had not much political importance of their own during the time of Buddha. King Sujata ruled over both the Chedis and Matsyas, thus showing that Matsya once formed a part of the Chedi kingdom.


Panchala

The Panchalas occupied the country to the east of the Kurus between the mountains and river Ganges. It roughly corresponded to modern Budaun, Farrukhabad and the adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh. The country was divided into Uttara-Panchala and Dakshina-Panchala. The northern Panchala had its capital at Adhichhatra or Chhatravati (modern Ramnagar in the Bareilly District), while southern Panchala had its capital at Kampilya or Kampil in the Farrukhabad District. The famous city of Kanyakubja or Kanauj was situated in the kingdom of Panchala. Originally a monarchical clan, the Panchals appear to have switched to republican corporation in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. In the 4th century BCE, Kautiliya's Arthashastra also attests the Panchalas as following the ''Rajashabdopajivin'' (king consul) constitution.


Surasena

The country of the Surasenas lay to the east of Matsya and west of
Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani language, Hindustani: ) is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga by discharge and the longest tributary in List of major rivers of India, India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of on the ...

Yamuna
. This corresponds roughly to the Brij region of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. and Gwalior region of
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India. Its capital city, capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Satna being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the List o ...

Madhya Pradesh
. It had its capital at Madhura or Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura. Avantiputra, the king of Surasena, was the first among the chief disciples of Buddha, through whose help
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
gained ground in Mathura country. The Andhakas and Vrishnis of Mathura/Surasena are referred to in the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini. In Kautiliya's Arthashastra, the Vrishnis are described as ''sangha'' or republic. The Vrishnis, Andhakas and other allied tribes of the Yadu, Yadavas formed a ''sangha'' and Vasudeva (Krishna) is described as the ''sangha-mukhya''. Mathura, the capital of Surasena, was also known at the time of Megasthenes as the centre of Krishna worship. The Surasena kingdom had lost its independence on annexation by the Magadhan empire.


Vajji

Vajji ( sa, Vṛji) or Vrijji was a confederacy of neighbouring clans including the Licchavi (clan), Licchavis and one of the principal mahājanapadas of Ancient India. The area they ruled constitutes the region of Mithila (ancient), Mithila in northern Bihar and their capital was the city of Vaishali (ancient city), Vaishali. Both the Buddhist text ''Anguttara Nikaya'' and the Jaina text ''Bhagavati Sutra'' (''Saya'' xv ''Uddesa'' I) included Vajji in their lists of ''solasa'' (sixteen) mahājanapadas. The name of this mahājanapada was derived from one of its ruling clans, the Vṛjis. The Vajji state is indicated to have been a republic. This clan is mentioned by
Pāṇini (Devanagari: पाणिनि, ) was a Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language ...
, Chanakya and Xuanzang.


Vatsa or Vamsa

The
Vatsa Vatsa or Vamsa (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' The ...
s or Vamsas are called to be a branch of the Kurus. The Vatsa or Vamsa country corresponded with the territory of modern Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. It had a monarchical form of government with its capital at
Kausambi Kosambi (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasio ...
(identified with the village Kosam, 38 miles from Allahabad). Kausambi was a very prosperous city where a large number of wealthy merchants resided. It was the most important entrepôt of goods and passengers from the north-west and south. Udayana was the ruler of
Vatsa Vatsa or Vamsa (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' The ...
in the 6th-5th century BCE. He was very powerful, warlike and fond of hunting. Initially king Udayana was opposed to
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, but later became a follower of Buddha and made Buddhism the state religion. Udayana's mother, Vatsa#Mrigavati, Queen Mrigavati, is notable for being one of the earliest known female rulers in Indian history.


The period of the Vedas

''Brahmavarta, Brahmarshi-desha'', 'the county of the holy sages,' includes the territories of the Kuru Kingdom, Kurus, Matsya Kingdom, Matsyas,
Panchala Panchala ( sa, पञ्चाल, IAST: ) was an ancient kingdom of northern India, located in the Ganges-Yamuna Doab of the upper Gangetic plain. During Late Vedic period, Vedic times (c. 900–500 BCE), it was one of the most powerful state ...
s and Surasena, Shurasenas (i.e., the eastern half of the State of Patiala and of the Delhi division of the Punjab, the Alwar State and adjacent territory in Rajputana, the region which lies between the Ganges and the Jumna, and the Mathura district, Muttra District in the United Provinces).Rapson, E. J. (1914). Ancient India, from the earliest times to the first century, A.D
(pp. 50–51).
/ref>


See also

* Magadha-Vajji war *
Janapada The Janapadas () (1100-500 BCE) were the realms A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''sou ...

Janapada
* Iron Age India * Epic India * Indo-Aryan peoples * Rigvedic tribes * Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley


References


Further reading

*R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker, eds. ''The History and Culture of the Indian People''. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay 1951. *Sethna, K. D. (1989). ''Ancient India in a new light''. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. *Sethna, K. D. (2000). ''Problems of ancient India''. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. {{Authority control Mahajanapadas, Ancient Indian geography, * Empires and kingdoms of India Bronze Age countries in Asia Iron Age countries in Asia Iron Age cultures of South Asia Indo-Aryan peoples 6th-century BC establishments 4th-century BC disestablishments