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  • THE RISE OF MAGADHA AND ALEXANDER’S INVASION

    • Buddhist literature Anguttara Nikaya gives a list of sixteen great kingdoms called ‘Sixteen Mahajanapadas
      • Anga, Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Vajji, Malla, Chedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Surasena, Asmaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kambhoja.
      • only four kingdoms – Vatsa, Avanti, Kosala and Magadha survived
    • Vatsa

      • Vatsa kingdom was situated on the banks of the river Yamuna
      • capital was Kausambi
      • near modern Allahabad
      • popular ruler was Udayana
      • After his death, Vatsa was annexed to the Avanti kingdom.
    • Avanti

      • capital of Avanti was Ujjain
      • important ruler of this kingdom was Pradyota.
      • became powerful by marrying Vasavadatta, the daughter of Udayana
    • Kosala

      • capital-Ayodhya
      • Kasi was given aas dowry to Bimbisara
    • Magadha

      • Magadha emerged powerful and prosperous.
      • Magadha was endowed by nature with certain geographical and strategic advantages
        • Her strategic position between the upper and lower part of the Gangetic valley was a great advantage
          • fertile soil
          • iron ores in the hills near Rajgir and copper and iron deposits near Gaya added to its natural assets.
          • Her location at the centre of the highways of trade of those days contributed to her wealth.
      • Rajagriha was the capital
      • During the reign of Bimbisara and Ajatasatru, the prosperity of Magadha reached its zenith.
      • Bimbisara(belonged to the Haryanka dynasty ) was a contemporary of both Vardhamana Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.
        • However, both religions claim him as their supporter and devotee. He seems to have made numerous gifts to the Buddhist Sangha.
      • Ajatasatru (494 – 462 B.C.)
        • remarkable for his military conquests.
        • fought against Kosala and Vaisali
        • He laid the foundation of the new capital at Pataliputra situated at the confluence of the two rivers, the Ganges and the Son.
      • Saisunaga dynasty

        • genealogy and chronology of the Saisunagas are not clear.
        • Kakavarman or Kalasoka. During his reign the second Buddhist Council was held at Vaisali.
        • Kalasoka was killed by the founder of the Nanda dynasty.
      • Nandas

        • conquests went beyond the boundaries of the Gangetic basin and in North India they carved a well-knit and vast empire.
        • Mahapadma Nanda was a powerful ruler of the Nanda dynasty.
        • uprooted the kshatriya dynasties in north India and assumed the title ekarat.
        • Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga refers to the conquest of Kalinga by the Nandas.
        • last Nanda ruler was Dhana Nanda
        • enormous wealth of the Nandas is also referred to in the Tamil Sangam work Ahananuru by the poet Mamulanar.
        • The oppressive way of tax collection by Dhana Nanda was resented by the people. Taking advantage of this, Chandragupta Maurya and Kautilya initiated a popular movement against the Nanda rule. It was during this time that Alexander invaded India
  • PERSIAN AND GREEK INVASIONS

    • Persian Invasions

      • Cyrus (558 – 530 B.C)
        • Cyrus the Great was the greatest conqueror of the Achaemenian Empire
        • first conqueror who led an expedition and entered into India.
        • captured the Gandhara region.
      • Darius I (522 – 486 B.C.)
        • grandson of Cyrus
        • conquered the Indus valley in 518 B.C. and annexed the Punjab and Sindh
          • became the 20th Satrapy of his empire
        • Darius sent a naval expedition under Skylas to explore the Indus.
      • Xerxes (465-456 B.C.)
        • He deployed Indian infantry and cavalry to Greece to fight his opponents.
    • ~Effects of the Persian Invasion

      • impetus to the growth of Indo-Iranian commerce
      • prepared the ground for Alexander’s invasion
      • use of the Kharoshti script, a form of Iranian writing became popular in northwestern India
      • We are able to see the influence of Persian art on the art of the Mauryas, particularly the monolithic pillars of Asoka and the sculptures found on them.
        • The very idea of issuing edicts by Asoka and the wording used in the edicts are traced to Iranian influence.
  • Alexander’s Invasion of India (327-325 B.C.)

    • Political Condition on the eve of Alexander’s Invasion

      • number of small kingdoms in northwestern India.
      • leading kings were Ambhi of Taxila, the ruler of Abhisara and Porus who ruled the region between the rivers of Jhelum and Chenab
      • remained the most disunited part of India and the rulers were fighting with one another.
    • Causes of the Invasion

      • writings of Greek authors like Herodotus about the fabulous wealth of India attracted Alexander
      • Battle of Hydaspes
        • 327 B.C. Alexander crossed the Hindukush Mountains and spent nearly ten months in fighting with the tribes.
        • crossed the Indus in February 326 B.C
        • warmly received by Ambhi, the ruler of Taxila.
        • Alexander marched from Taxila to the banks of the river Hydaspes (Jhelum)
          • heavy floods delayed the expansion of empire
          • crossed the river and the famous battle of Hydaspes was fought on the plains of Karri.- Porus
    • Effects of Alexander’s invasion

      • immediate effect of Alexander’s invasion was that it encouraged political unification of north India under the Mauryas.
      • system of small independent states came to an end.
      • Alexander’s invasion had also paved the way for direct contact between India and Greece
      • routes opened by him and his naval explorations increased the existing facilities for trade between India and West Asia.