Haryanka Dynasty and its rulers – Bimbisara and Ajatashatru

Magadha empire was founded by VrihadrathaGiribraj or Rajgrih was the capital of Magadha. Magadha was one of the 16 Mahajanapadas or states in ancient India. Major dynasties of Magadha were – Haryanka dynasty, Shisunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty and Maurya dynasty. The first king of Magadha dynasty was Bimbisara and he founded the Haryanka dynasty. The Haryanka dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of Magadha. Haryanka Dynasty succeeded the Vrihadratha dynasty. This dynasty was succeeded by the Shishunaga dynasty.

Important Rulers of Haryanka Dynasty:

Bimbisara (544-492 B.C.):
1. Bimbisara became the king of Haryanka dynasty in 544 B.C.
2. Bimbisara established the Haryanka dynasty and was responsible for expanding the kingdom.
3. Bimbsara was contemporary of Lord Mahavira and patron of Buddha.
4. As per Buddhist scriptures, King Bimbisara met the Buddha for the first time prior to the Buddha’s enlightenment.
5. As per Jain literature, he was referred to as King Shrenika of Rajgriha.
6. Bimbisara strengthen his kingdom through matrimonial alliances and conquest.
7. Capital of Haryanka dynasty was Rajgriha.
8. Bimbisara sent physician Jivaka to Ujjain for medical treatment of King Pradyata, the king of Avanti.
9. Bimbisara had three wives, Kosala devi, Chellana and Khema.
10. Bimbisara was imprisoned and killed by his son Ajatashatru.
Ajatashatru (492-460 B.C.):
1. Ajatashatru was the son of Bimbisara and Chellana. He ascended the throne in 492 B.C.
2. Ajatashatru ruled from 492 BC to 461 BC.
3. Ajatashatru was also known as Kunika.
4. Ajatashatru struggled in the war against the Vajjis/Lichhavis but managed to defeat them.
5. Ajatashatru followed the policy of conquest and expansion.
6. Magadha became the most powerful kingdom in Northern India during his reign.
7. First Buddhist Coucil was held at Rajgriha during the reign of Ajatashatru.
8. Ajatashatru constructed a large fort around Rajgriha for protection against Lichhavis attack.
9. Ajatashatru was killed by his son Udayin in 461 B.C.
10 Udayin founded new capital at Patliputra.
11. Udayin ruled from 461 B.C. to 444 B.C.
12. The last ruler of Haryanka dynasty was Nagdashak.