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PREFACE India is a caste ridden society. In the formation of any kingdom, the kshatriyas and the Brahmins have dominated the caste hierarchy. But when I heard from Mr.B.Gopal, former President, BSP, Karnataka, that the Nandas who were great emperors (chakravatis) were shudras,that too they were Barbers, since I belong to Shudra community, I was rather curious. I began to reflect how could a very minor professional caste of barbers whose profession is hair cutting and shaving could produce such great rulers in the Indian subcontinent who laid the foundation for the shudra rule for the first time? That made me to go in search of the material. I went on referring number of books and I could collect some information. I tried my level best to collect more but I could not. Probably the early Brahminical writers were prejudiced against the shudras that too since the Nandas were barbers by profession. They did not want to highlight them. They called the Nanda rulers as "Adharmika" (irreligious). We do not get the historical evidence of all the Nine Nanda rulers. However we get information about Maha-padma Nanda who laid the foundation for the Nanda dynasty and about Dhana Nanda, the last Nanda ruler who was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. Apart from these two we do not get any information about the remaining seven Nanda rulers. Probably the historical evidences might have been destroyed by the Brahmin writers who were known for such things. In this book I have focused on Mahapadma Nanda. Since he was branded as a Shudra and the

Brahmins called him an "Adharmika" , he took revengeful attitude. He destroyed all the kshatriya dynasties of his time and proved himself more capable than the kshartiya rulers. He kept Brahmins out of his rule and did not care to take them as his advisors. Instead, he kept the Jains. His military genius was so great, even the Brahminical writers wrote in the puranas, that there existed only Brahmins and the Shudras. The Brahmin Parashurama decimated all most all the Kshatriyas; those remained it is said were destroyed by Mahapadma Nanda. It shows that Shudra rulers can be greater and mightier than the Kshatriyas who were traditionally supposed to be fit to rule the country. Even Chandra Gupta Maurya who defeated the last Nanda ruler Dhana Nanda also comes from Nanda lineage, since he was the son of 'Mura' who was a concubine to one of the Nanda Kings. The Nandas were great administrators. The Nandas brought the smaller principalities under one rule with the help of their mighty army (Ekarat) and the country was unified as never before. This helped Chandra Gupta Maurya to establish his rule more effectively. The Nandas were the first people to introduce canal system of irrigation. Scientific forms of weights and measures were introduced. Though the Nandas ruled India only for a short duration of 100 years it was very effective and significant. The services barbers carry out are multifarious. The barbers were the first surgeons in our country. They give important service to society as barbers. They cut the hair and do shaving. We would have been barbarians in the absence of barbers who gave us agreeable look. The barber women have served as midwives and they are considered much more competent than modern nurses and doctors in

midwifery. In addition to these services they play music on important festivities and marriages. They did the role of match makers during earlier times. In spite of these services the barbers were relegated to a low position in Hindu social hierarchy. Even today in many parts of rural India they are stigmatized, despised, and treated worse than dalits. Time of expending in the pro-capitalist cosmopalitan culture the space for caste-based professions is sinking especially in cities and towns. Modern laundries, tailoring, garment outfits and beauty parlours are some of the striking examples of this change. Yet the feaudalist mindset stigmatizing the barber caste is at work not only in rural parts but even in the media. The question naturally arises: should the barbers continue to remain in the Hindu fold. Is this the reward that they get for having given service to Hindu society. I feel that if the barbers decide to convert enmass to Islam or to Christianity, the caste stigma would vanish. They can gain social equality and become more progressive by embracing any other religion be it Indian or foreign. I am grateful to Prof. Gangadharamurthy B, former Head, Department of English, National College, Gauribidanur for having gone through the script with patience and for giving valuable suggestions. I am also indebted to Dr. Vasu M V, Associate Professor, Department of Post-graduate Studies in History, Bangalore University for writing a foreword to this monograph. I sincerely acknowledge the encouragement Mr. B.Gopal gave me in writing this book. T.M. Dhanaraju

FOREWORD Mr. Dhanaraj in his work 'The Nandas' has raised a few interesting questions. His curiosity is to trace the origins of the Nandas who ruled this land before the Mauryas. Probably the land that they ruled was as vast as the area ruled by Chandragupta Maurya himself. The author has mainly relied on secondary sources and a few primary sources, such as Arthashastra and puranas. The book has three major parts. i.e, the community history, the lineage of Nandas, and their administration. Introduction carries the hypotheses wherein he has brought out the historical importance of barber community. He has tried to trace the history of barbers right from Indus civilization and tried to prove that how barbers could have been the first doctors as well. Subject calls attention when he says that Buddha was interested in bringing in cleanliness to Buddhist Sangha by introducing shaven face to monks. The women of barber community playthe role of midwives. The hindu society is unjust in candemning the profession of barbers who serve the society with humility. His attempt of tracing the birth of the Nandas from barber community in a way is an answer for stigma attached to the community. In order to prove his argument he has made use of certain clues and evidences found in puranas. One needs to go through wide range of original sources to prove such arguments. My interest here is not to prove or disprove the birth of Nandas to a barber family. But certainly this

book makes us to think why it is important to dig in to the caste, religion, or linguistic background of a ruler. Why every now and then we keep getting into such arguments? Many a times it ends up in getting into social tensions. We have series of examples in Karnataka entering in to such debates. It is always a subject of contention to talk about the origin of Vijayanagar rulers, the Kadambas or the Chalukyas. It is a major thing of debate for scholars to prove the caste of kanakadasa. Normally it has spilled the boundries of academics and gone to the courts or publics or the politicians. Every community is trying to claim one or the other historical figure as belonging to their community. It could never be ignored because it has been raised by people outside the universities not by scholars engaged in academic exercise. In the recent past Banjagere Jaiprakash, a scholar and an activist came out with an argument that Basavanna belonged to Madiga community. It was so far mentioned in the books and accepted by people that he hailed from Brahmin family. On the basis of oral evidences as well as interpreting Vachanas themselves Banjagere placed his argument on Madiga origin of Basavanna. Since it was unpalatable for the veerashaivas there was hue and cry. The issue ended up in using the state power to hush up the debate. So, it is clearly evident in contemporary Indian society that the communities which had no voice and visibility to go for caste identities. There is a long history behind such identity questions. Each and every small community as and when gets economic and social strength comes out with a rightful demand for their identities. For quite long it was the upper castes and dominant castes who had their say in the society.

They also had their voice in academies. Dalit movement could bring in a momentum to the stagnant society, not only to go against caste exploitations but also to go in search of cultural roots. These roots were identified through the ruling dynasties, poets, saints and so on. They find solace in identifying historical personalities and look at them as cultural heroes. Many of our oral epics have helped these communities to look for a cultural hero. Kuruba community of Karnataka looks at kanakadasa as their cultural icon. Most of the Vachanacaras have been adored by specific castes to which they belong. I look at the work on Nandas by Dhanraj is another voice which is looking for a community to have pride in identifying a ruling dynasty as of its own. It is the sign of backward class identity question. In order to make it more authentic it demands further research making use of exhaustive number of primary sources. It is also a time for us to understand the polemics of caste. 'Barber' is a profession based caste, neither a tribe nor a linguistic group. Because of their skill based occupation and their proficiency it has to be studied in order to enter into the so called 'epistemology'. An in-depth study of the community as well as the profession is required in order to bring them out of the social stigma they are suffering for centuries. Dr. VASU M.V Associate professor Dept of History, Jnanabharati Bangalore University, Bangalore


INTRODUCTION "Among men barber is the cleverest and the trickiest guy" - Chanakya [321 BC]

The barbers are our first doctors. They wielded razors to cut hair and to perform surgeries in the pre-modern period. The word barber comes from the Latin word barba meaning beard. As the word shaving spread, men of unshaven societies came to be known as 'barbarians' meaning 'unbarbered'. The food that we eat and the way we maintain our body are the most fundamental aspects of health. Given that India largely has tropical climate, everyday-bathing is necessary to maintain basic hygiene and for well groomed appearance. Besides the importance given to human bodygrowth, importance has also been given to hair and nails and they need regular cutting in orderly fashion. This is equally important for our health. Among the medical sciences, the cutting of hair occupies a significant place in history. Cutting the hair that grows on our head and other parts of body needs skills and tools of precision: sharp blades and scissors. In various societies the barbers also developed as the world's first doctors and surgeons. During the Stone Age, the Neanderthals started pulling out hair from their own bodies. In coastal areas, sea shells were used as Tweezers: pumice stones for softening the skin. Flint blades came to be used

as for back as 3000 years before the Common Era. These were indeed crude and primitive methods. It was the barbers who developed scientific process of shaving hair. Bronze, copper & iron razors evolved after the crude devices like pumice stones and shells. The foldable, cutthroat razors are used even today by barbers in villages. For hundreds of years razors were designed like knife. These were sharpened by the barber with the aid of honing stone or leather strop that was made by the leather workers. The use of these instruments required considerable skill and concentration. Over the centuries the art and science of barbering evolved in a manifold way. The Indian sub-continent has a long history of methodical hair cutting. Some historians believe that the Egyptians of the fifth century BC were the first people to shave. However, the custom seems to have developed much earlier in India. The limestone sculpture of 'Bearded man' in the Indus Valley period (3000 to 1700 BC) depicts a man with well-trimmed beard. This indicates that the craft of using sharp instruments to cut hair must have existed quite long back. While the Egyptians were using depilatory creams and rubbed their hairs off with pumice stones, by the seventh century BC, the Jains in India had begun to sport clean shaven head & face using instruments of precision. It is believed that some Jains even plucked each strand of hair. Subsequently, Gautama Buddha (sixth century BC) and his Order of Monks, the Sangha, advocated a clean shavenlook. One of the principal disciples of Buddha Upali was a barber by profession and caste. This indicates that the barbers had carved out a distinctive occupational identity for them. Upali in fact met Buddha giving him a shave. Around the same period holy men and mendicants in India sported long matted hair full of lice and knots. These people

considered barbers to be unclean and of 'lower' caste, and hence did not wish to be touched by them. Gautama Buddha was critical of such 'holy' men and adopted the clean shaving of face as mark of cleanliness and health. Therefore all the monks in the Buddhist Sangha had clean-shaven face and sometimes shaven head. Though Buddha is depicted in traditional sculptures and paintings with a knot of hair on his head known as usnisha, he always sported a cleanshaven face. The barbers of India perfected the practice of hair cutting and shaving facial hair much before the time of Upali. Buddha, in turn, learnt how to shave and to perform this task from Upali and the barber became an important member of the Buddhist spiritual congregation. In fact Upali was incharge of discipline and orderliness in the Sangha. The importance of barbers was thus spaciously recognized by Buddhism. THE FIRST SURGEONS Barbers were also the earliest medical practitioners and surgeons in India. Before the Modern Era, no caste group other than that of the barbers touched people who were suffering from diseases. Barbers performed several minor surgeries till modern medical science emerged. They fended battlefield injuries because of their expertise in handling razors. Surgery, in fact, is originally likned to barbering. The presence of hair on the part of the body where the surgery had to be performed could cause infection. The removal of hair was therefore mandatory before surgery. This practice continues even to this day. The barbers therefore can be called the earliest social doctors of India. In Tamil Nadu, even today the barber is known as maruthuvar, meaning a doctor. In many parts of the country barbers also oversee rituals and ceremonies of marriage

and death. Despite performing a range of important services, the barbers in India have been looked down upon by others. They have suffered social and spiritual indignity. Such a treatment of a very skilled people is the result of a negative mindset. For a long time, only men could have their hair cut. Women were expected to maintain long tresses. Among the castes placed higher in the hierarchy widows were forced to shave their heads clean as hair was considered a sign of vanity. Men dressed their hair short in order to look good and also for convenience, because maintaining long hair consumes a lot of time and energy. Such a choice was not granted to women. Women were not allowed to practice as barbers. In the modern world women have understood the importance of trimming their hair. Many women today opt for regular hair cut. In fact, several women have also entered barbering profession in a major way. The saloons and beauty parlors in towns and cities bear testimony to this. THE ORIGINAL NURSES Women of barber community have played the role of midwives in villages. They are known as "dais" in north India, and are traditional equivalents of trained nurses. They help women in child birth performing the task of an obstetrician. Even today more than 50% of parturient tasks in India are carried out by these highly skilled rural professionals. In several regions dalit women, such as the chamar community in central Uttar Pradesh, also performs parturiency. The dais also help pregnant and lactating mothers to keep their bodies fit by massaging them. Many doctors today acknowledge the nursing and paramedical skills of women of the barber community, especially in the maternity care. Barber women have been able to turn breech babies

(presented leg-first during the child birth) in the womb and help women have normal delivery. They take away the pain by sharing it, through shared breathing exercises, by the singing of songs, humming and chanting. They physically support birth-giving mothers. They also offer suggestions about the posture during delivery and help deliver babies safely. Why then did the barbers remain poor, illiterate and a backward community? According to some religious scriptures, barbers are hair-cutters and they should be treated as unworthy people. Since the barbers also dealt with deceased human bodies while performing surgeries they were considered 'polluted' people. Such ideas resulted in the community's social suffering and spiritual stigma. SKILLED DAIS Dais follow an interesting practice to detect the approach of child birth. According to dais in Bihar and Tamil Nadu, oil is poured on the navel of the mother and they would observe its flow. If the oil flows down without staying in place, it means that child birth is fast approaching. The delivery position followed by dais is radically different from the lithotomic position (lying down with feet up in stirrups) preferred in modern hospitals. The preferred posture is the kneeling position which makes it easy for the mother to strain and bear down. The dais say that lithotomy brings the foetus up in to the chest region of the mother and makes it difficult for the mother to bear down when contractions begin. In fact lithotomic posture is designed more for the convenience of the attending doctor than that of the mother. When the mother is exhausted, the mother is made to hold her thighs while her head and back are lifted up and supported. Again the main consideration is to make straining and bearing down easy and efficient.

STATUS OF DOCTORS IN ANCIENT INDIA What was the status of doctors in our early history? In the legal literature of the Dharmashatras which took shape during the sixth and fifth centuries BC the doctors were declared as impure. Their very presence was said to pollute a place; food received or given to them was considered impure and they were not invited for sacrificial ceremonies. In social status they were considered equal to hunters and the followers of other 'despicable professions'. These views were recorded in Apasthamba Dharmashastra (1.6.19), Gautama Dharmashastra (XVIII.7) and Vashistha Dharmashastra (XIV.110.19). Because the healers were denied respectability, it was ordained that medical practice should be restricted to the ambastha caste as stated in Manusmruti (X;46-47). Persons of noble birth were forbidden from learning medicine. In Kautilya's Arthashastra (written about 300 BC), there is a chapter on salaries to be paid by the Mauryan Emperor to his employees. The highest salary of 64000 panams was to be paid to the Queen Mother, (mother of the crowned king), Chief Minister, Commanderin-Chief of the Army, and the Emperor's priest. The next salary slab was halved to 32000 panams for the notable functionaries of the government. In this descending scale, the physician, along with water carrier and the horse groom were placed in the salary slab of just 4 panams. Thus formidable difficulties were created for the progress of medical science. In our society, barber is professional matchmaker. He has to be clever because his task is tricky. He must act as go-between and bring families together to help strike a marital deal. In India barbers are known by various caste names in different regions. In Telugu speaking areas, they are known

as Mangali; in Tamil Nadu as Nasuvan and Navithan. In most of Hindi speaking regions they are known as Naiyee (Nai), Vostad and also as Hajjam. Barbers are also associated with music. They are known to play Nadaswaram and Shehnai. There are famous musicians and artists throughout the country from the barber community. It is said that barbers were also used as the earliest hired killers (supari) since they only had the opportunity to go near a person to give shave without giving room for suspicion. It is surprising to note that the barbers who were unjustly stigmatized for their exceptional service to the community ruled this country for more than one hundred years. In fact they laid the foundation for the Shudra rule in the country and were beyond doubt the first Shudras rulers. WHO ARE THE NANDAS? The Nandas were basically Shudras by birth. They were barbers by profession and were the first Shudra rulers who brought credibility to the Shudra castes in the whole of India in ancient times. By destroying almost all the Kshatriya castes, they laid the foundation for the Shudra rule. From the times immemorial the Shudras were subjugated by the caste system in India. The Kshatriyas, the second highest caste in the Varna Order, were regarded as fit people to rule the country in caste hierarchy and the Shudras unfit for the task. But the Nandas proved that they were capable of ruling the country as did the Kshatriyas and in fact better than them. The founder of the Nanda Dynasty, Mahapadma Nanda was a military genius and an able ruler. The Puranas regard him as "Second Parashurama" and as the "Sole ruler of the Earth". His organizing skill and fighting the wars were marvelous. Though humble in origin as a barber who could hardly meet his daily needs he went on conquering vast portions of north India. He built a very big army, brought

smaller principalities under one rule (Ekrat) and became the first Emperor (Chakarvarti) of India. So were his sons who ruled India for more than one hundred years. The Nandas became a symbol of pride for the Shudra rule and instilled self-confidence among the low castes that they were also capable of ruling like the Kshatriya rulers. The rise of the Nandas was a new epoch in the History of India. The Brahmins who knew the peerless military capabilities of Mahapadma Nanda propagated a theory that the Brahmin Parashurama killed all the Kshatriyas and those left out, if any, were exterminated by the Shudra King Mahapadma Nanda, so that there after there were no Kshatriyas left and that there were only Brahmins and the Shudras. The early Puranas, compiled in the fourth century AD probably from earlier popular verified list of dynastic rulers (as suggested by P.E.Pargiter) place Nanda Dynasty as immediately preceding the Mauryas. THE ORIGIN OF THE NANDAS As to the origin of the Nandas, we have no definite information. But the name is probably of tribal origin, and it may be connected with the Nandas who lived near the river 'Rama Ganga' between the Ganges and the Kosi in Himalayan fringe which was occupied by innumerable clans governed by tribal constitutions which may be described as 'Aristocratic Oligarchies'. Like the Rajputs they were the conquerors ruling in the midst of subject peoples, and as suggested by Dr. Vincent Smith many of these clans might have been of Chinese-Tibetan origin. It is possible to believe that the Sisunagas and the Nandas were the descendants of mountain chieftains who had won the kingdom of Magadha in conquest. There is no uniform opinion with regards the origin of the Nandas and historians have drawn conclusions

depending upon the evidence available from different sources. Sir G. Grierson, a noted historian informs that the Nandas were bitter enemies of the Brahmanas and their reign was therefore excluded from chronological computation by the poet Chand in twelfth century AD who used the A-NANDA (without Nanda) from the Vikrama Era, less by ninety on ninety-one than ordinary recording. The word Nanda seems to be used as equal to nine (100- 9 = 91). There is another theory that the term Nanda or Nandin owes its origin to the famous 'Nandi bull' of Lord Shiva and its use for the names of the individuals was common during the period under review. However the caste or dynasty title 'Nanda' was never applied to kings of the Sisunaga dynasty. Of course, the Puranic literature at times does refer to Kakavarnan as Mahanandin, thus establishing some relationship of Mahapadma Nanda, the last ruler of the preceding dynasty. The Buddhist Texts assign the additional titles of Ugrasena to the founder of the Nanda dynasty. Interestingly, the literal meanings of both the terms are almost identical wherefrom Mahapadma Nanda means "the Leader of the Mighty Army". Ugrasena implies that one who is "the Master of Terrible Army". Based on his finding of the term 'MahaVamsa' in the Buddhist Texts. Dr. Bhandarkar finds it reasonable to identify Maha Padma with Ugrasena. The Nandas were the successors of Sisunaga dynasty. The name of the founder of the Nanda dynasty was Mahapadma Nanda. The name of the first king of the Nanda dynasty however is differently given in different texts. The Puranas call him Mahapadma presumably either with reference to his military strength as "the Lord of Infinite Host" (Mahapadmapathi) or Mahapadma which means

immense wealth amounting to Rupees One lakh millions". According to Mahabodhi Vamsa his name was Ugrasena. The term Ugrasena might suggest the Greek Agrammes ( Agurasainiya i.e. the Son of Ugrasena). Thus the first Nanda bore the name of Mahapadma or Mahapadmapathi "Sovereign of Infinite Host". The Jain Text Parishistaparvan describes Mahapadma as a son of a barber by a courtesan. The Avasyakasutra calls him (Mahapadma) a 'Napithadasa', the slave of a barber. The Puranas brand the founder of the Nanda dynasty as "the son of the King Mahanandin by a Shudra woman" and detest the Nanda kings as irreligious (Adharmika). The Buddhist Text Mahavamsatika regards Nandas as Anathakula, of unknown lineage since the earlier history of Mahapadma or Ugrasena was not known. The founder of the new dynasty therefore was a man of low origin. The account of him as given by the Greek writer Quintos Curtius Rafus while referring to the founder of the Nanda dynasty reads like this: "He was a barber who became a paramour of the queen and being influenced by her treacherously murdered the reigning monarch and then under the pretence of acting guardian to the royal children usurped the supreme authority and having put the young princes to death begot the present king". This Greek writer further states that Mahapadma had good looks and had a robust physic. Writing on the Nandas, Vijay Kachroo in his Ancient India states that in the middle of the fourth century BC Ugrasena (Mahapadma) by thrusting the dagger in the throat of Kalasoka brought his reign to an end. The boisterous act was done in the outskirts of the Capital (Pataliputra) and with it he initiated the coronation of his dynasty to the throne of Magadha in 364 BC. The upstart according to Mahabodhi Vamsa was Ugrasena and the Puranas call him Mahapadma. The use of prefix 'Mahapadma' to the name of the King meant that he had a

large army which could be "arranged in the lotus fashion" in an endless manner. It is some times said to refer to his wealth to a 'Padma'. The Puranas consider Mahapadma as the son born of a Shudra woman. The poet Bana in his Harshacharitha describes that a barber called Mahapadma killed Kalasoka or Kakavarnan the king of Avanthi of Sisunaga dynasty, with a dagger and usurped the throne for his own dynasty namely the Nandas. R.C. Majumdar maintains in his Ancient India that Kalasoka the son and the successor of Sisunaga dynasty was assassinated by a man of low origin- a barber. According to some accounts one Mahapadma Nanda, succeeded to the throne and founded a new dynasty known as the Nandas. Mahapadma Nanda coming from a humble origin (in fact a barber) scarcely fed, starving of hunger with out or meager daily earnings but not uncomely in persons, had gained the affection of the queen and was by her influence advanced to the close quarter of the palace as confidant of the reigning monarch and thereby treacherously murdered the sovereign king. The murdered sovereign king must have belonged to the line that preceded the Nandas on the throne of Pataliputra. The ruler who relates best to the descriptions given by Quintus Curtius Refus and Diodorous is Kakavarna Kalasoka whose tragic end was alluded to in Harshacharitha and whose sons nine in number were according to Buddhist traditions ousted by Ugrasena Nanda. The name Agrammes is possibly a distorted form of the Sanskrit Agurasainiya "son or the descendant of Ugrasena". It may be noted that the Agurasainiya as royal epithet may be traced back to the Aitareya Brahamana where it occurs as Yuddhamsrusti.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KING WHO WAS KILLED BY MAHAPADMA NANDA The son of Sisunaga has been called Kalasoka in the Buddhist Text MahaVamsa. The Puranic writer Divyavadhana calls him Kakavarnin. Jayaswal Proposes that Kalasoka was the same as Nandivardhana as well as Darshaka. It then comes to this: one and the same person has four different names - Darshaka, Kalasoka, Kakavarnin, and Nandivardhana. Kakavarnin means "One who has the colour of a crow", the 'black prince'. The second Buddhist Council was held during his time at Vaishali. The same Kakavarnin has also been called Kalasoka. The word 'Asoka' means joy or gladness and is an equivalent of Nandi. He was most probably of dark complexion and was accordingly surnamed 'Kala' or Kakavarna, so that his full name was Kalasoka or Kakavarna Mahanandi, a derived form of it. The Great Nandi of Taranath (Mahanandi) of the Puranas was the same as Kalasoka or Kakavarna. The Poet Bana informs us that Kakavarna, the son of Sisunaga was taken somewhere in an artificial aerial car and was murdered in the vicinity of the city with a dagger thrust in to his throat. Kakavarana had ten sons who according to Mahavamsa they together ruled for twenty two years. Their names are Bhadrasena, Kakavarana, Mangura, Sarabanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Korabya, Nandivardhana and Pancamaka. Among the sons of Kakavarana one was named Nandivardhana. 'But he is not to be identified with the Puranic Nandivardhana', says Dr. Bhandarkar. The chronology of the Vayu Purana says that Mahapadma ruled for twenty eight years and actually he ruled in name of the ten sons of Kalasoka and Kakavarana Mahanandi and murdered them.

After the death of this king the five royal insignia, Viz the State elephant, the horse, the parasol (the sun umbrella), the pitcher (pot) and the chowries (fans made up of animal hairs) were anointed and carried through the streets by the ministers in a procession and the five royal insignia themselves point out Nanda (Mahapadma Nanda) as the king of Magadha. Then the ministers, officials, citizens and inhabitants of the villages performed the Abhisheka ceremony of Nanda. Thus Mahapadma Nanda became the King of Magadha 60 years after the death of Mahavira the founder of Jainism. Mahapadma Nanda Killed Kakavarana or Kalasoka in the year 364 BC and the Queen of Kakavarana was supposed to have contributed to the violent death of the king Kakavarana or Kalasoka. The usurper who emerged from this intrigues became the new ruler of Magadha. Mahapadma thus founded the short lived but very important Nanda dynasty. Mahapadma energetically continued the aggressive policies of his predecessors. J.L. Mehta and Saritha S. Mehta give some what a different picture about the Nandas becoming the rulers. While writing in History of Ancient India (From the Earliest Times to 1206 AD) they say that the Nanda dynasty was founded by Mahapadma Nanda who usurped the throne of Magadha after the assassination of Kalasoka or Kakavarnan the last ruler of the Sisunaga dynasty in 345 BC. There is some controversy over the parentage of Mahapadma Nanda and origin of Nanda dynasty. However one thing remains undisputed that he neither belonged to the Kshatriya nor to the traditional ruling class. The Puranas represent him (Mahapadma Nanda) as a natural son of the last Sisunaga ruler by a low caste or Shudra woman. A Jain Text goes a step further saying that he was the son of a courtesan from

a barber. He joined the Imperial service as an ordinary solider and rose to the exalted office of the Commander-in-Chief, undoubtedly because of his exceptional martial qualities. After the treacherous murder of his royal master Mahapadma Nanda became the guardian of his minor sons and set himself up as a defacto ruler. He soon after liquidated the royal wards and installed himself on the throne of Pataliputra. Thus it appears that all traditions are commonly in agreement with one point about the disputable origin of the Nanda dynasty. The Puranas trace it to a Shudra mother, but the Greek account traces it to a Shudra father, a barber. Thus one source fastens the original sin on the father and the other on the mother. But it is always the caste of the father that determines the caste of his progeny. And so the Nandas may be taken to be the offspring of a Shudra father. The famous ancient Hindu text Sthaviravalicarita brand him as the son of a courtesan by a barber. The Puranas also opine that the courtesan might be from the barber caste. Mahapadma Nanda then would be from the barber caste. The total number of kings belonging to the Nanda dynasty is Nine. Some writers however take the word NAVA in expression NANDA occupying in the Texts, to mean Nine but not New or Later. They contrast 'Navanandas' with the so called Purvanandas or earlier Nandas alleged to be maintained by Kshemendra and take the latter to be identical with the last kings of Sisunaga line. But the designation 'Nandas' is never applied to the kings of Sisunaga family. Our authorities know only one line and are unanimous in taking NAVA to mean Nine and not 'New'. In Kshemendra's story Purvananda is the name of a single individual and not a dynasty and he is distinguished not from the Navanandas but from Yogananda or pseudo-Nanda the reanimated corpse of King Nanda.

The different authorities agree in giving the total number of Nanda kings as Nine Nandas (Nava-Nandas). The Puranas take the first Nanda as the father and other eight sons born to him. The Buddhist Texts however take all the nine Nandas as brothers. They are named in the Mahabodhivamsa. The names are as follows: a) Bhutapala, b)Panduka c) Pandugathi d) Rashtrapala , e) Govishanaka, f) Kaivartha, g) Dasasiddika, and h ) Dhana. The Puranas name only the father and one of his sons Samulya or Sukalpa according to Hindu tradition. But in some of the Puranic literature, it is found that the Nanda dynasty produced nine kings over a period of hundred years. Besides Mahapadma Nanda the founder of the dynasty they are listed as follows with the surname NANDA: 1)

King Panduka Nanda


Pandugathi Nanda


Rashtrapala Nanda


Govishanaka Nanda


Bhutapala Nanda


Dasasiddika Nanda


Kaivartha Nanda


Dhana Nanda .

It is also recorded that all the persons mentioned above as the sons of King Mahapadma Nanda, ruled simultaneously, obviously in various parts of Nanda dominions. The Buddhist Texts corroborate this fabulation with the only exception that they assign the title Ugrasena to the founder of the Nanda dynasty. The Jain texts also talk about of the Nine Nandas. In the face of all these evidences regarding Nine Nandas we have to give up the

theory once held that the word Nava should be taken to mean New. The last two rulers after the Puranic Sisunaga dynasty Viz. Nandivardhana and Mahanandin should be treated as Old Nandas who were replaced by the New ones. Mahavamsatika gives the names of the first and of the nine brothers who ruled one after another according to seniority. Dr. H.C. Rayachoudary says that Mahapadma Nanda was succeeded by his eight sons and the last, Dhana Nanda was on the throne of Magadha when Alexander the Great was fighting in India. WHEN EXACTLY DID THE NANDA DYNASTY CAME IN TO EXISTENCE? Historians disagree among themselves as to the exact date of the rule of the first Nanda and show divergence from the Jain and Buddhist traditions in regard to the duration of the Dynasty as a whole. In the absence of either unanimous or unambiguous traditions, mere speculations yield no profitable result. The Dynasty was still on the throne of Pataliputra, when Chandragupta who was in his youth met Alexander in Punjab in 326 BC. It possibly had come to power before the death of Xenophon sometime after 355 BC. That famous historian (Xenophon) refers in his Ujcropadia to a powerful king of India who aspired to be an emperor in disputes between the great nations of Western Asia and a wealthy man; a description that speculates to a Nanda. The enormous wealth of the kings of the line is vouched for by all our authorities. It is hinted at by the famous Chinese pilgrims and was also known to the Tamil poets of the Sangam period. Xenophon was referring to sixth century BC and his description of the Indian monarch might be reminiscent of his own days. Some scholars read a reference to a Nanda Era in the Hathigumpha inscriptions of Kharavela. No such thing

was however known to Alberuni, an Arabic scholar who gives a concise account of the reckonings prevalent in his days in Chapter XLIX of his works on India. The interpretation of the expression Ti-Vasa-Satta which measures the interval between Nandaraja and Kharavela also remains a matter of controversy. In any case the uncertainty of the precise date of Hathigumpha record and the doubtful character of the reading of several of its passages make a chronological references of little value in determining with accuracy the exact epoch of the first Nanda. Curiously the dynamic name Nanda was not known to any contemporary authority. It is no doubt mentioned in Kautilya's Arthasastra which is traditionally assigned to the age of Chandragupta Maurya. But the work contains references which point out to a much later date. The reading Nandarum in place of Alexandrum suggested by the modern writer in the writings of Justin who epitomized the accounts of Pomeiustrages and perhaps had access to the earlier sources is absolutely justified. Among the exact works, which may with some degree of plausibility be assigned to a period anterior to the Ceylonese Chronicles and Puranas, it is the Milinda-Panho which refers to the royal family of the Nandas. But an earlier notice of Nandaraja is contained in two passages of the famous Hathigumpha record of Kharavela: "And then; in the fifth year (Kharavela) caused the canal opened out by king Nanda three hundred years, to be brought in to Capital from the Tanasulliya Road". Again in connection with the twelfth year of Kharavela's reign we have a reference: "Nandarajajitam Kalingajana Sannivesa- that is a place of assemblage of people at the Jain shrine of Kalinga

acquired by the King Nanda". A Nanda king is twice mentioned in the Hathigumpha inscriptions, which records the events of the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries connected with the king's reign is badly preserved. Considerable portion of the inscription has been lost and both the reading and the interpretations of many passages are uncertain. The record in its present state can only be used as a basis of history with at most caution. It is however clear that in fifth year Kharavela executed some public works which were associated with the memory of King Nanda and that in his twelfth year he gained victory over the King of Magadha. This position also gets advantage from Jayaswal's translation of the recovered trophies which had been carved by King Nanda. In the Hathigumpha inscription we find the following statements: 1.

He opened three yearly alms-house of Nandaraja


He had built an aqueduct which had not been in use for 103 years since king Nanda (or the Nanda kings) had constructed it in the city.


He brings into the capital the canal excavated by king Nanda three centuries ago.

These statements of the inscription, coupled with somewhat enigmatic testimony of an ancient Sanskrit Text quoted by Jayaswal seem to show that Kalinga had been undoubtedly conquered by Ashoka, the third King of Maurya emperors in 262 BC. Vincent Smith writing on the Nandas in The Early History of India says that Mahapadma a Shudra born to a low caste woman established the Nanda Family or dynasty. This event may be dated about 372 BC. J L Mehta and Sarita S Mehta

say that Mahapadmananda founded the Dynasty in the year 345 BC. For a fairly connected history of the dynasty, we have to turn to Indian tradition. Indian writers were concerned with the period of Nanda rule partly as marking a new stage in the socio-political movements, and as an episode in the story of Jain pontiffs and partly as an important element in the Chandragupta's rule of which we have Buddhist fragments in the Milinda-Panho and Ceylonese Chronicles and Commentaries & Brahminical versions in the Puranas, folktales, and even in Mudrarakshasa, the famous drama which contains their polity. In the history of India, the Nanda period is considered to be important from many points of view. The Nanda kings had set up a good administrative system necessary to run the huge empire. This system continued even during the Maurya period. The Nandas introduced the system of standard weights and measures. The Nanda Kings were lovers of art and literature. They provided patronage to many scholars. The well-known grammarian Panini belongs to this period. MAHAPADMA NANDA, A GREAT MILITARY GENIUS The first Nanda who bore the name Mahapadma though of humble origin, was a vigorous ruler. Puranic traditions affirm that he exterminated all the Kshatriyas and became the monarch bringing all of them under his sway. The ascription of a vast dominion to the Nanda king is supported by Greek evidence which refers to the most powerful peoples who dwelt on the river Beas in the time of Alexander as being under one sovereign who had his capital at Pataliputra. A Kalinga inscription of an early date refers to a Nanda's connection with an aqueduct in the country. This may be taken to imply that the King Nanda held sway also over

Kalinga, ie. Southern Orissa and the contiguous part of the Northern Sircars. The Katha Sarithasagara refers to a camp of the King Nanda in Ayodhya. There are inscriptions which state that Kunthala was ruled by the Nandas. It is possible that his dominions included considerable part of Deccan. According to Greek writer Quintus Curtius Rafus, the first Nanda had kept twenty thousand cavalry, two lakh infantry, two thousand four-horsed chariots and more than three thousand elephants. R.C Majundar called Mahapadma Nanda a great military genius. He defeated and destroyed far-famed Kshatriya families, such as Paurava, the Aikshuvakus, the Pradyaotas, who were ruling Kosambi, Kosala, and Avanthi and had established an empire which included greater part of northern India excluding Kashmir, Punjab and Sindh. Thus the work begun by Bimbasara and Ajatashatru did make triumphant progress. He had a large army which could be arranged in lotus fashion, in an endless way. The Buddhist Text Mahavamsatika gives details about Mahapadma Nanda. Accordingly he was a man of the Frontier (Panchanita-Vasika) who fell into the hands of robbers and became one of them and later emerged as their leader. He then with a gang started raiding neighboring kingdoms and their cities giving them the ultimatum: 'either you yield your kingdom or give battle'. Fired with success they aimed at sovereignty. The Text however is silent as to the actual steps by which it was accomplished. It simply insulates that the conquest of Magadha marked the culmination of violence and brigandage on the part of a gang of outlaws whom Mahavamsatika describes as choropubbos ('dacoits of the Old'). As such this Buddhist tradition represents the Nandas as openly conquering Magadha by force and not by any secret conspiracy or cowardly assassination of the reigning king by intrigues with the queen.

The Puranas give a more reliable account of the Nanda dynasty. They call the Nanda as Mahapadma because of his war-like quality and describe him as second Parashurama, "the exterminator of the entire Kshatriya race" and as one who made himself the sole sovereign in the country and brought it under the umbrella of one authority which was not challenged. The conquest of Kalinga by a Nanda king has been inferred from the passage in the Hathikumpha inscription of Kharavela. The existence of a city called 'Nava Nanda Dhera' (Nander of Godavari) has been taken by some scholars to indicate Nanda supremacy over a considerable part of Deccan. According to some early inscriptions of Mysore (southern part of Bombay and northern part of Mysore) which was called Kunthala was ruled by the Nandas. J.L Mehata and Sarita S Mehta give a vivid description of Mahapadma Nanda in their book History of Ancient India. Mahapadma Nanda, they say, has been characterized as Sarva Kshatrantaka as the destroyer of all Kshatriyas. The Jain Text alludes to the military exploits and conquest of extensive territories in various parts of the Mahapadma Nanda to expand his dominions. The Puranas attribute to high sounding epithets of Bhargava or the Second Parashurama and Ekarath Maharaja viz - the 'Sole Sovereign' as he brought the whole earth under one umbrella of his authority. He is credited with conquest and subjugation of the vast territories of numerous people. Katha Sarithasagara gives a detailed description of the magnificent royal camp of the Nanda ruler at Ayodhya which indicates that the territories of erstwhile Kosala state were included in the Nanda Empire. Similarly the

Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela refers to the philanthropic and public welfare activities of the Nanda ruler of Kalinga, implying there by that Orissa also formed a part of Nanda Empire, where the land of the Asmakas who were conquered by the Nandas was located somewhere in the Deccan. The discovery of some of the inscriptions in Mysore raises the possibility of some parts of the Deccan on the river Godavari basin being conquered by the Nandas. The famous Sikh shrine of Nander-Sahib (Nava Nanda Dhera) may be reminiscent of its connections with the Nanda Empire of the bygone days. Alexander's invasion of India took place in 327-325 BC when the last of the Nanda emperors occupied the throne of Pataliputra. Therefore we find in some Greek testimonies that the north-western boundary of the Nanda Empire extended up to the river Beas in Punjab. The Nanda king also possessed a vast army according to the Greek writer Quintus Curtious Rufus. In the work, Gem in the Lotus: Seeding Indian Civilization, we find reference to the rule of the Nandas. The expansion of Magadha continued under the Nandas and by the end of the Nanda rule, i.e. two centuries later the process began under Bimbasara. The kingdom assumed the proportions of an Empire. The Nanda power stretched over the entire Gangetic basin, perhaps extended as far as southern India including northern Karnataka. The Puranas refer to Mahapadma Nanda as the exterminator of Kshatriyas probably because he overthrew the old dynasties "like Parashurama, the annhilator of Kshatriya rule" and ultimately had become Chakaravartis (Universal Monarchs) having accomplished the imperial ideal of Digvijaya : the conquest of all the four quarters. All the pieces of evidence undoubtedly support Puranic

statement. But its best corroboration is offered by the statement of classical writers who refer to the extensive dominions of his successor. The general picture given in the Puranas of the Great Empire which Mahapadma Nanda had built by exterminating numerous Kshatriya principalities may thus be accurate historically. We may also conclude from the classical accounts that the Nanda Empire was not a loose federation but was built on solid foundation. Mahapadma Nanda was the first great historical emperor of northern India. Mahapadma Nanda was called 'Sovereign of Untold Wealth' or 'Sovereign of the Infinite Host'. He used his power to win a large empire by conquest and made himself the sole sovereign (Ekrat) of numerous states. The Greeks call him the King of Gangaridea and Prasii. His low origin proves the end of the age-long tradition of political supremacy of the Kshatriyas. The old orthodox ideas were thus changing and the history of Buddhism and Jainism shows that this as true in religion which had already lowered its triumphant career and was ably seconded by an equally heterodox view of politics. In any case the sixth and fifth centuries BC hold out a strange phenomenon before us: Kshatriya chiefs' founding of popular religion which minced the Vedic religion and Shudra leaders establishing a big empire in Aryavartha on the ruins of Kshatriya kingdom. These two events might not have been altogether isolated or unconnected. The Nandas were inclined to Jainism (Ajivika sect). The Nandas had Jain ministers. It is stated that a Jain minister Kalapaka was instrumental in the execution of all the Kshatriya dynasties of his times. The other Jain ministers were his descendants. Sathakala was the minister of the 9th Dana Nanda. It is stated in the paly Mudra Rakshasa that Chanakya selected a Jain as one of his chief agents. The Jain influence is visible in the whole play. The Nandas were also stated to have a terrible army and lot of wealth.

Jain writers refer to subjugation by a Nanda minister of the whole country down to the Seas. Puranic chronicles speak of the extermination of all Kshatriyas by Mahapadma. The summary of the reigns, which come in the Puranas between the description of the earlier and later Nandas has references to ten dynasties of the northern and central India which were contemporaneous to the Kings of Magadha. It is a bare list of rulers and members without any orderly arrangements and as usual, the numbers given by the different authors are not consistent. They may be arranged geographically as follows viz - the Ikshvakus, Panchalas, Koseyas, Haihayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Mithilas, Surasenas & V itihotras. This is taken to imply that Mahapadma Nanda destroyed all the Kshatriya families which ruled contemporaneously with Sisunagas. THE IKSHVAKUS They were clans of Kosala roughly corresponding to modern Oudh. They had been humbled by Ajathasatru, the son of Bimbasara. The History of the clan after the famous ruler Prasenajit and his Vidhurat is obscure. A Passage in the Katha Saritsagara refers to a Lamp (Katara) of Nanda in Ayodhya. Apparently the king had undertaken an expedition of Kosala. An important section of Ikshvakus seems to have been driven southwards as they were found in the third or fourth century AD in occupation of lower valley of the Krishna River. Among the Ikshvakus we find the names of Dhritarastra, Satanika and Brahmadatta. Their capital seems to be Kasi (Banaras). The little kingdom of Kasi was bordered by Vatsa on the west, Kosala on the north, and Magadha on the east. Some details of the relation with those countries may be recovered from early literature. According to Satapata

Brahmana its king Dhritarastra was conquered by the Bharata Prince Satanika Satranjita. Such incidental notices of its later history have been preserved by the Buddhist writers. At different periods Kasi came under the sway of three successive suzerain powers of northern India, the Purus of Vatsa, the Ikshvakus of Kosala and the King of Magadha. However it seems to have enjoyed its period of independent powers in the interval between the decline of Vatsa and the rise of Kosala. King Bramhadatta had kept alive his reign in Buddhist literature, in the Jataka stories of Buddha's previous births which are conveniently set. The account given in the Puranas about the accession of Sisunaga to the throne of Magadha shows that the King was associated with Kasi. THE PANCHALAS They had occupied the track of the country between the upper Ganges and Gomti Rivers together with a part of the contacts with a part of Central Doab. They do not appear to have come in to hostile contact with Magadhan Monarchy before the rise of the Nandas and must not have been brought under the control of that dynasty as classical writers suggest. The panchalas, a confederation of five tribes were neighbours of the Kurus. The capital of North Panchalas was Achicchatra, now a ruined site still bearing the same name near the village Ramnagar in Bareilly district. The capital of South Panchalas was Kampla, now represented by ruins at the village of Kampil in the Farookhabad district of Uttar Pradesh. THE SURASENAS The people living to the south of Kurukshetra claim

descent from the Yadus. Of these the Surasenas had occupied the Mathura district and possibly the territory still further south. This capital was the city of Mathura the birth place of Lord Krishna on the banks of the River Jamuna. The present day Yadavas as caste belong to this group. Their subjugation to the Prasii appears very probable from the accounts of Alexander's historians like Megastanese. To the west of the Surasenas dwelt the Matsyas. The Matsyas occupied the state of Alwar and possibly some parts of Jaipur and Bharatpur. The capital was Upaplavya the site which is still uncertain or Vairata the city of the King Virata the moderan Bairat in Jaipur. THE HAIHAYAS They were found to be in possession of the part of Narmada Valley down the medieval times. Their earlier capital was Mahishmati which has been identified by P.E.Partgiter with a rocky island of Mondhata, and by others with a town named Mahesvara on the northern Bank of Narmada River within the boundaries of the Nandas. This does not seem to be improbable in view of the Puranic statement about the humiliation of the rulers of the neighbouring realm of Avanthi by the Sisunaga predecessors. But it lacks confirmation by independent witnesses. It has however to be remembered that both Malwa and Gujarat formed integral parts of the Magadhan empire in the days of Chandragupta towards the close of fourth century BC and the way might have been prepared by the Nandas. THE ASMAKAS They occupied the part of Godavari Valley with their capital at Patali Patana, or Panana. The last form of the name reminds one of Bhodhan to the south of the confluence of the Manjira and Godavari not very far from Nizamabad

in Hyderabad State. The existence on the Godavari of a city called Nav Nand Dehra (Nandas) a little to the west of the Nizamabad district renders it probable that the dominions of Nine Nandas might have embraced the classical land of the Asmakas, though independent information by contemporary or semi-contemporary writers is not available. THE VITIHOTRAS They were associated with Haihyas and the Arantis in Puranic traditions. Their sovereignty is said to have terminated before the rise of the famous line of the Pradyotas. If the Puranic statement found in a latter passage of the Bhavishyanukirtana about the contemporaneity of some of the Vitihotras with the Surasenas has any value, the latter might be restored to some scion of the old line when they took away the glory (Yashaskirtanam) of the prodyotas. As already stated the untold control that Chandragupta Maurya exercised over the western India including Girnar region makes it highly probable that the way has been paved by his Nandas predecessors. The Jain writers expressly mention the Nandas among the successors of Palaka the son of Prodyota of Avanti. The Haihyas, Asmakas and V itihotras like the Surasenas belong to the great family of the descendants of Yadus who occupied the countries on the river Champals in the north and river Narmada in south; but it is difficult to identify with precision the kingdom indicated by different names. Haihyas, often used almost synonym of Yadavas to denote the whole group of peoples; and the Vitihotras and Asmakas are chiefly associated in literature with the Avantis of the west of the river Champals (Charmavati). It would be strange to the ruler of the city, so famous

both politically and commercially, Ujjain should have found no place in the summary. The most possible explanation of apparent absence from the list is that they were Haihyas. THE MAITHILAS The Maithilas take the name from Mithila , the capital of Vidhehas ,one of the numerous clans possibly of TibetoChinese origin, who inhabited Tirhut districts of Champaran Mazaffurpur and Darbhanga in North Bihar. (Videha, Matheve to which the Brahministaion of these regions is attributed to by the Satapata Brahmana is probably its earliest recorded monarchies.) According to the Puranas the Arya kings of the Videhas were a branch of the Puru family. They are derived from Mimi son of Ikshvaku and the remote ancestor of Siridhavala Janaka the father of Sita, the heroine of the Ramayana. Like Rama himself he is supposed to have lived before Kali-age (Dark Age). It is possible that he might be the king Janaka of Vidheha who is celebrated in the Brahmanas and Upanishads. If so the story of Ramayana has its origin in the later Brahmana period. In the time of the Buddha the Vidhehas together with Licchavis of Vaishali (Bosarh in the Hazipur sub-division of Muzaffarpur) and other powerful classes formed a confederation and were known collectively by their tribal name of the Vrijis or Vajjus. The reduction of their power marks an epoch in the expansion of the Kingdom of the Magadha. The Mithilas earlier, it is said, were the people of Mithila; a city famed in the epics owing to its connections with the heroine in Ramayana and her father Janaka. It has been identified with the small town of Janakpur within the Nepal border, north where Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur districts meet. The greater part of Bihar over which the powerful confederation of the Vrijis (including the Licchavis) exercised great sway had been annexed by Ajatashatru, and

his successors are known occasionally to have their presence in Vaishali as the capital. If the Puranic tradition has any value the chieftains of Mithila must have retained a certain amount of independence in the vastness of the Nepali Terai. The periodical floods from the Gandak, the Boghmati and other tributaries during the rainy season must have rendered this part of the country very difficult to access and it is not surprising that the forests of the Terai should have sheltered here an autonomous principality when the great city of Vaishali fell before the onslaught of Ajathashatru. The Nandas attained greater success as they could operate from their base in Vaishali. THE KURUS The Kurus are no doubt the Purus of the detailed list but their reign differs. The kurus, as is well known, occupied the country to the west of Panchalas stretching from the Ganges in the river Sarawati (modern Sarsuti) which flows past the sacred site of Kurukshetra near Taneswar. The subjugation of this territory by the Nandas is not expressly mentioned by only contemporary authority, but is rendered probable by the Greek evidence in regard to "the dominions of the Nation of Prasii and the Ganga river" which seems to have embraced the whole track of the Ganges". THE KASEYAS They were the people inhabiting the district around Benares, had come under the Magadhan sway as early the days of Bimbasara and Ajatashatru. It is recorded in the Puranas that a Sisunaga prince was 'placed in Benares' when the founder of the Line took up his residence in Girivraja the Magadhan capital in early times, was apparently a descendent or successor of this prince that Nanda wrested control over the people of Kasi. THE KALINGAS

They occupied extensive territory stretching from the river Vaitarani in Orissa to Varahanadu in Vijanagaram district. Its capital in ancient times was the famous city of Danatakura or Dantapura near Chicacole in Ganjam district which was washed by the river Lingolia or Langulini. The conquest of Kalinga by Nanda is suggested by the Hathingumpha record. The prosology of the inscription hardly supports the view held by some scholars that the Nandaraja mentioned there in refers doubtlessly to a conqueror who established his authority over a Sannivesa (place) of Kalinga and constructed some irrigation works in the province. In the Puranas as the monarchs of the five kingdoms of Anga (Monghyr and Bhagalpur) Vanga (Birbhum ,Mushirabad, Burdwan and Nadia Pundra, Chotanagpur) and Kalinga (Orissa) were derived from eponymous heroes who were supposed to be Brothers belonging to the family of 'Anu'. With the exception of Anga none of these kingdoms is mentioned in the early literature. The earliest monument which throws light on the history of Kalinga is the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela. The reason for destroying these Kshatriya dynasties is that a hate campaign against the Nandas, since they belonged to Shudra caste, was carried out by Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas to rouse the popular feelings against the Nandas. Mahapadma, it is said, uprooted all the reigning Kshatriya dynasties with the help of the minister Kalapaka. The Jain account of the origin of Mahapadma Nanda is probably a reminiscence of this calumny about the Nandas. With the passing of the Sisunagas from the stage and to the assumption of supreme authority by regicide, Mahapadmananda of Magadha established an integrated monarchy under Ekarat (Single ruler), possessed of vast

resources in men and money and a new virtually independent states or feudal Baronies which had wholesome respect, power and might of roisoleil (Monarchical ancestry). The almost uninterrupted ascendancy of old clans claiming the blue blood of Kshatriyas was at an end. The new ruler was a 'noushomo' (a man with a common sense) who waged a finishing war on the kshatriyas and roused the relentless hostility of the most astute of the politically minded Brahmanas of the age. He incarnated according to Puranic chronicles the spirit of the Iron Age (Kali) and the accession was taken to mark a chronological epoch. The oldest Purana brands the first Nanda, Mahpadma as a prince "urged on by prospective future" whose reign marked the end of Kshatriyas or high born kings and the ranking of the Shudras. Mahapadmananda ruled for twenty eight years and died in 335 BC. Much of the information given above relating to the conquests of the first Nanda is derived from later works. But the evidence of the Greek writers, taken together with the testimony of the Hathigumpha epigraph leaves no room for doubt that the dynasty that ruled over the Eastern Nations of India in the days of Alexander exercised sway practically over the whole of Gangetic basin together with some portions if not the whole of Kalinga. A passage from puranas states that "as son of Mahanandin (the last Sisunaga ruler) by a Shudra woman will be born a King Mahapadma, who will terminate all Kshatriyas. Thereafter Kings will be of shudra origin. Mahapadma will be a sole monarch, bringing all under his sway. He will rule for twenty eight years on this earth. He will have eight sons of whom Sukalpa (or Sahalya) will be the first; and they will be Kings in succession of Mahapadma for twelve years".

The rise of an all powerful official in the time of the later Sisunagas probably indicates that the system of administration had undergone remarkable changes since the days of Bimbasara. The monarch had exercised a rigid control over the Mahamatras dismissing those who advised him badly and rewarding those whose counseling he approved. The result of the 'Purge' was the emergence of type of the official represented by Varshakara and Sunita whose rigor and efficiency are well illustrated in the Buddhist Texts. The situation must have changed considerably towards the end of the Sisunaga epoch. The career of Ugrasena (Mahapadma) reminds us one that of Bijjala (Karnataka) in a later age and his early relationship with the preceding royal family has important points of resemblance with that of Cardinal Mazarin and the family of Louis XIII of France. If traditions were to be believed the office of the Chief Minister was maintained throughout the Nanda period though the functionary in question never reached the pre-eminent position that Ugrasena or Mahapadma occupied in the days of his royal master. The Jain and Hindu writers refer to the distinguished line of the Imperial Chancellors from Kalapaka, Satakala and Rakshasa. It is difficult to say if the traditional figures had any political reality. They are not mentioned either in contemporary or semi-contemporary documents. But the "advisers of the king", though very small in number, are mentioned by Greek Observers who wrote about the conditions of India in the fourth century BC, as being highly respected on account of their high character and wisdom. Next to the advisors of the king probably stood the "Generals of the Army". One of this, Bhadrasala finds prominent mention in Milinda-Panho. The Nanda army was a powerful fighting machine and we are told, it was no wonder that the lord of such an immense wealth should

aspire to be a sole Monarch, an Ekarat of the vast regions stretching from the Himalayas to Godavari or its neighborhood. The historian of Alexander speaks of the people who dwelt beyond the river Beas as being under one sovereign. Quintus Curtius Rafas gives the following particulars: "Beyond the river Hyposis (Beas) lay extensive deserts next came the Ganges, the largest river in all India, the farther bank of which was inhabited by two Nations, the Gangaridea (river basin of the Ganga) and the Prasii (Pataliputra) whose king was Agrammes" (Ugrasena). The account of Diodarous is similar. But he calls the king Xandrums instead of Agrammes. Plutarch the English translator seems to suggest that the Gangaritai (Gangaridea) and Prasii had separate kings and this is said to find support in the number of horses, war chariots and fighting elephants assigned to the kings of the two nations which is larger then those assigned to Agrammes by Quintus Curtius Rafus and Diodarous. The discrepancies regarding the number of elephants etc. may be due to divergence of tradition rather than reinforcement by contingents supplied by an allied army. Pliny informs us that the Prasii (Palibotra -Pataliputra) surpassed in glory. For every other people in India, the capital for the entire region of the Ganges, was Polibotra (Pataliputra, Palibotri as some call it). LATER NANDAS OR THE SUCCESSORS OF MAHAPADMA NANDA Among the sons of the First Nanda referred to in the puranas as Sahalya or Sahalin seems to have been the eldest. Matsya Purana spells it as Sakalpa. But Vayu Purana gives the form 'Sahalya' which, as pointed out by Barua, corresponds to Sahalin of Divyavadana. The names of the sons of First Nanda given in Mahabodhivamsa are altogether different and have not been confirmed from independent

sources. In fact Mahabodhivamsa mentions the Nine Nandas as brothers as mentioned earlier. The figures of the eight princes who succeeded the First Nanda are rather shadowy and we do not know how far the tradition recorded by late writers can be accepted as sober history. Since the Nandas were bitter enemies of the Brahmanas, the Brahmin Puranic writers have given a distracted picture of the Nandas and some of the real facts were destroyed intentionally by them. Another factor for this relegation is that the glamour of the Nandas has been dimmed by the greater splendor of the succeeding dynasty. But it is apt to remember what the kings of the line bequeathed to their immediate successors and to posterity. They had, to use the words of, Vincent Smith "compelled the naturally repellent molecules of the body politic to check their gyrations and submit it to a group of a superior controlling force". They had developed a fighting machine that was used by the later rulers of Magadha, with a terrible effect in resisting the onslaught of foreign invaders and carrying on the policy of expansion within the borders of India that has been inaugurated by Bimbasara and Ajatashatru. J.L. Mehta and Saritha .S. Mehta in their History of Ancient India (From the Earliest Times to 1206 AD) write that the Nanda Empire disintegrated under the weak successors of Mahapadma Nanda. Nothing is known about them except that all the eight successors of Mahapadma Nanda were his sons. Given the short period of their reign (twelve years) which was collective, it is probable that they ruled simultaneously at various provincial head quarters of the Empire, and at least some of them never sat on the throne of Pataliputra. As Mahapadma Nanda had acquired sovereignty at a fairly advanced stage of his life, there is every possibility to believe that he had raised a huge crop of his sons and that all or most of them had grown up and

attained important positions in the civil and military hierarchy of the preceding regime when he was the Commander-InChief of Magadha. It also explains that they must have made substantial contributions towards the expansion of the Nanda Empire during the life time of their father as king. The Nanda rulers were known for their military prowess and wealth. They albeit were not popular with their subjects. They were notorious for cruel treatment of the people and heavy taxes were extracted in the form of state levies. They had leanings towards Jainism although virtues of nonviolence, peaceful disposition and nonattachment towards materialistic pursuits eluded. They appointed Jain ministers, shunned Brahmin advisers and discriminated against the traditional ruling elite of the land. Quite naturally they incurred the displeasure of the Brahminical order and were dubbed as Adharmikas (irreligious). Nevertheless the contributions made by the Nanda rulers towards political unification of the country can never be underestimated. They consolidated the foundations of a strong National Monarchy, evolved their predecessors like Bimbasara and Ajathashatru on which Maurya emperors raised the super structure. R .S. Sharma writing on the Nandas in his India's Ancient Past states that the Sisunagas who succeeded the Nandas proved to be the most powerful rulers of Magadha. So great was their power that Alexander who invaded Punjab at that time (during the time of Dhana Nanda) dared not move towards the east. The Nandas extended Magadhan power by conquering Kalinga from where they brought an image of Jina (Mahavira) as a trophy of victory. The Nandas had a very large army and they could maintain such a large army either rigorously collecting revenues at home or plundering their neighbors. Their name became a byword for avarice in later Indian literature. The

legend of the great treasure supposed to have been hidden by them in River Ganga reminds us of the old German story of the Nibelungen whose treasure was hidden in the River Rhine. DHANA NANDA The First Nanda was succeeded by his eight sons of whom the last was named Dhana Nanda (King of Wealth). He is not named in the Puranas but must have maintained intact his imperial inheritance of territory and army. As he was ruling at the time of Alexander's invasion of 327-325 BC, the Greeks have recorded some facts about his prowess and popularity. They call him Agrammes and Xandrames which are unfamiliar sounds that denote a king of powerful peoples beyond the river Beas: "the Gangaridea and Prasii" with Pataliputra as capital. The Gangaridea according to Megastonese were the people on the delta of the Ganga and the Prasii were the Prachya or Easterners living to the east of the Middle Country (Madhya Desha) such as Panchalas, Surasenas, kosalas, Kosis and Videhas. His empire seems to have extended up to the Frontiers, the land of Punjab. For it is stated that king Porus the younger, when attacked by Alexander, escaped into the adjoining territory of the Nanda king. The Greek historians who derived information from either Megasthenes or companions of Alexander rank as contemporary witnesses reported though second hand throw light on real history. when Alexander was stopped in his advances at river Hypasis (Beas) in 326 BC, he was informed by a chieftain named Bhegala or Bagala, whose statements were confirmed by Porus that the king of Gangaridea and Prasii nations on the banks of the Ganges was named, as the Greeks could not catch the unfamiliar sounds, Xandrumes or Agrammes. The capital of Prasii Nation

undoubtedly was Pataliputra, and the reports made to Alexander can be referred only to the king of Magadha who must have been one of the Nandas mentioned in the native tradition. Quintus Curtius Rafus mentions that the interpretation of the name of Phagelas is due to the Sylvan Levi. The names of the Gangaridea and Prasii are corrupted in some texts. According to Mahabodhivamsa Dhana was the last king of the Nanda dynasty. It is suggested that he should be identified with Agrammes or Xandrames of the classical writers and the mightiest king of the River Beas. DHANA NANDA'S WEALTH AND HIS MILITARY STRENGTH The monarch Dhana Nanda owned a vast treasure and commanded a huge army of twenty thousand cavalry two lakh infantry two thousand four-horsed chariots and not less than three thousand elephants. Some writers raise the number of horsemen, chariots and elephants to eight thousand and six thousand respectively. According to the Greek writers the number of elephants was four thousand or even six thousand. Dhana Nanda had an able general by name Bhadrasala. Dhana Nanda is also described to have been a very wealthy monarch. He amassed riches to the extent of eighty kotis (Rupees eighty crores). In a rock on the bed of the Ganges he caused great excavations to be made for the purpose of burying the treasures he acquired by levying taxes even on skins, gums, trees and stones. He amassed further riches which he disposed off similarly. This account is taken from the commentary as the great Chronicle of Ceylon could claim antiquity. Romila Thapar in her book Early India points out that one of the factors assisting the consolidation of the Nanda kingdom was that taxes were given importance as revenue. The method of collection of

taxes by regularly appointed officials became a part of administrative system. The treasury was doubtlessly kept replenished the wealth of the Nandas being proverbial. Prof. Nilakanta Shastry points out that a Tamil poem contains an interesting reference to the famous Nanads: "Victorious in war who having accumulated treasure first in the welters (containers) of the Ganges". Also the famous Chinese traveler of the seventh century AD refers to wealth of the Nandas: "The five treasures of the king Nandas Seven Precious Substances" That Chinese traveler is Hiuen-Tsang. His mentioning of five stupas of Pataliputra as symbols and five treasures of the king Nandas and seven Precious Substances as possessions is undoubtedly an important indicator of the enormity of his wealth. In fact king Dhana was nicknamed Dhana Nanda (Nanda the wealthy) worshipper of Mamman. According to vishnu Purana, Bardic Chronicles and popular tradition, Sumitra was the last king of this dynasty in Ayodhya. In the fourth century BC Mahapadma Nanda of Nanda Dynasty included Ayodhya in his empire and Kushwahas were forced to leave. Kurma was son of Sumitra then migrated from their parental habitat and established them self at the bank of the river Son, where they constructed a fort and named it Rohtas (Rahatas) fort. The powerful districts were Kutwar, Gwalior, Dubkhund, Simhapaniya and Narwar(nalapura). The clan then occupied Narwar in the 10 th century and remained there until Parihara Rajputs captured Narwar in the 12th Century. The Kachwahas were in Narwar - several centuries earlier and after the downfall of Kannauj in the 8th-10th century, the Kacchapoagata state officially emerged as a principal power in the Chambal Vally of present day Madhya Pradesh.

The Katha saritasagara preserves the extraction of his wealth computed at nine hundred and ninety millions gold pieces. The Buddhist scripture Mahabodhivamsa states as follows: "The Youngest Brother Dhana Nanda forms his addiction to hoarding treasure. He collected riches to the amount of eighty kotis (80 crores), in a cave in the bed of the river Ganga. Having caused a great excavation to be made he buried the treasure‌‌. levying taxes, among articles, even as skins gums, and stones, he amassed further, treasure which he disposed off similarly". This story of his hoarding and of hidden wealth of the Nandas "Having been accumulated first in patal hid in the "Hoods of the Ganga". Aiyangar refers to the wealth of the Nandas in his Beginnings of South Indian History. He states that the Nandas to have possessed lot of wealth. HuenTsang the Chinese traveler notes that Nandas had five treasuries. There are similar references in the accounts of the Classical writers. THE DOWNFALL OF DHANA NANDA The downfall of Dhana Nanda is due to several factors: Firstly, Dhana Nanda was addicted to the hoarding of treasure. The accumulation of an enormous wealth to which all our authorities bear witness, probably implies a good deal of financial actuation and it is not surprising that Nanda, contemporary of Alexander, " was detested and held cheap by his subjects more so like his father and thus became unpopular on occupying the throne" With all his military might and mastery of large empire he lacked the strength of popularity which he could have maintained. Much of unpopularity owed to his miserliness, at the expense of his people by means of excessive taxation

and extraction. Dhana Nanda had to resort this method to maintain the mighty army which he had built up. Secondly, the Nandas were from low origin the Shudras not being tolerated by the Brahmins and kshatriyas. They naturally looked down upon the rule of the Nandas with contempt. The king Porus (Pururava) stated that the king of Gangaridea was a worthless character and was not held in respect. He was considered to be the son of a barber. Plutarch tells us that Chandragupta Maurya (AndroKotts) had stated that the Nanda was hated and despised by his subjects on account of his wickedness, disposition and the meanness of his origin. It is possible that the cause of the unpopularity that of the Nandas was their financial extraction. The Puranas refer to a dynamic revelation by which the Nandas were overthrown by the Mauryas. A detailed account of the same is narrated in the play Mudrarakshasa. The Puranas refer to the Nandas as Adharmikas (irreligious). B.G. Gokhale writing on Nandas in his book Ancient India: History and Culture, states that as Porus and Alexander faced each other on the banks of the river Jhelum, in distant Pataliputra ruled Dhana Nanda, the last king of the Nanda dynasty. His treasury was full and his army mighty, but he was despised for his low birth and miserly habits. The thunder of Alexander's march seems to have perturbed him a little, as he counted the gold in treasury and longed for more. The Nandas were the bitter enemies of the Brahmanas. Chanakya, a north Indian Brahmin whom the Indian Chroniclers refer to Kautilya as Dvijarshaba was an inhabitant

of Taxila, Another legend is that he was a kerala Brahmin, impoverished, lean and of repulsive complexion. The name Kautilya denotes that he is of Kutila Gotra and he is also referred as Vishnugupta which was his personal name. The word Chanakya shows him to be the son of Chanaka. He came to Pataliputra to win the laurels in philosophic disposition. One Buddhist source says that Kautilya "was known for his philosophy in the three Vedas, in the mantras, skill in stratagem, dexterity, in intrigue and policy but he was in physic ugly, with disgusting complexion, deformity of legs and other limbs". According to Buddhist and Jain traditions, his parents noticed that Kautilya was born with a full set of teeth, a mark of a future king. They had teeth removed making him uglier because neither the father nor the mother wanted him to be a king. He became a king-maker instead. Chanakya who became an advisor to Chandragupta Maurya once presented himself in the court of the king of Dhana Nanda of Pataliputra seeking an opportunity to serve the kingdom in the capacity befitting his education learning and wisdom. Since Chanakya was a Brahmin by birth and ugly in looks the king did not like his presence in the beautiful setting of his royal court. Dhana Nanda ordered Chanakya to leave the feast after he had started eating in his court. The incensed kautilya vowed not to tie his fore lock knot till he had destroyed the Nanda dynasty root and branch. He wandered disguised as an ascetic searching for a suitable person who could help him achieve his objective. He came upon a Chandragupta of a royal line but tattered by a cowherd, plumping with his companions on the village grounds. The boy was acting the role of the king, dispensing justice giving out orders to his ministers. On the ascetic beseeching him for alms, the king grandly gave away

a herd of someone else's cows. Kautilya was so impressed with the boy's leadership qualities that he bought the boy then and there for 1000 panas (one thousand rupees), took him to Taxila and gave him education fit for a future king. With regard to the origin of Chandragupta Maurya according to one tradition the designation 'Maurya' is derived from the word 'Mura'. The mother or grandmother of Chandragupta Maurya was the wife of a Nanda king. Chandragupta Maurya also comes from a humble origin. K.S. Sharma in his India's Ancient Past says that Chandragupta, according to brahminical tradition was born to Mura, a Shudra woman in the court of the Nandas. Justin, a historian describes Chandragupta as a man of low origin. According to Puranic account he was the son of the last Nanda king from his Shudra concubine Mura by name, from whom was derived the surname Maurya. Chanakya who bore a deep grudge against the Nandas, met Chandragupta as a boy and took him away and initiated him to a rigorous academic discipline for a period of seven to eight years. The people of Magadha soon found a leader. Plutarch and Justin the two historians refer to a young boy named Andrakotts or Sandrakotts doubtlessly identical with the famous Chandragupta Maurya, who visited Alexander in Punjab and showed keen interest in the affairs of Prasii (Pataliputra). "Not long afterwards" he mounted the throne and "shook off from the Neck" of India "the yoke of servitude" by overthrowing the existing government in India and impelling the advancement of Alexander. Kautilya and Chandragupta together set about the Nanda king. But it was not so easy task to conquer Nanda, the king of the Magadha. The Nanda king was strong in military resources and finance. Details of Chandragupta's inquests of the Nanda Empire are lacking. We get the

glimpses of them in Buddhist and Jain traditions. There are some popular stories about the strategy he followed and also about his mistakes. A direct attack on the heart of Nanda Empire was said to have failed. He first started by invading the regions on the Frontiers (Antajapadams) and plundering the villages. This was a movement from the frontier forwards the interior. But when he reached the heart of the Empire he was defeated, his army was surrounded and destroyed. A legend has it that the right tactics for destroying a powerful kingdom came to them when they saw a woman with whom they had taken shelter when they were defeated by Dhana Nanda scolding her son: " You are just like Chandragupta because he got his fingers burnt by starting to eat from the centre of a hot dish'. They changed the tactics and began to conquer from the frontiers. Chandragupta and Chanakya entered into an alliance with the king of a Mountain kingdom. They made alliance with the king Parvataka an Himalayan king. There were five tribal kingdoms under his control. His brother was Virodhaka, and the son Malayaketu. Parvataka gave comprehensive support to Chandragupta to fight against Dhana Nanda. They opened campaign by reducing the provinces though young Chandragupta and his supporters were inferior in armed strength and they began by harassing the outlying areas. Garrisons were stationed in each conquered state to prevent a revolt behind them. One story about the conquest is that when Chandragupta failed to conquer a town besieging, kautilya entered it disguised as beggar, and predicted that the siege would be lifted if the people removed the idols from the temple. The gullible population did so and the beggar pretended to withdraw. When the besiegers were celebrating that supposed liberty, the attackers returned to take them by surprise. The Nanda troops lead by the General Bhadrasala, were defeated with immense slaughter and

Chandragupta seized the sovereignty of Pataliputra. According to a tradition, it was as bloody a battle fought between the two. It seems Chandragupta had employed against the Nandas all the military strength he could gather including even the Greek mercenaries from Punjab. While some Indian writers, notably the author of the Sanskrit play Mudrarakshasa are chiefly concerned with the battle of intrigue conducted by Kautilya. The Milinda-panho offers a glimpse of the clash of arms between the contending forces of the Nandas and the Mauryas: "There was Bhadrasala the soldier in the service of the royal family of the Nandas and he waged a war against the king Chandragupta. Now in that war, there were eighty corpses dance. For they say that when one great holocaust has taken place by which is meant the slaughter of ten thousand elephants, a lakh horses, five thousand charioteers and hundred kotis of soldiers on foot. Then headless corpses arise and dance in frenzy over the battlefield". But we have the reminiscence of the blood bath though Charndragupta had waded to the throne. Dhana Nanda was a great fighter and he fought very bravely. It is only by a mere stroke of luck, a lucky hit (coupdetat) by Chandrapupta Maurya that Dhana Nanda was killed. A passage in the Milinda-panho states that one hundred koti soldiers, ten thousand elephants and one Lakh horses were killed and five thousand chariots were destroyed and Bhadrasala was the Commander of the Nanda king. Some historians have stated that the defeated Nanda king namely Dhana Nanda was not killed but spared for life and some say that he was killed. S.N.Sen in his book Ancient India writes that "After the overthrow of the Greek rule, Chandragupta drew his attention to Dhana Nanda, the Nanda King of Magadha. In a fierce battle that took place,

the Nanda king was defeated. Nanda was however spared for life and permitted to leave Pataliputra. The Puranas and the Arthashastra credit Chanakya with having destroyed the Nandas. But the final discomfiture of Dhana Nanda was due to unpopularity". A.V. William in his work History of India observes that "Chandragupta by taking advantage of Dhana Nanda's unpopularity dethroned and slew him, utterly eliminating every member of his family. But the People did not gain much by the change of the Masters because Chandragupta "after his victory, fortified by his tyranny all titles to the name of the liberator (Chanakya), oppressing with servitude the very people whom he had emancipated from foreign thralldom". The Jain Text states that after besieging of Pataliputra Kautilya and Chandra Gupta forced the king Dhanda Nanda capitulate when he had reduced his strength in every way, his wealth, his army, his prowess, even his mental capacity (Dhihu). Nanda was however spared his life and permitted by Kautilya to leave Pataliputra with his two wives and one daughter and as much luggage as he could carry in a single chariot. "The fall and destruction of the Nanda have been narrated in the play Mudrarakshasa", says Suryanarayana Rao in his work The Never to be Forgotten Empire. He continues: "the direct line of lunar dynasty has been extinguished, and that those who claim relationship with and descent from the lunar line, only do so from the members of Mauryan dynasty. Saraswartha Siddhi was the ruler of Pataliputra; Palibotra of Grecian historian and modern Patna, and he had nine sons Nava Nandas, by his beautiful wife. He had kept a woman by name Mura Devi and she bore him a son, who seems to have died when he was very young.

The son was Chandragupta, the famous Santrocotts or Androcotts of the Greeks, the founder of Maurya dynasty. This was in the later part of fourth century BC. We have the authority of Plutarch in his work The Life of Alexander The Great for the statement that 'Androcotts, Chandragupta, who was then very young and who was serving in the army of Porus when he opposed Alexander, sighted Alexander, and he is reported to have often said that Alexander was within a little making of himself, the master of all the country". This must have been in 327 BC. Chandragupta states further that "the reigning prince (Dhana Nanda) was looked upon with great hatred and contempt on account of the profligacy of manners and meanness of birth". The reigning princes of Magadha must have been Nava Nandas, who might have made themselves odious to the people by their vicious contact and reckless profligacy. These exercises of Nava Nandas (Nine Nandas) must have helped the usurper Chandragupta a great deal in his attempts to bring destruction on the ruling sovereigns and to ascend to the throne of Magadha. The play Mudrarakshasa relates, that a Brahmin sage of extraordinary political knack, by name Chanakya or Vishnugupta excellently conceived and very skillfully carried out plot placed Chandragupta on the throne of the Nava Nandas ( Nine Nandas ) and brought about the complete destruction of the ruling royal family. Even if the story is believed, it is nowhere stated there in, that all the cousins and collateral relations of the ruling princes were murdered along with them. If therefore direct descent from the ancestors of the Nava Nandas or the scions of the earlier lunar princes, they may not be altogether wrong in their assertions since it is possible to conceive that they might have been descended from different branches of the lunar line or Chandravamsa, though not in the same stock in which

Nava Nandas (Nine Nandas) traced their descent. Chandragupta ascended the throne of Magadha in 322 BC and after a successful and iron- rule of twenty five years he was succeeded by his son Bindusara in 297 BC. History of India (From the Earliest to 1206 AD) gives a detailed account on the subject of sparing of the life of Dhana Nanda. In the chapter on the conquest of Magadha after the expiration of the Greek rule from India, Chandragupta embarked upon his objective of the tyrannical rule of the Nandas. It took him full one year to overthrow the Nanda dynasty from Magadha. The Buddhist and Jain literatures are full of numerous stories and episodes to show that Chandragupta's reputation as liberator of the people from the Yavanas already soared high when he crunched his military campaign against the Nandas. Unfortunately the ancient Indian writers showed little interest in describing the details of the political and military events as was done later by the Muslim Chroniclers of medieval period. Therefore, the exact details of these historic events remain unknown to us. Suffice it to say that Chandragupta organized armies upon the Magadha dominions from across the river Beas. They were accompanied by a number of chiefs from Punjab and north western India along with their contingents in support of Chandragupta; they probably included some Greek mercenaries as well. Chandragupta's forces spread themselves in the Ganga and Yamuna valleys and conquered many Rastras and Janapadas on his way to Magadha. The Imperial Nanda army however eluded them. After some initial failures, Chandragupta adopted the right strategy according to which he posted his garrisons on all important conquered strongholds to keep them under control". This after taking possession all the outlying subordinate states and principalities of Magadha,

Chandragupta marched upon Pataliputra. The imperial Nanda armies confronted him only on the borders of Magadha. The Nanda king was defeated and took shelter in the strongholds of Pataliputra. It was promptly besieged and ultimately captured by Chandragupta. The Jain Text Parishistaparvan describes that the Nanda king was taken prisoner, but Chandragupta spared his life and "allowed him to leave Pataliputra with his two wives and a daughter and as much baggage as he could carry off in a single chariot". It was further stated that a youthful Chandragupta fell in love with the beautiful Nanda princess and married her soon thereafter, thus forging a sort of matrimonial alliance with the preceding ruling dynasty of Magadha. The Buddhist Text Mahavamsatika however differs with the Jain Text and mentions that the Nanda king had been in the battlefield before the fall of Pataliputra. Nevertheless, it does not refute the Jain tradition that Chandragupta finally coroneted himself at Pataliputra after the occupation of Magadha in 321 BC. Almost all the indigenous sources preserve the record that Chanakya acted as the right hand man of Chandragupta Maurya in the anticipation of the notorious Nanda rule from Magadha. The Vayupurana verifies the enthronement of Chandragupta Maurya as an important event wherefrom "the Brahmana kautilya will destroy the Nandas and will coronate Chandragupta". K.L. Khurana sums up the causes of the downfall of the Nanda dynasty as follows: 1.

They were born as Shudras and the people disliked them for their low origin.


They tried to destroy the Kshatriyas. The Kshatriyas and the Brahmanas were dissatisfied with them. They did not support them in the time of need.


The last Nanda ruler collected a vast treasure at the cost of his subjects he levied heavy taxes thereby

causing distress to his subjects. 4.

He insulted Chanakya who was a great politician and this made his downfall inevitable. DURATION OF THE NANDAS

With regard to the duration of the Nandas there is no uniform opinion. According to the Jain Texts the duration of the Nandas is one hundred and fifty five years. According to Puranas it is one hundred years. According to the Buddhist Chroniclers of Ceylon it is only twenty two years. The Jain Text is too high for a couple of generations. The Puranas agree in assigning a period of twelve years to the sons of Mahapadma. But in regard to the duration of the reign it is incredible and its rejection involves a reduction of the total period of one hundred years assigned to puranic tradition of the Nandas. Vincent Smith writing on the duration of the Nandas gives the following illustrations: Firstly, Nandaraja is mentioned in the mutilated Prakrit inscription at Udayagiri of the Jain king of Kalinga named Sri Kharavela Mahamegha Vadana. The record, unfortunately much damaged, is a chronicle of the reign of that monarch who in his second year sent a large army to the West without heeding to Andhra king by name Satakarni and in his fifth year built an artificial aqueduct channel for supplying water, especially one made of bricks or stone and higher than surrounding hand which had not been used for one hundred and three years since the time of the Nanda king or kings. The Second reference to the Nandas is obscure, but the mention of one hundred and three years gives a chronological datum. There is no other date in the inscriptions of which the most trustworthy account is that of Prof. Luders. He gives references of earlier interpretations and comments in his Bramhi Inscriptions. If we assume 322

BC as the end of the Nanda dynasty, the fifth year of Kharavela would be one hundred and three years later, namely 219 BC and his accession should be placed about 223 BC. Satakarni would have been ruling at that time. But apparently all assert that the dynasty lasted for one hundred years. Hemachandra a Puranic writer states that a successor became the king sixty years after the death of Mahavira the founder of Jainism. Nanda and his descendents continued to rule Magadha till the last Nanda king was deposed by Vishnugupta Chanakya one hundred and fifty five years after the death of Mahavira. Thus Hemachandra allots ninety years (155-60) to Nanda and sub descendants. This agrees fairly well with puranic tradition that the Nandas ruled for about one hundred years, the Puranas probably borrowed the information from ancient Jain sources. According to certain manuscripts of VayuPurana, the oldest of the classics referred to by the poet Bana in the seventh century AD, the first Nanda ruled for twelve years and was followed by his sons who ruled for twelve years each. The work Tararatna also assigns a twenty nine-year period to Nanda. If this chronological scheme is to be accepted, the First Nanda could have died in 338 BC and the dynasty must have came to power not earlier than 367336 BC. But as stated above there is hardly any unanimity among the authorities- Puranic, Jain and Buddhist writersregarding the period of Ugrasena's (Mahapadma's) reign and the total duration of the rule of his dynasty. Sarita S. Mehta and J.H. Mehta write that, "as regards the period of their rule, the Brahminical and the Buddhist versions show considerable variations. Puranas vaguely assign the period of a whole century to the Nanda dynasty, the Buddhist records give only twenty two years of rule to

all the nine rulers which is vague". Dr. Rayachoudhari suggests that the Puranic versions are fictitious and hypothetical. He gives credence to the Buddhist account that the eight sons and successors of Ugrasena ruled simultaneously for twelve years leaving behind a period of ten years to the reign of the founder. Accordingly, it is generally held that the Nanda dynasty lasted from 345-334 BC to 323-322 BC. When Chandragupta Maurya defeated the last Nanda ruler of Pataliputra probably Dhana Nanda in the battlefield that laid the foundation of Maurya Dynasty. ADMINISTATION OF THE NANDAS We have information as to the way in which the vast dominions of the Nandas were administered. If the tradition is to be believed the founder of the line clearly aimed at the establishment of a 'Unitary State', a reference to the extermination of all the Kshatriyas coupled with the use of the term Ekarat and Ekachakra can have no other meaning. Greek writers however make separate mention of the Prasii and Gangaridea though at their subjection to a common sovereign. Arrian, a Western author notices its existence beyond the river Beas of "an excellent system of internal government under which the multitude was governed by the aristocracy who exercised their authority with justice and moderation". The aristocratic governments to which classical writers refer cannot fail to remind one of the kings of Kurus, the Panchalas, and others mentioned in kautilya's Arthashastra who bore the title Raja (Raja-Sabdopajivinah) and the flourishing condition of the areas in question where "the inhabitants were good agriculturists. That the land was exceedingly fertile and the internal government excellent is in striking contrast with the conditions prevailing in the home provinces of Prasii (Magadhan) monarchy where the

king was detested and held cheap by his subjects". It appears from the evidence available to us that the Nandas allowed a considerable amount of autonomy to the people in the outlying parts of their empire, i.e. the Gangetic delta and the territories lying beyond Oudh. But the home provinces consisting of the Ancient Janapadas of Magadha (South Bihar) Vriji (North Bihar) Kasi (Benaras) Kosala (Oudh) etc. were treated in the same way as the Sultanate of Delhi with the metropolitan province and the river country of Doab. The presence of the king, not only in Pataliputra (the capital of Magadha) but also in Vaishali or Visala'(the capital of Vriji country in North Bihar) is vouched for traditions and we have also an interesting reference to an encampment at Ayodhya. The position held by the Nandas in the heart of the dominions confronted with their comparative weakness in the Frontier regions. The Buddhist commentator on Greek Chronicles of Ceylon and other later writers tell about Chandragupta's ambitious adventure at the threshold of his career. The stories no doubt belong to the domain of the folklore and certain motifs have a surprising resemblance with the saga of King Alfred. But the central idea might have been based on genuine tradition. The Greek observers of the fourth century BC and the epitomizers of a later age allude to a system of provincial government under the officials styled Nomarchs and Hyparchs. A Nomarch is a local ruler or governor of a name or district. The Hyparch is sometimes used to denote a Satrap. Though these officials are mentioned chiefly in connection with the Punjab, in the days of Alexander and the Magadhan Empire in Maurya period, it is possible to conjecture that the provincial system under the Nandas especially in the districts under their sway was not very difficult. In the third century BC we hear of administrative charges called Dhara, Vishaya, Janapada etc. and under

functionaries styled Mahamatras, Rajukas, Pradesikas Rastriyas who seem to answer to Nomarchs and Hyparchs mentioned by the Greeks. The lowest administrative unit was the village. In the presence of Prasna Upanishad, a later Vedic Text, we hear Adhikritas appointed for Gramas or villages of a smart emperor, Gramikas or the village Headmen find mention in the early Pali cannon which possibly corresponds to these Adhikritas. In the early days of the Magadhan monarchy the king appears to have kept himself in close touch with these Adhikritas, the village functionaries. We hear a big assembly of thousands of Gramikas held by the king Bimbasara. There is evidence that the Nandas followed this example and the detestation of the people to which classical writers bear witness, ill records without any close touch with life in the rural areas. Such a contact was only reestablished when Asoka (third century BC) undertook pious tour even to villages in the outlying areas of in pursuance of his policy of Dharmanusasti. REGIONS BEYOND THE MAGADHAN EMPIRE No account of India in the age of the Nandas is complete without a brief notice of the vast stretches territory within the confines of this country that lay beyond the limits of the Nanda Empire. Unfortunately, the exact boundary of the Nanda dominions cannot be determined with any amount of precision with the aid of available evidence. This is particularly true of south. In the north the inclusion of the Ganges valley within the Nanda Empire is already noted as suggested by Greek and Puranic evidences. We shall perhaps not be wrong if we regard the upper reaches of the stream that once flowed through Ghoggar-Harka bed forming the Empire of 'Harka bed' as forming roughly the boundary between Magadha Empire of those days and the

autonomous tribes and kinships of Uttarapatha. In the south the Greek evidence is not of much help. Puranic testimony, as we have seen, hints at incorporation into their Empire by the Nandas of principalities of all the leading Kshatriya families of the day including in all probability that of the south. Among the later, prominent mention is made of Haihayas, Kalingas and the Asmakas. Following this evidence that emerges from sources assignable to the commencement of the Gupta Age we may tentatively fix the southern boundary of the Nanda Empire or at least of the area of its political and military activities at the Godavari. Barring some medieval Jain treatise and inscriptions of early times and of doubtful value there is evidence that hegemony of the Nandas extended far beyond the famous river Godavari. Persian inscriptions and observation of the Greek and Latin writers supplemented by brief notices in Indian literature and epigraphs enable us to say a few words about the great regions of Indianamely the Indian border beyond the Ghoggar and South India beyond Godavari, which in the light of the evidence we have adduced seem to have laid beyond the limits of the Empire. Certain inscriptions of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries found in the present Shimoga district referred to the Nandas, the predecessors of the Mauryas as being connected with the parts of Northern Mysore. Thus one inscription (E.C. VII Shikarpur dated in 1204 AD) states that Kunthala a province which included the Deccan and the North of Mysore was ruled by renowned Nandas. To sum up, north-west India presented on the whole a picture of disunion when the Nandas held sway over the Ganges valley. Constant references to Hymarchs and Nomarchs however indicate that in the eighteenth century the agents of defunct empire were, with a few exceptions, content with the subordinate titles they laid on the palmy

ways of the rule of their former Imperial Masters. The time was ripe for the interference from powers that dominated the tableland of Iran on the west and the valley of the Ganges in the east. In comparison with the north-west, our information regarding the far south of India beyond the river Godavari in the age of the Nandas is extremely meager. INDUSTRY, TRADE AND CURRENCY The outstanding achievement of Mahapadma Nanda the founder of Nanda dynasty was the completion of the political unity of northern India excluding the Indus basin, but including the Malwa tableland, the Kalinga sea bed and probably also a good part of Deccan. Probably because of the low birth he was led to make a clean sweep of the Kshatriya ruling families of his time and make himself, in the expressive language the Puranas, "the Sole Ruler of the Earth". The consequences of this absorption of the petty state of northern India into a large empire could not have been highly beneficial to the cause of material progress. Northern India by virtue of its fertile soil and favourable climate, its magnificent waterways and its extensive coastline must have from the first enjoyed exceptional opportunities provided by nature for economic prosperity under the strong and centralized administration of the Nandas. But trade and industry could not advance greatly. In particular the needs of their exceptionally wealthy court to which later traditions bear witness. They organized administration heralding that, the Mauryas must have given a great impetus to industrial and commercial effort. The direct interest of the Nandas in commercial development is perhaps indicated by their invention of a new standard measure referred to in the Kasika commentary as well as their standardization of the old silver coinage. The mighty Ganga with his feeders on the south and

the Gandak and Gogra in the north, served as admirable means of defense and communication both with upper India and the Sea. The older capital Rajagriha surrounded by the seven hills, and the later and more famous Pataliputra at the Junction of the Ganga and the Sea were both well protected by nature. Next to its strategic position the competition from the orthodoxy and the conquest commingling of diverse cultures in Magadha may be regarded as important factors in its development. As noted above Magadha and the countries to the east of it lay almost outside the pale of Vedic culture had spent its force. It was now the turn of the sturdy people of the east, combatively unaffected by the Aryan invasions, to play their part. When the Puranas mention the wholesale destruction of the Kshatriya power by Shudra king Mahapadma Nanda, they seem instinctively to refer to the end of one epoch and the rise of the other. The laxity of social restrictions imposed by the orthodox Brahmincal culture and the universal aspect of a home in Magadha he must have considerably widened the political outlook to this region and contributed to make it the nucleus of a mighty empire. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AGE OF THE NANDAS The Nandas have been over shadowed by their more powerful successors, the Mauryas. Moreover the Nandas being Shudras by caste the authors of the Puranic writings who were Brahmans denounced the Nandas as Adharmikas meaning unholy men who had brought Kali-Age or the Dark Age to the country. Kautilya in the Arthashastra hailed the downfall of the Nandas from whose hands the scriptures would now be safe. But today the Nanda dynasty is considered to have contributed to the political greatness and cultural heritage of India. Mahapadma by destroying

the Aryan king earned the appellation of a Second Parashurama. He was 'the first historical emperor of India'. With him the Shudras established an empire on the ruins of Kshatriya Kingdom. In social matters it was the rise of the Nandas who belonged to the lower classes. The Puranic Chroniclers presented the dynasty as harbingers of Shudra rule in view of the traditional connection of the family with jain ministers and patriarchs. The Nandas joined together the different parts of the country and molded them into a political entity extended from Punjab to the Godavari so that it was easy for Chandragupta Maurya to build a political unity of India under the leadership of Magadha. The process of Imperial unity that was initiated by Bimbasara went a long way under the Nandas. The Nandas raised a vast army and built strong administrative machinery that left legacy for the Mauryas to continue and to develop it further. Pataliputra as a city became so famous that the classical writers such as Pliny were aware of the splendor of Pataliputra. The Nandas were great patrons of learning and Pataliputra was a great centre of cultural activities. Scholars like Varsha, Upavarsha, Panini (of Asthadhyayi, the first Sanskrit grammar), Katyayana, Varuchi were associated with literary activities. The other achievements include the introduction of grammar and the discovery of what to be known as Yavana lipi, the system of Greek alphabet. The Nandas introduced a new system of weights and measures. The Nandas also built

canals and carried out irrigation projects. In fact they were the first rulers to introduce the canal system of irrigation as for as the province of Kalinga (Orissa). The possibility of imperial structure based as essential economy began to germinate in the Indian mind. Another important aspect of this age was the rise of the Shudras to the position of kings and during the very stage of Indian history when Buddha a Kshatriya by birth became a preacher. The stage shows a total rupture of Varna system. In spite of a comparatively short period of their rule for about 100 years the Nandas must be credited with having paved the way for their more well known successors, the Mauryas. Their army and their administration were adopted by the Mauryas with growing concern. But the Empire of the Nandas was naturally lacking certain qualities which emerged only under the Mauryas. Just as certain new ideas coming from the west may have contributed to the rise of Magadha in the sixth century BC under the king Bimbasara, another wave of western influence may have led to the transformation of the Empire of the Nandas into that of Mauryas. In the words of K.K. Mookherji, "the sixth and fifth centuries BC hold out a strange phenomenon before us: Kshatriya chiefs founding popular religious sects which molded Vedic religion and Shudra leadership establishing a big empire in Aryavarta on the ruins of Kshatriya kingdom".


Page No A

Abhisheka Ambasta Achicchatra Adharmika Adhikirtas Agurasainiya Agrammes Aikshuvakus Aiyangar Ajivika Ajathashatru Aitereya Brahamana Alexander

22 15 37 3,4,19,48,53,72 68 19,21 19,21,45,46,49,50 31 52 34 31,35,40,41,47,48 21 26,30,33,37,44,49,50, 52,54,56,60,68 Alexandrum 27 Alfred King 67 Alberuni 27 Alwar 37 Anathakula 19 Ancient India 19,20,32,58 A-Nanda 18 Anga 42 Ancient Janapadas 67 Anu 42 Andra kotts 53,56,60 AnathaJanapadams 56 Andhra King 64 Apasthamba Dharmashastra 15 Arthashastra 6,15,27,59,66 Aristocractic Oligarchies 18 Arantis 38 Arya Kings 40,73 Arrian 66 Aryan Invasions 72

Aryavartha Asoka Asthadhyayi Asmakas Avanthi Avasyakasutra Ayodhya

34,74 68,22,29 73 33,35,38,39,69 20,31,38,39 19 30,32,35,67 B

Barber Barba Bareilly district Barua Bana Bairat Bhadrasala Benaras Bearded man Bharatpur Bhandarkar Bhadrasena Bhuthapala Bharatha Prince Bhegala Bhagalpur Bhodhan Bhavishnukirthana Bimbasara Bijjala Bindusara Bihar Birbhum Black prince Bosrah Boghamati Brahminical versions Brahaminical Culture Brahmin

9,10,11,12,13,15,21,24 9 37 46 20,22 37 45,50,57,58,68 36,41 10 37 19,22 22 25 36 50 42 38 39 31,33,34,41,44,47,48 44 61 14,40 42 22 40 41 29 72 17,40,53,54

Brahmanas Brahman puranic Brahmin sage Brahmin parashurama Brahmadatta Brahmi inscriptions Buddhist Buddhism Buddhist council Buddha Buddhist text Buddhist traditions Burdwan

18,40,42,46,54,63,72 46 60 17 36 64 21,26,29,31,54 11,34 22 11,40,74 18,19,21,25,31,62 21,26 42 C

Cardinal Mazorin Central Doab Celonies Chronocle Chinese Piligrms Chicacole Chronicles of Ceylon Chamar Community Chakravarthi Champaran Chand Champals Charmavathi Chandragupta Maurya

44 36 28,29 27 42 51 13 17,33 40 18 39 39 26,27,29,39,53, 55,56,57,58,66,73 42 51,52 9,35,54,55,59,60 61 31

Chotanagpur Chinese Traveller Chanakya Chandra Vamsa Choropubbos D Dardhanga


Dark Age Dacoits of the old Dasasiddika Nanda Dais Darshaka Danatakura Dantapura Dhara Dhana Dhana Nanda Dhritarastra Dhihu Dharmanusasti Divya vadhana Digvijaya Diodarous Doab Dvijarshaba Early History of India Early India Eastern Nations Easterners Egyptians Ekrat Ekarath Maharaja Ekachakra Empire Emperor’s Priest Farookabad First Nanda First Surgeons Folk Takes Frontier Gandak

40,72 31 25 13,14 21 42 42 68 25,50,51 25,26,35,48,51,52,55,58,60 14,36 59 68 21,46 33 21,45,46 67 54 E 29 51 43,44 49 10 17,34,43,45,66 32 66 32,33,34,47,56,70 15 F 37 65 4 29 31,56 G 41

Ganges Gangetic delta Ganga river Gangaritai Gangaridea Ganga Gangetic basin Ganges valley Gem in the lotus General Bhadrasala Generals of the army Ghoggar Hurka Ghoggar Girnar region Girivraja Govishanaka Gomti River Godavari Gogra Goutama Buddha Goutama Dharmashastra Gokhale-BG Godavari valley Gramikas Gramas Greek Writer Great Nandi Greek observers Greek testimonies Great Nandi Greeks Greek mercenaries Greek writers Greek alphabet Greek Agrrammes Great military genius Grecian historian Greek chronicles

17,36,41,45,51 67 61 46 34,45,49 45,52,62,72 33,45 69,70 33 57 45 69 70 39 41 25 36 38,45,69 71 11 15 53 38 68 68 30 22 45 33 22 34,50 57,62 20,43,50,66 73 19 30 60 57

Greek evidence Greek Greek historians Grierson. G Greek rule Great empire Gujarat Gupta Age

30,41,69 57,68 49 18 58 34 36 69 H

Harshacharita Hathi gumpha Haihayas` Harkabed Hajjam Hemachandra Himalayan History of Ancient India History of India Hiuen-Tsang Historians Historical Emperor Himalayas Hindu text Himalalyan King Hoods of the Ganga Hyposis Hymarchs Hyderabad State

20,21 27,28,32,42,43 39 69 16 65 17, 57 23,47 59,61 51 28,49,58 34,73 45 24 57 52 50 67,68,70 38 I

Ikshvakus India’s Ancient Past

35,36,40 48,55

Indian literature


Indian subcontinent Imperial chancellors Imperial masters Iron razors

10 45 70 10

Iron age

43 J

Janaka Jain ministers Jain account Jain literature Jain influence Jaina pontiffs Jamuna Jainism Jataka Jaipur Jain sources Jain traditions Janapadas Jalika Jain text Jain shrine Jayaswal Janakpur Jhelum Jina Justin

40 34,48 43 61 35 29 37 34,65 36 37 65 56 62,68 22 23,28,59,63 28 21,29 40 53 49 55,56 K

Kalasoka Kakavarnin Kala Kakavarna Kakavarna Mahanandi Kautilya Kalinga Kalinga jana sannivesha Kashmir Katha Sarithasagara Karnataka Kali age Kalapaka

20,21,23 22 22 20,23 22 27,54,58 30,32,35,42,48 28 31 32,35,52 33 40 43,45

Kaseyas Kasi Kasika Katara Katyayana Kampla Kampil Kharavela Khurana King Nanda King of Magadha King of wealth King Mahanandin King Virata Kosambi Kosala Koti Kosi Korabya Kshemendra Kshatriya race Kshatriya rule Kshatriya chiefs Kshatriya kingdom Kshatriya dynasties Kshatrantaka Kurus Kurushetra Kunthala Kutila gotra L Latin writers Later Sisunagas Later Sisunaga Langulini Last Sisunaga ruler Leader of the mighty army Licchavis

35 36,57 71 35 73 37 37 27,28 63 28 28 49,51,52 19 37 31 31,32,36,67 47,52 17 22 24,25 31 33 34 73,74 43 32 41,66 37 30,70 54 70 44 23 42 23,44 19 40

Lingulia Lord Krishna Lord Shiva Lord of infinite host Low origin Lower caste Louis XIII of France Lunar line Lunar princes Ludors- Prof

40 37 18 19 19,21 23 44 59 61 64 M

Manusmruti Mangali Mahapadma Nanda Mauryan Mahanandin Mahapadma Maha bodhi vamsa Mahapadma pathi Maha vamsatika Mahanandi Magadha Magadhan Monarchy Mathura Maithilas Matheve Maha matra Matsya Purana Malayaketu Mauryan dynasty Mahavira Maghadhan Magadhan empire Magadhan sway Malwa Magadhan power Mahishmati

15 16 17,19,21,23 54,55 18,19,26 17,19,20,23,31 20,25,46,50 19 19,26,31,36 22 20,23,31 37 37 35,39,40 40 44 48 57 60,66 48 37,38 69 41 38 48 37

Mahavamsa Madhya Desha Maheshwara Matsyas Majumdar R.C Mamman Maruthuvar Mehta J.L Meghasthanese Milinda Panho Mimi Mongura Monjira Monarchical ancestry Monarch Mountain kingdom Monghr Mookherji K.K Mondhata Modern era Mura Mudrarakshasa Muzaffurpur Mura devi Muslim chroniclers Mysore Mushirabad

22 49 38 37 30 52 12 32,45 37,49 28,45,58 40 22 38 43 33,44,45 57 42 74 38 11 55 58,59 40 60 61 32 42

N Nandas 9,19,24 Nanda dynasty 18,19,20,31 Nanda Nander (Nander-Sahib) 32,33,38 Nandi 22 Nava 24 Navanandas 24,25 Nandi Vardhana 21,22,26 Nandaraja jitam Kalingajana sannivesa 29 Nanda kings 30,55

Nanda rule Nava Nanda Dhera Nandin Nandarum Nandaraja Nanda power Nanda family Nanda empire Nanda supremacy Nandersaheb Nanda kingdom Napithadasa Nanda ruler Nanda era Nanda dominions Narmada valley Narmada river Nanda predecessors Nasuvan Naiyee Navithan Nai

29,33 32 18 27 27,28 33 29 24 32 33 51 19 48 27 26,69 37 38 39 16 16 16 16,26



Nadia pundra Nandi bull Nepali terai Neanderthals Nizamabad Nilananta Shastry Prof Nomarchs North panchalas

42 18 41 9 38 51 67,70 37

O Old Nandas Original nurses Order of monks Orissa Oudh

27 13 11 30,32


P Pancamaka Pataliputra Panduka Panduka Nanda Parashurama Pandugati Nanda Panchanita-vasika Panchalas Palaka Parvataka Pali cannon Panani Partgiter-PE Parishista Parvan Patna Padma Patalipatana Panama Patal Physician Phagelas Pliny Plutarch Polibatra Porus Pomeiustrages Pradyatas Prachya Prodyota Prasii Pradesikas Prasna Upanishads Puranic Nandi Vardhana Puranas Puranic Sisunaga dynasty Puranic literature

22 21,24,30,46,49,51 25 25 31,32,33 25 31 35,37,41,49 39 57 68 30 17,38 62 60 20 38 38 52 15 50 46,73 53 46,59 53 27 31 49 38,39 46,49 68 68 22 20,22,24,28,31 26 18

Punjab Puranic statements Puranic chronicles Purus Puranic traditions Pururava Puranic account Puranic evidences Puru family Purva Nandas

31,49,57 34,38 35,43,73 40,41 30,38,40,64,65 53 55 69 40

24 Q

Queen mother Queen of kakavarna23 Quintus Curtius Rafus

15 21,30,33,45

R Rajputs Ramnagar Ramayana Rama Rastras Raya Chowdhari Dr Raja Raja sabdopa jivinah Rajukas Rama ganga Rakshasa Rajagriha Remiscence Religious sects River ganga River rhine River Beas Romila Thapar Royal family

18 37 40 40 62 26,65 66 66 68 17 45 71 43 74 49 49 30,50 51

28 S

Sarabanjaha Saritha S Mehta

22 23,29,65

Sangha Satapata Brahmana Satanika satranjita Saraswathi Sarsuti Sannivesha Sahalya Sahalin Sukalpa Sanskrit play Saraswathi siddhi Satakarni Sanskrit grammar Samulya Satakala Satanika Satrap Sculpture Second Parashurama Sen S.N Shudras Shudra mother Shudra father Shudra caste Sharma R.S Shudra woman Shudra king Shudra rule Shudra leadership Shikarpur Shehnai Siridhavala janaka Sisunaga prince Sisunagas Sole ruler of the earth Southern Orissa Sovereign of untold wealth

11 40 36 41 41 42 25 46 25 58 59 64 73 25 37,45 36 68 11 33 58 44,53 24 24 16 48,55 19,23 17,72 16,73 34,74 70 17 40 41 19 71 30 34

Sovereign of the infinite host Sole monarch Stone age Sthaviravalicarita Surgeons Surasenas Suryanarayana Rao Supari Sunitha Sylvan-levy

19 44,45 9 24 11 35,39 59 16 44 50

T Tamil Nadu Tararatna Tamil poets Tanasulya road The Early History of India The Never to be Forgotten Empire The First Historical Emperor of India Tweezers

12 65 27 28 29 59 73


U Ubhaka Ugrasena Ujcropadia Upali Upanishads Upavarsha Upaplavya Ushnisha Uttarapata Uthara Pradesh

22 18,20,26,44 26 11 40 73 37 11,12 69

37 V

Vayu purana Vairata Vaishali Vajjus Vaitarani Varahanudu

22,63 37 22,40,41 40 42 42

Vanga Varsha Varna system Varuchi Varna order Varshakara Vedic text Vedic culture Vedic religion Vijay kanchroo Vitihotras Virata king Vidheha Vijayanagararm Virodhaka Vincent smith, Dr. Vishnu Gupta Visala Vikrama era Vrijjis

42 73 74 73 16 44 60 72 34 20 35,38,39 37 39,40,49 42 57 18,47,64 54,60 67 18


William A.V Writing of the Nandas

40,67 59

48 X

Xandrums Xenophan


26,27 Y

Yavana lipi Yavanas Yoga Nanda

73 61 25


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Hayavadana Rao, (ed) Mysore Gazzeteer, Vol. II, Part II (461 - 1414), Govt. Press, Bangalore, 1930.


Irfan Habib & Vivekananda Jha, (ed), A People's History of India, Tulika Books, New Delhi, pp.1215 & pp. 40, 41.



n this book I have focused on Mahapadma Nanda. Since he was branded as a Shudra and the Brahmins called him an "Adharmika", he took revengef...


n this book I have focused on Mahapadma Nanda. Since he was branded as a Shudra and the Brahmins called him an "Adharmika", he took revengef...