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The SHISHUNAGA Dynasty ( 413-345 BC ) ruled MAGADHA by succeeding NAGADASHAKA ,the last Ruler of Haryanka Dynasty . The founder of this Dynasty SHISHUNAGA (a former Amatya (Minister) of NAGADASHAKA) was succeeded by KALSHOKA in 395 BC who ruled till 367 BC . The next successors of this Dynasty were NANDIVARDHANA ( 367-355 BC ) and MAHANANDIN ( 355- 345 BC ) respectively . The capital of this Dynasty was first at Rajagriha , then at Vaishali and then again at Pataliputra . The SHISHUNAGA Dynasty was succeeded by the NANDA Dynasty . As per the Buddhist scripture MAHAVAMSA the NANDA Dynasty ruled from 345 BC to 322 BC . The Greco-Roman and Jain sources holds that the ancestor of the NANDA was a barbar at the court of the MAHANANDIN , the last SHISHUNAGA King who became Paramour of the Queen and later took over the Kingdom of MAGADHA by killing the king and his successors . MAHAPADMANANDA and DHANANANDA were two important Kings of this Dynasty who later was succeeded by CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA , the founder of the MAURYA Dynasty ( 322- 185 BC ) in MAGADHA . CHANDRAGUPTA had raised a huge army with the help of CHANAKYA who defeated DHANANANDA and took over the Kingdom of MAGADHA in 322 BC . His capital was Pataliputra . He expanded his empire westward till Gandhara ( Present day areas of Afghanistan ) and defeated SELEUCUS -1 , the founder of SELEUCID EMPIRE beyond the Indus . CHANDRAGUPTA Empire was expanded from the present day Bengal to Afghanistan in the North to the almost Central and South India . He abdicated his throne to become a Jain Monk and went to Shravanvengola in the south where he later died . He was succeeded by BINDUSARA ( 297-273 BC ) . He consolidated his Empire founded by his father . He reigned for 25 years and handed over the empire ( all together intact ) to his son ASHOKA PRIYADARSHIN who reigned for 41 years from 273 to 232 BC . Some sources said that he had usurped the throne of MAGADHA by killing 99 of his step brothers . However , ASHOKA , was a great MAGADHAN Ruler . KALINGA war of 260 BC was a turning point in his life . He conquered KALINGA which resulted in death of more than 100,000 people and more than 150,000 deportation of people only for his desire to conquest the Kingdom . This was the turning point in his life and he from CHANDALA ASHOKA became PRIYADARSHIN ASHOKA . Now he became Buddhist . He sent his son Prince Mahendra and his daughter Shanghmitra on a Mission to Ceylon to spread DHAMMA/Buddhism there . He also sent many Monks to the Central Asia for propagating DHAMMA/ Buddhism. He erected many ASHOKA PILLARS and ROCK EDICTS , for which he is famous for . Except DASHARATHA , his grandson who , anyhow , governed his home province with some ability , but the last Ruler of the MAURYA Dynasty BRIHADRARTHA was assassinate by his General PUSHYAMITRA SUNGA who seized the throne of MAGADHA and established the SUNGA Dynasty in 185- 186 BC .

The Golden Period of Indian History start with the GUPTA Dynasty . SRIGUPTA was the founder of this Dynasty . It was established in 419 AD and ended in 467 AD . The territory of this Dynasty covered almost the entire Indian Subcontinent . It’s capital was Pataliputra . The famous rulers of this Dynasty were : CHANDRAGUPTA-1 , SAMUDRAGUPTA and CHANDRAGUPTA-2 @ CHANDRAGUPTA VIKRAMADITYA , SKANDGUPTA & KUMAR GUPTA etc . A Sanskrit poet , KALIDASA , has discussed how the GUPTAS conquered 21 Kingdom of India and outside it including the Kingdom of Parasika , Hunas and Kambojas and , of course, tribals residing in the west and east of the Oxus Valley like Kiratas & Kinnaras . The importance of the GUPTA period lies in its cultural development . The period produced scholars like KALIDASA , ARYABHATA , VARAHMIHIRA and VATSYAYANA . It gave rise to architectures , sculptures , painters . Development in science and technology reached its zenith . Economic prosperity was unparallel so far as the GUPTA period is concerned . That’s why it would not be wrong to consider this period as Golden Period of the Ancient Indian History . Prosperity in trade and commerce made Magadh/Bihar an important centre of trade & culture which could have influenced not only nearby Kingdoms but as far as counties of South-Asia as such . The most of PURANAS were written during this period . RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATAS were canonized during this period and their importance in society reached many fold high . However , it would be wrong to tell that other religions than the Hindu could not be given scope to rise at all . As a matter of Fact tolerance towards other religions of the period like , Buddhism and Jainism , was maximum . In modern word it could be said that the state was secular to a considerable extent as such . The best example of this was the creation of DHARMACHAKRA PARIVARTAN OF SARNARH which was built in the fifth century AD . Again SANCHI as usual remained a centre of BUDDHISM . The ancient MONESTRY OF NALANDA ( ALSO CALLED NALANDA UNIVERSITY ) was built during the period of KUMAR GUPTA . Influenced by VASUBANDHU , a King of the GUPTA Dynasty NARSIMHAGUPTA BALADITYA , accepted MAHAYANA sect of BUDDHISM willingly . Many causes are associated with the decline of the GUPTA Dynasty : shrinking territory , feud in feudaltories , invasion of Hunas …… etc



Published by ARBIND KUMAR



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