The Info List - Nanda Empire

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The Nanda dynasty originated from the region of Magadha
in ancient India
during the 4th century BCE and lasted between 345–321 BCE. At its greatest extent, the empire ruled by the Nanda Dynasty
Nanda Dynasty
extended from Bengal
in the east, to the Punjab region
Punjab region
in the west and as far south as the Vindhya Range.[2] The rulers of this dynasty were famed for the great wealth which they accumulated. The Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
was later conquered by Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Mauryan Empire.


1 Establishment of the dynasty 2 Military 3 Wealth 4 List of Nanda rulers 5 Courtiers 6 In literature 7 References

7.1 Notes 7.2 Citations 7.3 Sources

Establishment of the dynasty[edit] Mahapadma Nanda, who has been described in the Puranas
as "the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas",[3] defeated many other kingdoms, including the Panchalas, Kasis, Haihayas, Kalingas,[a] Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas and the Vitihotras; to name a few.[6] He expanded his territory south of the Vindhya Range
Vindhya Range
into the Deccan Plateau. The Nandas, who usurped the throne of the Shishunaga dynasty
Shishunaga dynasty
c. 345 BCE,[7] were thought to be of low origin.[8] He was the son of Mahanandin, and a Shudra
mother.[9][3] Military[edit] The Nanda kings built on the foundations laid by their Haryanka and Shishunaga predecessors to create the first great empire of north India.[1] To achieve this objective they built a vast army, consisting of 200,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 2,000 war chariots and 3,000 war elephants (at the lowest estimates).[10][11][12] According to the Greek historian Plutarch, the size of the Nanda army was even larger, numbering 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8,000 war chariots, and 6,000 war elephants.[11][13] However, the Nandas never had the opportunity to see their army face Alexander, who invaded North-western India
at the time of Dhana Nanda, since Alexander was forced to confine his campaign to the plains of Punjab
and Sindh, for his forces mutinied at the river Beas and refused to go any further upon encountering "the 4000 well trained and well equipped war elephants of the Gangaridei (Nanda)" according to Diodorus.[11][14] A possible indication of Nanda military victories in Kalinga is suggested by the later Hathigumpha inscription
Hathigumpha inscription
of Kharavela, which mentions a King named Nanda building a canal and conquering a place. The existence of a place called Nau Nand Dehra (Nanded) on the Godavari is taken by some scholars as reflecting Nanda rule over the Deccan. The evidence for the extension of Nanda rule into trans-Vindhyan India
is not, however, strong.[1] Wealth[edit] The Nandas were also renowned for their immense wealth. They undertook irrigation projects and invented standardized measures for trade across their empire, and they ruled with the assistance of many ministers.[a] The Nanda Dynasty
Nanda Dynasty
was also mentioned in the ancient Sangam literature
Sangam literature
of the Tamil people. The famous Tamil poet Mamulanar described the capital city Pataliputra
of the Nanda Dynasty
Nanda Dynasty
and the wealth and treasure that was accumulated by the great Nanda rulers.[15] Their unpopularity, possibly due to their "financial extortion", facilitated a revolution, leading to their overthrow by Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and Chanakya. Nevertheless, "the greatness [...] attained in the Maurya Age would hardly have been possible but for the achievements of their predecessors", the Nandas.[a] List of Nanda rulers[edit] Jaina, Buddhist and Puranic sources all state that the Nanda kings were nine in all. But they differ in the details. The Buddhist Mahabodhivamsa
lists the following as the nine Nandas:[1]

Ugrasena (Mahapadma Nanda) Panduka Pandugati Bhutapala Rashtrapala Govishanaka Dashasiddhaka Kaivarta Dhana (Agrammes / Xandrames)

The Puranas
claim that the first of the nine, Mahapadma was the father, while the rest were his sons. Only one of the sons, Sukalpa, is named. The Buddhist tradition also claims that the later eight were brothers.[1] Courtiers[edit] Jain and Hindu writers refer to a distinguished line of imperial chancellors or advisors of the king from Kalpaka to Sakatala and Rakshasa. The advisors of the king were fewer in number but were most respected on account of their high character and wisdom. They are mentioned by the Greek observers who wrote about conditions in the fourth century BCE. Next to the advisors were the 'generals of the army'; one such, Bhadrasala, is mentioned in the Milinda-Panho.[16] In literature[edit] A passage of the Kathasaritsagara
refers to the kataka (camp) of Nanda in Ayodhya.[6] According to the Visarasreni of Merutunga, the Nandas rose to power in 467 BC.[17] References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c Kalinga (India) formed part of the Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
but subsequently broke free until it was re-conquered by Ashoka Maurya, c. 260 BCE.[4][5]


^ a b c d e Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2016, p. 273. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 28–33. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, p. 8. ^ Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, pp. 204-209. ^ Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, pp. 270-271. ^ a b Sastri 1988, p. 17. ^ Panda 2007, p. 28. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 7. ^ Smith 1999, p. 39. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 34. ^ a b c Sastri 1988, p. 16. ^ Gabriel, Richard A. (30 November 2002), The great armies of antiquity (1.udg. ed.), Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Praeger, p. 218, ISBN 9780275978099  ^ Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, pp. 204-210. ^ Kaushik, Roy (2015), Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia "Warfare, Society and Culture", Routledge, p. 14, ISBN 1317321286  ^ The First Spring: The Golden Age of India
by Abraham Eraly p.62 ^ Sastri 1988, p. 15. ^ Kailash Chand Jain 1991, p. 85.


Jain, Kailash Chand (1991), Lord Mahāvīra and His Times, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0805-8  Mookerji, Radha Kumud (1988) [first published in 1966], Chandragupta Maurya and his times (4th ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0433-3  Panda, Harihar (2007), Prof. H.C. Raychaudhuri, as a Historian, Northern Book Centre, ISBN 81-7211-210-6  Raychaudhuri, H. C.; Mukherjee, B. N. (1996), Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of the Gupta Dynasty, Oxford University Press  Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta, ed. (1988) [1967], Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Second ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0465-1  Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6  Smith, Vincent A. (1999), The Early History of India
(third ed.), Atlantic Publishers and distributors, ISBN 978-81-7156-618-1 

Preceded by Shishunaga dynasty Nanda Dynasty (345 BCE–321 BCE) Succeeded by Maurya Empire

v t e

Middle kingdoms of India

Timeline and cultural period

Northwestern India (Punjab-Sapta Sindhu)

Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India Southern India

Upper Gangetic Plain (Kuru-Panchala)

Middle Gangetic Plain Lower Gangetic Plain


Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period (Brahmin ideology)[a] Painted Grey Ware culture

Late Vedic Period (Kshatriya/Shramanic culture)[b] Northern Black Polished Ware


 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha


Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation" Rise of Shramana
movements Jainism
- Buddhism
- Ājīvika
- Yoga


 5th century BC (Persian rule)

Shishunaga dynasty


 4th century BC (Greek conquests) Nanda empire


Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period (300 BC – 200 AD)

 3rd century BC Maurya Empire Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

Culture Preclassical Hinduism[c] - "Hindu Synthesis"[d] (ca. 200 BC - 300 AD)[e][f] Epics - Puranas
- Ramayana
- Mahabharata
- Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
- Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition Mahayana Buddhism Sangam period (continued) (300 BC – 200 AD)

 2nd century BC Indo-Greek Kingdom Shunga Empire Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty

Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

 1st century BC

 1st century AD

Indo-Scythians Indo-Parthians

Kuninda Kingdom

 2nd century Kushan Empire

 3rd century Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom Kushan Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa
kingdom Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture "Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. AD 320-650)[g] Puranas Co-existence of Hinduism
and Buddhism

 4th century Kidarites Gupta Empire Varman dynasty

Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Kadamba Dynasty Western Ganga Dynasty

 5th century Hephthalite Empire Alchon Huns Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Vishnukundina

 6th century Nezak Huns Kabul Shahi


(tribes) Badami Chalukyas Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism
(ca. AD 650-1100)[h] Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
- Tantra Decline of Buddhism
in India

 7th century Indo-Sassanids

Vakataka dynasty Empire of Harsha Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi
(tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Pandyan Kingdom(Revival) Pallava

 8th century Kabul Shahi

Pala Empire Pandyan Kingdom Kalachuri

 9th century


Rashtrakuta dynasty Pandyan Kingdom Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Ghaznavids

Pala dynasty Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Kalyani Chalukyas Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai Rashtrakuta

References and sources for table


^ Samuel ^ Samuel ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Micheals (2004) p.40 ^ Michaels (2004) p.41


Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press  Hiltebeitel, Alf (2002), Hinduism. In: Joseph Kitagawa, "The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture", Routledge  Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge Univ