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A Mahājanapada (Sanskrit: महाजनपद, lit. 'great realm', from maha, "great", and janapada "foothold of a tribe, country") was one of the sixteen kingdoms or oligarchic republics that existed in ancient India from the sixth to fourth centuries BCE. Two of them were most probably ganatantras (republics) and others had forms of monarchy. Ancient Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
like the Anguttara Nikaya[1] make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics which had evolved and flourished in a belt stretching from Gandhara
Gandhara
in the northwest to Anga
Anga
in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
and included parts of the trans-Vindhyan region,[2] prior to the rise of Buddhism
Buddhism
in India.[3] The 6th–5th century BCE is often regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history; it saw the emergence of India's first large cities after the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, as well as the rise of sramana movements (including Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism) which challenged the religious orthodoxy of the Vedic Period. Archaeologically, this period corresponds in part to the Northern Black Polished Ware culture.[4]

Contents

1 Overview 2 List of mahajanapadas

2.1 Anga 2.2 Assaka 2.3 Avanti 2.4 Chedi 2.5 Gandhara 2.6 Kamboja 2.7 Kashi 2.8 Kosala 2.9 Kuru 2.10 Magadha 2.11 Malla 2.12 Matsya 2.13 Panchala 2.14 Surasena 2.15 Vajji 2.16 Vamsa or Vatsa

3 The period of the Vedas 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading

Overview[edit]

Pottery of the Northern Black Polished Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware
culture (c. 500-200 BCE), associated with the Mahajanapada
Mahajanapada
period

The term "Janapada" literally means the foothold of a tribe. The fact that Janapada
Janapada
is derived from Jana points to an early stage of land-taking by the Jana tribe for a settled way of life. This process of first settlement on land had completed its final stage prior to the times of the Buddha and Pāṇini. The Pre- Buddhist
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
Janapada
stands for country and Janapadin for its citizenry. Each of these Janapadas
Janapadas
was named after the Kshatriya
Kshatriya
tribe (or the Kshatriya
Kshatriya
Jana) who had settled therein.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Buddhist
Buddhist
and other texts only incidentally refer to sixteen great nations (Solasa Mahajanapadas) which were in existence before 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,[13] gives a list of sixteen great nations:

Anga Assaka
Assaka
(or Asmaka) Avanti Chedi Gandhara Kashi Kamboja Kosala Kuru Magadha Malla Machcha
Machcha
(or Matsya) Panchala Surasena Vriji Vatsa
Vatsa
(or Vamsa)

Another Buddhist
Buddhist
text, the Digha Nikaya, mentions only the first twelve Mahajanapadas
Mahajanapadas
and omits the last four in the above list.[14] Chulla-Niddesa, another ancient text of the Buddhist
Buddhist
canon, adds Kalinga to the list and substitutes Yona
Yona
for Gandhara, thus listing the Kamboja and the Yona
Yona
as the only Mahajanapadas
Mahajanapadas
from Uttarapatha.[15][16] The Vyākhyāprajñapti, a sutra of Jainism, gives a slightly different list of sixteen Mahajanapadas:

Anga Banga (Vanga) Magadha Malaya Malavaka Accha Vaccha Kochcha Padha Ladha (Lata) Bajji (Vajji) Moli (Malla) Kasi Kosala Avaha Sambhuttara

The author of the Bhagvati 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."[17] List of mahajanapadas[edit] Anga[edit] Main article: Anga The first reference to the Angas is found in the Atharva-Veda
Atharva-Veda
where they find mention along with the Magadhas, Gandharis and the Mujavats, apparently as a despised people. The Jaina Prajnapana ranks Angas and Vangas in the first group of Aryan
Aryan
people.[citation needed] It mentions the principal cities of ancient India.[18][full citation needed] It was also a great center of trade and commerce and its merchants regularly sailed to distant Suvarnabhumi. Anga
Anga
was annexed by Magadha
Magadha
in the time of Bimbisara. This was the one and only conquest of Bimbisara.[citation needed] Assaka[edit] Main article: Assaka The country of Assaka
Assaka
or the Ashmaka tribe was located in Dakshinapatha or southern India. In Buddha's time, many of the Assakas were located on the banks of the river Godavari (south of the Vindhya mountains). The capital of the Assakas was Potana or Potali, which corresponds to Paudanya of Mahabharata. The Ashmakas are also mentioned by Pāṇini. They are placed in the north-west in the Markendeya Purana
Purana
and the Brhat Samhita. The river Godavari separated the country of the Assakas from that of the Mulakas (or Alakas). The commentator of Kautiliya's Arthashastra
Arthashastra
identifies Ashmaka with Maharashtra. The country of Assaka
Assaka
lay outside the pale of Madhyadesa. It was located on a southern high road, the Dakshinapatha. At one time, Assaka
Assaka
included Mulaka and abutted Avanti.[19] Avanti[edit] Main article: Avanti (India) 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
Mahavira
and Buddha, the other three being Kosala, Vatsa
Vatsa
and Magadha. Avanti was divided into north and south by the river Narmada. Initially, Mahishamati
Mahishamati
(Mahissati) was the capital of Southern Avanti, and Ujjaini (Sanskrit: Ujjayini) was of northern Avanti, but at the times of Mahavira
Mahavira
and Buddha, Ujjaini was the capital of integrated Avanti. The country of Avanti roughly corresponded to modern Malwa, Nimar and adjoining parts of today's Madhya Pradesh. Both Mahishmati and Ujjaini stood on the southern high road called Dakshinapatha which extended from Rajagriha
Rajagriha
to Pratishthana (modern Paithan). Avanti was an important centre of Buddhism
Buddhism
and some of the leading theras and theris were born and resided there. King Nandivardhana of Avanti was defeated by king Shishunaga of Magadha. Avanti later became part of the Magadhan empire.[citation needed] Chedi[edit] Main article: Chedi Kingdom The Chedis, Chetis or Chetyas had two distinct settlements of which one was in the mountains of Nepal and the other in Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand
near Kausambi. According to old authorities, Chedis lay near Yamuna
Yamuna
midway between the kingdom of Kurus and Vatsas. In the mediaeval period, the southern frontiers of Chedi extended to the banks of the river Narmada. Sotthivatnagara, the Sukti or Suktimati of Mahabharata, was the capital of Chedi. The Chedis were an ancient people of India and are mentioned in the Rigveda, with their king Kashu Chaidya.[20] The location of the capital city, Suktimati, has not been established with certainty. Historian Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri and F. E. Pargiter believed that it was in the vicinity of Banda, Uttar Pradesh.[21] Archaeologist Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti
Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti
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.[22] Gandhara[edit] Main article: Gandhara
Gandhara
Kingdom The wool of the Gandharis is referred to in the Rigveda. The Gandharas and their king figure prominently as strong allies of the Kurus against the Pandavas in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
war. The Gandharas were furious people, well-trained in the art of war. According to Puranic traditions, this Janapada
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. The river Indus watered the lands of Gandhara. Taksashila and Pushkalavati, 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. According to Vayu Purana
Purana
(II.36.107), the Gandharas were destroyed by Pramiti (aka Kalika) at the end of Kaliyuga. Pāṇini mentioned both the Vedic form Gandhari as well as the later form Gandhara
Gandhara
in his Ashtadhyayi. The Gandhara
Gandhara
kingdom sometimes also included Kashmira.[23] Hecataeus of Miletus (549-468) refers to Kaspapyros (Kasyapura or Purushapura, i.e., modern day Peshawar) as a Gandharic city. According to Gandhara
Gandhara
Jataka, at one time, Gandhara formed a part of the kingdom of Kashmir. The Jataka
Jataka
also gives another name Chandahara for Gandhara. Gandhara
Gandhara
Mahajanapada
Mahajanapada
of Buddhist traditions included territories of east Afghanistan, and north-west of the Panjab (modern districts of Peshawar
Peshawar
(Purushapura) and Rawalpindi). Its later capital was Taksashila ( Prakrit
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
Kautiliya
are the world-renowned products of Taxila
Taxila
University. King Pukkusati or Pushkarasarin of Gandhara
Gandhara
in the middle of the 6th century BCE was the contemporary of king Bimbisara
Bimbisara
of Magadha. Gandhara
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
Kambojas
were cognate people.[24][25][26] It is also contended that the Kurus, Kambojas, Gandharas and Bahlikas were cognate people.[27] According to Dr T. L. Shah, the Gandhara
Gandhara
and Kamboja were nothing but two provinces of one empire and were located coterminously, hence influencing each other's language.[28] Naturally, they may have once been a cognate people.[29] Gandhara
Gandhara
was often linked politically with the neighboring regions of Kashmir
Kashmir
and Kamboja.[30] Kamboja[edit] Main article: Kambojas Kambojas
Kambojas
are also included in the Uttarapatha. In ancient literature, the Kamboja is variously associated with the Gandhara, Darada and the Bahlika (Bactria). Ancient Kamboja is known to have comprised regions on either side of the Hindukush. The original Kamboja was located in eastern Oxus
Oxus
country as neighbor to Bahlika, but with time, some clans of the Kambojas
Kambojas
appear to have crossed the Hindukush
Hindukush
and planted colonies on its southern side also. These latter Kambojas
Kambojas
are associated with the Daradas and Gandharas in Indian literature
Indian literature
and also find mention in the Edicts of Ashoka. The evidence in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and in Ptolemy's Geography distinctly supports two Kamboja settlements.[31] The cis- Hindukush
Hindukush
region from Nurestan
Nurestan
up to Rajauri in southwest of Kashmir
Kashmir
sharing borders with the Daradas and the Gandharas constituted the Kamboja country.[32] The capital of Kamboja was probably Rajapura (modern Rajori) in the south-west of Kashmir. The Kamboja Mahajanapada
Mahajanapada
of the Buddhist
Buddhist
traditions refers to this cis- Hindukush
Hindukush
branch of ancient Kambojas.[33] The trans- Hindukush
Hindukush
region including the Pamirs and Badakhshan
Badakhshan
which shared borders with the Bahlikas (Bactria) in the west and the Lohas and Rishikas of Sogdiana/ Fergana
Fergana
in the north, constituted the Parama-Kamboja country.[34] The trans- Hindukush
Hindukush
branch of the Kambojas remained pure Iranian but a large section of the Kambojas
Kambojas
of cis- Hindukush
Hindukush
appears to have come under Indian cultural influence. The Kambojas
Kambojas
are known to have had both Iranian as well as Indian affinities.[35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45] The Kambojas
Kambojas
were also a well known republican people since Epic times. The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
refers to several Ganah (or Republics) of the Kambojas.[46] Kautiliya's Arthashastra[47] and Ashoka's Edict No. XIII also attest that the Kambojas
Kambojas
followed republican constitution. Citation neededdate=February 2018 Pāṇini's Sutras,[48] though tend to convey that the Kamboja of Pāṇini
Pāṇini
was a Kshatriya
Kshatriya
monarchy, but "the special rule and the exceptional form of derivative" he gives to denote the ruler of the Kambojas
Kambojas
implies that the king of Kamboja was a titular head (king consul) only.[49] According to Buddhist texts, the first fourteen of the above Mahajanapadas
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
Magadhas
emerged as the predominant power in ancient India, annexing several of the Janapadas
Janapadas
of the Majjhimadesa. A bitter line in the Brahmin
Brahmin
Puranas laments that Magadhan emperor Mahapadma Nanda exterminated all Kshatriyas, none worthy of the name Kshatriya
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
Shishunaga dynasty
c. 345 BCE, thus founding the Nanda Empire.)[50] The Kambojans and Gandharans, however, never came into direct contact with the Magadhan state until Chandragupta and Kautiliya
Kautiliya
arose on the scene. But these nations also fell prey to the Achaemenids of Persia during the reign of Cyrus (558–530 BCE) or in the first year of Darius. Kamboja and Gandhara
Gandhara
formed the twentieth and richest satrapy of the Achaemenid
Achaemenid
Empire. Cyrus I is said to have destroyed the famous Kamboja city called Kapisi (modern Begram) in Paropamisade. Kashi[edit]

This detailed map shows the locations of Kingdoms mentioned in the Indian epics or Bharata Khanda.

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
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, Anga
Anga
and Magadha. Although King Brihadratha of Kashi conquered Kosala, Kashi was later incorporated into Kosala
Kosala
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
Matsya
Purana
Purana
and Alberuni spell Kashi as Kausika and Kaushaka respectively. All other ancient texts read Kashi. Kosala[edit] Main article: Kosala The country of Kosala
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 for its southern, the river Gandak (Narayani) for its eastern, and the Himalaya
Himalaya
mountains for its northern boundary. It finds mention as the center of Vedic Dharma. Its kings allied with the Devatas
Devatas
in various wars against the Daityas, Rakshas, and Asuras. Koshala and Ayodhya
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
Mahavira
and Buddha, followed by his son Vidudabha (Virudhaka). King Prasenajit/Prasenjit Dhaka was highly educated. His position was further improved by a matrimonial alliance with Magadha: his sister was married to Bimbisara
Bimbisara
and part of Kasi was given as dowry. There was, however, a struggle for supremacy between king Pasenadi (Prasenajit) and king Ajatashatru
Ajatashatru
of Magadha
Magadha
which was finally settled once the confederation of Lichchavis became aligned with Magadha. Kosala
Kosala
was ultimately merged into Magadha
Magadha
when Vidudabha was Kosala's ruler. Ayodhya, Saketa, Banaras, and Sravasti were the chief cities of Kosala. Kuru[edit] Main article: Kuru (India) The Puranas trace the origin of Kurus from the Puru-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,[51] the people of Kururashtra (the Kurus) came from the Uttarakuru. Vayu Purana
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
Meerut
district of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Jatakas, the capital of the Kurus was Indraprastha
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
Buddhist
period did not occupy the same position as they did in the Vedic period
Vedic period
but they continued to enjoy their ancient reputation for deep wisdom and sound health. The Kurus
The Kurus
had matrimonial relations with the Yadavas, the Bhojas, Trigratas and the Panchalas. There is a Jataka
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
Arthashastra
also attests the Kurus following the Rajashabdopajivin (king consul) constitution. Magadha[edit] Main article: Magadha The Magadha
Magadha
was one of the most prominent and prosperous of mahajanapadas. The capital city Pataliputra
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
Bihar
and Jharkhand
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
to emerge as the most prosperous state of that period. The kingdom of the Magadhas
Magadhas
roughly corresponded to the modern districts of Patna
Patna
and Gaya in southern Bihar
Bihar
and parts of Bengal
Bengal
in the east. The capital city of Pataliputra
Pataliputra
was bound in the north by the river Ganges, in the east by the river Champa, in the south by the Vindhya
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
in ancient times. The first Buddhist
Buddhist
Council was held in Rajagaha in the Vaibhara Hills. Later on, Pataliputra
Pataliputra
became the capital of Magadha. Malla[edit] Main article: Malla (India) The Mallas are frequently mentioned in Buddhist
Buddhist
and Jain
Jain
works. They were a powerful people dwelling in Northern South Asia. 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
Buddhist
period, the Mallas/Malls Kshatriya
Kshatriya
were a republican people with their dominion consisting of nine territories[52] corresponding to the nine confederated clans. These republican states were known as Gana. Two of these confederations - one with 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
and Jainism since Buddha and Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara
Tirthankara
took their last meals at Kushinara and Pava/Pavapuri respectively. Buddha was taken ill at Pava and died at Kusinara, whereas lord Mahavira
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
Kushinagar
is now the centre of the Buddhist
Buddhist
pilgrimage circle which is being developed by the tourism development corporation of Uttar Pradesh. The Mallas, like the Licchavis, are mentioned by Manusmriti
Manusmriti
as Vratya Kshatriyas. 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 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.[citation needed] Matsya[edit] Main article: Matsya
Matsya
Kingdom The country of the Matsya
Matsya
or Machcha
Machcha
tribe lay to the south of the Kurus and west of the Yamuna, which separated them from the Panchalas. It roughly corresponded to the former state of Jaipur
Jaipur
in Rajasthan, and included the whole of Alwar
Alwar
with portions of Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya
Matsya
was at Viratanagara (modern Bairat) which is said to have been named after its founder king Virata. In Pali literature, the Matsyas are usually associated with the Surasenas. The western Matsya was the hill tract on the north bank of the Chambal. A branch of Matsya
Matsya
is also found in later days in the Vizagapatam
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
Matsya
once formed a part of the Chedi kingdom. Panchala[edit] Main article: 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
Panchala
and Dakshina-Panchala. The northern Panchala
Panchala
had its capital at Adhichhatra or Chhatravati (modern Ramnagar in the Bareilly
Bareilly
District), while southern Panchala had its capital at Kampilya or Kampil in the Farrukhabad District. The famous city of Kanyakubja or Kanauj
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
Arthashastra
also attests the Panchalas as following the Rajashabdopajivin (king consul) constitution. Surasena[edit] Main article: Surasena The country of the Surasenas lay to the east of Matsya
Matsya
and west of Yamuna. This corresponds roughly to the Brij region of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana
Haryana
and Rajasthan. and Gwalior
Gwalior
region of Madhya Pradesh. It had its capital at Madhura or Mathura. Avantiputra, the king of Surasena, was the first among the chief disciples of Buddha, through whose help Buddhism
Buddhism
gained ground in Mathura country. The Andhakas and Vrishnis of Mathura/ Surasena
Surasena
are referred to in the Ashtadhyayi
Ashtadhyayi
of Pāṇini. In Kautiliya's Arthashastra, the Vrishnis are described as sangha or republic. The Vrishnis, Andhakas and other allied tribes of the Yadavas formed a sangha and Vasudeva
Vasudeva
(Krishna) is described as the sangha-mukhya. Mathura, the capital of Surasena, was also known at the time of Megasthenes
Megasthenes
as the centre of Krishna
Krishna
worship. The Surasena kingdom had lost its independence on annexation by the Magadhan empire. Vajji[edit] Main article: Vajji Vajji
Vajji
(Sanskrit: Vṛji) or Vrijji was a confederacy of neighbouring clans including the Licchavis and one of the principal mahājanapadas of Ancient India. The area they ruled constitutes the region of Mithila in northern Bihar
Bihar
and their capital was the city of Vaishali.[53] Both the Buddhist
Buddhist
text Anguttara Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
and the Jaina text Bhagavati Sutra (Saya xv Uddesa I) included Vajji
Vajji
in their lists of solasa (sixteen) mahājanapadas.[54] The name of this mahājanapada was derived from one of its ruling clans, the Vṛjis. The Vajji
Vajji
state is indicated to have been a republic. This clan is mentioned by Pāṇini, Chanakya
Chanakya
and Xuanzang.[55] Vamsa or Vatsa[edit] Main article: Vatsa The Vatsas or Vamsas are called to be an branch of the Kurus. The Vatsa
Vatsa
or Vamsa country corresponded with the territory of modern Allahabad
Allahabad
in Uttar Pradesh. It had a monarchical form of government with its capital at Kausambi
Kausambi
(identified with the village Kosam, 38 miles from Allahabad).[56] Udayana was the ruler of Vatsa
Vatsa
in the 7th century BCE, the time of Buddha.He was very powerful, warlike and fond of hunting. Initially king Udayana was opposed to Buddhism
Buddhism
but later became a follower of Buddha and made Buddhism
Buddhism
the state religion. Kausambi
Kausambi
was a very prosperous city where a large number of wealthy merchants resided. It was the most important entreport of goods and passengers from the north-west and south. The period of the Vedas[edit] Brahmarshi-deca, 'the county of the holy sages,' includes the territories of the Kurus, Matsyas, Panchalas and Curasenas (i.e., the eastern half of the State of Patiala and of the Delhi
Delhi
division of the Punjab, the Alwar
Alwar
State and adjacent territory in Rajputana, the region which lies between the Ganges and the Jumna, and the Muttra District in the United Provinces).[57] See also[edit]

Iron Age India Epic India

References[edit]

^ Anguttara Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
I. p 213; IV. pp 252, 256, 261. ^ Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Delhi: Pearson Education. pp. 260–4. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0.  ^ 16 Mahajanapadas
Mahajanapadas
- Sixteen Mahajanapadas, 16 Maha Janapadas
Janapadas
India, Maha Janapada
Janapada
Ancient India. Iloveindia.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12. ^ J.M. Kenoyer (2006), "Cultures and Societies of the Indus Tradition. In Historical Roots" in the Making of ‘the Aryan’, R. Thapar (ed.), pp. 21–49. New Delhi, National Book Trust. ^ India as Known to Panini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1963, p 427 ^ Vasudeva
Vasudeva
Sharana Agrawala - India; India in the Time of Patañjali, 1968, p 68 Dr B. N. Puri - India; ^ Socio-economic and Political History of Eastern India, 1977, p 9, Y. K Mishra - Bihar
Bihar
(India) ^ Tribes of Ancient India, 1977, p 18 Mamata Choudhury - Ethnology ^ Tribal Coins of Ancient India, 2007, p xxiv Devendra Handa - Coins, Indic - 2007 ^ The Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, 1972, p 221 Numismatic Society of India - Numismatics ^ A History of Pāli
Pāli
Literature, 2000 Edition, p 648 B. C. Law ^ Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, pp 230-253, Dr B. C. Law. ^ Anguttara Nikaya: Vol I, p 213, Vol IV, pp 252, 256, 260 etc. ^ Digha Nikaya, Vol II, p 200. ^ Chulla-Niddesa (P.T.S.), p 37. ^ Lord Mahāvīra and his times, 1974, p 197, Dr Kailash Chand Jain; The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1968, p lxv, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bhāratīya Itihāsa Samiti; Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 7, K. D. Sethna. ^ Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 86; History & Culture of Indian People, Age of Imperial Unity, p 15-16 ^ Digha Nikaya ^ Dr Bhandarkaar ^ Raychaudhuri, Hem Chandra (1923), Political history of ancient India, from the accession of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta dynasty, p. 66  ^ Raychaudhuri, Hem Chandra (1923), Political history of ancient India, from the accession of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta dynasty, p. 66  ^ Chakrabarti, Dilip Kumar (2000), " Mahajanapada
Mahajanapada
States of Early Historic India", in Hansen, Mogens Herman, A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state Cultures: An Investigation, p. 387  ^ Jataka
Jataka
No 406. ^ Revue des etudes grecques 1973, p 131, Ch-Em Ruelle, Association pour l'encouragement des etudes grecques en France. ^ Early Indian Economic History, 1973, pp 237, 324, Rajaram Narayan Saletore. ^ Myths of the Dog-man, 199, p 119, David Gordon White; Journal of the Oriental Institute, 1919, p 200; Journal of Indian Museums, 1973, p 2, Museums Association of India; The Pāradas: A Study in Their Coinage and History, 1972, p 52, Dr B. N. Mukherjee
B. N. Mukherjee
- Pāradas; Journal of the Department of Sanskrit, 1989, p 50, Rabindra Bharati University, Dept. of Sanskrit- Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature; The Journal of Academy of Indian Numismatics & Sigillography, 1988, p 58, Academy of Indian Numismatics and Sigillography - Numismatics; Cf: Rivers of Life: Or Sources and Streams of the Faiths of Man in All Lands, 2002, p 114, J. G. R. Forlong. ^ Journal of the Oriental Institute, 1919, p 265, Oriental Institute (Vadodara, India) - Oriental studies; For Kuru-Kamboja connections, see Dr Chandra Chakraberty's views in: Literary history of ancient India in relation to its racial and linguistic affiliations, pp 14,37, Vedas; The Racial History of India, 1944, p 153, Chandra Chakraberty - Ethnology; Paradise of Gods, 1966, p 330, Qamarud Din Ahmed - Pakistan. ^ Ancient India, History of India
History of India
for 1000 years, four Volumes, Vol I, 1938, pp 38, 98 by Dr T. L. Shah. ^ James Fergusson observes: "In a wider sense, name Gandhara
Gandhara
implied all the countries west of Indus as far as Candhahar"(The Tree and Serpent Worship, 2004, p 47, James Fergusson). ^ Encyclopedia Americana, 1994, p 277, Encyclopedias and Dictionaries. ^ Ptolemy's Geography mentions Tambyzoi located in eastern Bactria ( Ancient India
Ancient India
as Described by Ptolemy: Being a Translation of the Chapters ... 1885, p. 268, John Watson McCrindle - Geography, Ancient; Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, History - 2000, p. 99, (editors) Richard J. A. Talbert) and Ambautai people located to south of Hindukush
Hindukush
Mountains (Geography 6.18.3; See map in McCrindle, p. 8). Dr S. Levi has identified Tambyzoi with Kamboja (Indian Antiquary, 1923, p. 54; Pre Aryan
Aryan
and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993, p. 122, Dr Sylvain Lévi, Dr Jean Przyluski, Jules Bloch, Asian Educational Services) while land of Ambautai has also been identified by Dr Michael Witzel (Harvard University) with Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Kamboja Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, Vol. 5, 1999, issue 1 (September), Dr. M. Witzel; Indo- Aryan
Aryan
Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History, 2005, p 257, Laurie L. Patton, Edwin Bryant; The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, 1995, p. 326, George Erdosy. ^ MBH VII.4.5; II.27.23. ^ See: Problems of Ancient India, 2000, pp. 5-6; cf: Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, p. 168. ^ MBH II.27.27. ^ Vedic Index I, p. 138, Macdonnel, Dr Keith. ^ Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p. 107, Dr Ram Chandra Jain. ^ The Journal of Asian Studies; 1956, p. 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.). ^ Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt; 1989, p. 2, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī. ^ India as Known to Panini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī; 1953, p. 49, Dr Vasudeva
Vasudeva
Sharana Agrawala. ^ Afghanistan, p. 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet. ^ Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, pp. 80, 311 etc. ^ Iran, 1956, p. 53, Herbert Harold Vreeland, Clifford R. Barnett. ^ Geogrammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
(Vedic): 700 Complete Revisions of the Best Books..., 1953, p. 49, Dr Peggy Melcher, Dr A. A. McDonnel, Dr Surya Kanta, Dr Jacob Wackernagel, Dr V. S. Agarwala. ^ Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p. 33, Dr Moti Chandra - India. ^ A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
(Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the ..., 1953, p. 49, Dr Vasudeva
Vasudeva
Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher - India. ^ MBH 7/91/39. ^ Arthashastra
Arthashastra
11/1/4. ^ Ashtadhyayi
Ashtadhyayi
IV.1.168-175. ^ Hindu Polity: A Constitutional History of India
History of India
in Hindu Times, Parts I and II., 1955, p 52, Dr Kashi Prasad Jayaswal - Constitutional history; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja - Kamboja (Pakistan). ^ Panda, Harihar (2007), Prof. H.C. Raychaudhuri, as a Historian, Northern Book Centre, p. 28, ISBN 81-7211-210-6  ^ II. p 481 ^ Kalpa Sutra; Nirayavali Sutra ^ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=efaOR_-YsIcC&pg=PA15&dq=vajji+mithila&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3lua2-ZbQAhUnJ8AKHdbYBJIQ6AEIIDAB ^ Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.85-6 ^ Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, p.107 ^ Rohan L. Jayetilleke (5 December 2007). "The Ghositarama of Kaushambi". Daily News. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2008.  ^ Rapson, E. J. (1914). Ancient India, from the earliest times to the first century, A.D. (pp.50-51).

Further reading[edit]

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
Ancient India
in a new light. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Sethna, K. D. (2000). Problems of ancient India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

v t e

Mahajanapadas

Great Indian Kingdoms (c. 600 BCE–c. 300 BCE)

Anga Assaka
Assaka
(Asmaka) Avanti Chedi Gandhara Kashi Kamboja Kosala Kuru Magadha Malla (Mallarashtra) Machcha
Machcha
(Matsya) Panchala Surasena V

.